Raw Milk a Tough Sell in an NFL Town’s Burgers-and-Fries Culture

““In Russia, we can’’t say what we want, but we can eat what we want. In the U.S., we can say what we want, but we can’’t eat what we want.”” ~ From an attendee at the postponed hearing in Foxborough considering tough raw milk regulations for Lawton’s Family Farm

Supporters of Lawton's Farm at Monday evening's postponed hearing in Foxborough, MAThe non-hearing over Lawton’s Family Farm was frustrating in one sense–the 140 or so attendees who overflowed the meeting room were brewing for an active debate. When someone in the audience suggested to the Foxborough Board of Health that, instead of postponing the hearing, the board just withdraw the proposed tough new regulations designed to replace long-established state regs, the audience burst into loud applause.

The board was obviously impressed by the outpouring. “We’ve never had this much interest in something we are doing,” one of the health board members stated.

I don’’t think the board is going to withdraw the regulations, but I sense there will be some easing in its approach. I had a long talk after the postponement (new date not set yet) with Eric Arvedon, the Foxborough board member who is leading the charge on the tough town regulations, and he told me that “revised” proposed regulations will be posted within the next few days. Missing will be the requirement that Lawton’s test its milk on a weekly basis, instead of the state’s monthly requirement.

He also suggested there would be adjustment to a couple other controversial items: that Lawton’s file an operating and safety plan each year to get its raw milk permit renewed, and that the dairy be shut down for up to 30 days in the event of high bacterial readings.

“We’re not trying to make it hard for them (Lawton’s),” he told me. “The regulations will pretty much mirror the state regulations.”

If that is the case, why get a town involved in something the state seems to be handling very well? Arvedon said he isn’t convinced the state is handling the situation as well as it could. He was perturbed when, last spring, the state twice required Lawton’s to halt sales for a few days because of certain high (non-pathogenic) bacterial counts, and, in his estimation, Lawton’s seemed unresponsive to the town’s concerns that customers be notified.

Terri Lawton, who helps run the dairy with her parents, says customers were notified, even though the state has no notification requirement. She says she rejected a town request for confirmation that customers were notified because this would have meant sharing a customer list.

From my conversation with Arvedon, I would say that the town officials have a very steep learning curve about raw milk….if, indeed, they are sincerely interested in learning. The health culture in which the Foxborough Board of Health spends much of its time is the factory-food culture that typifies the U.S., and is far removed from the raw milk/nutrient-dense food culture.

It seems that one of the big problems in the Foxborough situation stems from the fact that Massachusetts is one of the few states, perhaps the only state, in which both towns and the state are granted authority over raw milk by the legislature. For the nearly 30 dairies that produce raw milk around the state, the towns seem content to have the state handle the permitting and inspection process via its two full-time dairy inspectors. However, a little more than half the towns actually have prohibitions against raw milk sales, dating from the 1950s and 1960s, though at least three of those towns have reversed the bans in recent years so as to allow local farms to sell raw milk (and none of the towns that allow sales have enacted bans).

In the case of Foxborough, it seems clear that the board of health members are just getting up to speed on the realities of raw milk. I inquired with Arvedon about something he was quoted about in local papers–that 30 states prohibit raw milk and cheese sales.

When I asked him where he obtained that information, he said he was sure it was from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and began rummaging through a thick file of FDA and CDC printouts about raw milk. He wasn’t able to find it, probably because even the FDA hasn’t exaggerated the situation with regard to raw milk availability that badly; as we know, raw milk cheese that has been aged at least 60 days under FDA regulations can be sold anywhere, and there are 17 or 18 states that prohibit raw milk sales to the public, though most of those states allow herdshare arrangements.

Why would a local board of health that mostly oversees a National Football League stadium and local restaurants want to inject itself into something as challenging as raw milk? According to the Lawtons’ lawyer, Frank DiLuna, who represents clients before local health boards on various issues, “They do it because they can.”

In this case, all it took were a couple of high bacteria readings, and the local officials were prepared to pounce. Seemingly another reason why raw milk producers, in particular, can be well served by involvement in the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI)–for the information and teaching it provides on producing consistently high-quality milk, and for the credibility it provides to uncertain local regulators.

While waiting last evening for the Foxborough Board of Health to take up the raw milk issue, board members debated food preparation procedures at nearby Gillette Stadium for New England Patriots games. An inspector had just been over there Sunday evening, and was concerned that some cooked food might be held more than four hours before being served to customers. There was an intense back and forth about how food vendors at the stadium might need to mark the time various foods are prepared, so food more than four hours old could be disposed. I’m not sure why four hours was such a huge deal, but it was.

In a culture where keeping the fast-food burgers and fries fresh and antiseptic is a high priority, educating about raw milk, the microbiome, and fermentation is definitely going to be a big challenge.

129 comments to Raw Milk a Tough Sell in an NFL Town’s Burgers-and-Fries Culture

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Next Foxboro goal:

    Find out which one of the Township board members themselves or which of their kids or grand kids have Crohns, Asthma, frequent colds, excema… or anything else related to autoimmune illness. Get them on “free raw milk” for the next 4 weeks. Then watch the votes change directions in a hurry!!! Perhaps even a few of the board members themselves have a serious GUT or BUTT problem. We know how raw milk fixes those kinds of unspoken things. In all seriousness, this board is just like any other group of uninformed Americans. They need accurate information so they can feel good about making a good decision for their community.

    Look to the EU for the data and systems that work. America is still mostly in the raw milk dark-ages.It is kept there by industry and the FDA that loves their 18th century solutions.

    To quote our wonderful Dr. Bruce German (from UC Davis International Milk Genomics Consortium ), “Pasteurization is a 18th century solution to an 18th century problem…we can do much better!”

    So lets do much better!! We have the means, lets apply the will.

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    David, I was almost pulling my hair when they debated that “”You cooked it 3 hours ago so it should go in the trash” mentality. Where I grew up we had no refrigeration, running water or elctricity or even ecleticism.

    And we’d eat cooked food a couple of days later because that’s all we had. What’s a single paradigm?

    But we survived.

    Have fun, or not. Your choice/

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    I never thought or expected that my beeyoutiful wife would ever end up to be front and center on TCP front page. Extra Extra!

    Can I send in a picture of my puppy? She’s just as beautiful but didn’t make it to the meeting. Maybe next time wherever they reschedule. W

    Thanks David it was great meeting you too and the book autograph, priceless.

  • Erin
    Hello. I’m new to this–why do they test for non-pathogenic bacteria? Thanks!
  • Shawna Barr
    Great question Erin. Routine testing of milk for pathogenic bacteria is not a good measure of milk safety. Pathogens can be elusive and surveillance testing for pathogens can be like finding a needle in a haystack. If a pathogen is not present in one sample, it doesn’t mean that it is not present the milk tank, or that it won’t be present in tomorrow’s milk tank.

    A much better measure of cleanliness and quality is to measure the total number of coliform bacteria present in milk. Coliform is a family of bacteria that is widely found in the environment. Most varieties of coliform are benign, but some are not. E coli 0157H7 is a member of the coliform famly. Measuring the total coliform present in a milk samples is a good measure of the overall cleanliness of the milk processing plan. Coliforms are picked up between the udder and the bottle. If the plan for getting the milk from udder to jar is good, the milk should have very few coliform bacteria present. If that plan is followed consistently, the milk should be conistently low in coliform bacteria, which means the risk that a pathogenic strain of bacteria is present is nearly zero.

    A milk sample could show 0 pathogens, but still have a very high coliform count. Most coliform bacteria are totally benign, but that high coliform count demonstrates that somewhere between udder and jar, bacteria is being introduced. And while that bacteria might be benign today, tomorrow it could contain a pathogen.

    In California, the allowable number of Coliform bacteria in raw milk is <10, the same number that is allowable for pasteurized milk. Raw milk producers who follow a sound risk managment plan routinely have coliform counts of

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Standing ovation to Shawna!!! One heck of a RAWMI LISTED mentor and teacher!! You beat me to the educational punch. Nicely done.

    I am very excited to announce that Mike Deschmidt in New Mexico is up and producing state authorized retail approved raw milk…in just less than 2 months he is selling out from his 30 ( do not have the exact number ) or so cows!! Mike is the first producer of legal NM raw milk in quite some time. It is legal in NM but no one had been producing it for more 15 years from what I understand. I flew down to see him last spring and he was making great progress then. He even had a pasteurizer installed to process some of his extra raw milk product because he thought that his raw milk might struggle in sales. After just a few weeks….not a drop extra, all sold out !!! He has not used his pasteurizer one time. He is testing and getting great numbers. He increased his testing after Marcy McBee had her challenge last month…just to know more information and not have any surprises. Congrats to Mike and his family.

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    Here is the Desmet Dairy website. I was off a little they are milking 16 cows of mixed breeds and state legal and inspected. Great story….his dad owned a CAFO with huge number of cows doing the highly processed commodity market thing. Mike made the shift and is the face of the new generation of innovation and the national raw milk rennaisance. Great to see this!!

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Raw milk pioneering secret…..if you want to really know what could possibly be in your raw milk…test your milk filters for Bugs. That will up your food safety game to a whole new level. Why be complacent with good final product numbers ? Much to be learned from this new protocol. When we discover more we will share. There could be some real food safety breakthrough protocols based on milk filter monitoring. We will see…studies being done right now.

    Question: if you have multiple filters in your system….does the first filter have the same bugs as the second or third filters have??? Any thoughts? How do bugs behave arround fabric filter media? Why do they agrigate and concentrate ? Why do filter tests not reflect thevsame data as bulk tank tests from the same flow of milk?

    Our university PhD friends say that the best way to find pathogens in a body of water is to leave a fabric sleeve in the water for a period of time…the fabric will show or collect bugs that a simple sample from the body of water will not show. Is this the same for raw milk flows??

    These are unknown pioneering questions. The answers could revolutionize raw milk safety and provide some simple solutions to complex challenges. We will see…

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    How is the data different Mark between the two sample sources?

    How many times do you change the filter or wash it out during milking?

    Was there milk from previous milkings in the cooler prior to introducing the current milk into the cooler?

    How long does it take for your cooler to start up once your milk is introduced?

    Where do you store your filters, in the original package or do you place them into a container?

    What type of material are your filters manufactured from, fabric, or stainless steel?

    Filters will accumulate clotted milk, is there any mastitic cows in the herd? Etc.


  • Russ
    “Seemingly another reason why raw milk producers, in particular, can be well served by involvement in the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI)…for the credibility it provides to uncertain local regulators. ”

    This is the first time I recall seeing this rationale for RAWMI. Where local regulators truly are uncertain, as opposed to fascistic, that’s exactly the kind of thing the food freedom movement should be doing.

    But in the past I’ve always seen the rationale as being to collaborate with centralized bureaucracies like the CDFA and FDA, who aren’t uncertain at all about what they’re trying to accomplish.

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    These go great with raw milk! This one’s for Gordon: Torta. Or pita… hmmm.


    Courageous Conversations, I saw them open for the Shenanigans and the Innuendos at the Holiday Inn decades ago.

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    Russ, this was actually my idea as I learned more about the degree of ignorance on raw milk among Foxborough regulators. I thought an affiliation with a private standards-setting organization like RAWMI, might provide reassurance that the regulators didn’t need to feel compelled to get involved.  Terri Lawton was uncertain it would carry weight, especially if the regulators have other agendas, as well they might. Since the meeting was postponed, we’ll have to wait to learn more. 

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    I hate to side track this great string…but this is just a reminder of the dangers of the flu shot that does not work and gives people the flu quite often.

    Considering the dramatic enhancement that consumption of raw milk provides to its consumer and zero deaths in the CDC data base from fluid raw milk, raw milk is a much better flu treatment Nd prevention than a shot injected acros America in tens of thousands of local pharmacies by non medically trained minimum wage aides. http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/11/25/heartbroken-mother-fox-and-friends-healthy-teenage-son-chandler-webb-died-after-routine

    Death from a flu shot is a crazy outcome. It is also something Bill Marler can not sue for… Pharma is the one that gets immunity while the 19 year old gets death!!! Just a reminder of the sickness of our system.

  • D. Smith D. Smith
    @ David: Yes. Most of the time we all tend to think the regulators are “just doing their job”. But maybe this idea of yours is the key – they truly are ignorant about that which they regulate.

    There it was – hiding in plain sight.

    When the people who are “just doing their job” make statements like the goon from my State who said he’d rather drink gasoline than drink raw milk, we should all have known he had no clue and needed to be educated from the real world side of raw milk, not the propaganda side.

    Good going, David!

  • Shawna Barr
    Russ, when we began our herdshare, we invited both our county Sheriff and DA to our farm for a visit. We wanted to talk about property rights and private contract, and explain to them our intention to remain within the law via private ownership.

    Our Sheriff and DA were very supportive of us. We actually have one of the most “Constitutional” sheriff’s in the nation right now. However, neither of them knew a thing about raw milk, other that the bits that they had picked up via the media. They knew raw milk was “controversial” and considered risky by some.

    So for us, working with RAWMI was very helpful in bringing credibility to our risk-management plan. It was beneficial to say, “Here are standards for safe raw milk production. I didn’t develope these, rather they have been created by a team of experts in this area. We are voluntarily meeting or exceeding these safety standards.”

    So far, we’ve not had any interations with our local health department. But I’m sure they know what we are doing. Its a small county. People who work in their office who get milk from us! And since there is very little good information about raw milk available to local public health folks, I’m more than happy to point them to RAWMI via our website, and to our RAMP plan and bacteria tests.

  • Shawna Barr
    Looking forward to more on this!
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    @ Shawna: You are very lucky to have a Sheriff like that. Most are pretty by-the-book.

    I do not believe the education of our regulators can be done en masse, in toto. We need to teach these people almost on a one-to-one basis (using RAWMI or RAMP or whatever if you wish) because en masse they tend to not “get it”. Consider them as still students. Most students learn better and retain better on a one-to-one basis, which is why homeschooling is tremendously successful.

    I don’t know, that’s just my take on the thing. I feel as though teaching even ONE of them (and actually getting them to understand and learn about raw milk) is good because they will then possibly try to enlighten those they work with on a daily basis – maybe even by accident. We still need to teach basic facts, because that’s where these guys are the most “lost in the wilderness” about raw milk. You come at them with terms like “pathogens” and “bacteria counts” yada yada, you lose them right away – because it’s BORING and they think they already know all that stuff.

    I still think, too, that the word raw tends to turn them off from the get-go. But again, that’s just me.

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    The epidemiology of foodborne illness is not real science because it starts with the conclusion. In science you start with a question. You collect data, form a hypothesis, and then test that hypothesis.
    The CDC simply says; My dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours my dog’s better cuz he gets KEN-L-RATION, my dog’s better than yours. (A dog food commercial from the 60s.)
    They start with a ridicules question is raw milk legal?(Of course it is.) If it is, can it be banned?(Of course not. At least not legally.) Then take a common symptom(the average American has it 3 times a year.) of many illnesses and a side effect of many drugs and say it is caused by a common human gut bacteria. Some of their evidence is never even written down or even spoken, just inferred. None of it even relates to their initial hypothesis. Then they simply move on to finding this hypothetical cause to this new disease we now call foodborne illness.
    1911, Boston
    Forty-eight died from streptococcus in raw (unpasteurized) milk in an outbreak with more than 2,000 illnesses.(pure speculation since there is no documentation of whether the milk was pasteurized or not and consumers were often not told their milk was being pasteurized.)
    At the time, people were said to be suffering from “septic sore throat.”(strep throat)???
  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    D, I went up to the BOH people and asked a few basic questions, such as why are you doing this and who’s paying for it? No clear answers, just generic ones such as we are protecting people because it’s dangerous. When I asked “show me the stats on the number of illnesses and/or deaths” I basically got shooed away, as in “don’t ask me questions I can’t answer.”

    This I pilfered from one of my wife’s friend’s emails:

    According to someone “in the know” they said the hearing is not about banning the sale of raw milk. However, the article I originally sent you contained a quote from a Foxboro BOH official indicating that banning its sale should be evaluated to keep you informed. Maybe the need to attend is not as dire as originally thought – I hope that is true. See an excerpt from the email I received from the person “in the know:”

    “Already up on this and have sent letters to the BOH. The issue before the board is whether or not to adopt local regulations for raw milk dairies that are more stringent than the state, not to ban it.”

    Of course, if the regulations are costly, Oake Knoll would have trouble staying in business. The regulations are almost identical to something Framingham adopted a few years ago. Eastleigh Dairy was able to comply but is currently in bankrupcy due to economic issues not the raw milk regs as far as I know.

    David Gumpert has put a great deal of spin on this thing. Currently there is one board member who has requested that the regs be adopted and one who does not want them adopted. One member is undecided as far as I know . . . “This is not about banning raw milk, however.”

    Also, here is a link to the original article about Lawton’s Farm – lots of interesting info. about the farm and Foxboro’s proposed regulations applicable to the sale of raw milk. Which links back to David’s TCP blog.

  • Shawna Barr
    Not to stir the pot here, but I have to disagree that science-talk is uninteresting to regulators. I have found that talking about pathogens and bacteria and quantifiable data is actually a language that health and science people speak very well.

    I have actually had more challenges speaking that language with fellow producers due to misconceptions about pathogenic risks and bad information. For example, for a long time I was led to believe that raw milk had pathogenic-killing properties, and therefore was safe for consumption even if it happened to become contaminated. Not true. At one time, I also thought that e coli 0157 was not present in grass fed herds. Also not true. I’ve found that respectful and open-minded dialogue around science is beneficial both ways…for the raw milk producer and for the public health avocate…especially as D says, on a one-to-one basis.

    Let the tongue lashing now begin… 🙂

  • Shawna Barr
    I’ll also concede that in the Lawton’s case, there is so much emotion and public outcry right now, and perhaps trying to save face and preserve credibility on the part of the BOH, that any kind of open minded and respectful dialogue may be out of the question in the heat of it all.

    Dialogue before a confrontation, or a crisis, is much prefered.

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    Ora, just to clarify….If the meeting Monday evening had gone forward as planned, the first item the Foxborough Board of Health would have voted on was whether or not to ban raw milk. As your friend suggested, the board seems divided, with a swing vote likely making the final 2-1 decision. If the vote had been in favor of banning raw milk, there could have been a number of possible outcomes after that. For example, Lawton’s might have been grandfathered in, with the stipulation it operate under the tough local regulations. Or, if raw milk wasn’t banned, the tough regulation still could have been enacted. Or, the regulations could have been adjusted, with some items adjusted to make them less onerous. Or, raw milk could have been approved, with stipulation that the state continue to regulate Lawton’s. I’m sure some other permutations possible. 

    I’d say the need to attend the re-secheduled meeting will be even more urgent. The only reason the Foxborough officials have shown signs of  flexibility is because of the large crowd on hand. That same pressure will be needed to keep them flexible. If people don’t show up, you can count on them reverting to the original plan, which was to put Lawton’s in a straitjacket. 

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    Shawna, your icon picture is the best ever on this blog seriously. And here I thought I had a monopoly on cute animal parent/child photos, silly me.

    And it’s not a pot here, it’s a cauldron. Be wear heat resistant gloves or get burnt.

  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    The Permutations, saw the open for Ultimate Spinach back before it was toxic, on a clear sunny day in the summertime at the Boston Common. I think the Straightjackets were suppose to open but got taken away. Grandfathers are great, hope to be one someday. Urgent, that was Foreigner. As I am vs being an alien.
  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    I forgot and didn’t ask for Terri’s permission and feel free to take it down if out of bounds David. This place is so scary, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to get food there/


  • Mary McGonigle-Martin
    Thank you Shawna. You are a breath of fresh air. The raw milk myths you mention somehow need to die. Too many people still believe them and site them as reasons raw milk is safe to drink.
  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    At OPDC we use two new milk filters for each milking. One for each half of the herd. We save them for team inspection and evaluation. We match the physical appearance to the end product test results. Not a very conclusive comparison. We then send some of the milk filters off for pathogen culture testing on a protocol schedule basis as part of our RAMP plan. We also send secondary down stream creamery filters off for testing as well. This is all part of an attempt to up our food safety game. I can not take any credit here…. Dr. Cat Berge suggested this idea a while ago. The data that comes from this study “over time” will be fascinating.
  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    Milk Filters, we saw them open for the Cheese Cakes eons ago, before they became a corporate restaurant. Aside to Mark: Have an earthquake and wake me if you do.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Possible “Epidemiological”evidence that it is unsafe to “not” drink raw milk, regardless of it’s quality.
    “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US (Scallan et al, 2011). Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.”
    At that rate any group of 900 people should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness” each month just to be average. And since 10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS any group of 900 people should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
    That means if any cow share with 900 people has less than 1.25 cases of HUS each month, their raw milk is preventing HUS not causing it. Is there any cow share with a safety record that bad? Someone please check my math.
    According to the CDC’s epidemiological evidence 100 raw milk drinkers should die from food borne illness every year, but so far none have. Which means raw milk saves 100 lives per year regardless of it’s quality.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Tue, 11/26/2013 – 09:05 Mary McGonigle said:
    “Since 2005, there have been 27 children who have developed HUS from drinking raw milk.”
    Mary, there are 10 million raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Are you saying that they only experienced 27 cases of HUS over a 7 year period? You do realize that the national average for HUS is 1/6 x 5 to 10% per year. An average group of 10 million people experiences between 583,333 and 1,166,666 cases of HUS over that length of time. If what you say is true epidemiologically speaking raw milk would have prevented between 583,306 and 1,166,639 cases of HUS in the U.S. sense 2005.
    [(The number of raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Divided by 6) times 7 yrs] times 10% divided by 2.
    [(10,000,000 / 6)x 7yrs] x 10% = 1,166,666 and 1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333
    10,000,000 / 6 = 1,666,666
    1,666,666 x 7yrs = 11,666,666
    11,666,666 x 10% = 1,166,666
    1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Shawna, regulators love to talk but hate to listen and answer questions. They can not be reasoned with.
  • null.set
    a cute photo atop this article about the meeting in Foxboro on Monday night = an authentic new-fashioned New England townhall meeting !


  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Quick question; does anyone know if a state like California where raw milk is supposedly legal sell any more raw milk than a state like Hawaii where it is said to be illegal?
  • Donte
    Mike-are you for real?

    Don’t you see the flaw in your reasoning?

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    No, that’s why I posted it. Please tell me. What is it? Where’s the flaw?
  • Pete
    Mike, you’re shooting from the hip. There isn’t enough math there to check and what you do have is wrong.

    You may be on to something conceptually but you ain’t got nothing yet.

  • Deborah - Pacifica
    Huh??? rawmilkmike…what are you meaning here??? What do you mean by “a state like California where raw milk is supposedly legal sell”?? What do you mean by the word “supposedly”?? It IS legal here in California to sell raw milk…I can go to either Sprouts or Ramona Family Naturals to get any raw milk product I want (& which I do!!). These two stores are the closest to me. And what’s Hawaii got to do with anything, especially California??
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    A little something for Mr. Watson;
    National Geographic Live! : Dinka: Legendary Cattle-Keepers of Sudan
  • Russ
    A cow share is not a random sample, Mike. Also, HUS cases would tend to be clustered, not smoothly distributed among the entire population. I didn’t check your math in itself.

    Your conclusion may be correct, but it’s not provable in the way you’re describing.

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Deb, the “supposedly” refers to the Rawesome raid and the extremely expensive regulations that keep small dairies out of the raw milk business and paying nearly $20 a gal. Hawaii probably has the toughest anti raw milk statutes and yet people still manage to get raw milk. All ten states in the FoodNet Survey seem to sell about the same amount of raw milk(3% of their population drinks it.) regardless of their regulations. So it seems there’s more than one way to skin a cat or in this case, inhibit the sale of raw milk to the general public.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Russ, “not provable” isn’t that kind of the point. The CDC’s epidemiological evidence doesn’t prove it’s case against raw milk. There evidence suggest a completely different scenario. Doesn’t this theory fit the epidemiological evidence a lot better than theirs.
  • Erin
    Thank you for the reply–I love this blog and am learning a ton. Does anyone know if there is a protocol for testing in the EU (or Japan or elsewhere?). Does it vary by country or within each country? How does it compare to the best practices for testing here? Do they have the same political fight we do? If you have any websites I could look at, I’d appreciate it. Also, I thought I saw an article earlier this year stating that the WHO “declared” raw milk as “safe”. Now I can’t find it–anyone have a link to that? Thanks!
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.”(AFBI)
    At that rate any group of 900 people(CS) should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness”(CSFBI) each month just to be average.
    (1/6 AFBI x 900 CS) / 12 MO = 12.5 CSFBI
    10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS.
    Any group of 900 people(CS) should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
    0.10 STEC x 12.5 CSFBI = 1.25 CSHUS
    Ruffly 300,000,000 people in U.S.(USP)
    The CDC’s FoodNet Survey says there are 10,000,000 raw milk drinker(RMD) in the U.S. http://www.foodrenegade.com/government-data-proves-raw-milk-safe/
    CDC estimates 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US.(FBID)
    According to the CDC’s epidemiological evidence 100 raw milk drinkers should die(DRMD) from food borne illness every year,
    (10,000,000 RMD/300,000,000 USP) x 3000 FBID = 100 DRMD
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Erin, not really an answer but your question brings to mind the fact that WHO says breast-milk is the best food for babies and breast-milk is closer to raw cows milk than it is to formula or pasteurized milk.
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    Wishing everyone a beautiful and bountiful Thanksgiving.
  • Mary McGonigle-Martin
    Mike, approximately 200 people a year in the US get HUS. This is for the entire population of 317 million people. It is considered a rare disorder.


  • Donte

    STEC (whether 0157 or non-0157) are the only pathogens that cause HUS. Salmonella, norovirus, and other pathogens listed in the Scallan study do not cause HUS.

    In the Scallan study, it lists 3704 cases of STEC E. coli 0157 and 1579 cases of STEC non-0157. So if you estimate 10% of these will turn into HUS (I have heard the number closer to 5%), you are looking for approximately 500-600 annual cases of HUS due to STEC nationally.

  • null.set
    glad you brought that up, Rawmilkmike : had you done the bare minimum to get some fact so as to be ABLE think for yourself, rather than letting WikiPedia do your thinking for you – you’d have found that the Dinka are of the tribes of Kush, who trace their lineage back to the Queen of Sheba. Both the Bible and secular history report that the Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem, to see for herself why Solomon was the richest and wisest of all the kings of the earth. The oral history of both the Jews, and the Kush-ites says she then went back home pregnant by him. Thus, the trait for producing enzymes to digest milk, became part of the genetic code of that particular group, and is so TO THIS DAY, and why they are they are traditional rulers in Africa. As politically-incorrect as it is, the scientific facts being discovered about the human genome suggest a better explaination of why some groups predominate over others, than all the Marxist claptrap.
    Yes, “white privilege” is a fact of history. And our God = the God of Israel = is the One who determined it, for His purpose : ” I have given you power to get wealth, in order that my Covenant will be established in all the earth”. No mere co-incidence that the Dinkas a] – were keepers of cattle since, at the latest, the time of the Hyksos invasion, and b]- are the traditional aristocrats of what was known as “Kush”, ie Africa.
    Your homework, Mike, is to find out who were “the Hyksos”, and why did the native population of ancient Egypt resent the sheepherders intruding into their land in the time of Joseph? The answer is in the Bible … “here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept”. It’s worth the effort, because, knowing who true Israel is today = us, Caucasians = is the key to prophecy.
  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    Nice find Gordon and yes cute cow hat picture. I guess I’m not photogenic enough, I was semi expecting to see me and my sign hanging around my neck “Anybody here remember The Prohibition.” Maybe next time.

    I actually have a small treasured media credential for Foxboro Stadium from 15 years ago when I worked with the Foxboro Reporter newspaper covering the Kraft’s other team that nobody knows exists. I say “worked with” rather than worked for, because I volunteered and never got paid a dime. If I find it I’ll post a link because I think it’s wicked cool to have a badge that says Foxboro Reporter with my name on it.

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    A great paper published by Dr. Ton Baars PhD in the EU earlier this year addresses your questions about raw milk in other places in the world and especially the EU and Germany. According to Dr. Baars there has been no reported illness related to raw milk consumption in the German system of “Vorzugsmilch”. They test and use special protocols that are not particularly tight or perfect. But the results are outstanding when considering the history and data that flows from it. See this article for more. I will see if I can find a link. It is the holy grail for a summary of the best research found arround the world on raw milk. Dr. Michele Russell is even quoted in it. RAWMI standards go far beyond the German system but we have just begun to create our track record and collect data. We are also under intense political and econmic raw milk pressures in the US that are not generally found in Germany. A link to the summary of the Peer reviewed and published article can be found here:


    Journal of
    Nutritional Ecology and Food Research
    Vol. 1, 91–107, 2013

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Once again, the blessings of turkey at Thanksgiving reminds me that the gut is definitely connected to the brain. Tryptophan and saratonin wins again….I need a nap.
  • Erin
    Yes, actually when I started breastfeeding my son and learning about the miracle of breastmilk–antibodies, prebiotics, probiotics, stem cells, etc–I thought about how much my breastmilk would change (ie, die & become significantly less healthy) if it were pasteurized. And that is actually what got me thinking that the same is probably true for cow’s milk. So breastfeeding actually put me on the journey to raw milk! (not that I agree with everything the WHO says, but in the case of breastfeeding I do, and I’m hoping to find that article on raw milk from them somewhere).
  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    Very well said Erin!
    It is simple analogies such as this that nurtures wisdom and points us in the direction of the truth.


  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    The Anologies, I saw them open for The Truth before it was known to be true. Dead Turkeys were the backup and they don’t lie. Stuffing I think openened the show it happens.

  • null.set
    further in the direction of Truth >>> off-topic of the thread re Oake Knoll dairy > well worth reading | URL below | Precious information about the role of calcium in the human body : very valuable info re personal health, especially, teeth. This interview is a crash-course in how the medical Establishment hinders acceptance of genuine discoveries. More evidence as to why the Campaign for REAL MILK is opposed, even while we see so many – dramatic – anecdotes of improved health. Startling comments about root canals / peridontal disease by a man who’s been practicing dentistry for half a century


  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    Now here’s a novel idea, Making cheese from belly button bacteria.

    “The germs were sourced from several prominent personalities such as food writer Michael Pollan and Olafur Eliasson of New York City waterfalls fame. Each of these luminaries took the time to massage their noses, armpits, bellybuttons or toes with sterile swabs that they sent back to the museum. There, scientists used the bacteria to produce fuzzy, off-white cheeses that revoltingly “smell, and taste, of the body odour of the donor”



  • Russ
    Is this an admission that RAWMI standards are excessive by scientific standards, and are intended to appease anti-scientific, politically motivated bureaucracies?

    If so, I don’t see how that helps the cause of raw milk truth, and of course appeasement is proven by history to fail.

  • D. Smith D. Smith
    @ Ken: Ack. I wasn’t a big fan of cheese to begin with and this didn’t help.

    I thought belly buttons were for storing lint?

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    D, I probably should bite my lip rather then traumatize you even more. However I tend to be the adventurous type especially when it comes to food. I guess that is why I got into so much mischief when I was a kid. I really enjoy eating cheese and I intend to try out as many varieties as I can before I die. I find it fascinating how some foods can smell so putrid and look so disgusting yet taste so delicious.
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    @ Ken: I like to taste different cheeses (think wine and cheese tasting party). I am just not a big fan of buying them to have on hand because after an initial taste, some of them are not something I would ever touch again with a ten foot pole. And they can be quite expensive, too. Some of them do smell awful, don’t they? =8-\

  • null.set
    yes RAWMI standards are intended to appease the politcally-motivated bureaucrazies, but they’re by no means “excessive” ; simply, ‘playing the hand we’ve been dealt’. If the government wants “… institutionally-accredited science …” OK, Mark McAfee can do that too

    A good quick summary of what the Campaign for REAL MILK is up-against, is available in the top article on Dr Makow’s website, today < www.henrymakow.com >
    It draws the Big Picture. The raw milk thing is not about “health” ; it never was. It’s all about control : who gets what share of the profits and prestige. Since I had the privilege of being taught by Buckminster Fuller, who educated us “there’s more than enough to go ‘round”, and also Bobby Dylan, who sang “you’ve got to serve somebody”, I can live with the local over-educated-thugs-in-white-robes demanding kickbacks in cash and/or deference to their position. As long as the REAL MILK is flowing … those pompous pricks can just ‘get stuffed’
    The comments about Darwin-ism being a religious cult, are particularly good
    A snippet from the article by Phil Collins
    The Epistemological Cartel
    In The Architecture of Modern Political Power, Daniel Pouzzner outlines the tactics employed by the elite… Among them is: ‘Ostensible control over the knowable, by marketing institutionally-accredited science as the only path to true understanding’ (Pouzzner, 75).
    The word ‘science’ is derived from the Latin word scientia, which means ‘knowing.’ Epistemology is the study of the nature and origin of knowledge. The ruling class has bribed the ‘bookkeepers’ (i.e., natural and social scientists).
    Meanwhile, the masses practically deify the ‘bookkeepers’ of the elite, and remain ‘ignorant of the methodology of the bookkeeping.’ The unknown author of Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars provides an eloquently simple summation: ‘The means is knowledge. The end is control. Beyond this remains only one issue: Who will be the beneficiary?’ (Keith, Secret and Suppressed, 203).

    In Brave New World Revisited , Aldous Huxley more succinctly defined this epistemological cartel:
    The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles, and mysteries.
    Under a scientific dictatorship, education will really work’ with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown (Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, 116).
    This is the ultimate objective of the elite: an oligarchy legitimized by arbitrarily-anointed expositors of ‘knowledge’ or, in Huxley’s own words, a ‘scientific dictatorship.’

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    You’re right Donte, that was a case of apples and oranges. This epidemiological evidence shows that raw milk prevents 400 to 800 cases of HUS per year.
    Shiga like toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are estimated to cause more than 265,000 illnesses each year in the United States.
    A 2007 CDC FoodNet survey, reported 3.04% of the population consumes raw milk, or about 9.4 million people, based on the 2010 census.
    In the US an average of 27 STEC cases per year or 3 cases of HUS are blamed on raw milk.
    STEC infections in young children may lead to complications such as HUS in about 5% to 10% of cases.
    265,000 (STEC illnesses) / 308,745,538 (People 2010) = 0.000858
    0.000858 x 9,400,000 (U.S. raw milk consumers) = 8055 (expected STEC illnesses in raw milk consumers if not drinking raw milk) (actual average US raw milk STEC cases per year 27)
    8055 x 5% to 10% = 403 to 806 (cases of HUS per yr if not drinking raw milk)(actual less than 3)
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    Been thinkin’ about this subject. Is this what they mean by toe cheese or toe jam!! Eww. Think I’ll stick to the kinds I like best, such as homemade cottage and mozzarella cheeses. Gouda is probably one of my favorites (great for supplying vitamin K) and also the stringy stuff that goes into onion soup (along with the croutons) – Gruyere. My absolute all-time favorite is Danish Havarti but if you tell me it’s made with eyeball fuzz I’ll just have a fit!
  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Just wondering why no one ever talks about all the deaths caused by thermalized ( fake raw cheeses ) and pasteurized milk. It is fascinating to note that the CDC does not list the 1985 Jalisco pasteurized cheese outbreak with its 49 deaths in their database as far as I can tell. Even in the FDAs formal response to my Citizens Petition in the spring of 2013, the FDA avoids like the plague any mention of Jalisco. Is HUS worse than death?….I guess it is.
  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    D, that flu article really is very interesting. I had one question that I was going to post here about who pays for all these FREE vaccines but found the answer at the end of the article:

    “Private vaccine and pharmaceutical companies have no expense for marketing and distributing influenza vaccines to doctors and health care facilities. Rather the US government purchases the flu vaccine outright from vaccine makers and then the government is required to promote, advertise and sell them. Government holds the debt. Because the pharmaceutical industry already received its money, it is the government’s responsibility, with taxpayer money, to sell the vaccines by whatever means at its disposal. This is another reason why people of all ages and parents need be better educated to see past the barrage of junk science and the publicity of misinformation originating in the federal health agencies. ”

    Ah, government is such a Godsend. And then there’s this from one of my reporter heroes. Wonder if he drinks real milk?


  • Ora Moose Ora Moose
    Quick update on the Foxboro situation. The whopper is that the revised regulations include “a requirement for the Lawtons to maintain $3,000,000.00 of insurance.”

    Wow that wouldn’t cost much and force a small farm out of business would it?

    Not sure which of these links will work, explore.




  • null.set
    as UNreasonable as it is, demanding the farm be insured, is actually a good thing ; in British Common law … ‘one cannot be compelled to do something that is impossible’. So either insurance IS available for such an operation, or it isn’t. If there’s no-one in the Great State of Massachusetts, who’s willing to “take that bet” ( because the insurance biz. is nothing but what Damon Runyon would have called a book-making racket) then such a regulation is void.
    But if there IS a company – or an individual such as DeepPockets Dave the Bookie – willing to underwrite the Oake Knoll Dairy, then all we’re talking about then, is, value for $ = What does such a policy cost? Policies for Car insurance for $3 million lilability, are done daily. The insurance companies know very well what the odds are, which is why they’re so profitable.
    Same with REAL MILK – for the last 10 years, I’ve been saying “show me the actuarial tables!”
    someone phone up Lloyd’s of London, and ask them what their premium is, for product liability for ~ 2 million pounds sterling, for the 100 or so raw milk dairies in England. They’ll get back to you in about an hour, and write you a policy before close- of-business.
    OR = you could do it the Biblical way … be self-insured
  • Mary McGonigle-Martin
    If people want raw milk, they can suck up the cost of liability insurance. What is the monthly for the insurance policy? This can be passed on to the consumer. If there is ever a raw milk outbreak at this dairy, it will be put to good use.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Has anyone successfully sued a farmer for giving their child diarrhea?
  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Vermont has a very good cooperative liability insurance company that covers raw milk…..I hope that insurance coop covers MA as well. Insurance is the silent but ever powerful regulator of raw milk.i my humble opinion, these Township draft regulation is extreme in its mandates.

    In all sincerity, the people that wrote this draft do not understand Recalls, verses Degrades. They are treating products that exceed bacterial standards as a “Recall” product when they should be subject to a “Degrade” instead. The authors of this draft policy are not qualified to write such policies. They have not done their comparative diligence. They have written a confused and a jussive protocol that does not improve safety….all it does is economically oppress raw milk and creates sudden death shut down protocol that is not justified.

    The requirement for insurance at the $3 million level is unheard of. I have never heard of such a regulatory policy. It may even be unconstitutional. I can not think of any authority that would vest the power to mandate insurance. Insurance is not in the realm of regulatory authority. I can think of no other food that is mandated to hold insurance. This is an issue between the producer and any retailers or the consumers but not the regulatory government agencies or local Townships.

    It is time for everyone associated with raw milk in the Foxborough Township to object and require a comparative assessment of the draft policies. The policies are agregrious,unjust,unfounded, and they do nothing for food safety. If food safety is the goal, then why not address sound RAMP programs. The policies do use big words like SSOP’s but fails to comprehensively address food safety. There is no mention of pathogen testing….not one word! Pathogens cause illness….high bacteria counts do not!! These draft policies where drafted by unqualified people or highly qualified people on a mission to destroy raw milk.

    FYI, a $3 million dollar insurance policy will be very expensive. My experience says that it will be at least $50,000 per year for a small operation if it is even possible or available at any cost. A lessor policy coverage at $2 million per year costs a CA raw milk priducer more than $60k per year. The additional $1 million per year adds even more cost. There are few if any insurance companies that cover raw milk in the USA.

    The Foxborough policies have not changed their wolf in sheepskin clothing. They are now just modified to destroy t

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee
    Destroy raw milk using other means!!!

    Protest at all cost!!

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    Or… you can get the government to underwrite the consumption of wholesome foods such as raw milk, as it does with the pharmaceutical industry and doctors who sell and administer vaccines. lol
    Getting them to warm up to such an idea might not be all that far fetched considering our society’s current socialistic controlling inclination.

    Joking aside, since 1986 the federal government in the US has begrudgingly paid out 2.7 billion dollars to Americans harmed by vaccines in exchange for shielding drug companies and doctors from vaccine injury lawsuits in civil court. It should be 20 times this!

    Hell it’s the least they can do if you consider the immune depressing and environmental modulating effect of those vaccines and other government approved and promoted programs related to food production such as GMOs, herbicide, hormones and antibiotics in crop and livestock production.

    Why should the farmer have to carry the burden of responsibility for what is clearly an act of premeditated aggression against public health and the environment by self serving fascist governments.


  • Russ
    I think you forgot, your “supreme court” recently decreed that the government can force individuals to buy worthless insurance policies from private rackets. If that’s kosher according to the system’s court, then anything goes.

    According to that, they can also mandate pasteurization, “improved seeds” (i.e. GMOs), glyphosate, synthetic fertilizer, etc., whenever they choose. All these can be claimed to be necessary to protect the integrity of commerce. They’ll go ahead as soon as they think they can get away with it politically.

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Gordon, I haven’t read the Bible sense eighth grade and the last time I did research at the library they had a card catalog so I’m kind of relying on you for that kind of information.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    There’s no reason to think that raw milk causes HUS because just as many non raw milk drinking children get it and some numbers suggest that raw milk drinkers get it less. That is most likely why STEC is seldom found on the farm or in the milk in conjunction with these raw milk cases.
    How do we know E. coli O157:H7 even causes illness if: “According to the FDA the infectious dose for E. coli O157:H7 is unknown.” That suggests that they have never tested E. coli O157:H7 consumption in raw milk. “(FDA. 1993. HACCP. Regulatory Food Applications in Retail Food Establishments. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Division of Human Resource Development, HFC-60. Rockville, MD.)” http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Ecoli98.html
    It is interesting to note that Organic Pastures Dairy in California, which has been producing raw
    milk since 1999 and tests the milk at every milking (14 times per week) for pathogens has never
    found a pathogen in their milk.
    If only 50% of HUS(kidney failure) cases involve dialysis and there are no outward signs of HUS other than diarrhea, how do we know there aren’t many parents successfully treating HUS at home. The doctors don’t seem to have come to a consensus on what the best treatment is. There are many medications and treatments that have proven over the years, to be counterproductive. Parents should know the threshold(the exact numbers) for starting dialysis and the success rate at that threshold. Of course parents make mistakes and can be reluctant to spend money they don’t have but they are more likely to have their child’s best interests in mind than a pharmaceutical company. You may ask what’s wrong with taking a drug every time you get a cough, headache, or diarrhea, or every time someone tells you you could get a cough, headache, or diarrhea? The answer is on the back of the box.
    Some little snippets of hospital politics:
    The evaluation of kidney failure is challenging, despite many advances in diagnosis and treatment over the past decade.
    …Thus, the best strategy for the combined use of these indices remains unclear. It has been suggested that the so-called kidney failure index (KFI) (urine sodium divided by the urinetoplasma creatinine ratio) be used to differentiate the four categories of ARF…
    ERS published its first comprehensive cost estimates for 16 foodborne bacterial pathogens in 1989. These initial estimates reflected the limited information then available about the incidence of foodborne illness,
    There has been almost no progress in reducing illnesses from Salmonella since 1996, when CDC first began conducting surveillance on the pathogen.
    Available data-sets do not commonly contain biochemical data with which to definitively identify an AKI (acute kidney injury) episode. We thus use administrative billing data to identify episodes of AKI alone and those requiring dialysis. This indirect method has a number of limitations, including poor sensitivity and the possibility of a phenomenon described as “code creep.” This occurs over a period of time when billing thresholds are changed by physicians and/or hospital coders, and can increase the likelihood of an administrative code for AKI being generated by a less severe episode, potentially skewing analyses that demonstrate temporal changes in AKI incidence. As less severe episodes are identified and coded, the incidence of associated adverse outcomes is also likely to fall.
    Figure 6.1 captures this problem by showing the rising incidence of AKI. While in isolation there appears to be an epidemic, it is likely that a proportion of this change is the result of code creep. Superimposed on this figure is the proportion of reported AKI patients requiring dialysis. While the threshold for defining AKI has changed over time, the threshold for when to initiate dialysis has likely remained fairly stable. In contrast to the incidence of AKI, the incidence of AKI requiring dialysis has been declining, further supporting the notion of code creep for AKI diagnoses.
    In patients with an AKI who require dialysis, intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) continues to be the most common known form of therapy, but its use appears to be declining; in 2011, 36 percent of AKI patients requiring dialysis were put on this type of therapy, compared to 65 percent in 2000. The proportion of AKI patients whose dialysis modality is unknown has reached 57 percent, nearly triple that found in 2000, and largely a result of changing reimbursement payments.
    Principal diagnosis codes on AKI claims indicate that the AKI event itself remains the major reason for AKI hospitalization. There has, however, been a significant increase in the number of patients with a diagnosis of septicemia — again, most likely due in part to the changing reimbursement for various diagnoses.
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    @ Mark: I really wish someone would do this. I tried, but every time I type the words *deaths from pasteurized cheeses* or something similar into my search box, it brings up raw milk articles – proclaiming how DANGEROUS raw milk is, whether it’s fluid or cheese. The #1 source for ALL of the negativity regarding raw milk and the hushing up of the dangers of pasteurized milk is the marler site. Imagine that. #2 is the cdc site where they outright lie and say that raw milk kills – even though they cannot list a single death statistic. As Gordon is fond of saying, they are put in place to wear out the saints. Stuff like that scares the living hell out of the general ignorant public and thusly raw milk becomes a dangerous food and goes off their radar. Maybe someone else can get their search engine to find REAL information about the number of illnesses/deaths from pasteurized products.

    As a side note, whenever I type the word raw milk into my search engine, it does NOT bring up articles about pasteurization. Go figure.

  • mark mcafee mark mcafee

    Here is some great new science. Piglet babies thrive on raw bovine milk. The study shows that piglet digestive tracts develop better when the piglets are fed bovine raw milk than when they are fed pasteurized milk or other processed formulas.

    Too bad they did not use human babies to show this effect. This study is published by the NIH.

    I am confused…don’t the NIH and FDA talk to one another??? Is our government that disfunctional??? Do not answer that….I asked a stupid question.

  • Shawna Barr
    This is such crazy talk. No one is saying “raw milk” causes HUS. The ingestion of virulent pathogenic e coli, in a high enough amount, by a susceptable host can result in HUS. The presence of ecoli 157 is not exclusive to milk, by any means.

    Milk, spinach, burger do not make people sick….but pathogenic e coli does, so we need to keep in out of our food. It can be done. It is being done. It takes knowledge and a plan. Denying that contaminated milk can cause illness is not helpful.

    If we are about food freedom here, the path to greater freedom is not by insisting that there is no risk associated with pathogens. It is by understanding and dealing with those risks and taking responsibility for ourselves. The desire for responsiblilty is perhaps no where more strong than in the mindset of the consumer-direct farmer raw milk farmer.

    What producers have lacked is good information, and I believe that information (and the research required to obtain it) has been deliberately withheld. The private sector is doing a heck of a job to turn that around though. Never before has there been more information and mentoring available, and bad information is being replaced by good. Its a great time to be doing raw milk.

  • Shawna Barr
    I could have told you that! ; (About the pigs, not the government) We saved a whole litter when mama pig died after delivery. (Much to the relief of one 12 year old boy-pig-farmer.) They absolutely thrived, with 0 digestive issues or weight gain issues that are typical with piglet milk replacer.

  • null.set
    A place to start gathering evidence of deaths caused by industrially-produced milk is ; the book “WHITEWASH” by Joseph Keon. Although he presumes : ‘all milk bad ~ vegetarian-ism good’, it’s the best compilation out there, of hard science plus tons of anecdotes in the form of press reports, proving harms consequent from pasteurized+homogenized milk. The epidemic of diabetes being the most obvious

    His argument is convincing as to the deaths / illnesses arising from consumption of ‘homo milk’ ( from the CAFO system ) being hidden under the catch-all excuse “individual allergic reaction”.

    Early-on in my involvement in this thing, it became obvious to me that the dairy cartel is in the same position as was Big Tobacco, for about half a century = having plenty of scientific studies in hand proving that its product certainly is hazardous to the public health, yet colluding with so-called govt. “health authorities” in suppressing that information. Whence cometh the vicious, utterly IL-logical opposition to REAL MILK. Our task now, is – as Siegfried Gursche put it – “FIND A WAY TO TELL THE TRUTH”

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    In Wisconsin when food regulation first started regulators were required to pay for all samples taken. How is it now they think they can charge for testing? I suppose the same why the think they can ban the products they were suppose to be protecting.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    great find mark
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    If the state wants to test milk for nonexistent pathogens they can go right ahead but don’t expect consumers to pay for it. And don’t think that gives them the authority to ban milk. How does stipulating to there propaganda help us in any way.
    “According to the FDA the infectious dose for E. coli O157:H7 is unknown.” That suggests that they have never tested E. coli O157:H7 consumption in raw milk. “(FDA. 1993. HACCP. Regulatory Food Applications in Retail Food Establishments. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Division of Human Resource Development, HFC-60. Rockville, MD.)” http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Ecoli98.html
  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    I’ve been feeding raw milk to pigs for as long as can remember. It is nothing new farmers have been doing this for centuries.

    I buy four wieners in the spring and feed them raw milk with chopped oats and grass until they weigh about 200 lbs. I guaranty you there is no better pork.

    One spring when the boys went out to the barn to milk the cows they discovered the four little pigs that I had just recently purchased had managed to get out of their pen and were all sucking on the same cow at the same time. The cow didn’t seem to mind in the least in fact she appeared to enjoy it.


  • D. Smith D. Smith
    If you’ve been raised on milk-fed pork you can hardly stomach anything else.

    @ Gordon: Another good read is Swindled by Bee Wilson. Very eye-opening information. It was written in 2008 so a lot has changed even since that time, but it’s still really good information. She touches briefly on the subject of milk, but she talks about the adulteration of foods and how we got to where we are in that regard.

  • Mary McGonigle-Martin
    Once again Shawna. Thank you. A breath of fresh air!
  • Mary McGonigle-Martin
    I would assume baby piglets are immune to the pathogens in cows milk. Human babies are not.
  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    I make a point of not buying pigs from an SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) hog farm. They present a real problem when being transferred from their isolated protected environment to an open-air facility.

    When my dad went into the hog business in the 1960’s he started of with SPF hogs with the intent of establishing his own SPF herd. Eventually we ended up building a loafing barn for the 150 sows and turned them out on pasture during the summer.

    All you need is for a bear to rip open the barn door and get in or a bird to fly in through the blades of a ventilation fan that has stopped running, or mice and rats to gain entry and you have a real problem if these invaders carry in an organism that your pigs have never been exposed to.


  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad
    You would be surprised how quickly human babies acquire immunity if given a chance. Regrettably in today’s world, numerous toxic vaccines, antibiotics and other drugs before its first year of life, violate an infant’s body.


  • Shawna Barr
    As a herdshare, we are not regulated, and so we pay for our own testing at a private lab. The taxpayers do not foot the bill. Testing is not required of us by the state, but our share members do require it . They are happy to incorportate the costs into their share fees. Just like they insist on non-GMO locally sourced feeds, and are willing to pay for regular vet care for our cows. Its all part of co-producing high quality milk on the community level.

    Coliform and SPC tests are cheap. About $5. Its money well spent.

  • Shawna Barr
    Mary, I’m sure you realize that on the typical farm, the quality of milk fed to piggies is quite different that those offered to humans. Our piggies get what doesn’t pass muster for the humans. Its a great recycling program…give a pig dirty or spoiled milk, and it makes bacon. But I’m sure you are right…pigs must have natural immunity to be able to tolerate all manner of foods that would cause illness in humans. They are a lot less picky too.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Mary, how do you think baby piglets acquire their immunity?
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Sounds great Shawna, maybe we need to move to your state.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Here’s something else. What’s all this talk about allusive pathogens? Has anyone considered that maybe the reason they are so allusive is that they aren’t there? If the test comes back negative how do we know the pathogens are there? Why do we even test if we aren’t going to believe the results? Why should we assume our competitors know more about our product than we do? They say trust us it’s there. “Why would we lie?” They want us to plea bargain. “Just plead guilty and we’ll cut you a little slack and we’ll even through in the deed to the Brooklyn bridge at no extra charge.” There is no reason for us to waste our time trying to prove these so called pathogens are not there. Let them waste their time trying to prove that they are. Obviously if you live in a state that doesn’t harass raw milk farmers and your customers want this testing which you can provide at a reasonable price the argument becomes moot.
  • Russ
    What’s the details on the non-GM locally sourced feeds?
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    When did the industrialized world reach it’s peak? Was it the roaring 20s after pasteurization had destroyed the health of an entire generation? My young nephew says it was 9-11. For me it was the development of modern bread wheat 40 years ago and the slashing of taxes and wages. My father after the Korean war witnessed the bankers dividing up all the property in the city. My grandfather worked through the great depression. My great-grandfather lost his first house and his second house and built his third again on the outskirts of town. And what was this peak build on? Was it the colonization and destruction of the Americas? Maybe the Egyptians saw the peak. It seems to be all down hill after the garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge. Or was even that just another child’s perception of the world they were born into.
  • Shawna Barr
    We make decisions on feed with the imput of our share owners. They value sourcing feed from local farmers, but it must be non-GMO. If we can find local, certified organic, we buy that. If we can’t, then we’ll take the farmer’s word that the hay, grain, etc, is non-GMO. Some feeds, like barley, have not yet been GMO’d, and our region grows a lot of barley. If we can’t find local, non-GMO, then we source our feed from organic, non-local sources.

    Is that what you were asking?

  • Erin
    “Its a great time to be doing raw milk.” Shawna, don’t tempt me!
  • Russ
    Yes, lots of people I know are interested in non-GM feed, and we’ve talked about trying to grow our own non-GM grain for feed. But the prevailing opinion among people here is that it’s uneconomical. I may grow some wheat next year, but it’ll be only a minor supplement, and more for the fun and experience of it than as any serious feed source. Meanwhile certified organic is too expensive for my friends. So I always ask about this whenever I see someone talking about it.

    This is for chickens, though, not dairy. (Not yet. But we’re also talking about getting a cow for milk.)

  • Shawna Barr
    For grains, stay away from conventional corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed, and you pretty much stay away from GMOs. Wheat, barley, rye, oat, peas, flax are good choices, conventional or not. Alfalfa products are also often GMO if not organic, or from a known farmer who can tell you what he’s growing. I’m on the fence as to whether GMO feeds effect the quality of milk, meat, and eggs. However, our choice not to use them is more on principle and ethics, rather than nutrition.
  • Pete

    The moment you assent to their authority to regulate the production/sale of a food you’ve lost the war. Under common law the authority to regulate and license presumes the activity is a governmental privilege; illegal but for the governments permission. So they have the right to pass whatever regulation they wish and you get to suck it up whether you like it or not.

    So words like unconstitutional are wholly inappropriate for details on the content of the regulation. What would be unconstitutional, illegal, null and void is any regulation or statute that presumes to regulate the production and sale of food; which are our rights as humans. But to go down that track you have to argue against the whole body of regulation; not just some part you find abusive.

  • Russ
    Yes, I know what GMOs are. I was talking about the economics of growing, selling, buying non-GM feed.

    Feed saturated with glyphosate, Bt toxins, and genetically modified DNA fragments is bound to affect the quality of the output. We have the work of Don Huber, Monica Kruger, and many others to confirm it. If livestock are increasingly sterile, suffering miscarriages and birth defects, cattle botulism, severe cobalt and manganese deficiciencies, and many other such effects from glyphosate and perhaps from genetic modification itself, the meat and dairy are bound to be nutritionally inferior and poisonous. I’d see no point in drinking raw milk for its health benefits and to avoid the toxic pasteurization process if it’s going to be loaded with other poisons.

    Alfalfa, organic or not, isn’t likely to stay uncontaminated for long if the GM plantings are allowed to continue.

  • null.set
    if you can show me so much as ONE SINGLE instance, where someone in the US of A, affected by an administrative regulation, succeeded in having it rescinded by a Court, I’d love to see it. And you’ve set the context, Pete … that such an aggrieved person would be arguing superiority of “common law” over administrative power. Invalid for over-breadth / void for vague-ness, yes. But in pure principle, no.
    that theme was lost a long time ago … back about the time the public fool system started proramming America’s children to believe they were living in a “democracy” rather than the Republic of the united States of America. You persist saying things like that, you’ll wind up like Gordon Kahl ; Robert Matthews; George Lincoln Rockwell, and the rest of the villains whom you’ve been conditioned to think were ‘madmen / domestic terrorists / racists / Neo -nazis’ = etc. all the rest of the knee-jerk epithets. Get the facts : think for yourself

    it you wanted a watershed moment when the “war was lost”, I’d say it was the last day of the Congress in 1913, passing of the Federal Reserve Act. The mortal enemies of the nation (which had been established by white Christians, for their progeny) slithered into the high places of govt. ie, control of the technology of legal tender. All the rest is mere outworking of the details of communist power.
    In this situation – where we’re ruled by people who hate us = now what’re you going to do about it?! A handy example being : East Germany. Although the Germans are still under tribute to this day [ untold Billions of reparations flowing to the Israelis| its citizens gaoled for voicing dissent against the official Party line of what happened during the 3rd Reich ] – the actual police-state conditions in the FDR lasted “only” half a century. Life went on … they learned how to cope … and they had no problem getting raw milk all the while!
    What I see happening here, is : people involved in the Campaign for REAL MILK have intuitively, already dis-counted the coming collapse of the US $. They’re working for pittance, creating their own future which mandates repudiating Marxism … especially = relearning and practicing the agricultural laws of the Bible, which is what the “common law” is based-upon.

  • Shawna Barr
    Sorry, I didn’t understand your question. Yes, you are likely right about the effect on the outputs. Of course there’s not a lot of research devoted to taking a look at that. And you are also right about the cross-contamination of the alfalfa. I wouldn’t be surprised if the organic alfalfa in my barn were genetically analyzed and came back with genetically-modified genes. However, it wasn’t treated with glyphosate, so I guess that is still better than the conventional counterpart.

    As for the economics of growing, I don’t know a lot about that, as the only feed that we grow for ourselves is grass-hay. When we buy non-organic but non-gmo we typically pay less than we we purchase feed that is certified organic.

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Mary, “rightdiagnosis.com” Three clicks and you’re right back where you started with your question still unanswered. If you use the CDC numbers it comes out to between 13,250 and 26,500 “people a year in the US get HUS.”
    Shiga like toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are estimated to cause more than 265,000 illnesses each year in the United States.
    STEC infections in young children may lead to complications such as HUS in about 5% to 10% of cases.
    It looks like anecdotal evidence may be better than epidemiological evidence.
  • Wayne Craig
    Mary Mcgonile, since you were so willing to give us every excruciating detail of Chris’s battle with HUS. I think it would only be fair that you also give us Chris’s history of; antibiotic use, vaccination problems, and any other health issues (such as tonsillectomy, digestion issues, root canals etc) before his illness.

    This info would be beneficial to us all since we are all here to learn and our wonderful public health people refuse to do this type of research.


  • Russ
    Thanks. Are these non-GM feed sellers doing that consistently as a business? Is it mostly wheat, barley, oats, etc? Everything I read says that it’s difficult to even get (allegedly uncontaminated) non-GM field corn or soy seed in the first place, let alone economically produce the crop and be able to plausibly guarantee lack of contamination.
  • Shawna Barr
    I think that is true on the corn and soy. And there is growing demmand in our area for non-GM feeds that are not necessarily certified organic. The demand is being made known through our local grain elevator. As an alternative to spending, imported certified organic feeds, some growers are asking for feed mixes that are comprised of locally grown, non GMO ingredients. It is often easier for the feed mill to source non-GMO components locally than certified organic ingredients locally. Yes, certified organic is always non-GMO, but not all conventional is GMO. Sometimes to get certified organic, we have to look far outside our bioregion. So we make compromises.
  • Russ
    Interesting, thanks.
  • D. Smith D. Smith
    Good luck keeping things organic. I don’t really believe there’s much left in this world that should be sporting a truly “organic” label – because we really have no idea, do we.


  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Aren’t statutes and regulation suppose to regulate producers on behave of the consumer, not the other way around?
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Is it really necessary to rescind an administrative regulation? Don’t we simply want it to be applied as intended? Or should I say applied as proposed?
  • Pete
    What I am arguing is straight out of Black’s. Why the vitriol Gordon? Common law is the foundation for our entire legal system. Parts of it may be ignored in favor of the current fascist regimes, but it is still in force and does play a part in US court rulings.

    I argue from Truth and Law. If we toss out our just legal foundations then from what position shall we argue? All that is left is might makes right.

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    My question exactly.
  • Russ
    It’s very hard to tell how far contamination has already proceeded, since testing is sparse and ad hoc even among certified organic crops. Although the nominal seed used and the growing practices are supposed to be monitored, this can only attempt to prevent contamination gradually creeping into the varieties. Only specific and systematic testing can gauge this, and such testing is seldom done. The best seed companies all take versions of the non-GM pledge, which means they promise to do their best to keep contamination out. But it also implies that their best may not be perfect, and that they can’t afford to do comprehensive testing.

    Here’s my commentary on the Testbiotech report discussed in the piece you linked.


    I conclude that it’s more evidence that “co-existence” is impossible, and that the total abolition of GMOs is necessary.

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    In regards to your question to Mary as to how baby pigs acquire their immunity.
    It is very similar to humans for there is a reason why they are born in the location in which they are. This much I can also tell you, soon after they are born they indiscriminately root around everywhere and if they happen to get out of their pen they will make a beeline for cow manure and start gobbling it up.


  • MrJohn
    I was hoping to add this after Mr McAfee’s comment on Saturday about the neonatal piglets, but am still learning to navigate within TCP. My apologies if this appears out of context.
    Since I have access to the full paper that was referred to, I would just indicate that the cow milk and colostrum administer to the piglets were both freeze-dried and gamma-irradiated (to sterilize). This would make them quite different to the customary description of raw milk used within TCP and elsewhere. Thankyou. John
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Are you sure MrJohn, Can a premature piglet survive on a strict diet of only sterilized milk?
  • MrJohn
    Mike. These experiments were done to develop nutritional support strategies for premature human babies. In this case, protection from infection is very important. As a result, I believe the milk given to these piglets, when used in this experimental model, has to be sterilized if the information is to be relevant. These piglets survived for the duration of the experiment….not sure why you would question that? They were, however, also given purified pig immunoglobulins (antibodies) to account for the fact they were not given colostrum from their mothers. Hope this helps. The key for me, however, is that this is not good evidence to support a benefit of ‘raw milk’ in the normal context of TCP discussions, and as Mr McAfee seemed to be suggesting. Sterilized milk is still highly nutritious, yes? John
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    MrJohn, what gives you the idea that “Sterilized milk is still highly nutritious”?
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    MrJohn, are we talking about the same study? “Raw bovine milk improves gut responses to feeding relative to infant formula in preterm piglets.” “We hypothesized that unprocessed mature bovine milk (BM, raw bovine milk) would have less bioactivity than corresponding bovine colostrum (BC) in a preterm pig model, but have improved bioactivity relative to its homogenized, pasteurized, spray-dried equivalent, whole milk powder (WMP), or a bovine milk protein based infant formula (IF).” if so do we know “freeze-drying and gamma-irradiating kills all bacteria in raw milk? If it does than what part of the raw bovine milk were they testing? Mark said “Too bad they did not use human babies to show this effect.” You said “These experiments were done to develop nutritional support strategies for premature human babies.” that means the study was even more appropriate then even mark realized.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    It is true however that they were not testing vitamin D fortified, homogenized, pasteurized, grocery store milk (GSM).
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    MrJohn, (GSM) has been tested in the human population for over one hundred years and has proven to be highly toxic, killing infants and causing hundreds of chronic conditions in children, teens, and adults.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    You’re right Donte, that was a case of apples and oranges. The epidemiological evidence actually shows that raw milk prevents 400 to 800 cases of HUS per year.
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    Maybe I shouldn’t have used the phrase “killing infants”. That could be difficult to prove. Let me rephrase then. MrJohn, GSM(vitamin D fortified, homogenized, pasteurized, grocery store milk ) has been tested in the human population for over one hundred years and has proven to be highly toxic, causing many acute life threatening condition in infants and causing hundreds of chronic conditions in children, teens, and adults. If the piglets were “given purified pig immunoglobulins (antibodies)” then maybe they realized the “premature piglets” could not “survive on a strict diet of only sterilized milk ”.
  • MrJohn
    Mike. Piglets (like calves, lambs, foals) are born with no circulating antibodies. If they are to survive, they must drink antibody-rich colostrum from their mothers within a few hours of birth (the only time that antibodies are efficiently absorbed across the wall of the GI tract). These ‘passive’ antibodies provide protection as the piglet’s own immune system develops in the first few weeks of life. The antibodies reflect the immune response of the sow to her environment of late gestation. Piglets that are deprived of colostrum, or drink it too late, usually succumb to infection (even by organisms that normally would not be pathogenic) no matter what they are fed afterwards. So you are correct, these piglets would have not survived without the Igs, unless they were maintained under sterile conditions.
    To take this a little further though as FYI. Human fetuses acquire antibodies via the placenta and they are born with circulating antibodies that reflect their mother’s environment. I believe this difference is extremely important to the discussions I read on TCP. As a far as I can tell, babies of dairy farm families seem somewhat (largely) protected against E coli 0157 infection, even though their exposure to this bacterium is likely to be quite high. Some of this protection might relate to the fact that their mothers are also protected by their own exposure and then pass this to their fetuses as specific anti-E coli (ST) antibodies (although this is merely my speculation). Babies born to urban/suburban families appear to be much more susceptible to STE coli, with occasional unfortunate consequences after a novel, but quite small exposure (via STEC-contaminated food, petting shedding calves etc). My guess is that, in part, this might be because they and their mothers live in an environment where E coli 0157 is generally uncommon (and this makes them a population at risk). John
  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    MrJohn, What you’re saying only suggests that raw milk is more important to piglets. It doesn’t mean that human infants don’t need it at all.



    How do we know E. coli O157:H7 even causes illness if: “According to the FDA the infectious dose for E. coli O157:H7 is unknown.” That suggests that they have never even tested E. coli O157:H7 consumption in raw milk. “(FDA. 1993. HACCP. Regulatory Food Applications in Retail Food Establishments. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Division of Human Resource Development, HFC-60. Rockville, MD.)” http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Ecoli98.html

  • rawmilkmike rawmilkmike
    MrJohn, if these are only some of the side affects of infant formula which is approve for human infants, how much worse must pasteurized cows milk be for human infants if no one recommends it, not even doctors? And remember the only thing doctors say about raw cows milk for human infants is that it may contain pathogens. The same pathogens that can be found in raw breast milk, which doctors say is the best food for human infants.
    “Formula feeding has risks that are not associated with feeding human milk to infants. It is presumably these risks that mothers using peer-to-peer shared human milk wish to avoid. Formula feeding is associated with increased risk of infectious diseases including gastrointestinal disease and respiratory tract infections. In resource-rich countries, children who are fed infant formula are up to five times more likely to be hospitalized in infancy than children who are fully breastfed. Some of the mechanisms by which formula feeding might facilitate infection are understood; for example, ingestion of foreign protein such as dairy protein in infant formula can inflame and damage the protective mucous membrane of the intestine assisting colonisation by pathogens. The use of infant formula is also associated with an increased risk of non-infectious diseases such as allergic diseases and type 1 and 2 diabetes; again, the early exposure to “foreign” foods is thought to be a factor in the development of these illnesses. In addition, formula feeding is associated with impaired cognitive development, perhaps because infant formula lacks many ingredients thought to be involved in brain development. Finally, formula feeding is associated with an increased risk of death due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) that is 3.7 times that of breast fed babies, and a peptide in dairy formula has been identified as a possible contributor to SIDS.”

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