The general assumption about the after-hours announcement May 7 that the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources was withdrawing its proposed ban on buying clubs was that the move was prompted by a torrent of calls and emails from consumers opposing the ban.
But is it possible we have all seriously misunderstood the MDAR move? Is it possible, in fact, that MDAR withdrew the proposed ban because it wants to make the ban even more restrictive than originally planned?
Absolutely yes, to both questions, based on a remarkable May 7 letter from Massachusetts Department of Public Health commissioner John Auerbach to his counterpart (puppet) at MDAR, Scott Soares. Consider the following points from the letter:
- The MA DPH commissioner recommends extending the previously proposed ban on buying clubs “by making clear that so-called ‘cow-share,’ ‘goat-share,’ etc. arrangements, which attempt to evade” regulation, are included.
- Auerbach is explicit in his preference that “in an ideal world we would prefer that all milk sold in Massachusetts be pasteurized…” He seems to see himself as being magnanimous in acknowledging “that some local farms are realizing an economic benefit from the sale of raw milk” and thus “we have provided measures…that aim to reduce the risk of serious illness.”
- He repeats a lie that between 1998 and 2008 there have been two deaths “from consumption of raw milk…” The two deaths reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control were from consumption of queso fresca cheese, which is often produced from conventional unpasteurized milk known to be dangerous, and disavowed by raw milk proponents. And I must have missed it, but I couldn’t find any reference in the letter to the three deaths and the loss of a fetus in Massachusetts from consumption of pasteurized milk in 2007; nor could I find any reference to the fact that Massachusetts hasn’t had a single illness from raw milk during that same time period (or since).
- He repeats a declaration made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently that consumers have no food rights. “…it is unfortunate that some raw milk advocates have chosen to portray their choice to buy raw milk as a ‘right.’…it has long been established that states have the authority to enact laws and regulations to protect the health and safety of their citizens.” Yes, all bow down to Emperor John Auerbach, and be thankful for his magnanimity in not demanding his puppet Soares ban raw milk sales entirely.
- Adding insult to injury, Auerbach says that the proposed regulation to ban buying clubs and herdshare/cowshare arrangements was drawn up by a college intern during the summer of 2006. Auerbach has dusted it off and decided it’s now ready for prime time.
Among the many questions that come up in reading this outrageous letter is this: Why is the public health establishment making Massachusetts, a small dairy state that has had no illnesses attributable to raw milk in well over a decade, a new battleground in the ongoing raw milk war?
The answer might be found in a document I came across from the Centers for Disease Control in the form of its health goals for the country in 2020. One of those goals is a reduction in the number of states that allow the sale or distribution of raw milk.
The message to consumers couldn’t be clearer: the nation’s public health clique is determined to make Massachusetts a test case as part of its national push to get rid of raw milk. If Auerbach and Soares succeed here, the technocrats will move on to another state, and then another. And maybe Auerbach and Soares move on to cushy new jobs in Washington, or with a big food manufacturer.
The battle lines have been drawn. MDAR has promised hearings within thirty days of its May 10 hearing. Expect a new, tougher proposed regulation to limit availability of raw milk. Don’t expect Emperor Auerbach and his public health cronies to emerge from their dark cubbies to explain their action. After all, we the common people don’t get to ask questions of such important authorities. But be prepared to fight harder than you may have ever thought possible against these snide and arrogant characters to preserve your right to make your own food choices.?