State Milk Board destroys thousand of pounds of Morningland Dairy cheese

Posted by Simon Jester on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 1:33 PM:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. -- After a two and a half year legal battle, 15 tons of cheese made and aged near Mountain View was hauled to a dump. To fans of natural foods, it is monumental waste and over-regulation. To Missouri's Milk Board, it's merely protecting public health.

"I see the destruction of what my wife and I and family have worked to build," said Joseph Dixon, owner of Morningland Dairy.

Dixon and his family aren't the only ones outraged by the trashing of about 30,000 pounds of cheese produced on the farm in Howell County.

"You said earlier you would weigh this cheese. How do we know that you're being held accountable gentlemen?" a bystander asked of State Milk Board members.

Members of the State Milk Board, which embargoed the cheese 2 1/2 years ago, arrived to dozens of protestors.

"You have people here today that are saying, hold it! We have questions why, and that's why these people are here, and we appreciate everyone being here," said Dixon.

Tests on Morningland Dairy cheese in California triggered the dairy's shut down. Though FDA tests of the facility turned up clean, both the tests in California and later private testing in St. Louis found two bacteria- staph-aureus and listeria. The Dixons, who believe raw dairy is healthier, were not satisfied with the tests.

"They really haven't found anything, no sicknesses, no illnesses in 30 years. But it's what-if. And in the United States of America, if what-if now wins, we have no country left," Dixon said.

Both Howell County Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with the milk board's decision to destroy all the cheese.

"We asked for trial by jury; we were denied because it was a regulation, not a law. It wasn't passed by congress," said Dixon.

A couple of years ago, the Dixons still had hope of someday making cheese again and were milking daily, but now, the milking barn is empty because the dairy herd is gone.

"If I tried to start back up, it would cost so much to get it in the cooler, and then, if they find, quote, one thing they can complain about, one thing, I'm shut down again, and every bit of that has to be destroyed," said Dixon.

Neither Milk Board members at the dairy or the Missouri Department of Agriculture would comment to reporters on the destruction of the cheese, but they did send copies of court documents in the case, which are attached to this story.


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    Welcome to the new soviet union. Did they wear brown shirts and black boots?

    -- Posted by Dug on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 1:40 PM
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    As you can see in the YouTube video, the raiders did not wear uniforms. They did however use the Nuremberg defense several times: "Just doing my job."

    -- Posted by Simon Jester on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 2:15 PM
  • I'm confused again. Did they find staph-aureus or any other terrible hazzard in the cheese they destroyed? Is that the basis of the "what if" reasoning being protested?

    -- Posted by Old John on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 12:02 AM
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    This is right up there with state and local bans on baking home goods/desserts for bake sales and fish fries. At a church in St. Louis we were told by law we could no longer bring desserts to a fish fry. It was against the health code.

    Just what we need the government involved in.

    -- Posted by Dug on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 9:11 AM
  • Again, no common sense at all used in this country any more. I don't want to say the word common sense to loud it might offend some one in this day and time.

    -- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 10:05 AM
  • No win situation. Each of you would all be blaming the government if 100s or 1000s had gotten sick or died because of lack of oversight.

    -- Posted by js68520 on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:01 PM
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    -- Posted by js68520 on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:01 PM

    Sounds like you would be the only one blaming the government. I would be blaming the company. Don't assume we all think the government is responsible for tucking us in at night or, heaven forbid, protecting us from eating a cupcake baked by our neighbor.

    -- Posted by Dug on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:01 PM
  • The topic is tainted dairy products, staph-aureus and listeria bacteria. Both can be deadly. Thank you FDA for doing their jobs.

    -- Posted by survivalist on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 5:16 AM
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    "Though FDA tests of the facility turned up clean"

    "no sicknesses, no illnesses in 30 years"

    "the trashing of about 30,000 pounds of cheese produced on the farm in Howell County"

    Anyone that would thank the FDA for testing and finding NOTHING wrong, no sicknesses and no illnesses and then the MISSOURI MILK BOARD destroying the cheese has never really worked or held a job with much responsibility. Good decisions are driven by data, not emotion and playing to the small minds of the world. Destroying 30,000 pounds of cheese with no staph or listeria? Apparently you don't pay taxes. What a waste of time and money.

    -- Posted by Dug on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 7:18 AM

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