A cow at the late Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Thailand farm.It is encouraging to learn from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. about the growing acceptance among scientific researchers in California of raw milk (per his comments following my previous post). 

I have written in the past about the open-mindedness of the International Milk Genomics Consortium at the University of California in Davis to the idea that raw milk provides health benefits. 

But even though the Consortium bills itself as “international,” the reality is that it holds much more sway in California than it does in, say, Illinois or South Dakota. Major trends generally begin in California, don’t they?

I wrote recently about the devious actions of the Illinois Department of Public Health in its ongoing effort to tighten regulations regarding raw milk sales, in the absence of any hint of a public health problem. 

Now, the same kind of deception appears to be going on in South Dakota, After proposing new tightening in that state earlier this year–to such an extent that the new requirements for permits and such would likely put many of the few remaining dairies out of business–state agriculture authorities seemed to back off in the face of public opposition. The notion that they were listening seems to have been a mirage. Now, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture has sent to the legislature the same very tight regulations that were first proposed months ago, and met heavy public opposition. 

Unfortunately, that is more the norm than what Mark McAfee is observing in California. The governor of Wisconsin has expressed yet again his likely opposition to any raw milk bill in Wisconsin. His statement follows on vetoes of raw milk legislation in Maine and Nevada. 

The reality is that the public health community, prodded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, remains committed to the industry line, which is that raw milk is a threat to the established processed milk industry. That is understandable. The dairy industry is essentially an oligopoly–it consists of a few huge processors. Oligopolies thrive on controlling their markets, not opening them up to competition. 

The good news is that availability of raw dairy is decided on a state-by-state basis. Because there are fifty states, there are fifty different sets of laws and regulations. It’s up to residents of each state to determine their own fate. 


I received a batch of photos Larry Otting took of his friend Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s Thailand farm, and I have posted a few here. One can begin to appreciate why Vonderplanitz loved the place as much as he did. One can also appreciate the terrible fall he took from the deck. From the photo above, you see that he made sure to secure his raw milk supply over there.