You look at whats going on in Australia over raw milk, and you cant help but get a feeling of deja vu. A farm couple on trial for distributing raw milk via a cow share arrangement. A protest, complete with raw milk being served outside public health offices, by raw milk advocates. Regulators tainting raw milk being sold as lotion with some kind of “bittering agent” that makes drinkers want to puke. Even talk among top government officials of a national ban in Australia.
When I say deja vu, I am referring to the times when American regulators thought they could scare off raw milk drinkers by altering the milk’s appearance, smell, or taste. All they did was rile people up so much that they got the milk thrown back at them.
Back in 2007, Georgia agriculture officials had what they thought was a super cool idea of putting charcoal in raw milk.It make the milk so unappetizing that no one in their right might would buy it.
Except they had to bring the idea before a public hearing before they could do it, and several hundred opponents showed up at the hearing, and the Georgia officials looked over the crowd and didnt even bother to vote. It was DOA, and no one in the U.S. has tried that particularly stupid tactic again.
Then, in 2010, Wisconsin regulators trying to intimidate dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger concluded an hours-long search of his farm store by throwing blue dye into his dairy’s bulk tank containing hundreds of gallons of fresh milk intended for members of his food club (see photo above, from a video of the event, shown below).
We all know how that worked out. Jurors at his criminal misdemeanor trial in May 2013 were visibly aghast when that video was shown, and it may have been the most damaging piece of evidence introduced .for the prosecution. Hershberger, of course, was acquitted of all the licensing charges against him (and convicted of one count of failing to comply with the hold order against him).
Im not sure if Australian raw milk advocates have the fortitude to stand tall against the abuse being thrown their way by public health officials there, not to mention the local media. Its not easy to stand up against the people who are supposed to keep food safe, with the media whipping people into a frenzy by arguing that raw milk advocates dont care about the publics health.
The Australians should know that American raw milk advocates have already walked much of this path and are behind them. The Australians should also know that the regulators are creating a potato potentially hotter than they can handle by intentionally contaminating peoples raw milk, and pushing for a ban.
While milking a cow on the steps of the capital is fun and makes for a great episode of Portlandia, it seems that a better use of energy would be to talk about what happened on that “Bath Milk” farm. How did E Coli 0157 and Cryptosporidium end up in that milk? And, what do farmers need to know and do to decrease the risk of that happending again? And what information do consumers need in order to exercise the freedom of choice are asking for? These kind of dicussions don’t make for very interesting news articles, but are more effective.
When arguing with entrenched Food Safety agencies….tell them and show them that pasteurized is not safe. Say it over and over again. The data is crystal clear….use “their own data”. It is deadly, with more than 80 deaths since 1972 ( mostly from Listeria Monocytogenes ) it is highly allergenic with 8 pediatric deaths just from allergic reactions alone and it is non digestible by children and about 40% of the greater population.
Then show them that raw milk can be produced as a low risk food if separate standards are utilized. This one is a little harder, but it is possible. California raw milk is a great example. Ever since the Sec of Ag Karen Ross, CDFA, Department of Health Services, RAWMI, the Small Herd Working Group and a consortium of dairy industry and county health department directors met ( for two years ) and developed draft ” basic common sense” raw milk food safety standards, there has been general calm in California Raw Milk production and very few if any serious issues with raw milk in CA.
Penn State is also a great example, Penn State university professor Ernst Hoving and others worked closely with Family Cow and even made a discovery about Campy Mastitis then went on to constructively investigate additional data on raw milk production safety and tested a huge number of producers milk in Pennsylvania. All this under a USDA grant.
These are examples of how regulators should work with raw milk producers.
Suppression of raw milk just inflames the issue more and fuels the fire for the desire for raw milk even more. Pasteurized milk has never been weaker in the market place. CAFO operations are under massive pressure to become thoughtful of the market demands prior to simply adding more cows. In the last 90 days CA Cwt for conventional milk has gone from $24 to less than $16 dollars. $18-19 is break even. This is a roller coaster from PMO hell! Dairies are beginning to realize that this roller coaster is not sustainable. I have never ever seen more interest in change than now. Organic, raw, value added products, cheeses….dairies are having to evolve or simply die off. Raw milk is no longer something that is disrespected. To the contrary, raw milk production is now regarded as the ultimate value added consumer connected pioneering endeavor that takes a range of skills, special conditions and a well managed, motivated team with a plan to execute.
Times they are a changin!!! Raw milk when done well is not only very safe…has sustainable economics, its delicious, nutritious, digestible, and non allergenic!! All of things pasteurized milk is not!!
I know I preach to the choir here….but I also know that the FDA reads this blog and each time I write…just a bit more sinks in.
It is access to insurance!! Insurance companies simply refuse to issue new policies to new raw milk producers. Insurance companies demand risk management. That means RAWMI at least and much more. Raw milk producers must become insurance executive educators. OPDC has worked closely with our insurance carrier and many in their risk management depart consume OPDC raw milk.
This factor is the greatest reason that more retail approved raw milk is not seen in stores and most raw milk is sold into CSA systems or sold off the farm. Raw milk is not just regulated by regulations…insurance plays a huge role.
Many Grade A dairymen simply do not have the people skills or the desire to deal with consumers.
The most recent addition to the CDFA approved list of Grade A dairies ( San Martin ) made no secret of the fact that his dairy is for sale because he wanted his life back. Ever since starting raw milk he has been pounded by a million raw milk questions, demands for tours and his person time is gone!!! He yearns for the quieter times and time of calm on the dairy not being hammered by consumer demands. One of the emails that hurt his heart most deeply was the rather mean spirited email he got that said ” I earth googled your place and saw Holsteins….I hate Holsteins…I will only drink Jersey milk”. This crushed his heart. This farmer loves his Holsteins.
He wants out…and…he can not get insurance.
These are the just a few of the rather harsh reality checks of conversion from conventional Grade A to consumer connected raw milk. Food for thought.
Shawna, I’m not sure raw milk advocates have had the luxury of having those kinds of conversations. The situation in Australia is similar to that in Canada, where there is nearly a ban on raw milk. So producers spend much of their time and energy trying to stay under the radar–time and energy that might be spent on risk reduction. Australia is at the point our CDC and FDA would like to take the U.S.–where the limited amount of raw milk being sold is unregulated, and it’s impossible for an organization like the Raw Milk Institute to get a foothold and there’s no extension education…..in other words, a situation that discourages consideration of risk reduction and encourages illnesses, so then when any illness occurs, they can say, “See! See! We told you raw milk can’t be produced safely.”
As I said in the post, the Australians are way behind the U.S. in terms of public awareness of the raw milk issue. There were some interesting examples in the U.S. of demonstrations–a big one on Boston Common back in 2008 that attracted much media attention because a cow was brought in for milking. The upshot of that was that Massachusetts officials backed off a crackdown that was well under way, and there haven’t been problems since.
I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was raised on a Hereford beef cattle ranch.
The original milk imitators were the processors. Pasteurized milk is not milk…it is a product made from MILK!!
They were the first to remove the good things found in milk from milk. When the good bacteria was killed…when the enzymes were denatured…when the 2100 proteins were flattened and made into cork screws, and when the farmer was paid dirt for dirty milk…that was the beginning of the end for milk and the seeds of the rebirth of clean safe raw milk!
What is the reason that processors are trying to take the real milk out of milk and create a new modified milk not made from milk? Because the reputation and mere thought of milk ( processed milk fluid ) brings visions of “time on the toilet” gas cramps, and severe allergic reactions to many if not most consumers. If processed milk was so great their markets would show it. Why is it that SPINS market research shows OPDC as the 4th ranked natural brand for dairy products in the entire USA! ( and that data is from sales just inside CA with a “warning label” against all national natural brands ). That should send a frickin loud unmistakable message!!
So this idea of a new milk that is made from things that are not of the milk world…is really a severe indictment of processors and the reputation they themselves created over the last 100 years!!
Oro…I am in the insurance business, but I like to think that I am in the insurance prevention business with RAWMI. In fact…I know of a couple of raw milk dairies that “would not be retail or on-farm selling” raw milk right now…if not for their RAMP plans, testing data and LISTING by RAWMI. For sure…I am in the insurance business. Insuring and providing Assurance that in fact raw milk is safe. That is my business for sure. That needs to be all of our businesses. It is an educational business. teach-teach-teach!
And from the article:
“Muufri is trying to develop artificial milk proteins using three-dimensional folding that would match the output of the proteins that come from a bovine female.” When I saw ‘artificial milk proteins’, it made me think of the Chinese, and the melamine thing.
I’ve been trying to piece together information on how things got to be where they are today, and what I’ve found is all over the map. You also have those control freaks who can’t stand it when something bad happens, and their first reaction is to put a stop to, or excessively regulate it.
As for the article itself, the fake ‘milk’ comes from those who do not like us to use animal products. I think those people will do what they do, regardless of what processors, or the industry does (anything of animal origin). Something opened up the door and allowed them to get a foot in. And in today’s world, urban legends spread far, wide, and very rapidly (take the one about ‘pus’ in milk. Raw milk is included).
I was talking to a friend earlier (a raw milk drinker), and she said the whole reason for eliminating pathogens, and bacteria in milk had nothing to do with the safety of it, and was more to do with shelf life. She is also one who says that bacteria, and pathogens are not the same, but there are those who are unable to differentiate between the two. This same person said that a lot of the bad bacteria/pathogens which caused pasteurization to be used in the first place, had to do with some farmers adding water (which was contaminated) to the milk to increase volume. I don’t know about you, but this makes sense to me. My water has to be tested every two to three years, and it has to pass testing in order to get a dairy permit.
There are a lot of things that have been ruined over the years, whether it is food, or something else. Try to get to the core of how it all began, and some of it was seemingly innocent (so they thought). What you end up with is, unintended consequences.
My dear friend Arabella Forge has her work cut out for her. The idiots in her health agency community are intentionally adding a chemical to raw milk to induce vomiting if consumed.
That is so sick on so many levels. Arabella has become a life long family friend and has spent time at OPDC while in CA. She has raw milk normalcy in her heart and Australia will have a very hard time with her. She is extremely bright, beautiful and a mom who is well educated about safe raw milk!! Don’t piss off the moms!! Rule number #1.
In every RAMP plan, water quality is a CCP. A CCP is a critical control point in safety. If you do not have clean water…the show stops until you do. Número UNO!
Our phd friends at IMGC tell us that our human gut flora and villi thrive on lactose. The maldodextrin found in and used in infant formulas are villi destructive. This was shared in Arhus Denmark at the IMGC.
Why is this important? Ask the evolutionary forces of a million years. Humans relied upon raw milk for ever. Now we forget the lessons of the ages and now we are experiencing gut damage never seen before. Weaker immunity than ever before.
If the gut is well…we are well. The villi are linings of the gut. Do the math!
I have a hard copy of the PMO (2013 edition), and the very first listing was “Ordinance only. Reprint No. 971 from Public Health Reports of November 7, 1924”. I wonder when water was first tested for contaminants. I kinda doubt it was done back then, and milk got blamed instead. The friend I mentioned also said something about milking for someone back in the 70s. He thought it was funny to add water to the bulk tank because it increased the volume. I told her he wouldn’t get away with it now because of freeze point. I learned that over twenty years ago. Added water will get detected.
I did have a milk hauler say something to me about gut flora, and how it has changed over the years in humans. I can’t remember what initiated the conversation, and his family’s hauling business went back to either his grandfather or great-grandfather. They never milked cows, only hauled milk.
Dairy Duchess, it is all part of the government-industry misinformation campaign. More in a new article I wrote for Cornucopia.
David is so right. This is all about market protection by intentionally confusing the facts and data. Clearly that is exactly what is going on. The FDA in concert with industry is spending fortunes on this misinformation and disinformation campaign.
The truth of the matter is that clean pasture based raw milk is a nutritional blessing that endures and perhaps even thrives under the evil attack by industrial and regulatory entities. The more that the FDA claims that raw milk is bad….the more that consumers crave it!! The FDA represents a culture of drug therapies and highly processed fake foods that really hurt people. Raw milk from clean and green farmers represents consumer personal responsibility for health, immune strength and nutrition.
Has anyone ever heard of the FDA saying that consumers should take personal control over their immune strength???….guaranteed not.
The links provided about the “two raw milks” is clear and concise.
When the condition of the gut portends the condition of the mind….that is a real red flag indicator of how tough it will be to teach anyone anything in America. Teach the awake and the conscious, the others will follow like lemmings later.
“Raw milk from several sources is commingled. Raw milk from 50-100 dairies may be mixed together.” Does anyone know why this is? I do. All one has to do is think about how milk from various farms gets to the processor–on a truck. There isn’t a little compartment for each farm’s milk. A lot of these processors would prefer to get one truck load of milk from one farm (translation–it’s a very large farm), and that has helped to put more small farms out of business (one of the reasons I ended up where I am).
“Cows may be given antibiotics, hormones, GMO feeds and may be managed in confinement. Cows rarely grass or pasture-fed” This isn’t entirely true either. I know plenty of farmers who graze their cattle. As for antibiotics, do you treat, or not treat a sick or injured animal? Most people will treat themselves for a sickness, or injury (how much antibiotic abuse have these people been responsible for?). I have a cow, who, when she was a heifer, cut her front leg very severely, and the vet told me what to do for her. I have no idea how she cut it, but I ended up using Pen G to prevent infection (injected, and used it topically). You can’t even tell what happened, but can see a small ridge where the cut healed, and she turned out to be a very nice looking, good producing cow. And unless the rules have changed, it didn’t matter if a farmer used GMO seed, it’s HOW the crop is raised. If your ground was certified organic, and you didn’t use any chemical fertilizers, or sprays, and followed the rest of the rules, then the seed origin made no difference. I have stated this before, I occasionally work on a farm that used to be organic (was only organic for five years). Hormones? Depends on what they mean (I guess birth control pills, HRT, testosterone in humans is okay, and who knows how much of that is in the water supply).
“Farmer is not held responsible for his raw milk.” Really? How so? The way this is worded makes it sound like a farmer can ship bad milk, and it doesn’t matter, because he/she won’t suffer any consequences. Well, they’ll know what’s up once they get their milk check, and see if they got zinged on going over legal limits on any counts that are taken.
“The ideal raw milk is taken straight from animals fed only fresh, organic, green grass…” Unless you live in a climate that stays the same year round, I don’t see how this is possible.
“In large operations, there simply isn’t enough open pasture land to contain and grass-feed hundreds of animals, so they’re often confined in manure-laden pens.” I guess they’ve never heard of inspections. A farm can’t operate like this (manure-laden pens) for very long without getting shut down.
“Supercows, bred for hyperactive pituitary glands or injected with stimulant hormones (such as Posilac) produce an elevated quantity (as high as 13 gallons) of milk daily, leading to inflamed teats.” There were a bunch of processors that said they did not want milk from farms that used any rBST, because their customers (those who sold the milk) said the consumers didn’t want it. I signed an affidavit saying I would not use it. As for the ‘inflamed teats’. Better check the cow anatomy, because it’s called an ‘udder’.
I read enough (mis) information on that site to discredit them in my book, and it just provides fodder for the anti-milk crowd (pus in milk is one of them). The reason I say this is, I’ve seen too much posted online, that was almost word for word what I read. Anybody else here is free to believe what is there.
Thanks, I didn’t know about that. I already saved the file, and will read it later. Here’s something that might be of interest to you. I’ve always tried to produce quality milk (by conventional standards), and worked really had to get the premiums associated with it, and since I have (and continue to) educate myself on the key differences between the ‘two milks’, I’ve found something very interesting. I had some milk stored in an extra refrigerator. It was already around a week old before I put it in the fridge, and I didn’t do anything with it for a couple more days. By the time I had drank the last of it, the oldest any of it was, was 17 days (the combination of milkings over multiple days, and had been in the bulk tank). It did not smell or even taste sour whatsoever. I’ve never had any milk go that long without becoming sour.
I tend to agree with your assessment. The things you pointed out are reasonable criticisms for sure. It is unfortunate that some websites take something that may be partly true and apply this truth to all conditions to try and make a point….this exaggeration really does not help the cause at all.
They are a bunch of melodramatic, self-righteous dictatorial busy bodies that are obsessed with control. This recent measles outbreak has really drawn them out of the woodwork.
All I’d like is for both sides to be honest. As David pointed out in his article for Cornucopia, “Counter misleading information with accurate information. In other words, package truthful and honest information about raw milkthe good, the bad, and the uglyinto an engaging format that people can quickly and easily absorb.” Amen to that! I’d also like the pasteurized milk side to do the same. I believe I did say something about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in so many words in one of my comments, but I think it was in reference to ‘organics’. Doesn’t matter, just be truthful about your cause.
It doesn’t matter what country one lives in, it’s all the same with the “melodramatic, self-righteous dictatorial busy bodies that are obsessed with control”. Yep. Those people really need to get a life, and leave the rest of us alone. I’d prefer to turn the tables on them. Give ’em a dose of their own medicine, and they’ll be squealing like a bunch of stuck pigs. Don’t create a problem, then say you are going to ‘fix’ things. I’m aware of where the measles came from in the first place, but those responsible will just deny it.