It’s taken me a little longer than I expected to recover from the Massachusetts raw milk protest festivities on Monday. I’ve never been involved in organizing a protest. Not that I did a lot of the heavy lifting, but the amount of detail required to put something like that together was pretty amazing. Signs, police permits (a day-and-a-half of one person’s time), arranging for the presence of the Jersey cow Suzanne, police permit for Suzanne, arranging for Suzanne’s poop to be cleaned up, etc., etc.
But I must confess, and confess is probably the right word, the toughest part of the entire affair was dealing with internal wrangling. I had heard talk of internal divisions in connection with the Wisconsin campaign for a law to allow farm sales of raw milk–some farmers opting out of certain demonstrations when it didn’t suit their own interests–but this past weekend, I got my own personal exposure to the realities of what can happen when divisions crop up.
As I said in a previous post, one of the things that impressed me last week as the activities opposing the crackdown on raw milk buying were being organized was how a number of foodie organizations became actively involved in supporting the Massachusetts buying clubs and opposing restrictions on access to raw milk imposed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Several important foodie groups–most notably the Northeast Organic Farming Association (MA chapter) and the Organic Consumers Association–encouraged members to write MDAR and to attend the hearing.
By the end of last week, the two organizations were essentially working in tandem to encourage a substantial turnout. The OCA put together the many pieces for a pre-hearing rally on Boston Common, including arranging for the presence of Suzanne for public milking. NOFA/Mass was encouraging its members to testify at the hearing. Media like the Boston Globe began picking up on the event last week. The pressure was building for a large and vociferous turnout on Monday.
Then, at 5 p.m. on Friday, the MDAR lobbed the grenade I previously described. It said that, thanks to “the passion and concern on all sides of the raw milk debate,” it was removing the proposed regulation that would have explicitly banned buying clubs. But the seeming conciliation was balanced by MDAR’s commitment to “take such steps to enforce violations” under less explicit existing regulations by categorizing the buying clubs as Milk Dealers; over the last four months, MDAR sent four clubs cease-and-desist letters to buying clubs.
Moreover, MDAR said testimony at the Monday hearing would “be limited” to some remaining technical regulatory changes. In other words, opponents of the crackdown on buying clubs wouldn’t be allowed to testify.
A last-minute maneuver by a state agency to confuse and divide a budding protest shouldn’t have been unexpected. Regulators understandably don’t like to deal with large groups of infuriated citizens, and there have been a number related to governmental actions to restrict access to raw milk, most notably in California in 2008 and in Wisconsin last year and this year.
What happened five hours later was much more unexpected, though. The Northeast Organic Farming Association issued “an advisory” to its hundreds of members that seemed to celebrate the MDAR press release as “a testament to our perseverance and passion…Thanks to a lot of hard work from many people, we have played a part in beating back, however temporarily, regulations that would have deeply harmed Massachusetts dairy farmers and diminished food rights for everyone. Our message was clearly heard by MDAR, and many new supporters have joined us along the way thanks to our outreach and education efforts over the last few weeks.”
While a little self congratulation never hurt anyone, the NOFA/Mass advisory was most notable for discouraging its members from attending the Monday hearing. “MDAR has made it clear that they will NOT hear testimony about the on-farm purchase rule or the buying club prohibitions at the Monday hearing, so that is no longer an opportunity to be heard.”
I was seeing things mostly from the perspective of Organic Consumers of America, and its people were stunned. NOFA/Mass seemed to be pulling the rug out from under the organizing effort, and in the process, stopping in its tracks the momentum for a major protest on Monday. As has been discussed frequently on this blog, getting consumers engaged on behalf of farmers is always a herculean task, and once halted, momentum can be difficult to re-kindle.
There followed a series of urgent emails and phone calls by OCA officials and supporters to Julie Rawson,the NOFA/Mass executive director. They asked her to at least adjust the language in the NOFA advisory so as not to discourage people from attending the Monday events. She told some of them NOFA/Mass didn’t want to encourage farmers to take a day off to attend a hearing they wouldn’t be able to testify at.
Indeed, there was no relenting by NOFA-MA. It pushed its message via its Facebook and Twitter outlets, as well as on foodie blogs, and Kim Hartke’s blog, for one, picked up on the “victory” message to discourage attendance on Monday.
OCA was left to re-group and send out counter-messages–via a revised news release and Twitter and Facebook postings–advising foodies that both the rally and the hearing were very much on. OCA people were convinced that the MDAR couldn’t just arbitrarily limit discussion from one day to the next at a hearing it had previouslly given public notification about.
When Monday dawned, some 200 protesters assembled on Boston Common, together with Suzanne, the cow brought by Framingham dairy farmer Doug Stephan, to protest the MDAR crackdown on raw dairies. Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. had flown in from California, and Max Kane from Wisconsin. Then, the protesters walked a few blocks to the hearing room in Downtown Boston and, sure enough, the agriculture commissioner, Scott Soares, announced at the outset that he was reversing the MDAR Friday press announcement about limiting discussion at the hearing. He would hear all comments, including those about the crackdown on the raw milk buying clubs.
As I described in my previous post, some 50 individuals testified over the next three-and-a-half hours.
Afterwards, NOFA/Mass adamantly defended its decision to pull out of supporting the Monday event. When I asked Jack Kittredge, NOFA/Mass’ policy coordinator, if there had been some kind of quid pro quo with MDAR for pulling its support, he said, “No quid pro quo. What we were doing was in response to the DAR move. We didn’t expect anything further, except what they promised in their retraction — that they would take a broader look at the issue. We expected, and still do expect, as the primary local group which has been working on this issue with farmers for ten years, that we will have a chance to put our two cents in to what that broader solution looks like. Hopefully it will be ways to get even more raw milk to Massachusetts consumers.”
Kittredge also admits NOFA/Mass had a warning at least a couple hours before the MDAR posted its press release that something was coming, though he says his organization had no knowledge of exactly what MDAR would put out.
There’s no telling how many people would have been at the Boston rally and hearing Monday if NOFA/Mass hadn’t discouraged attendance, but it seems safe to say the number would have been significantly higher.
People at OCA became ever more committed to organizing the Monday activities after NOFA/Mass pulled out, based on several convictions. First, it’s only through ongoing pressure that regulatory agencies and politicians will make changes to reduce barriers to availability of locally produced products like unpasteurized milk. Such public pressure has pushed legislators to back consumers in California (SB201) and in Wisconsin (even if the governors don’t necessarily go along). Second, organizations can’t get consumers all worked up about an issue, then pull the plug on the effort at the last minute, and expect to automatically be able to gain the same momentum the next time around. And third, there’s a general acknowledgment that the people pushing for the crackdown on raw milk aren’t the people who are most visible–in the Massachusetts case, MDAR commissioner Scott Soares. More on that matter upcoming.
From where I sat, it seemed clear NOFA/Mass decided it could best serve its farmer members by going its own way, essentially throwing Scott Soares a bone to gain favor with MDAR. As I told a number of people at NOFA/Mass, that is most likely an illusion. MDAR’s commissioner has made it clear he is much more concerned about protecting his job than he is about protecting Massachusetts dairy farmers, and besides, memories are short.
No, consumers and farmers need to be united if they are going to have any chance at all against the edifices that are Big Dairy and Big Ag, and the regulators and politicians under their influence. They are playing hard ball.
Other fallout from the MA DAR pre-hearing and hearing shenanigans: The Organic Consumers Association has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts attorney general charging that MDAR’s failure to allow all consumers to attend the hearing violates that state’s Open Meeting Law. According to OCA’s complaint, “A number of people (we estimate between 50 and 75) were prevented from entering the hearing room by DAR staff who stated that allowing additional people to attend the hearings would exceed the rooms’ capacity. These people were directed to another room that lacked any visual or sound connection to the hearing room. Only as individuals left the hearing room were additional people allowed, on a one-by-one basis, to enter the hearing room.”
OCA charges that the attendance limitation was deliberate, stemming from the 5 p.m. Friday press release, and the buy-in by NOFA/Mass. “Responsibility for the size of the room falls upon the agency having control over the arrangements, not upon members of the public who are trying to exercise their rights to address and petition their government…Moreover, the DAR itself anticipated a large amount of interest in its proposed regulations. In an attempt to reduce attendance, it posted an announcement on its website after hours on Friday, May 7, attempting to withdraw a controversial provision of the proposed regulations and contacted at least one large organization, which withdrew its request for its members to attend.”
Too bad NOFA/Mass, a well-meaning organization over many years, wound up on the wrong side of the events.
How I wish we had this type of "honest and refreshing" governor here in Wisconsin. Gov Doyle is still vascilating on the raw milk bill passed here in WI on April 22.
On a lighter note, my wife called the governor’s office today to ask the gov to sign the bill again and spoke to an aid who said and I quote "I hear you I was raised on raw milk".
As far as I can extrapolate from your post, you seem to take issue with NOFA/Mass mostly because they "stopp[ed] in its tracks the momentum for a major protest on Monday". I would argue that the MDAR is the group that killed the momentum, and that NOFA/Mass realized that, in the interests of maintaining a longer-term pressure on the issue, they needed to regroup, possibly switch gears (as MDAR did) and get ready for the next salvo in this battle.
You mention that NOFA/Mass struck "a separate deal to gain favor with MDAR". Do you have anything to support that claim of collusion? I think it’s certainly true that NOFA/Mass had a different response than OCA to the issue – but from the evidence provided, it appears that MDAR acted and NOFA/Mass reacted. If you were implying that MDAR might look more favorably towards NOFA/Mass in the future for negotiations because of the NOFA/Mass response on this issue, then that’s just smart tactical thinking on the part of NOFA/Mass.
I seldom post since I’m one of the regulated (both by MA DAR and MA DPH). I had the now dubious honor of being presented a "Faces of Massachusetts Agriculture" award by Scott Soares last fall. I’ve dreamed of MA as being a haven for taking an innovative approaches to development in-state markets for raw milk and raw milk cheeses (let’s skip over the FDA by not indulging in interstate commerce) from small family farmers committed to quality. A market totally separate from commodity milk.
It’s a pity that MDAR doesn’t approach the farmers it regulates for input into proposed regulatory changes. I was jokingly told by an inspector lsst year that, of course, raw milk operations could always be shut down by requiring extensive and prohibitively expensive testing. I would rather have had a conversation about what my customers would like to see marketed and what regulatory framework would be needed to support that market.
NOFA/MA is an extremely useful conduit to MDAR (and I probably should use them more actively) since it can aggregate farmers’ viewpoints allowing them a veil of anonymity vis-a-vis regulators. I’m sure that they probably learned as much about organizing as David did.
Really proud of the interview the Robinsons did with WBUR as well as Suzanne’s and Doug Stephan’s appearance on the common.
Internal misteps are just that…..little errors that must be forgotten quickly as we continue our alliances to educate and build bridges of understanding and trust.
Soures is our friend and he is in a very tight spot….the governor Doyle is our friend and he is in an incredibly tight spot….
Now here is the challenge….push as hard as possible while giving a positive message of our individual rights and giving testimony about the health giving benefits of raw milk.
Raw milk rebuilds communities and its citizens immune systems. This is not about food safety….although it is about jealousy and CAFOs that can not do what we can do.
Fight on….but do not create enemies of those that are in a tight spot. Fight-on but stay together. We have a very broad base of support….lets not let the other side see our diversity as a opportunity to break up our message. Our diversity is our strength.
Make the message to Soures and Doyle come from your heart….well actually your GUT!!
First, Mark, Soares and the governor are NOT in tight spots…not as long as their guiding principles are to do what is right. Truth and right never feel constraints. If they are feeling the pinch of playing both sides rather than doing what they are supposed to…represent the will of the people, so be it. They make their bed…let them sleep in it.
Second, Tricia, I appreciate your position…"…since it can aggregate farmers’ viewpoints allowing them a veil of anonymity vis-a-vis regulators."…but I’m awfully glad folks like John Hancock didn’t feel that way. (if you don’t know how a signature became one’s "John Hancock", google it. Some historians say its true, some say legend…eithr way its as it should be.)
As farmers, we all have fences and we stand on one side or the other at each of them.
As a raw milk dairyman I stand on the side with my consumers….I respond and am 100% responsible to each of them.
Now think of the conventional dairyman that does not know one single consumer and stands on the side with where his paycheck comes.
That means that consumer connected farmers will become more at odds with farmers that are disconnect from the consumer….
So as we proceed foreward lets all be very senstive to our neighbors that are not being paid well and are being neglected by everyone and abused by the banks.
We must extend our hand to those that will allow us to educate them and not denegrate the rest of them.
We are all farmers…. and we are neighbors. We must extend our hand to educate our neighbors as we serve our consumers. We must never step on our neighbors as we reach and serve our consumers.
I think you have it all backwards. There are serious consumer safety problems with raw milk and the continued denial fuels your enemy’s fire (even if Big Ag actually fears a raw milk market, you give them plenty of ammo to team-up with public health by ignoring the food safety concerns). No matter how many testimonials of benefits you present, they mean little in the absence of a rational food safety plan for raw milk, or even an acknowledgment that some raw dairies need to do better. The most recent example:
And, arguing that other foods (or drugs or cars or baby seats) have safety problems doesn’t "exempt" raw milk proponents from dealing with their own consumer safety issues.
And Mark is right. REAL food safety is all but irrellevent in this debate. The Wisconsin experience proves this. Farms that consistantly produced a safe product were shut down along with the (single) farm that made people sick. Scott Trautman is being forced to build an unsanitary wall in his milking barn in order to get his Grade A back — a wall that will increase cleanliness problems in his milking enviroment.
IF your profession were really serious about food safety, then you’d figure out what is neccessary to produce safe raw milk. Its not an impossible task. Mark McAfee has figured out how to produce safe raw milk. And entire countries in Europe have — France, England, Italy, Slovenia, to name a few.
But unfortunately, because you are only interested in pursuing a vindictive and politically motiavated agenda on behalf of agribussiness corporations, food safety takes a back seat to the vindictive political games that your profession plays.
This is why it is upto us to make it as difficult as possible for you to try to ban raw milk. Once you realize that it is going to be more difficult for you to ban raw milk than it would be to create common sense safety standards, then there might be progress on the food safety front. In the meantime, resistance to your agenda, and rallying the grassroots to the cause are the most important tools we have.
In Wisconsin, it doesn’t matter whether a farm can produce safe raw milk or not. It only matters that they produce raw milk, therefore they are a threat to public health. End of debate. There is no way to produce safe raw milk, as far as DATCP and large parts of the dairy industry are concerned. Repression and revenge are the name of the game.
How do you expect food safety to ever get a foothold in this kind of enviroment?
"I think you have it all backwards. There are serious consumer safety problems with’ lunch meats’ and the continued denial fuels your enemy’s fire (even if Big Ag actually fears a ‘ban on unsafe lunch meat'(raw milk market), you give them plenty of ammo to team-up with public health by ignoring the food safety concerns—‘indeed, they do ingnore the safety facors’). No matter how many testimonials of benefits you present, they mean little in the absence of a rational food safety plan for l’lunch meat’, or even an acknowledgment that some ‘lunch meat processors’ need to do better. The most recent example:"
listeria, salmonella,EColi, etc…
"And, arguing that other foods (or drugs or cars or baby seats) have safety problems doesn’t "exempt" raw milk proponents from dealing with their own consumer safety issues. "
Who is "exempt"ing safety issues regarding raw milk? Please name names.
The message that DATCP and the so-called "food safety" establishment don’t care about food safety is heard loud and clear every day here in America’s Dairyland.
I do indeed care about food safety in raw milk. Which pathogen do you want me to explain the details of? Name it, and I will tell you how that pathogen behaves and where it can get into milk.
That is why I oppose DATCP, because they want raw milk to get people sick. It will make their job a lot easier, because then it will be easier for them to rationalize to the public why they are shutting down all the farms that sell raw milk. That is the reason that they are trying to force Scott Trautman to build this wall, because it would make his milking area more difficult to clean, thus increasing the chance that his milk will become contaminated and make someone sick.
DATCP is incompetant when it comes to food safety. Can you tell me again why DATCP had butter and cheese under 60 days removed from the WI legislation? How could it have possibly been because of food safety? Or was it because they were trying to protect the cheesemakers and buttermakers monopoly? (WI is the only state that requires cheesemakers and buttermakers to be licensed, and the system is pretty much setup so that the existing cheesemaker and buttermakers can limit the number of new cheesemakers and buttermakers.)
Food safety takes a back seat to politics in the WI dairy industry, ALWAYS. You can’t just sit there and point your finger at the WAPF. Their job is not food safety, their job is to promote traditional nutrient dense foods. However, it is(supposedly) the job of the guys at DATCP to promote food safety, and they do a piss poor job of it, especially when you consider that WI is one of the largest dairy producing states in the U.S.
Why is Wisconsin milk not fit to be consumed raw, in the eyes of DATCP? Because they don’t want it to be. They want WI milk to be dirty and unfit for human consumption. Mediocrity is enforced by the iron fist of DATCP and the WI dairy industry.
Why doesn’t the govt do this? It appears that with the govt entities by allowing the factory farms to continue "showing flippant disregard toward sanitation," " show that, for ‘the govt entities’ , "this isn’t about food safety." The message that ‘the govt doesn’t’ care about food safety is heard, loud and clear.
It is very obvious that the govt isn’t concerned about safety for the people. The govt web sites "showing flippant disregard toward sanitation" by promoting factory farms and allowing chemically induced/contamination into the food chain. I would bet the majority of Americans haven’t heard of those 3 web sites, and if that is all they research then shame on them. I give people more credit than you do.
Why doesn’t the govt do this?
Would NY state violate your constitutional rights and act illegally? You bet it would:
Are they going to arrest the farmers/suppliers of this stuff? Don’t think so
Would the FDA try to destroy a farmer and his business? Why not? They’ve done it before and would do it again, except for this judge:
Lykke’s favorite luncheon meat for kids. Shhh Don’t tell the children’s parents. But it’s FDA approved
CP’s fashion statement for milking cows. You won’t find this at Neiman Marcus:
The irony in all of your vitrole about raw milkies not taking food safety seriously, is that YOU – YOUR PROFESSION — does not take food safety in raw milk seriously.
It is your job to protect public health, but instead you go on prohibtionist rampages driving raw milk into dangerous black markets.
There ARE ways to make safe raw milk. Many Europeans countries, and even some U.S. states (thank you Mark McAfee), have done so. However, your profession has utterly failed to step up to the plate. You have decided that instead of taking the proper precautions to make raw milk safe, it would be better to spread fear, create broad generalization about all raw milk, fail to take the animal health and enviromental issues seriously, etc…
You need to take a good, long, hard look at the "food safety" profession and your reactionary approach to raw milk, before you start pointing fingers at consumers and farmers.
In contrast, WRMC is spot on in his/her criticism about government’s failure to provide risk assessments and education for farmers on raw dairy food safety practices, especially in states where raw milk is legal. The only place I’ve seen this issue addressed is here: http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/#RawMilkFacts85 with links to http://www.farmtoconsumerfoundation.org/fsr/
Wow….I leave for 8 hours to go teach a raw milk class in San Fran and all salmonella breaks loose.
I looked at the video from the news piece and I must agree that the general impression that it left me was that this is definitely a CAFO operation. It is not organic…and their is no grass pastures. ‘
All of these are big no no’s when doing raw milk. It would appear from the large size of the CAFO and the size of the milking parlor that this dairy in Utah sells most of its raw milk to be pasteurized and that it is not a dedicated raw milk facility.
These are the same set of conditions that doomed Steuves Natural and Alta Dena many years ago. No body died from the salmonella by lots of bad press did them in finnally. ‘
It is good to here that the dairy is increasing the testing frequentcy but that will not reduce the issue of the wrong set of environmental conditions that appear to be present. CAFO equals raw milk intended to be pasteurized.
Pasture based and dedicated to raw milk equals intended for direct human consumption.
Lykke and CP….you are definitely the vultures lurking near the accident praying that some one will die so you can swoop in to pick over the bones and scream the news far and wide…..
The news piece said nothing about the severity of illness. It could have been five people with diarrhea or some fever….are these people hospitalized??? Privacy laws protect this information.
The news never talks about this…..
Also…..the news never talks about the 15 people that died today from asthma or the 55 people that died today from MRSA or the 30 ( estimated based on prior data ) people that died today because of Avandia drug comoplications. It is a sick reality we live in…
It is a shame that the raw milk dairyman did not take the news piece as an opportunity to explain immunity and educate people….when the crap hits the fan, farmers need to create some good news to offset the ignorant John Sheehan want-to-be clone that did get the news quote. Do not ever let the health department have the only word or the last word!!!
I wish the the salmonella patients in Utah a quick recovery and also a lesson in raw milk farm inspection. If it looks and smells like a CAFO reconsider drinking the raw milk. Cows belong in pastures that are biodiverse not pens filled with manure and monocultures of super-pathogens.
I also would strongly encourage the Utah farmer that makes this raw milk to think about the origins of salmonella. Not just testing for it….salmonella loves a CAFO and all the grain and those antibiotics and the manure and wetness. It loves a wash pen and the showers and wet udders. Try separating a part of your herd and dedicating just those cows to raw milk production and treat them differently….on a pasture and all naturally, keep them dry and clean. No wet milking!
Salmonella loves CP and Lykke and they rejoice in your challenges….please do not give the vultures the bones they love to pick over. There are big battles being waged and your quality assurance challenges may have just given the Wisconsin governor all the excuses he needed to kill a raw milk bill.
Please remember that good quality human consumption raw milk does not come from a CAFO….there are very specific conditions that a dedicated raw milk dairy should embrace to safely do human raw milk on a reliable basis. The PMO does not give one single standard with regards to how to do this….
I am however very impressed that the raw milk dairy in Utah accepted full responsibilty and is moving forward and not giving up….that is a good sign that some learning has taken place. Good job guys!! Ignor the vultures….your raw milk improved and saved many lives this year even though some people may have gotten sick today. Learn and do better that is the sign of courage and strength.
Mark, here’s the link to the farm. Hardly a CAFO. Good try.
Redmond Heritage Farms is a proud supplier of raw milk in the state of Utah. Our cows are pasture-fed, meaning they eat grasses with no grain supplementation. They graze freely on green pastures, eating and resting as much as they please.
We utilize low-impact sustainable agricultural practices. We never use hormones or chemical feed additives. We use antibiotics only when an animals life is in danger and we only use state-mandated vaccines.
We dont pasteurize. We dont homogenize. We use time-honored methods to create a healthy supply of delicious, raw milk. And if great production methods weren’t enough, our milk goes through rigorous testing in three different labs.
We also produce raw cheese and eggs from free-range chickens. Several times a year we offer pasture-fed beef products in bulk. With cooperation from governing authorities, we hope to increase our offerings to include other natural, raw dairy and farm products such as kefir, cream, butter, yogurt, and curd.
Mark at least seems to have been trying to deal with his scale of operation with a robust HACCP plan. I think scaling up raw milk operations is inherently problematic. Redmond seems to try to have dealt with this by doing frequent coliform testing and monthly pathogen testing and saying nature takes care of the rest. Odd that all their testing didn’t pick up the salmonella.
It appears redmond farms has buyers sign a release stating they are aware of any risks.
Most people haven’t a clue what powdered milk goes into.
6 people out of how much milk consumed? Why just 6 people? What was wrong with their health to allow them to get sick, if it was caused by the raw milk< and not many more?
This company is very clever. They posted all the information to make you think they are in the know about raw milk. They drop names like WAPF, Price-Pottinger Foundation, the real milk facts website and Joe Mercola.http://www.redmondfarms.com/whyraw.html No one would be the wiser to actually think this company is a cover for a CAFO.
They even go as far to post pathogen information http://www.redmondfarms.com/waiver.pdf
Yes, the small know your farmer operations are so much better. Even though pathogens are invisible, knowing my farmer makes the milk safe. Although some of the latest outbreaks (Mari Tardiff and Nicole Riggs) http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/real-life-stories/ involving the know your farmer model resulted in severe illnesses, we all know the pathogens were probably planted in the milk or they ate another food that was contaminated and then it is blamed on raw milk. Those epidemiological studies are biased against raw milk. We all know the story of the OPDC outbreak. Those kids ate other foods that were contaminated. The story changed a lot, but it was spinach, hamburger, sushi, or a dollar bill. There is no way someone got ill from the safest dairy on earth, even when milking around 300 cows daily. Know your farmer.
And as Sylvia points out, whats wrong with these peoples immune systems in the first place. I agree, if they were healthy, they wouldnt get sick, even if there is a pathogen in the milk. Thats what Mark McAfee tells us. Oh well, if you get sick from drinking raw milk, it just proves the point that you had a weak immune system. Whats all the whining about?
P.S. This is how ridiculous you all sound.
My observations were purely based on the news video and not from any other source.
If the news piece shows the real farm that produced the raw milk that had the salmonella then some one is telling a missleading story on their website. The footage I saw was all CAFO ( maybe a small one but still a CAFO ) and no pastures anywhere. It was wet udders and wash pens and antibiotics used on cows.
Cows were eating from concrete stantion systems and their pens were dry lots with zero grass or pastures. There was no living biodiversity to help fight pathogens.
If I am not correct and I missed something….I deeply apologize…..but most of the time the news reporters come to the right farm where the problem is located and gets the shot of the cows that were subject. No hiding from the news and no hiding from mother nature.
When a farmer makes raw milk….he makes a pact with mother nature. He agrees to work with mother nature and never try and fool her. CAFO systems, confinement manure pens, antibiotics are all manmade techologies that confuse and screw up ecologic balance. Use a CAFO system and mess with the cows ecosystem and her natural living conditions and you must expect pathogens.
There is no fooling mother nature…she kicks asses and it ain’t pretty. Especially when the average American consumer is so immune weakened.
As we go forward….I do see more and more pasteurization CAFO based farms that really really know CAFO systems very well….going and trying raw milk. These are excellent American farmers with the very best of intentions….that really know CAFO systems…..but those rules do not apply with mother nature. When this happens expect the Alta Dena experience to be repeated. It is get even time for nature and her rath is like a hurricane to those that ignore or try and fool her.
From these sytems there will be infrequent recalls from pathogens and some people will get sick infrequently as well. Few if any will die….but the vultures will always rejoice and start to pick over the bones and scream the news far and wide. .
The reality is this…..a raw milk farm must be a dedicated facility that has changed gears and alliances….the ecosystem of the cows and the safety and the health of the consumers come first!! There can be no other more important priorities. A CAFO is an invitation to a repeat of the Alta Dena story….end of story.
Study up,…..there are "Two Raw Milks in America". One works with mother nature and the other does what it does best…..produce tons of milk and uses technology and pharmacology to accomplish it. If you are going to effectively do raw milk…..learn the forces of nature. Trust me, in raw milk, there are too many other forces to deal with and if you do not have nature on your side, it will be make something tough really really tough.
There may be clean CAFO systems but I have not seen one yet that harbors the right bacteria for raw milk production. The system must be alive with a functioning immune system…ie….a pasture is a living environment a CAFO is not.
When a single producer monopolizes raw milk sales in a state is is not good for the consumer…no matter what the methods used to produce the product. Having multiple options is better, it encourages the free market and allows for choice. Small producers, ones that are more accessible to the consumers, produce a product that is more than a jug on a store shelf. Multiplicity keeps these humongous producers honest. One must be wary, when a single entity corners a market…nothing beneficial (except for that particular company) can come of it…
"Mark, here’s the link to the farm. Hardly a CAFO. Good try."
Notice there’s only one picture of cows there, the same picture on top corner each of the site’s five pages… makes it look like Redmond has only five cows, Jerseys all. It might even be a stock photo off the Internet, for all we know.
Most raw milk farms LOVE to talk about their cows, they’re proud of them, love to show them off…. unless there’s something to be ashamed of, like a CAFO setting. But Redmond doesn’t talk about their cows at all, or how they feed them, or about how well they’re cared for. Why don’t they show pictures of all their cows, and barns, and pastures?
"Sophie, the manipulation is unbelievable. I wonder how they had the Salmonella placed in the milk sample. Who did they pay to contaminate the samples?"
They don’t have to pay anyone… all it takes is for the milk tester to dip his/her dirty hands into clean milk as was done a year or two ago in NY, I think it was… caught on wall cam video it was. Voila, salmonella in the milk samples. I believe it was discussed here, just can’t remember when. Maybe someone else can remember?
Congratulate me… I bought a sweet yearling Jersey heifer yesterday! Fresh RAW milk next year!! Mmmm MMMM! can’t wait to get that luscious RAW cream and butter
This is the map of the farm as from the Redmond heritage web site. Don’t see a single cow, just big barns. Looks like some open-pit mine close by.
You can not cheat.
I have never ever said that raw milk is perfect. It is not….but it is very close to perfect when done correctly. America has created some really horrible pathogens as a result of antibioic abuse in hospitals and CAFO systems. Those are the institutions that get away with murder and the FDA lacks the balls or vision to deal with the origins of the challenge. MRSA killed 54 people today!!! Where is your outcry for that stack of body bags!!!!!!! It will happen again tommorrow.
OPDC did not cheat then and it does not cheat now. We do our very very best to work with pastures and biodiversity to assure that pathogens do not grow in our environment and certainly are not found in any of our products. Our manure tests in 2008 showed zero ecoli 0157H7 in more than 350 cows manure test samples….I think that says something.
Mary…..please remember that no pathogens were ever found in any of our products in 2006 and no ecoli 0157H7 was ever found in your son. To this day no pathogens have been found in any of our "raw milk" since 2000. Thats ten years of testing.
This subject has been mutilated for days in the past….lets leave it alone. My comments focus on one thing….if you are going to do raw milk it must not come from CAFO conditions.
That is my concern and my comment.
The much bigger question to you Mary is this….what is it that you or any one is doing to rebuild the immune systems of our next generations???
I know what I am doing…..I rebuild immune systems everyday. Immune depression and its related illness is a huge killer in America. Combined with superbugs….we have an American made tragedy.
That is who is cheating and that is who deserves your attack.
Raw milk is not the only way to build up the immune system.
I suggest that they not be engaged.
Let’s bring this blog around to figuring out ways to bring fresh milk and it’s products to all especially the children and the elderly.
Dramatic surge seen in kids hospitalized with MRSA
By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — The number of children hospitalized with dangerous drug-resistant staph infections surged 10-fold in recent years, a study found.
Disease incidence increased from 2 cases to 21 cases per 1,000 hospital admissions from 1999 to 2008. Most infections were caught in the community, not in the hospital.
The study involved methicillin-resistant staph infections, called MRSA. These used to occur mostly in hospitals and nursing homes but they are increasingly showing up in other settings in children and adults. Recent evidence suggests hospital-acquired MRSA cases may be declining while community-acquired cases are becoming more common.
The results are "a good example of how something that is not unexpected remains alarming," said Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. He was not involved in the study.
The study involved 25 children’s hospitals; the 10-fold increase in hospitalizations likely occurred nationwide, said Dr. Jason Newland, the lead author and an infectious disease physician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Almost 30,000 children were hospitalized with MRSA infections at the hospitals studied during the 10-year period. Most had skin or muscle infections, and 374 youngsters with MRSA died. While Newland said it isn’t clear if MRSA caused those deaths, it can be deadly and is blamed for more than 18,000 deaths in children and adults nationwide each year.
The study didn’t examine whether deaths or the severity of infections increased.
The results were published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
MRSA often begins as a pimple or boil on the skin. It can also spread to other parts of the body, including the bones or lungs, where it can cause pneumonia.
The study also found a coinciding increase in use of clindamycin, an antibiotic that comes in easy-to-use pills and liquid, and smaller increases for two other antibiotics. Another drug effective against MRSA, vancomycin, is only available intravenously and its use decreased during the study.
Newland said the increasing use of clindamycin is concerning because in some regions MRSA is already becoming resistant to the drug. Doctors need to use the antibiotic judiciously, he said.
Dr. Kenneth Alexander, the University of Chicago’s pediatric infectious disease chief, said he agrees.
"Staph are incredibly cagey, and will ultimately find their way around any antibiotic in use," he said.
Research is needed to find other drugs that will work against MRSA, he said.
Our pharma-medical paradigm is in deep trouble and they do not even know it. This is how they fix things?…..demand more research money!!!
The solution is no longer an antibiotic and how to kill bacteria is no longer the problem.
The problem has been clearly identified but our country has profit based medicine so spending more is going to be part of the solution ( of course ). Norway has practically eliminated MRSA in some areas and in some hospitals….they stopped using antibiotic and stopped challenging bacteria.
Norway has socialized medicine and they are incentivized to actually fix things…..they have no incentive to spend more money because no one profits from it.
America will fall from grace because of corporate greed.
It already has…it is bankrupt nutritionally,morally and financially. All it is has are big bad ass armies, pharma drug pushers, bought media, highly processed foods and monetary printing presses ( to pay for it all ) and foolish subjects that follow along over the cliff.
I really love our raw milk consumers….they are conscious and see reality.
For every food safety argument on either side, the other side has an answering argument. Dueling videos, competing studies, and anecdotal evidence in both directions…and we are still stuck where we were when I first found this blog about 4-5 years ago.
In all that time, as the arguments have evolved, as folks have changed which argument to use on any given day, one thing hasn’t changed.
The US constitution and the limits it places on government…limits the regulators routinely ignore.
Until this fight becomes strictly rights based, raw milk proponents will lose. We can’t win when food safety is introduced into the argument because the regulators will use food safety as a moving target…a different study, different testimony…always a moving target.
The constitution doesn’t move, it is not a living, evolving document. It is what it is, and it says what it says…and it says that governments powers don’t extend to regulating one’s nutrition choices.
Fight the fight based on the constitution…or lose. It really is that simple.