The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week showed a rare soft side to consumers, by stepping back from enforcement on demonstrators of its ban on interstate raw milk shipments.
It’s important that all involved in fighting for food rights appreciate that that show of softness was almost certainly a temporary tactic. For now and the foreseeable future, the FDA is, at its heart, insatiable and hard as nails when it comes to its key agenda item of ridding the U.S. of raw milk and raw milk cheese. And while there may be a tiny bit of conciliation shown consumers, to please the politicians, the focus remains on harassing and penalizing producers. The case of Kelli and Anthony Estrella makes the case stronger than I ever could.
The FDA has in the last six weeks sought to personally make the Estrellas defendants in a case the agency filed in federal court a year ago in connection with allegedly contaminated cheese being sold to the public by the Estralla dairy. The FDA has already put them out of business for more than a year. The Estrellas’ crime warranting the new action is, according to the FDA, ““on-going violative and defiant behavior.”
What sort of defiant behavior? According to the FDA’s motion, “while the seized cheese was in the custody of this Court, and without the permission of this Court or the
knowledge or supervision of FDA, the Proposed Defendants fed the seized cheese to pigs.”
For that outrage, the FDA apparently wants the Estrellas to be permanently prohibited from selling raw milk cheese, and possibly to be penalized via substantial fines, if it wins its case.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has taken on defense of the Estrellas. Its brief opposing the federal motion to add the Estrellas to the case (originally, just the Estrella cheese had been named), provides this background of the complex case:
“Early on in 2010, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), in a routine product test, found the bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes (“L. mono.”) in one package of the Estrella’s ‘Red Darla’ cheese (approximately one pound) that WSDA had purchased in a grocery store. WSDA had licensed and inspected the Estrella Family Creamery from its inception [in 2003]. This one wheel of ‘Red Darla’ was the first pathogen finding in the Estrella’s history.
“Upon receiving this information from WSDA, the Estrella’s ceased all production of all cheeses, recalled all of Red Darla cheese that they had sold, and disposed of all the cheese in the cheese aging cave where the Red Darla cheese had aged (this included six or seven other kinds of cheese as well, totaling approximately $80,000).
“The Estrellas then worked with WSDA to find and resolve the L. mono. issue. This included environmental testing, consulting with leading dairy experts, remodeling part of the facility, and altering various production practices, as well as implementing a stepped up product testing program for cheese before it went to market. In early May 2010, WSDA was satisfied that the Estrellas had successfully addressed the problem and approved resuming production. WSDA assured the Estrellas that L. mono. is a common pathogen, which one exercises best efforts to control, but which one cannot forever eradicate.
“In August 2010, FDA agents inspected the Estrella Family Creamery and took over 150 environmental samples. The FDA lab found four indications of L. mono., three of which were in remote places. At that time FDA did not criticize the Estrella’s operations or recommend changes.
“In late August, FDA took 10 wheels of Chevrette cheese (which is a soft type of cheese) for testing. The FDA lab conducted approximately 60 tests on the Chevrette cheese yet found L. mono. in only two Chevrette samples. Based on these two results, FDA demanded that the Estrellas recall all their cheese, not just the Chevrette in which the L. mono. was found. The Estrellas consulted with industry experts who thought FDA’s demand was excessive. The batch of Chevrette cheese the FDA had tested was still at the Estrella Creamery and none of it had been distributed or sold. No one had reported any ill effects from consuming earlier batches of Chevrette cheese or from consuming any of the Estrella’s other types of cheese. The Estrellas stopped marketing this cheese type and asked their vendors to return any remaining inventories of Chevrette and other soft cheeses. The Estrellas also began another effort to increase L. mono. prevention by testing every lot of cheese they produced. WSDA did not object to the Estrella’s course of action.
“However, although FDA had no authority to require a recall, in September FDA demanded a total inventory recall and issued public notices against the Estrellas. The Estrella’s response to FDA’s demand for a total
inventory recall was measured, but they took a different view of the matter than FDA. The Estrellas followed the advice of industry experts over the demands of the FDA.
“The Estrellas are respectful people. They never behaved with defiance as FDA alleges. When the FDA served the Arrest Warrant seizing all of the Estrella’s cheese, the Estrellas adhered to this order, preserving the cheese for months. When the cheese began to decay, the Estrella’s attorney notified FDA that since the FDA’s plan for disposing of the cheese was unreasonably expensive the Estrellas would likely feed the cheese to their pigs. The FDA promised a reasonable plan but never delivered it.”
In an affidavit filed with the FTCLDF brief opposing the FDA’s latest court action, Kelli Estrada stated that the seized cheese was going bad, and FDA didn’t answer her inquiries:
“Because we never received a response from the FDA on whether we could destroy all of our cheese, we fed it all, all of it, to our pigs. Even if the cheese had never been tested for L. mono, we fed it all to the pigs. There is no more cheese.”
A mournful Kelli Estrada adds: “I am told that in France, if a safety issue ever surfaced in a cheese operation like ours, the government would work to help them stay in business, considering that cheese is a national treasure. In our case, WSDA was willing to work with us to make our cheese a better and safer product but the FDA did not appear to be interested in making our cheeses safer. The only thing FDA appeared interested in was putting us out of business because we are an artisanal, raw cheese maker, and FDA appears to have a bias against raw milk cheeses. Consequently, our American original cheeses could be lost forever and that would be a great loss. We are absolutely not careless business people who purposely endangered the public, that would be business suicide and it would also be against what we believe morally.
“We are willing to implement all best management practices and have already brought in some of the best in the nation to help us do so…” She then lists several experts in food safety and listeria who were consulted, along with 24 specific steps the producer took to try to abide by regulator concerns.
She concludes: “We understand we are in a difficult position with FDA as we seek to use traditional and time honored cheese making methods that are not always understood by FDA’s bureaucrats. For example, in the case of our wooden shelves, FDA employees repeatedly suggested that we remove the shelves, which is contrary to the wisdom of European experts who believe that the shelves were safe and critical to the quality and safety of the finished cheese. We prefer to follow time honored wisdom rather than conventional industrial food practices. We have now found scientific evidence that sheds light on how wooden shelves actually inhibit L. mono and it appears that it may have been better if we had been using more of these shelves…
“We have suffered great loss, both financially and to our reputation, as a result of overreaching and grossly unnecessary action by FDA. It is our desire to make cheese again but who will protect us from FDA? At this time we have ceased production. We have not produced any cheese for sale since at least October 2010 and at this time have no intention of ever again selling raw milk cheeses in interstate commerce. FDA has shut us down, has put us out of business, has cost us our livelihood and has slandered us. Moreover, all of the cheese that FDA ordered seized has been fed to the pigs and no longer exists.”
We are Bacteriosapiens!!!!
I suggested immediate compliance with a list of WA Grade A state requirements and immediately begin the process of producing raw milk and raw milk cheeses again. if the FDA wanted something cleaned painted or fixed…fix it even if it was not broken. Get it done immediately. Fairness does not matter…just do it.
I suggested the immediate disposal of all cheese inventories that the FDA did not like…and to close this chapter and the revolving door of ongoing inspector harrassment.
When trouble comes knocking at your raw milk door….it is time to get rid of that trouble with immediate compliance. Do what ever it takes….then get really smart and place into effect a food safety plan to avoid any further problems or harrassment. RAWMI RAMP etc..
There is nothing worse that being out of business, being abused by the FDA and fighting with no income or hope.
Lesson number #1….avoid the problems to begin with. PREVENTION STEPS!!
Lesson number #2…if you have a problem ( or they say you do ) fix it and move forward.
Lesson number #3…fighting and litigating do not always win the battle. You may be right…but you will be bankrupt and right. You want to be thriving and surviving.
Lesson number #4….Put your honor in your pocket. This is war.
This is the result . . .
I believe our own farm was targeted a few days ago by the PTB. . . someone wanted to buy single cuts of our lamb when I can only sell boxed whole lamb through a custom butcher . . . when I explained why we could not sell individual cuts . . . no response . . .
Small farms out there beware . . .
If you were my attorney and you appeared in court this way . . . . as a farmer and small business owner . . . I would have you sued for malpractice.
The FDA . . . et, all targets those that are vulnerable . . . .
If you do not have insurance and you are selling $100,000's of dollars worth of product you are vulnerable and are a target . . . .and this is why Estrella was targeted . . . no insurance . .
If you want to know who insures our farm please contact me privately . . . every single one of our sheep and poultry are insured . . . very reasonably I might add. . . .
until you have, you really don't know whereof you speak
I quit putting in complaints to the Law society about a decade ago. But I still have a higher life-time average in that dept. than anyone else you can name in BC. Of the 200 lawyers I've encountered over 30 years in Her Majesty's Courts in British Columbia, I can count on 2 hands the # who are decent human beings. Nevertheless I do support Gary Cox in what he's doing … even if he didn't have on the cult costume that day = the Black Robe
in this guerrilla warfare … people fight on different fronts in different ways. My old man came back from WWII and Korea, staying far away from the glory hounds, saying "they never heard a shot fired in anger"
I recommend you just get on with doing a better job of what you do in this Campaign for REAL MILK, and lay off Mr Cox 'til you been in the middle of that kind of a "firefight"
The case where Gary Cox was forced to appear in shorts involved Morningland Dairy, not Estrella. I'm not sure what their exact insurance situation was, but I wouldn't assume they had no insurance.
It's easy to play Monday-morning-quarterback. If you read Kelli Estrella's list of 24 steps taken to satisfy the regulators, you'll see quite a lot was done. Sometimes, the regulators are determined not to be satisfied.
My husband and fellow farmer has a law degree from a 1st tier law school in the US . . .
He is the one that mandates our insurance policy btw:)
Sorry David . . . you are right . . . Morningland is what I was talking about . . . .I got them confused for some reason. . . .
I could not agree more. The FDA loves to prey on the weak or those that appear or act weak. They like compliance and they like responsiveness. Give it to them and get rid of them so you can thrive and stay in business. The time for payback is years from now.
What the FDA hates…. is a farmer with their act together. A farmer that knows how to go to the media when they are not being treated fairly and expose the harrassment. There is a time to fight and there is a time to comply with their lists and requests.
The time to fight comes about 30 minutes after you have nicely, proudly and completely complied with their first checklists ( maybe even painted your fences and planted more nice roses and poured a little new concrete to really impress them ) and now they say that they have another checklist and that additional checklist comes with an attitude. Then you take their names, gather your consumers and call a press conference.
The FDA just hung them selves.
you should sue u.s. airways. they were the ones that did not deliver my luggage. 🙂
thanks for the kind words.
again, you done real good charlie brown. that darned fda.
Quill's End Farm
Sorry I confused Estrella with Morningland (the cases are so similar) . . .
I still stand with what I said about Morningland and Insurance . . . so important to us small farmers.
Forgive me, please . . .
I would have told my husband in similar straits to go to the nearest Walmart and buy a pair of dockers and a button down with a collar and a belt . . . period . . .:)
S@#$ happens . . . but you must do what you gotta do for your client . . .
FTCLDF helped a very good friend of mine in a small legal matter. . . but your organization needs to start winning some BIG cases . . . .
Surrender? Comply with injustice? It appears that many bend over backwards to appease tptb and still they are kicked to the curb. Sometimes you just have to make a stand and stand up for what you believe in and in your own way.
Gorden, most combat Vets don't talk about their experience, they'll talk about silly stuff that happened, but not the real horrors… Many try to keep the PTSD buried deep inside. My dad was in WWII,Korea and Nam. It took the loss of my mom for my dad's PTSD to surface (previously he'd only had occasional nightmares). He literally just turned 18 and was in the mist of the Battle of the Bulge. Just an FYI As the old Vets get closer to end of life, many are showing symptoms of PTSD.
If the Estrella's had insurance the FDA would have had to deal with the insurance company . . .We have 30 Icelandic ewes that are insured for the replacement value if any of them were picked off by predators or a severe storm . . .
Our poultry is also insured . . . this is for less than $100.00 per month. . . . which also includes our "farm store" operation. . . . if someone slips and falls:)
So when those who say that Insurance is "cost prohibitive" . . . . nope . . .it is peace of mind . . .
Perhaps, small local farms need to know how they can protect themselves through insurance . . . . it is really very cheap to do so . . .
When I had my previous small business (dealing with museum quality costume and textiles) . . . . everything was insured . . . esp., when these pieces were sent overseas. . farmers products are just as precious. . . .even more so . . . we are feeding people with high density nourishment . . . . rather than the PHOODS that are so prevalent in the grocery store.
As a farmer . . . insurance costs are business write off's for your taxes . . .
The dozens of farmers and thousands of herd shareholders in Ohio are very grateful and indebted to Gary Cox for the big case he won against the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2006. (Not to mention the thousands of dollars that Paul & Carol Schmitmeyer received from the ODA in compensation for their court costs.) That court decision may have been won five years ago, but I'm reminded of it every day when I exercise the right to drink my raw milk, make my butter and visit my farmer. 🙂
Congrats to you and the court decision . . . I have been following David's blog since the fall of 2006 so I missed this case . . .
BTW . . . DH let the gang at the FTCLDF know about S-510 right before it went to committee (a year before it was voted on) . . . and nothing was done by the FTCLDF to lobby against this travesty . . .
In writing my post, I was concerned that perhaps some of what I wrote might be seen as Monday morning quarterbacking and not supportive. I support the Estrellas 100%…!!
The Estrellas are fine people. People with conscience and people that work very hard.
They contacted me years ago and we developed a plan to get back into business. That plan included getting back into Grade A raw milk production. The FDA has no juristiction over raw milk and WA Grade A permits. This was a first step and WA Dairy Inspectors were supportive of this. This did not happen. Instead there was a long and bitter FDA cheese fight that drained the life out of Estrella and their business. This is not the way to go. When there is a route forward you take it. When the State will work with you and the feds will not…work with the state. The do your best to get the fed check list completed and move forward.
Sometimes I think that some people become idealitic about being right and not ever budging. When people do this….most lose. The feds and their lawyers have all the resouces to spend on beating you into the ground. That is their battle methodology and it works. It will drain you dry….financially, emotionally, physically…while you are right all the while. When you are done you are bankrupt and right. Is that the goal…bankrupt, beaten and right??
The Estrella battle should be something we all can learn from. If not, we are destined to repeat the some route and it is painful and tragic.
They wanted some "Grass raised Meats" and would not take no for an answer. . . . They bought lots of eggs and produce and I gave them a FREE sample of our grass fed beef and let them know that if they liked this . . . I would put them down for a boxed whole lamb that they could pick up in the fall before they left for the DC area . . . .they were supposed to come back the next day with a deposit for a boxed lamb (forgot the checkbook that day) and we never did see them again . . . .
I still wonder if they were really from the FDA or the USDA . . . and they were trying to trap us in some way.
Buyer beware… When crap like this is consumed, it can only kill the immune system….oh now I get it! This is the "kill step" required by tptb!
One of the reasons you may have gotten Estrella and Morningland confused is they were both targeted by the FDA as part of a massive inspection campaign of small raw milk cheese producers. It's part of a campaign to help FDA justify a change in the 60-day aging rule on raw milk cheese. Once FDA found any sign of pathogens, it was pretty much lights out, given the agency's agenda. See this article I wrote for more details:
With all due respect, you need to call Gary Cox and talk to him instead of blasting him on this blog. I promise, after 5 minutes he will demonstrate what he's made of. He is brilliant, kind and articulate. You don't know him, or the details of court decisions, and you are being unfair and impatient.
He works for his client, which sometimes means he forfeits a win in court – because they don't wish to be a martyr for raw milk, they have run out of courage, time, energy or money.
I've been impressed with his courage and his ability to open doors. For 6 years, the CDPHE refused to speak to us about raw milk. But he convinced them to teleconference and built a bridge that had never been conceivable before. RMAC now has an invitation to meet personally with the Director of CDPHE and some of his staff soon to talk about raw milk.
Gary is a trail blazer and a consensus builder with well-considered vision. The walls he is tearing down are thick. It will take a while. Losing a court case is an education for both FTCLDF and many others. Sometimes he gets a reasonable judge, sometimes not. And sometimes the airlline loses his luggage. He showed up and was prepared to argue the case. He could have come in his best suit, and the judge still would have ruled against him.
It's politics and power. You know this, and yet you want to shame the one organization that is stepping up to this challenge?
Good grief, he took on the FDA. Who do you know that would do that? (OK Mark does, and Michael, and Liz Reitzig… but most of us "take counsel from our fears.").
Please take the time to get to know him – and other FTCLDF leaders who are working hard for you.
You missed my point. The FDA came in, took jurisdiction away from the state under the commerce clause, and forced a licenced facility to do $50,000 plus worth of upgrades. When the Estrellas dropped their license because of cash, the FDA came up with a list of $200,000 worth of upgrades to re-issue their license. Whatever insurance your selling, it would not, could not help them. A wolf has patience, but devours once prey is in its mouth. My point was that as a community, we should be rallying around folk like the Estrellas instead of nitpicking the details of their story. They need our support.
Last point, insurance for retailing other peoples product is always cheaper than the production insurance because you have two layers.
With all due respect, please stop posting the misleading accusations about FTCLDF and S510…they fought it tooth-and-nail all the way, and I have the Action Alerts and e-mails from Pete Kennedy to prove it. Also, anyone can search the archives of their website and find a lot of the info that they were putting out during the whole process.
Perhaps maybe they didn't do what you thought they should do? If that's the case, then just say so…
Many do try to keep the PTSD buried deep inside. As my neighbor (now deceased) who was a stretcher boy in France during WWII used to say, They keep telling us lest we forget yet I say let me forget.
Insurance may indeed provide peace of mind until you have to collect.
Gary Cox is a raw milk hero. I have stood with him in front of both federal and state court judges. He did a fantastic job both times. He won both cases in my book. His intelligence and strategies were right on. He listens carefully, he considers deeply and executes brilliantly. He builds bridges of trust, defends his client and our common cause.
FTCLDF is a trauma surgeon and Raw Milk EMS response team. We all need that right now. BUT it is not sustainable. We must invest in prevention and teaching so we do not have the legal rescue calls & conflicts and raw milk car wrecks continuing forever and ever….FTCLDF is overwhelmed with demand for it's legal rescue. That comes with the stage of our battle and is to be expected.
It is time to prevent the legal battle by educating and solid Common Stanards and Food Safety Plans. If we give the FDA a track record, transparency and safety, we deny them a target to shoot at. The Draft RAWMI Common Stanards will be sent to the RAWMI Executive Counsel today for review and comment. They will be posted by the time we all reach Dallas Texas this weekend.
It is time that the voice of raw milk takes a collective and proactive voice….. Not just a defensive legal approach based on fixing or defending against or responding to crisis or errors. FTCLDF is critical to our multiple faceted RAW milk battle plan. Gary and Pete are Heroes.
RAWMI envites all of you that are attending the WAP convention in Dallas to come by and visit the booth. We would love to see you! A Texas raw milk dairy has already expressed interest in RAWMI.
I have written a couple of posts about the A1/A2 milk situation. Basically, I've gone along with the input of other raw milk experts who feel there is too much we don't know about this matter to be giving hard-and-fast advice about seeking out A2, or avoiding A1, milk.
It will remain as the vaccination accusations…'there is no correlation between vaccinations and autism, etc.'
We all learn from mistakes . . . agree on this please . . .
I learn most from my biggest critics . . . we cannot all be cheerleaders here and we need to find the strengths and weaknesses within our movement . . . . learn from this and then move forward. . . only then will we accomplish what is needed . . . universal access to healthy raw milk and locally produced food. . . without the government and Big Ag calling the shots.
The endless pats are not what is needed . . . we need to be open and honest with each other . . . believe me, Mark, Gary, Milky Way, etc., everyone out there can also pick up the phone and talk to me . . . I don't bite:)
It has never been my intent to divide us . . . we must all learn to work together.
If I appear to be hard . . . well that is what is needed and more out there should be doing the same . . . if we are ever to succeed as a movement we all need to be hard on each other and try to be the best we can be . . . the best raw milk producer, the best small farm advocate, the best teacher. . . .
We are getting there . . . but we can do better.
"Last point, insurance for retailing other peoples product is always cheaper than the production insurance because you have two layers."
On our farm . . . we only market our own products within our farm store . . . as of now we don't carry any retail from other farms. Buying club orders are the exception and they are less than 5% of our sales.
The Devil is NOT in the Milk…
The Devil is the Processing of the milk and the Feeding of the Cows!!
Even Dr. Tom Cowan reconsidered his position after he wrote the forward to the book. He told me this personally. Face to face.
Do not believe everything that self serving experts from NZ say or write. Both of the authors are dead and no one can confirm any of their work.
I have had a long and very personal experience with the A2 Corp. Please look deeper into claims before making massive assumptions. It seems like any one who writes a book, becomes the expert to jump off the nearest cliff with….not so quick. Think about this.
The disasters from milk related illness and disease started after corn feeding and pasteurization just 100 years ago…not 5000 years ago. One small change in an Amino Acid is the origin of all those milk related diseases?….if you look at pasteurized homogenized grain fed milk under a microscope it is a huge train wreck…one little amino acid change is irrelevant. Everything is dead and everything is changed. It is all allergenic and non digestible.
Raw Milk from grass fed cows has always been the answer. The breed or color of cows is a much lesser issue.
I really hope no one writes a book about how good it feels to step out in front of race cars.
I have a masters degree in counseling psychology. During the eleven years spent working in middle school, a large portion of my job was educating teachers and parents about ADD. It has three components: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Any one of the three symptoms can lead to a diagnosis of ADD. The most under diagnosed childhood disorder is ADD without the hyperactivity and impulsivity. These are the nice, sweet, sensitive children that cant stay on task long enough to finish schoolwork and homework.
I couldnt have my own biological children, so to make my knowledge base complete about ADD, God sent me a child with this disorder. My life experience with ADD is now well rounded.
ADD is caused by a dopamine deficiency in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is why ADD medicine works. It increases the dopamine levels and then the brain can work correctly. In my search for natural cures for ADD, I wanted to know what natural treatments could increase the dopamine levels in the brain. Most of the literature had a consistent themeeliminate dairy products. This is much easier said than done, especially when your child is a picky eater. The rule of thumb in food sensitivity world is the food that your child loves to consume is the food causing the most problems. My son loved his dairy. He loved milk, yogurt and cheese and he ate some form of dairy at every meal. I could not envision what he would eat if I eliminated all dairy products.
This quote is taken from the Devil In The Milk, Milk containing beta-casein with proline at position 67 does not aggravate neurological disorders. In lay language that means that A2 milk does not make mental disorders worseThe only difference between A1 and A2 beta-caseins is the amino acid at position 67. In the case of A1 beta-casein the amino acid at position 67 is histidine, whereas with A2 beta-casein it is the amino acid proline. BCM7, or beta-casomorphin-7, is a tiny protein fragment which acts as a powerful opioid. In other words, it works like a narcotic on the brain. When it is ingested it drugs the brain.
This explains what happens to children with ADD and autism. They consume A1 milk, the BCM7 protein leaks into the blood stream and numbs the brain. Take away the milk, and they can focus better.
Great Plains Laboratory has a urine test that measures the casomorphin peptide in milk. If a person is consuming A1 milk and has a sensitivity to BCM7 it will show up in the urine. This is all very real and totally explains why my son had a negative reaction when consuming dairy products. A year ago we removed all dairy products from his diet and in two weeks he was a different child. There are no words to describe the joy we had as parents when he could complete homework on his own without a parent there keeping him on task to finish.
What is unclear and has not been measured is whether BCM7 is different in raw milk versus pasteurized milk. Does anyone have money for a study? My son only drank raw milk for 2 weeks before becoming ill. I didnt have enough time to document the differences in his attention span.
For what it is worth, consuming raw milk did not make a difference in our sons ADD symptoms. It only made a difference in his congestion.
I have been taking calls on the A2 verses A1 milk issue for six years. All of the attributes assigned to A2 are connected to grass fed mixed breeds of "raw milk producing cows". Autism gets better etc….no lactose intolerance etc…
A careful reading of Mr. Whitefords interview in Acres USA shows all kind of flaws, assumptions and admissions….like "the jury is still out on pasteurized verses raw etc". In other words he does not know.
There are also all kinds of other assumptions, like" all cows in France are A2". That is a complete assumption with no basis or support what so ever. He makes huge assumptions about the Mediterranean diet etc and A2. No data no science nothing. This guy is a salesman, not a scientist.
When the A2 Corp wanted to buy all of the OPDC raw milk and pasteurize ( years ago ) it under the A2 label, that told me everything I needed to know about A2 Corp and it's truths.
Keith Woodford focuses on two aspects of BCM7 in A1 milkautoimmune diseases and the opioid effect of casomorphins. Clearly for children with ADD and autism, there is a neurological effect occurring when the undigested peptide passes readily across the blood/brain barrier and it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. Intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome, plays a role here and that is why it is possible to detect BCM7 in urine.
ADD and autism are on the same spectrum. This spectrum ranges from a mild case of ADD to an extreme case of Autism. Natural treatments for both will be the same. For parents that have money to take their child to a naturopathic doctor, the first test to be run will be a gluten/casein peptide test. Casomorphin (milk) and gliadorphin (wheat) peptides can both have an opioid effect on the brain.
This is why children with ADD and autism are put on a gluten free and/or casein free diet. Their ability to focus improves when they are not ingesting these proteins.
Mark, as for the role you believe raw milk plays in helping autistic children, my guess is that it may have to do with healing intestinal permeability or that pasteurization makes BCM7 stronger. Without a research study there is no way to determine improvement from antidotal stories.
Word of caution as you promote raw milk for autistic children; these children have very sick guts and the bad bacteria far outnumber the good bacteria. Severe diarrhea or constipation is daily occurrence. Yeast overgrowth is a constant challenge. You are taking a huge risk encouraging mothers of autistic children to give their children raw milk. These are very high risk children for developing a foodborne illness. One little cow poop accident with the milk and you have a big problem on your hands.
Treating these children with good probiotic and digestive enzymes, fermented vegetables and keifer coconut water is far safer than drinking raw milk.
I wonder if there would be a difference for your son if he consumed A2 milk (pasteurized-nonhomogenized since his illness)? That would be an interesting study. A1 vs A2 raw and pasteurized and monitoring each child; also studying the same for adults, along with a control group. They are learning stuff all the time and unfortunately, much is swept under the rug for $$$ sake.
It would take money and the big dairy wouldn't want it done because if it were to find out that A2 was healthier than A1 it would kill their industry. For years the govt said there was no difference in nutrition in organic vs nonorganic produce and the studies are coming out slowly that there is a difference….It's all about money.
Prior to Chris becoming ill, he drank organic pasteurized, homogenized milk from Organic Valley and ate organic yogurt and butter. My reason for choosing organic was about pesticide residue in the milk. When cows eat pesticide laden food, it comes out in their milk and it is stored in the fat of the milk, yogurt and butter.
When Chris became ill, he didnt eat for two months. It did serve the purpose of an elimination diet. When he began to eat again, we were told to hold off on any dairy products because it was the most difficult to digest. First we had to start him on all clear food. So he ate jello made from organic fruit juice and organic fruit juice popsicles. Next I fed him like a baby. He at brown rice baby cereal mixed with organic chicken broth. Next I added whole grain toast. He digested everything without problems. Everyone in the hospital cooperated with us regarding our choices of food for him. There was no way in hell he was going to eat hospital food.
Chris ate like this for a few days and then I added organic pizza made with soy cheese. Chris had a negative reaction. The soy cheese caused pains in the area of his pancreas. No more soy cheese. We were home for about two weeks before I added organic dairy back to his diet. He didnt have problems digesting it, but woke up in the morning totally congested. Chris had the same reaction he always had to dairy. This is when I decided to see if he would respond better to goats milk, which unbeknownst to be at the time is A2 milk.
I purchased pasteurized goats milk. Goats milk is not homogenized because the fat cells are different. When Chris drank goats milk he did not become congested. However, there was not a change in his ability to focus. This could have been confounded by the cow milk cheese, yogurt and butter he still consumed. In other words, he was still consuming A1 dairy products.
It would be an interesting experiment to add goats milk back to Chris diet and see what happens. Would it affect his ability to focus? I would have to wait for vacation time so it doesnt affect his grades. I will have to give some thought to this. In some way it might be cruel to allow him to drink it again and then have to take it away if he goes foggy and lethargic on us again. On the other hand, if he doesnt have a negative reaction to A2 milk, then I could add it back to his diet. He loved his goats milk.
I am firm believer in talking to kids and explaining things to them. Perhaps Talking to Chris over a period of time about your thoughts and the pros & cons of re-introducing goats milk to his system would allow his input. he may not want to try it, then again, he may. He would also know that if it showed an adverse affect, you would remove it. I think kids are smarter then given credit for.
I have reservations about any soy and avoid it as much as possible. When something is touted as a miracle- the first thought is snake-oil salesman. Sure we need calcium for bones, you also need magnesium + to absorb it… I have yet to read in the media that the vitamins work in conjunction with each other and making something out of balance can have a negative affect.
http://www.ndmnutrition.com/soy_and_osteoporosis.htm There are numerous articles on the net that support most of this link.
My dad still uses the wooden cutting board my brother made in high school. He uses it for meat and veggies. Before that, my parents used my grandmothers wooded board for everything. There was no separate boards for meats and vegetables, wooden spoons are also used. We had no illnesses for any of this use. Plain old soap and water is used to clean them. Dad doesn't even have a dishwasher.
I not sure it makes sense to start eliminating foods from one's diet. It seems that many in the natural health world always want to demonize a particular food or food group. Some want diary gone, others want nightshades out etc…. I think that when the gut becomes unbalanced digesting certain types of food become difficult and then result in symptoms. If your son had sinus issues prior to his illness that is indicative that he had a gut imbalance to begin with. And it is quite likely he has gut issues now because of the illness and the antibiotics he received. It's well-known that gut imbalance effects the brain big time. It probably has a big effect on the severity of ADD as well.
I never heard of A1 vs A2 milk, but I do know that heart disease was rare a century ago. I think heart disease is the result for what the government sold us. (ie vegetable oils, high carb diet). Inflammatory fats are determintal to the body.
By the way, the French NEVER snacked until recently……think about this for a while. The advice to eat every 3 hours has the effect of constantly raising one's blood sugar over and over.
I know you get slammed a lot here but I for one really appreciate your posts. I think you are a very good and strong mother who cares for her son immensely!
Your voice is clear and honest.
You take the words right out of my mouth: "Word of caution as you promote raw milk for autistic children; these children have very sick guts and the bad bacteria far outnumber the good bacteria. Severe diarrhea or constipation is daily occurrence. Yeast overgrowth is a constant challenge. You are taking a huge risk encouraging mothers of autistic children to give their children raw milk. These are very high risk children for developing a foodborne illness. One little cow poop accident with the milk and you have a big problem on your hands.
Treating these children with good probiotic and digestive enzymes, fermented vegetables and keifer coconut water is far safer than drinking raw milk. "
I would also encourage Mark to stop marketing his milk as being safe for those with allergies. What type of allergies, Mark? Kids with anaphylactic dairy allergies should not be consuming any type of cows milk. period. They could DIE. I think this type of misleading advertising peeves off moms (or friends of moms, like me) who have kids with serious allergies.
I would encourage you to take your own advice, Mary…try fermented goats milk first, probably kefir. or yogurt? Or try introducing it slowly as per the GAPS recommendations by Natasha Campbell-McBride. I think it's like a drop per day, literally, and then building up slowly. Check out her website or book if you haven't already!
I read Natasha McBrides book (first edition) five or six years ago. My greatest challenge with my son is that he is a picky eater, so there is no way to implement it all the way. I do my best and with the help of a naturopathic doctor and supplements and his ADD is quite balanced. As he ages, I am always willing to help him with any food preparation, but he will have to make the decision to try different foods.
He is very autistic like with his diet. When he was small, he was repulsed by protein, except for dairy. He loved carbs. Now he eats turkey, but only as a hamburger or hotdog (there are healthy brands) or chicken if I bake it as a chicken tender. He is still repulsed by the texture of chicken or turkey if I just bake it in the oven. He gags if he has to eat it that way. He also gags with baked potatoes and oatmeal. He has the nose of a pregnant woman, so smell also come into play. If he doesnt like the smell, he is not going to taste it. These are all sensory integration issues. There are certain issues I can improve with Chris and other I have to accept.
Id have to look in the book, but I think GAPS is very similar to SED and nut flours need to be used instead of grains. He has food sensitivities to most nuts, so I couldnt do this.
One thing we have discovered is that Chris is loaded with cooper. We are working on getting it out of his system, but cant use any chelating products because of his kidney issues. So we are left we some homeopathic and herbal products that will release and absorb it through the bowel. It is a slow process. But much of his food issues are connected to the cooper accumulation. He has methylation issues (genetic) and therefore the copper accumulated.
Dr. Amy Yasko has a test that measures genetic weakness in methylation pathways. Chris has a CBS C699T + mutation. This is what causes leaky gut and the copper imbalance. It is also aggravated by dairy, but her focus in on homogenized milk.
As for trying goats milk yogurt, I will give it some thought. He wont drink kefirtoo thick. It would be wonderful to add yogurt back to his diet. Goats milk is naturally homogenized, so that is not an issue with yogurt. It is also A2. He is so balanced right now, I hate to mess with anything.
BlueDog, I say this kindlyyou have no idea what you are talking about. Antibiotics were not the enemy when Chris was hospitalized. Using them to prevent infection (he had tubes inserted in his body in four different places) is lifesaving. It is the appropriate use for antibiotics. You are speaking from a place of ignorance.
Once he was home, the naturopathic doctor advised us how to repopulate his gut flora with extremely high levels of a probiotic formula typically used for colitis along with another supplement to help leaky gut. I believe this is one reason why Chris recovered so well once we came home. He never experienced any digestive or bowel issues. Once his pancreas started working, it worked beautiful. He never had one day of diarrhea or constipation. This is unheard of for anyone who has suffered from a foodborne illness. Typically bowel issues continue post illness for a long time.
Chris continued issues with leaky gut are genetic. It is estimated that 10% of the population has ADD or ADHD. Professionally, I have worked very close with this population. I never met a child with ADD who didnt have one parent with it. Many experts in this field work with three generations within a family when treating this disorder. My son has ADD because he inherited it from his birth dad. My son is his genetic clone. After all the genetic testing we had done on my son, I can say that there is a genetic component to leaky gut syndrome.
Thanks for the suggestions about goats milk and yogurt. Instinctually, my first response is no, but I love the idea of someday being able to add some form of dairy back to his diet, especially yogurt. All this A1 and A2 talk pertains to the casein protein. Chris is also extremely sensitive to the whey protein. I went back and looked at his IgG allergy testing from a year ago. He is off the chart sensitive to whey and has a low level of sensitivity to goats milk cheese. Whey is in both cows and goats milk. I dont know if they have a test that distinguishes between the two. Is the whey chemical makeup different in these two animals milk? Was this test measuring whey from cows milk only?
For now Im going to hold off on adding goats milk dairy back into his diet. I dont want to disrupt the work we are doing on working the copper out of his system. Dairy consumption can cause excess ammonia in the body if a person has the CBS C699T + mutation.