Why does the dairy industry push the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so hard to crack down on raw dairy producers?
The dairy industry seems to be mostly in the background, and any publicly-offered reasoning is always to the effect that illnesses from raw dairy taint the entire dairy industry. Of course, we know that is ridiculous, since fear of raw dairy wouldn’t taint the dairy industry, but rather push more of the market toward pasteurized dairy…if there was a serious risk from raw dairy. The problem with the dairy industry’s rationalizing is that there isn’t a serious public health risk from raw milk.
Tthe owner of a dairy product business explained the realities to me recently. This man owns a company that produces specialty ice cream products that it sells to grocery stores, and the owner has dealt with large dairy processors, regulators, grocery chain managers, and others in the food chain.
He says the real concern of the dairy industry has to do with losing market share. Consumption of pasteurized dairy has been gradually declining over the last decade.
Add to that problem growing consumption of raw milk. (It’s uncertain how many of the consumers who abandon pasteurized milk turn to raw milk.)
But because of the dairy industry’s huge investment in plant and equipment, and the necessity of keeping its big processing plants humming 24/7, it can’t afford to lose customers.
What’s the big concern about a bunch of pasteurizers? It turns out that the processing of dairy products has become increasingly involved and complex as additional processing has been added so as to standardize products and extract as much in the way of additional products as possible. It’s gone way beyond a bunch of pasteurizers.
This article in Grist helps explain what occurs, and adds to the incisive explanation on fractioning of milk offered a few months back by Steve Bemis at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund site.
“Once minimally processed, milk now undergoes a complicated and energy-intensive process before it ends up bottled and shipped to grocery store shelves,” says the Grist author, Kristin Wartman. “There are so many additives and processes involved that buying a gallon of milk or a cup of yogurt at your grocery store essentially guarantees that you’ll get a mixture of substances from all over the country — and possibly the world.”
So important is the challenge of keeping the plants humming that plain pasteurized milk generally sells at near break-even, just to ensure the mass market will keep buying and supply the cash to keep the plants going. “The real money is made on specialty (dairy) products” like flavored milks, low-fat fruity yogurt, ice cream bars, small packages of processed cheese for pizza or snacks.
If market pressures reduce milk sales to such an extent that plants and equipment can’t keep the plants operating at full capacity, the losses mount quickly. Such losses rapidly erode the high profits from the specialty items.
The financial pressures to support the commercial dairy producers are so intense that there can’t be the slightest consideration given over to exploring further the significant benefits being credited to raw milk by European researchers. The latest study involved more than 8,000 children, demonstrating that raw milk helps protect against asthma. That’s a significant study, and if a drug had shown such a correlation, the study would have been ended immediately and the drug been approved…almost regardless of the side effects.
But the more serious side effect for the regulators in exploring raw milk’s benefits is that those dairy processing plants may not continue to hum so smoothly. As a small Chicago appliance retailer once advertised in television commercials promoting its sales aggressiveness: “Money talks and nobody walks.”
Some Wisconsin farmers and consumers have joined to organize an effort to have the Wisconsin Judicial Commission investigate Judge Patrick Fiedler in connection with his recent decision against dairy farmers Wayne Craig and the Zinniker family. They are asking Wisconsin residents, in particular, but also non-residents, to lodge complaints with the commission over the judge’s statements that Wisconsin citizens have no right to the foods of their choice, in particular that he “is trying to take away a dairy farmer’s right to drink the milk from their own cow.” They have posted information on filing complaints.
The only losers in raw milk are the processors. The processors have hurting farmers for 70 years. Screw them. The processors have fixed make allowances set into the regulatory price schemes while they pay farmers dirt.
The processors deserve to be tortured for the dairies that they have ruined.
I feel sick.
I think I'll go have a knee replaced. Well, maybe not.
I'll take a knee instead.
Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard
"Shiga toxin Stx2 is heat-stable and not inactivated by pasteurization "
Just keep increasing the boiling temp for the kill step…..yummy.
Day 18 Hospital
Chris was now on regular oxygen. We were relieved to have the ventilator and BiPap machine behind us. Chris urinated for the 3rd and 4th time and also had a bowel movement.
The dialysis catheter kept clogging, so they had to do some repair work. They had us leave the room. When we returned, Chris asked us in an angry tone, What is this place? because they hurt him again. As his pain meds worked their way out of his body and he became more aware of his surroundings, he glanced down at his naked body with all the tubes and lines coming out from everywhere, looked at us in panic and shock and said, Someone get a doctor! I remember thinking that he was acting like this was the first time he had seen the catheters and tubes attached to his body. Little did we know he hadnt remembered when they had all been put in. Reflecting back, it makes me so sad to think about how scared he must have been. We were clueless that he needed an explanation.
I dont know the exact day I called the public health nurse, but it was during this timeframe. I was curious about the results of the testing, so I called her. Remember the run of bad luck we experienced so far? First they were not able to isolate the bacteria in a stool sample, second we were sent to a PICU that did not have the capacity to do dialysis, and third, when he finally met the bench marks to receive dialysis, the childrens hospital across the street was full. Our fourth round of bad luck happened. Despite what the raw milk community believes about the conspiracy against raw milk from public health officials, they did not test the empty bottle of raw milk or the spinach. Due to the overload of testing from the spinach outbreak, they were only testing people who had tested positive for E.coli 0157:H7 and/or had consumed Dole packaged spinach. Chris did not meet either of these criteria.
Looking back, I think there must have been a communication mix-up. California was in the middle of a raw milk recall, we had a small sample of milk still in the bottle, and our child was suffering from HUS. Due to the spinach outbreak, I guess the focus was about spinach since Chris had eaten spinach. I didnt know enough at the time about all the nuances of an outbreak to talk about the milk recall. All I could do was accept the fact they wouldnt test the products. I didnt have the time or energy to fight this. Chris was still too sick. This scenario would have played out quite differently if I had known about Bill Marler when we were in the hospital.
Two days ago, all raw milk products from this dairy, except cheese, were pulled from the shelves. It had been determined that the ill children had consumed raw milk from lots produced at the dairy from September 3-13, 2006. Products with these dates were no longer available at stores. However, 56 product samples with code dates of September 17, 2006 or later were tested for aerobic microflora, total coliform, fecal coliform, and E.coli 0157:H7.
Epidemiologists working for the California Department of Public Health reviewed exposure histories of the 50 most recent E.coli 0157:H7 cases reported to CDPH during 2004-2006. They discovered that only 47 (2%) of the 50 had consumed raw milk in the week before becoming ill. A population survey determined that about 3% of people living in California consume raw milk. In 2006, population of California was 36 million.
If the big dairy guys were actually interested in saving jobs (since the USA seems to be in a job slump – imagine that) their concern would be touching. However, their only concern is to keep the money flowing. As pointed out, dairy isn't just about milk, it's about all the by-products which are derived from milk and cream. But their blinders keep them from seeing the big picture – if they used old-fashioned methods like grass feeding their dairy cattle rather than a CAFO, as well as selling the milk in raw form instead of pasteurized, in the long run more people would purchase their product(s) and they'd make more money than they ever dreamed plus they'd be selling a healthy product which should give them peace of mind. But no, they want the immediate buck. Well, they're not getting mine. Ever.
"Explain they if they don't take action NOW!, that they may never be able to LEGALLY drink milk from their own bulk tank ever again. Tell the dairy farmer that IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT that they personally visit THIS website by the end of the day to download, sign, and fax in a complaint form."
This website is misconstruing the facts of the case, and is an embarrassment to the raw milk movement as a whole. We need to understand the law as it is currently written and if or how it applies to us. The sort of rash fear-mongering being perpetuated on this website makes the entire movement look like a bunch uneducated idiots, and I believe it will have a negative effect on us when we deal with the state in the future.
Day 19 Hospital
Chris continued to receive dialysis, but began urinating more frequently. He was now informing us when he needed to go and he would use the plastic urinal. We would always have to measure how much urine he expelled. He also began having bowel movements. I wasnt sure how this was possible considering he hadnt eaten in 18 days.
Chris was slowly improving. It was encouraging. They wanted to get him out of bed, so he sat in a chair for the first time. It was quite the task to get him there because he still had chest tubes draining fluid. He was extremely weak. It is hard to imagine that someone could be worn out from sitting in a chair. After 3 or 4 minutes, Chris was exhausted from sitting. He had to be placed back in bed. It was difficult for me to envision that Chris would someday be normal again. The nurses gave me hope. They said someday he would walk out of the hospital as if none of this ever happened. I clung to this thought.
The Ronald McDonald House organization is an amazing support for families. We had been living in the main house which is set up like a hotel. You have a private room and bathroom, but there is a common dining room and kitchen where each family can store and cook food. We had been there for about 9 or 10 days. They charge 10 dollars a day. The rest of the cost is supported through donations.
The woman in charge of the Ronald McDonald House asked if we would like to move to a real house which was a few blocks from the hospital. It appeared that we would not be going home soon and this would provide us a more comfortable living arrangement. We accepted her offer and moved our clothes and food to the house. When Tony and I arrived there, we looked at each other surprised. This house looked very familiar. It was a small California bungalow painted gray, blue and white. It had a large front porch, two bedrooms and one bath. These types of homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s. The very first home Tony and I bought was just like this. We even painted it the same color. It felt so wonderful to be home. It was emotionally soothing to be in this house. What a strange coincidence we were sent here.
The warrior farmer had been busy at work on the offence. He held the belief that government was out to end the production of raw milk. In the midst of a spinach outbreak, there were now newspaper reports of ill children from raw milk. He believed this to be a smear campaign against his dairy. This was war! He counteracted this information with facts of his own.
It began with a quote in the San Diego Tribune on September 23rd. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060923/news_7m23milk.html
[Owner and founder of (the dairy) insisted during a phone interview yesterday that he does not believe his dairy farm produced contaminated products. They dont know what it is, he said, referring to the state officials. He added that he was told some of the children also ate poorly cooked hamburger or spinach and could have ingested the bacteria that way.]
A similar quote appeared in the North County Times on September 23rd.
[Owner and founder of (the dairy) said all the evidence hes seen indicates his companys milk is not the culprit, because it is carefully monitored, and because in two of the childrens cases, spinach and undercooked ground beef had also been consumed recently.(he) criticized the state for issuing a twisted, biased, overheated, unfounded press release.]
On September 25, 2006 the farmer sent this email to the Raw Milk Yahoo Group
[The four children that the state claims were sickened by raw milk are doing as follows: two are at home and were never significantly ill or hospitalized and are now home (more of a scare than an illness). The news say that one drank OPDC raw milk and one drank another brand of raw milk??. . Two remain in the hospital at Loma Linda, one of the parents deny their childs illness was caused by raw milk but say that vegetables eaten at a sushi bar caused the illness, she is recovering and doing much better and making urine (recovering well). The last child is very sick and is officially on the spinach list (according to close sources that have knowledge of the hospital and treatment).]
I call the farmers facts war facts. He had to create information that would take to focus off of his milk. As the years passed, there would be additional war facts that would travel far for many to believe and someday would be place on a website and in books.
In the meantime, the innocent victims, Chris and Lauren, remained in the hospital continuing to fight their own war against an invisible bacteria and toxin it released totally unaware how political their illnesses had become.
The European study differentiates between HTST, HHST, raw farm, and boiled farm milk. The HTST milk scored better than raw on asthma, boiled better than raw for atopy. Obviously, there are more covariables (beyond the milk and whether the milk was heated to kill bacteria) at work.
In addition, the researchers found pathogenic bacteria in only three samples of milk. All three samples were raw farm milk. The researchers conclude: "…on the basis of current knowledge, raw milk consumption cannot be recommended because it might contain pathogens."
You stated: "the dairy industry…they are not worried about raw milk sales…that could and would not ever be a threat to them."
I have heard similar comments from other dairy farmers. But do the farmers really represent the entire dairy industry? Also, I don't think the number of raw milk drinkers are as miniscule as you think.
I remember reading a post by David here a while back describing why Organic Valley told all their suppliers that if they were selling raw milk direct to consumers from their farm, that it would violate their agreement and they would no longer buy their milk. It was presented from a business standpoint, where for example Organic Valley was expecting 50,000 gallons of milk from a certain farm, but when they showed up they only got 35,000 gallons due to the farm selling directly to the consumer, that this presented problems with their commitments to the milk processors. It wasn't that the leaders of Organic Valley didn't appreciate raw milk, it was that the raw milk sales were a threat to their business. So since organic milk sales are so small right now compared the entire industry, why wouldn't the dairy industry see the raw milk movement as a potential threat? Maybe not at the farmer level, but at the corporate level with all their commitments to food processors and all the current by products from the dairy industry, wouldn't even something as small as 5% of the current farmers turning their farms into direct-to-consumer operations and not contributing to the milk pools be a threat to the industry??
I am not a farmer, so I am not challenging you, simply asking for more information so I can understand the issue clearer. Thanks.
What study are you referring to?? HTST and UHT milks are not referenced in the GABRIELA study of 8000 kids that drank raw ( not boiled ) milk.
It is not possible to have undenatured whey protein in HTST & UHT milk. That is what extreme heat does…it denatures proteins and lyses bacterial cell walls causing cell death.
I am lost on your point….dead pieces of bacteria and denatured whey proteins trigger MAST cell degradation and histamine release. Thus, these highly processed dead milks ( organic or conventional ) can and do trigger asthma and other inflammation based medical crises. That is why even at the FDA, pasteurized milk is listed as the number one most allergenic food in America for kids.
Please explain your comment.
I know the truth. The OV pay price is so good that……OPDC is getting calls every day from OV dairymen, cause these dairymen need to sell cows to stay in business and renew lines of credit at their banks.
Nirvana is not found at OV….dead organic is not organic.
To quote Rodale…." it is not organic to produce organic milk and then pasteurize it".
Organic means whole and alive…..UHT and UP is about as dead as food gets.
Get some fresh air….remember that most organic dairymen drink from their own bulk tanks for a reason.
I was referring to the latest GABRIELA study, published August 29, 2011 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
My comment needs no further explanation. I was simply conveying information contained in the publication. I thought it would be helpful, seeing as David's comments and the raw milk literature you distribute at California farmers' markets, imply that you don't access the full texts of medical journals. Either that, or there is want for a reconsideration of ethics in business.
Once again, the researchers concluded that raw milk could not be recommended as a preventative measure.
You either did not read the GABRIELA study or you are terribly missinformed or you simply do not like what it concluded. The GABRIELA study revisited the PARSIFAL study to answer the pending question of whether some of the PARSIFAL subjects actually drank boiled farm milk or whether is these subjects drank raw ( unboiled ) milk. The GABRIELA study confirms that the subjects in fact drank raw fresh mlk and not boiled or processed or UHT or UP or any other type of milk. The study showed that those raw milk consumers had a hugely decreased incidence of asthma and allergies. The GABRIELA study then went on to actually explain the biology of how this occurs. It is a complex reaction based on stabilization of histimine containing MAST cells by raw whey proteins ( and perhaps addition systems working in raw milk ).
The researchers at the close of the comments did say that they could not suggest the drinking of raw milk becuase of potential pathogens….I agree that is what the researchers stated. BUT>>>>>this was pandering to food politics.
However, in CA raw milk is 100% legal, state inspected, regulated, tested, pathogen free, and happily consumed by 65,000 people each week. It is available from 400 retail stores, 50 buyers clubs, and at least 45 farmers markets ( not to mention the unofficial Cow Share system that serves thousands through it 120 cow and goat shares ).
CA raw milk has been continuously available for the last 150 years in CA. The CDC or any other scientific body has a record of a death from tested and state inspected raw milk in CA that I know of. Not one nada!!!
Pasteurized cheese killed 50 in 1985 alone….( Jalisco Cheese incident )
Michael, before I subject you to a barrage of raw milk science and studies, can you please introduce yourself so I know something about you?
From your comment, I am not sure what to think, most people that read a study understand what they are reading and do not twist the conclusions. Are you with the FDA or Organic Valley, I have little mercy for either? Both deny farmers the right to produce raw milk and or serve or access consumers that are begging for clean safe raw milk.
We know how to produce raw milk safely and with great consistentcy and reliability…just because some one connected with a processor is threaten by that fact, does not change that fact. If you have come to attack raw milk at The Complete Patient….prepare yourself to be shredded.
I'm unimpressed by your blustering. The facts remain. I have read the study in its entirety. I don't intend to engage you at length, as I expect the clarification of science will not divorce you from your investment (one of finance and, I presume, pride).
Nevertheless, I will do you the benefit of communicating one fact that seems to elude. Depending on the pH of the milk, whey proteins can be thermodynamically stable. In fact, some whey proteins are able to reverse denaturation and recover their structure after heat treatment. From the GABRIELLA study:
"Pasteurized shop milk showed higher whey protein levels than highly heated shop or heated farm milk."
Whey protein is not unique to raw milk. It is not absent in pasteurized milk.
P.S. – Thankfully, hospitals have prevented deaths from raw milk in recent history. The illnesses have done terrible damage to their victims, nonetheless. You're personally familiar with such outcomes.
I find it very ironic that you quote that hospitals have prevented deaths from raw milk in recent history considering that the incidence of accidental deaths in our country are at the highest in our hospitals — on the level of almost 100,000 deaths per year! Raw milk doesn't even represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of what harm is caused in our hospitals!
I will reiterate a sentiment that I stated previously to Mary Martin — please keep telling your story. I think that people must be aware that there are risks associated with drinking raw milk. However, after just having finished reading "Fast Food Nation", I find it incomprehensible that people eat factory beef in this country. I cannot believe that 100 years after "The Jungle" that this deplorable behavior (and lack of concerns for human beings, let alone sick animals) is tolerated in this country. It seems to me that a person is 1000 times more likely to get sick from tainted beef from a factory approved by our USDA than from raw milk, and I should be able to make that determination for myself, without our corrupt government telling me I cannot.
I know I take a risk with raw milk, but I also take risks driving in my car, climbing up a ladder or going outside and possibly being hit by a piece of a satellite crashing to earth. Every time I eat something that I don't grow myself, I am taking a risk. I can only hope that the other healthy choices I make such a limited eating out, choosing local food from farms I have visited, washing my hands in plain soap and water, requiring good hygiene from my sons, limiting chemical exposure, etc, that I am mitigating any risks. To me the miniscule risks of getting sick from raw milk are hugely outweighed by the multitude of benefits we get from drinking pure, unadulterated, clean, raw milk.
"70% of all foodborne illnesses come from factory foods; Dairy is safest of all food"
I agree Alice, it is amazing that the US beef industry hasn't been affected here in the US, not only since the conditions have not changed in the last 100 yrs and the numerous contamination that have occurred recently. The risks of contracting an infection as inpatient is greater than drinking raw milk. (I am NOT referring to consuming raw milk from any factory farm)
No, I do not agree. There is a bigger risk of getting ill from that milk in the carton and the carton than drinking OP or Claravale raw milk.
Hospitals have way too many contaminants that would harm a healthy person let a lone one whose immune system is compromised. Most of the foods served in hospitals are nothing more than chemically adulterated processed foods, further compromising an immune system.
I've drank raw milk for years and have not gotten ill from it, I have gotten ill from pasteurized milk and milk products. My sister drinks it sporadically for the last 7 yrs and not been ill from it.
hospitals serve watered down "milk" 1% 2% no fat, low fat…they come in those tiny cartons that have been handled by numerous people before they ever get to the patient. They sit in the carts for an hour or so before placed in the patients room, they may sit there for another hour before anyone comes in to give assistance, if needed, to open the carton. The "milk" is usually luke warm by the time the patient gets it. They pick up the carton and become contaminated with the numerous germs that have accumulated on the carton.
I do not eat hospital food nor do I consume that burnt tasting "milk". Adulterated "food" like that is not healthy.
To prevent hospital borne infections- don't go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary.
It took someone getting paid to do a study to figure out how contaminated those curtain room dividers are in the hospital….
A while back I did some research on the web and found this info on pasteurized milk:
Pasteurized milk is not immune to bugs, though. Between 1980 and 2005, pasteurized milk products made 19,500 people ill in the U.S., according to CDC data. During the same period, 1,821 people reported illness from raw milk.
The main thing that people seem to be worried about with raw milk is that they may get sick. The fact of the matter is you have a much better chance of getting sick with pasteurized milk (or with peanut butter, bagged spinach, etc) than with raw milk as long as your milk comes from a healthy cow. The big commercial dairies don't worry too much about their cows' health since they know the milk will be pasteurized and they can feed them antibiotics, etc. These are the types of cows you would not want to drink raw milk from.
The raw milk controversy mainly stems from Big Government getting involved in an issue that they don't have any business being involved in (sound familiar?). If they are going to make things illegal that THEY FEEL are unhealthy, why are cigarettes legal? Why is alcohol legal?
Well you could go round and round debating the subject but the bottom line is, get your raw milk from a healthy cow and you need nothing further (i.e. pasteurization) to make is safe for you to drink – you will be just fine and in fact healthier in the long run than those who drink pasteurized milk, which is pretty much dead and does not contain much of anything helpful (very contrary to popular belief).
I believe that we should be allowed to make the choice whether or not we want to purchase pasteurized milk or raw milk. I, for one, want the milk I consume to be full of the nutrition that comes in it naturally. Just as I have the choice to smoke cigarettes or not!
Heres something we found online that was drawn up for a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors concerning outbreaks from pasteurized milk:
1997, 28 persons ill from Salmonella in California, ALL FROM PASTEURIZED MILK.
1996, 46 persons ill from Campylobacter and Salmonella in California.
1994, 105 persons ill from E. coli and Listeria in California
March of 1985 19,660 confirmed cases of Salmonella typhimurium illness FROM CONSUMING PROPERLY PASTEURIZED MILK. Over 200,000 people ill from Salmonella typhimurium in PASTEURIZED MILK
1985, 142 cases and 47 deaths traced to PASTEURIZED Mexican-style cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes SURVIVES PASTEURIZATION!
1985, 1500 persons ill from Salmonella infection
August of 1984 approximately 200 persons became ill with a Salmonella typhimurium from CONSUMING PASTEURIZED MILK
November of 1984, another outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium illness from CONSUMING PASTEURIZED MILK
1983, over 49 persons with Listeria illness have been associated with the consumption of PASTEURIZED MILK in Massachusetts.
1993, 28 persons ill from Salmonella infection
1982, 172 persons ill (100 hospitalized) from a three Southern state area from PASTEURIZED MILK.
1982, over 17,000 persons became ill with Yersinia enterocolitica from PASTEURIZED MILK bottled in Memphis, Tennessee.
A review of 16 outbreaks since January 2010 revealed that 14 (88%) were due to raw dairy products (raw milk and aged raw milk cheeses) including 155 of 183 (85%) illnesses and 23 of 33 (70%) hospitalizations from these illnesses
Raw dairy illnesses were caused by Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157:H7 and other shiga toxin-producingE. coli, and Salmonella
One pasteurized milk outbreak from Salmonella was reported during this time period and caused 23 illnesses and 2 hospitalizations
No known deaths were reported from any dairy product (raw or pasteurized) during this time period
All in-state raw dairy sales were legal; 2 farms allegedly violated federal law by shipping raw milk interstate through buyers clubs
14 raw dairy outbreaks with 155 illnesses, 23 hospitalizations, and no deaths (12 fluid raw milk, 2 aged raw milk cheese)
1 pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses, 2 hospitalizations, and no deaths
1 queso fresco Mexican-style cheese outbreak with 5 illnesses and hospitalizations, no deaths
3 sporadic illnesses and hospitalizations from illegal Mexican-style cheese, no deaths
Recalls (no illnesses reported)
11 raw dairy (5 fluid raw milk, 6 aged raw milk cheese)
5 queso fresco cheese
1 chocolate milk due to inadequate pasteurization
1 imported Italian cheese made from pasteurized milk
Estimate of raw milk and pasteurized milk outbreaks and illnesses, January 1, 2010 May 15, 2011:
Based on the reported numbers above:
14 times higher number of outbreaks from unpasteurized milk (14/1)
6.7 times higher number of illnesses from unpasteurized milk (155/23)
11.5 times higher number of hospitalizations from unpasteurized milk (23/2)
However, if only 3% (from FoodNet data estimates) of total milk consumed is unpasteurized milk (raw milk 3%, cheese made from raw milk 1.6%, pasteurized milk 78.5%), then during this period, the risk of consuming a unpasteurized milk vs. a pasteurized milk product was:
~1400 times higher number of outbreaks from unpasteurized milk relative to pasteurized milk
~670 times higher number of illness from an equivalent serving of unpasteurized milk relative to pasteurized milk
~1150 times higher number of hospitalizations from unpasteurized milk relative to pasteurized milk
Of note, according to the USDA, total milk output for 2010 was 193 billion pounds (24,125,000,000 gallons). Almost two-thirds of the milk supply is used to produce a wide array of dairy products. Almost half of the milk supply is used to turn out about 9 billion pounds of cheese each year. The production of ice cream and other frozen dairy products totals about 1.5 billion gallons. Butter, yogurt and nonfat dry milk make up the balance of production (http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/dairy/background.htm). Less than 1% of the total comprises legal fluid raw milk.
It seems strange that this would be the best link they could find to back up this "outbreak", and nothing on the "final test results" which would have prohibited them from selling raw milk. I did a search and could find nothing of them being shut down, or what the final testing showed.
Hasn't Marler himself said that these outbreaks are almost impossible to prove, since by the time sicknesses are reported, the product has already been sold and consumed? All in all the statistics are unimpressive due to the small sample size, even if they could be verified.
According to this site, it incorrectly states only 23 were ill from pasturized dairy, when you read the charts, at least 28 were ill….. I do wish they would state where the raw milk came from….
Chicken from the grocery store is contaminated, yet the govt is assuming people will cook it to a certain temp, supposedly killing any contaminents. Consume your cooked milk if you want but leave me alone to decide for myself just like factory farmed chicken, pork, beef, or fish,etc.
Day 20 Hospital
The mood was becoming more upbeat. Chris was urinating every few hours and was expelling 100 ccs or higher. The right chest tube was removed. They decided not to do dialysis to see how is body would respond. He also had another bowel movement. His kidneys and colon appeared to be recovering.
They wanted to test his pancreas to see what would happen. Chris started drinking water first. He took small sips every 15 minutes or so. He held down the water. Since he was doing well with the water, apple sauce was added. From about 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Chris consumed about a cup of applesauce. He was doing well until respiratory therapy. Therapy involved blowing hard into this tube with a ball. It made him vomit everything he had consumed. After this, he couldnt even hold water down.
Chris was much more alert and we passed time by watching his favorite T.V. shows. They also had movies in the playroom we could checkout and watch. Life was beginning to slowly feel more normal.
This was a big day for the farmer. An environmental inspection of the milk plant and dairy took place by both CDFA and CDPH. Ecoli.0157:H7 was not isolated from the four environmental samples they had taken. The products tested from the shelves were also negative for E.coli 0157:H7. However, the CDC MMWR stated:
Standard aerobic plate counts and coliform counts of collected samples with code dates of September 17 through October 9, 2006 were indicative of contamination (Table). Colostrum samples had high standard plate counts and total coliform counts, and fecal coliform counts of 21046,000MPN/g.
There is a table that can be viewed for all products tested.
At the time of the investigation, the farmer did not share that he had been outsourcing colostrum. There is no way to know if the colostrum tested came from the farmers cows or the outsourced dairys cows. A detailed analysis of this topic was done in April of 2008.
This was not the last visit CDFA made to the dairy. They would be back in late October to test the cows. This must have been so stressful for the farmer and his family waiting for the test results to come back. Would they find the matching blueprint of E.coli 0157:H7? Had their milk caused these illnesses? Im sure there were many sleepless nights. This family was also suffering. It was a different kind of trauma from what our family was experiencing, but it still was terrible for this family. There are no winners in a suspected raw milk outbreak.
What is so difficult for any family dealing with a foodborne illness outbreak or in this instance, also for the dairy farmer being accused, it that all the official reports about the outbreak takes months or years to be available for the general public. Unless you hire an attorney immediately, you will have no knowledge of any of the facts other than what is printed in the news.
The report from the California Department of Health Services was dated February 6, 2007 (5 months after the illnesses began) and the CDCs MMWR Escherichia coli 0157:H7 Infections in Children Associated with Raw Milk and Raw Colostrum from CowsCalifornia, 2006 is dated June 13, 2008 (21 months after the illnesses began).
I think you have to see that that analysis has numerous flaws. First, the inclusion of homemade bathroom type cheeses. Everyone agrees that making those types of cheeses from raw milk has large risks associated with it, especially given the conditions under which they are often made, let alone who knows where the milk is from.
Second, with a raw milk outbreak, the government goes to great length to ensure that EVERY ill person is found, etc.
But with other types of food borne outbreaks, it is estimated by the CDC and FDA I believe on their own site that food poisoning is underreported by 9-1. For every 1 case reported, 9 go unreported.
In light of the purposefully manipulation of data on the gov't/regulatory/industry side, I don't find the statistics at all useful to the discussion.
Don't even go there with me, pal.
As clarification, I cut/pasted an analysis of an earlier version of the table cited. The numbers don't change significantly since the update, but wanted to explain the distinction. I agree that the stats from ALL sources must be viewed in context and with caveats. The national (CDC) surveillance data runs 2 or more years behind and includes non-mandatory passive reports from states (often with no detail on processing status – for example, a raw goat milk outbreak in 2008 is listed as just "goat milk" – taken alone, one wouldn't know if it was raw, pasteurized, legal/illegal, etc.). The link I posted is pretty transparent – you can easily take out the queso fresco cases or leave them in (they were not in the analysis). You can also find details about the farms where available (size, grain feeding, etc.). I don't see anything inherently biased about a Marler site since the caveats and sources are open – there is no deception that I can see.
At a macroscopic level, these and other stats are useful in looking at trends (any food – beef, raw milk, pasteurized milk). At a microscopic level, some (not all) give insights into specific practices that may have lead to the outbreak/illnesses and future prevention strategies.
Hope that clarification helps.
You live in a very different world than many of us out here in the hills milking small herds in New England.
Herdshare is a private contract with those who would want a cow in their back yard, but for various reasons can't (i.e. they aren't physically able, are afraid of large animals, or don't have the equipment and infrastructure) They nevertheless want to be as involved in the cow's life as if it was in their back yard.
They have a right to that cow's manure..to name her calf, and to choose a sire, among other things. IT isn't a duty, its a desire. They are there at night to watch her calf being born.
The government does not have a right to intrude.
Small townspeople are catching on to the disconnect between their rights and what government is doing (or undoing) to them. II'd say there is a fair number of them who might just fetch out their pitchforks and go after regulators who want to separate them from their milk. The groundswell of opinion will eventually turn the tide…isn't a citizens army how we won freedom in the first place?
As a producer, you are stuck with that fact.. As such, shouldn't your highest priority be to prevent letting these pathogens enter the food supply? Yet, you say nothing about food safety. There is no reason to support you relative to protecting the public health. If you cannot address that concern, then you should not be producing and selling food.
"As such, shouldn't your highest priority be to prevent letting these pathogens enter the food supply? Yet, you say nothing about food safety."
You have no knowledge of my farm, or how much effort is made to protecting the safety of the milk collected.
Before you spew out these comments, you ought to come visit. There isn't enough room or words, or time to spell them out, to explain how much effort and expense goes into protecting the safety of this product. Dont make assumptions.
What is clear is that the rules are made to apply to large dairies- effectively prohibiting the introduction of small scale dairies. Although Massachusetts now boasts something like two dozen fresh milk farms, not one of the cow dairies was started "from scratch," i.e. wasn't an existing commercial dairy at some point with infrastructure.
The regulations as they exist are onerous and unnecessary for the protection of public health ("public" is not the appropriate word anyway when we speak of private contracts)
They exist at least as much to protect public health as they exist to preserve the interest of large dairy farms now seeing their market share eroded
It simply isn't necessary to install a septic system for the purpose of milking one cow.
(By the way, when people address you on the street, is your name really "milky?" and if not why are you so afraid as to hide behind a fake identity. Who are you afraid of?.
As you well must know, the bulk of food contamination issues happen on large corporate farms, not small ones where quality control is much easier to monitor.
Public safety wasn't so well served at the Whittier Farm in 2007 when four people died after drinking pasteurized milk from a licensed dairy….licensed to protect the public health.