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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Unseen War on American Farms

Guns drawn, a SWAT team kicks in the door of a private business. Are the cops there for drug dealers? Mafia mobsters? Terrorists?

No, the long arm of the law is out for the real dangerous contraband: raw milk and grass-fed chickens.

Nick Gillespie sits down with Kristin Canty, director of Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Farms, a new documentary about small farms and co-ops that have been raided by the Food & Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state-level agencies and have had their products seized and destroyed. One particularly gruesome case involved a flock of sheep being killed because of the non-existent threat of the sheep acquiring Mad Cow Disease.

Farmageddon does more than document government overreach; the movie also takes issue with FDA claims that raw milk and other products popular with foodies are unsafe and filled with dangerous bacteria. In a country where more and more folks are embracing small-scale and organic agriculture, the government is on a collision course with a growing subculture.

Canty says this is only film she intends to make. She aspires to open a farm-to-table restaurant in Massachusetts, a venture that will be made all the more difficult by onerous and misguided regulations.

Shot by Meredith Bragg and Josh Swain. Edited by Anthony L. Fisher.

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