One of the most incisive scientific assessments on all that European research on raw milk of the last few years has just appeared, of all places, on a web site backed by the conventional dairy industry and academe.
In a footnoted article by an experienced science writer, a newsletter put out by the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) has concluded that the European research on raw milk in recent years did, indeed, come up with significant findings strongly suggesting health benefits for children from raw milk. The IMGC is a joint operation between the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), which is a non-profit backed by California’s conventional dairies and processors, and the University of California Davis (UCD), which includes among its faculty and staff long-time opponents of raw milk.
The IMGC’s article points out the well-known risks associated with raw milk, but comes to two basic conclusions apart from the risks:
1. Raw milk is likely nutritionally superior to conventional milk. “The data suggest that raw milk can cause both trouble and advantage to a human body…To be sure, heating milk to 72°C for 15 seconds reduces the odds of a bad belly, but does it also destroy complex proteins and other components that could bolster human health? Apparently so.”
2. More study of raw milk’s benefits is essential. The article concludes that “there is strong evidence that (raw milk) benefits young children, but almost no information of substance about adults. To answer the question fully, the world needs studies testing whether large numbers of grown-ups suffering from asthma, hay fever, and similar medical problems see their allergies dampen down after drinking raw milk for a prolonged period. Until that day, the question is still open.”
The article’s author, Anna Petherick, is a writer with Nature, one of the foremost scientific journals in the world. Her assessment in the Consortium newsletter makes a serious effort at being well balanced, and I strongly suggest readers here study it.
Well balanced isn’t something we’ve seen much of from the world of academia or dairy processing. This first sampling could signal an important shift in that world’s approach. If so, it would be a breath of fresh air.
Arlin Bender is a Mennonite who has been slaughtering cattle for 40 of his 58 years. He learned the trade from his grandfather, and until two years ago had been practicing his trade for neighboring farmers in New York state.
Two years ago he moved to Wisconsin, to be closer to other members of his extended family, He confined his slaughtering and butchering to neighbors and friends…and that is when his problems started.
Everything was fine for a while. “Neighbors would ask me for help in cutting up meat from their cows,” he says.
Then Bender ran an ad in a local publication offering to butcher deer for local hunters. There was no problem with that, except an inspector with Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection saw the ad and, according to Bender, “figured if you are cutting up deer, you are probably cutting up beef.”
And beginning nine months ago, Bender began a journey through DATCP hell. Agents arrived Jan. 5 threatening to take Bender’s beef. He tried to explain that he wasn’t serving the public, but they returned Jan. 10, with a local sheriff’s deputy, and no warrant. “They said they didn’t need a warrant because there is contraband here.”
The agents proceeded to red-tag all the food in the walk-in freezer in his garage. “They said, ‘You don’t have the right to have your son’s meat in your freezer. Just your meat.” They put tags not only on beef, but on venison, and frozen blueberries and cherries. They left alone a lamb he had just butchered for himself.
“They said the detained tags have to stay there 30 days. There’s a $5,000 fine for each tag removed. I have friends from Russia who used to tell me about the KGB, and this is what this seemed like.”
Bender has had heart trouble, and not surprisingly, this encounter with the law didn’t help things. He collapsed the day after they put the tags on his food–a doctor prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
DATCP insists he have an approved facility and a license to butcher the meat. “That means building a shop or building to their specs, nice shiny and white,” he says. “I tried to check into some prices, and seems like it would be about $30,000.” All that expense to buy things he doesn’t really need. “They said I need a restroom facility. I said I can go in the house, 50 feet away.”
“I am supposed to have a holding tank. Why? If I kill an animal, I do it on the farm. All your blood and guts are at the farm where it is done.”
Aside from all that, he’s just not doing that much slaughtering. “I might kill one cow, then it’s three or four weeks before I do another. I work hither and yon to keep busy.”
Yes, “hither and yon” is something for another age. In the meantime, the DATCP obtained a temporary restraining order on Bender in February. “It says I can’t go to any place to butcher meat, and no one can come to me.”
In July, he helped a neighboring farmer slaughter a cow that couldn’t walk, with the farmer taking the meat. DATCP somehow learned about the event, and Bender has received a summons to appear in court Oct. 16. “They want to fine me $1,000 for helping butcher a farmer’s cow that he was going to be eating himself,” Bender says with amazement.
Bender says he has had three court hearings since was first hit with the tagging, and at one of them, he says he tried to argue to the judge that the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee of “the right to be safe in your own home” gave him the right to butcher meat at his home.He said a retired inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had told him there was such a thing as a “producer’s exemption” whereby a farmer can engage an outsider to help him slaughter a cow.
Low-level judges generally don’t like to hear about Constitutional guarantees and such. They are mostly in the business of backing up the regulators. And they also don’t like to hear from ordinary folk representing themselves instead of hiring a lawyer, as Bender has been doing.
“I always thought that honesty was the way to be with people,” Bender says. You have to admire his sincerity, but then you have to remember the people he is dealing with.
For another account of Bender’s problems, see this account from the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA).
They needed to research this? DUh.. The more processed a food is, the less nutrients are left in it…
“More study of raw milk’s benefits is essential.”
This has been said in so many places. Better late than never/
“They said, ‘You don’t have the right to have your son’s meat in your freezer. Just your meat.”
Excuse me? Wisconsin sounds like an awful place to be.
Thank for writing about my friends at the Milk Genomics research Lab at UC Davis. I had lunch with one of their key PhD researchers last month and he expressed her deep frustration at his funding sources saying that they did not want to hear about the benefits of raw milk….they told his that she needed to find benefits for pasteurized milk. She can not find much good about pasteurized milk…!!!
So much for truth in science. She also shared with me that she is thoroughly moved by the work of Weston A Price.
Sounds like we have a real friend at the foremost research center for Milk. I keep in regular contact…but it is essential that he keeps his head down or lose his job. I am not going to expose the name of the researcher….we are on a real mission together.
My gut says that their will be senate hearings in the next few years…they will call for heads on a plate for lies told to the public about the failings of pasteurization and processing. You watch…this drama is going to get really ugly. There are 1600 dairymen in CA that are losing their cows and businesses…this is causing a serious upset and the truth is one of the things that is gushing out like an arterial bleed.
If Bender lives anywhere near Hershberger…seems the survelliance theory of discovery is in fact a reality.
You took the bait…is the UC Davis PHD male or female. I used both genders. I ain’t stupid. There is a certain amount of guts required to stand up and be counted. Sitting down in the face of atrocity never stopped any blood shed. My PHD friend never suggested or hinted that he or she wanted to stay below the radar. He or she just wanted support from the raw milk community. Dr. he or she is tenured and does not care about the political grenades that go off.
Caltech University PHD just was awared $500,000 for his research in the area of GUT bacteria immunity. Wow…
if I did not know better I would think that I was listening to one of my Share the Secret presentations. I say the same exact things when I speak about biodiversity of raw milk and GUT immunity.
Our friends in science are coming arround to back us up 100%….just a matter of time now.
Teach Teach Teach….
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you would know that Mark can’t keep much to himself if it stands to further promote his business, and he doesn’t much have a good internal compass about how his words affect other people. In fact it often feels as if he uses his comments here as a marketing tool. I got the impression that the researcher is a woman, but he kept changing the gender to try to mask this person’s identity.
You are so insightful. I am totally dedicated to raw milk, OPDC brand development and market building. The stronger that raw milk becomes in CA the more WE will succeed for the greater good of all. Especially the next generation that has suffered so much from overprocessed, toxic, allergic food.
If you think I am a promoter…you are so correct. Just remember, I do not sell raw milk…I teach it. At every one of my Share the Secret presentations, I give away raw milk and other products.
If I do not promote raw milk….who will ?? It seems that all the 1st world is against raw milk.
Are you suggesting that I should not promote or work hard towards brand development?
Would you prefer that I stop teaching or cheerleading for raw milk or its safety….ain’t gonna happen.
Not sure you get me. I take calls all day long from elated consumers, frustrated scientists, interested doctors, confused mothers, happy moms….the feedback I get motivates me deeply. Then the tours continue at the farm all week long and then into the weekend. People want to talk and share their experiences about how raw milk has changed their lives and their GUTS.
When this is your life….you live and breath it. Yes….I deeply support raw milk and teach it at every opportunity.
Will the owner of the drug company be taken away in cuffs? Will their doors be shut forever? They killed people!
Indeed, out gubment takes care of us and looks out for us……
It has been popularly paraphrased in various forms:
“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].”
“The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
“Eventually, socialists run out of other peoples’ money [to spend].”
(wiki web site)
Do you drink raw milk?
If so…where do you get it?
If you do not drink raw milk why not?
“Friday, the FDA released a list of about 30 medications distributed by the company, including other steroids, anesthetics and blood pressure medicine.”
You have to search for what meds are distributed…..not very helpful for people who don’t use computers…many elderly don’t and they are on BP meds.
Do you think those who got sick will be suing Traders Joe’s too? After all TJ sold the peanut butter and that makes it their fault too!!
We have the safest food supply…..NOT.
As you know I used to drink your milk and Claravale milk just a short year ago. I also gave it to my young children. I also SOLD YOUR MILK for Dey Dey’s at the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market. I used to be a card carrying member of WAPF. As you notice, used to. Remember your e.coli outbreak last year? That was the final nail in the coffin for raw milk for this family. I’ve discussed all this and also why I don’t drink it nor feed it to my children here and on my own blog. Why do I visit here? It’s about as good writing as daytime soaps. The small plot twists take weeks to unravel. If you miss a day you don’t miss much. But you keep coming back because of the drama.
I feel I need to comment on this. While I appreciate you highlighting my article, and I worked really hard on it, I take issue with a couple of ways you’ve represented it here.
For one, the title. I was asked to write this piece because I have absolutely no stake in the debate. I’m not a researcher, a lobbyist, nor a business person with anything to gain or lose by coming down on either side of the fence. I just evaluate evidence honestly and do my best to communicate. So, I’m not part of the “dairy old guard”. And if you are referring to the newsletter’s other editors as that, then I think the fact that they asked me to write the piece because I’m independent strongly suggests that you are being unfair to them. On commissioning me, they had no idea what I would conclude, and I wouldn’t have stood for them watering down or changing my conclusions to suit any ulterior motive. They did not try to do so in the slightest.
My second quibble is that my article clearly spelled out important statistics from the CDC, which show that raw milk causes disease at much higher rates than pasteurized milk. For example, “the CDC reckons the risk of a glass of raw milk causing a disease outbreak is at least 150 times that of a glass of pasteurized milk”. I think this needs pointing out here for the sake of balance.
What I hope comes of my article is that campaigners on both sides take a deep breath, and consider the raw (gettit?) evidence afresh (and again?? 🙂 ). As I say near the end of the piece (and I do thank you for mentioning this!), we don’t know the answers to key questions on this topic. Without more information I personally find anyone trying to polarize the debate to be unreasonable.
Thank you for calling my article “well balanced”. I appreciate the complement.
All the best,
Per the CDC statistics, I agree they need pointed out, as the biased, propaganda that they are. Real scientists researchers will understand that the CDC is no more science/evidence/fact driven than
When you look at CDC data, do you take it at face value, or do you look to see if they are handling the data even-handedly? I would suggest if you look, you will see, like with the line you quote above, the CDC is purposefully stacking the deck. If it was a casino doing this, they would face federal prosecution.
I think if you look closely you will see that they work hard to bias data and misrepresent issues, to the benefit of their real bosses – the big pharma/ag/food axis of evil.
For instance, in my home state years ago one of the farmers (who is also a high end engineer, and gets paid major bucks for short work stints because he is so good/well educated and sharp), pulled both state and federal data on raw milk. What he found was shocking – systematic miscategorization, misrepresentation, and general malfeasance on the part of the “unbiased” public health authorities. Numerous outbreaks involving improperly pasteurized milk lumped into the raw milk outbreak statistics. Death from cheeses made in bathtubs attributed to raw milk.
The CDC and many other data gathering agencies have shown they cannot nor should they be trusted – they have an agenda, and it is not public wellness and health, but industry profits and power.
This isn’t science. This is slander. If only raw milk could sue them for it.
Your point questioning my reference to “the dairy old guard” is well taken. I should have been clearer. I wasn’t referring to the newsletter’s editors specifically, since I know nothing about them and their professional and/or political views. I was referring to the funding behind the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC). That funding is what pays for the operation of the IMGC, including the newsletter. Like a lot of things having to do with dairy, the IMGC is kind of murky. That’s because the purpose in life of the main funding source, the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), isn’t immediately obvious. But if you look closely at its web site, which I linked to, you’ll see that the CDRF is funded by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB). What is the CMAB? According to its web site, “The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) was formed in 1969 as an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to promote California dairy products in an ever-growing and competitive marketplace.”
California is the largest dairy producer in the U.S. The CMAB’s mission appears to be to promote California as the leading dairy producer. As such, it appears to be the main trade association of California’s conventional dairy industry, hence the “dairy old guard” allusion.
[quote from article]: “The findings are clear: Children who consume more probiotics in the form of raw milk, playing outside more often and breastfeeding have less allergies and asthma.” [end of quote]
Taken from this link – – – – > http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/hand-sanitizer-reports-allergies-and-asthma-miss-point
** Don’t let the title in the link mislead you into not reading the article. It’s a *don’t miss* read! Thank you Case Adams!