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Blaine Stands With Food
DHHS Backs Down on Go at’s Milk Harassment
at’s Milk Harassment
Fairfield Journal, September 18, 2013
Maine - In response to threats from the Maine Department of Health and Human
Services (DHHS) against Alorah Gellerson, for feeding her infant son a
homemade formula containing goat's milk, retired Navy Captain and Republican
Congressional Candidate Blaine Richardson spoke at an event to protest this
overreach of government authority.
Alorah began feeding her infant son, Carson, a homemade goat's milk
formula because he was not taking to breast feeding. Despite an improvement in
Carson's health, Alorah's doctor reported her to DHHS, who quickly pounced on
the family, claiming that the goat's milk was somehow endangering the baby's
health. Citing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, DHHS
threatened to take baby Carson away from Alorah if they did not comply with
multiple examinations and a mandatory overnight hospital stay to force her son
onto store-bought formula.
Upon learning about this situation, Richardson reacted, "These
agencies are alleged to be protecting and serving the public at our direction,
but instead they are playing food police for big farming and putting an
enormous hardship on Maine families. We aren't funding these agencies with our
tax dollars so that they can kidnap children and breakup families."
"In this gross abuse of government power, Maine DHHS cited the
federal government's recommendations from the USDA about what to feed babies.
The USDA has zero constitutional authority to be dictating to us what we feed
our children. The right to choose what we eat is one of our most basic human
rights," Richardson explained.
Four doctors with Eastern Maine Medical Center cleared Carson for
release, but a DHHS doctor-who had never examined Carson-overruled their
decision and mandated an overnight hospital stay. The threats and harassment
of this family by DHHS continued for many days thereafter, including phone
calls and surprise visits.
A mandatory appointment with the DHHS doctor was scheduled for
September 5, in Bangor. To show support for the family and for food freedom,
an event was scheduled for the same day. Despite the appointment being
cancelled before the event took place, approximately 100 citizens turned out
Richardson was one of several who spoke at the event, "Our life
and our liberty in this issue is being assaulted from all angles, from the
state and from the federal government. I've about had it. I don't know about
anybody else out here, how you feel in particular, but I want to make my own
food choices. I made my own food choices for my two grown children. Life is
hard, but our children are OUR children, they're our flesh and blood. They are
not the wards of the State of Maine and certainly not the wards of the Federal
When Alorah and Carson arrived home after the event, there was a letter
from DHHS waiting for them. It stated that the investigation was being closed
and that there were no findings of neglect.
education and medical choices are a parent's alone to make. Let us not become
people who sit back and allow government to make choices for our
families," Alroah proclaimed.
Richardson agrees and is pleased that DHHS backed down. "We should
never allow governments to trample our most basic rights and threaten to take
our children away. I am glad that DHHS reversed-course and ceased harassment
of this family."