Robert Rodriguez of The Fresno Bee reported from the courtroom Friday in Hollister that the Superior Court judge ruled that the state had a rational basis for creating legislation that imposes a higher safety standard for Organic Pastures and Claravale Farms – California’s two raw milk producers. The new regulations set a limit of 10 coliform bacteria per milliliter of raw milk. It’s the same standard used for pasteurized milk.
Judge Tobias also granted the dairies a three-week suspension of the new law to allow their attorney to file an appeal. The Judge also said. "From the plaintiffs’ standpoint, they should be dealing with their political representatives for legislative modification."
Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures dairy (who I have sued on behalf of two childen sickened in a 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak), said dairy officials are working with Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, on a new legislative solution that sets a higher bacteria count along with a new food safety plan guiding dairy operation. I have been following Mark McAfee, who I understand calls me "Marler Shark" – a play on the firm name, Marler Clark.