Why would the U.S. Food and Drug Administration feel so threatened by a scientific assessment of research on raw milk out of Europe that it would bully a dairy group into forcing the article’s removal from a major university’s web site?
After all, the assessment wasn’t revealing anything that lots of people didn’t already know. The most recent of the findings, the GABRIELA study, has been out for more than a year now, postulating that it could well be a protein in milk–damaged or destroyed by pasteurization–that confers protective effects on children from allergies and asthma.
And interfering with the academic freedom of a major university like the University of California, Davis, is not a trivial matter, even for a bullying organization like the FDA. There had to have been a number of approvals necessary before the dairy group’s head, John Sheehan, did the dirty deed.
My guess is that the FDA wanted to send a clear message to the dairy industry that any thoughts its members might be having about exploring even the most minimal shift to raw milk won’t be tolerated. Even though dairy processors have been as opposed as the FDA to raw milk, the dairy farmers are another matter.
They’ve gone along with what the processors want, since they know well where their milk checks come from. But as ever more dairies flounder and fail in the face of insufficient pricing, well, more dairies are beginning to think the unthinkable.
The California Dairy Research Foundation foundation says it is “governed by seven directors. The representatives of the Board of Directors are drawn from key producer and processor organizations…” But if you look at the seven board members, five are from dairies.
Might it be that the dairy board members are beginning to see that the economic future of the dairy industry needs to accommodate raw milk somehow, if the industry is to have a viable future? Sales of pasteurized milk continue a long steady decline. The future is increasingly in value-add products, particularly probiotics.
What the censored research paper, “The evidence around raw milk”, was suggesting is that dairy products will have much greater health benefits if they are produced from raw milk.
All you have to do is review other articles on the CDRF web site, and you will appreciate where I’m going with this. (You may want to hurry, since there’s no telling when these articles may disappear as well.)
There is one on how probiotics are showing ever more evidence of being able to lower cholesterol.
Then there’s this uplifting one: “Stress, Depression and Suicide Prevention for Dairy Farmers”.
Finally, and perhaps most significant, there is an article just posted in the last few days about how the FDA has interfered with American researchers who have been having trying to do research on probiotics.The title pretty much says it all: “How FDAs actions are guaranteeing research on probiotic foods is not conducted in the USA”
The article advises researchers: “The FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research‘s (CBER)…role is to evaluate biologic drugs so when they see ‘probiotic‘ it seems they automatically think ‘drug.‘…But if your intent is to conduct research that will substantiate claims on a food (or dietary supplement), then an IND (investigational new drug application) is an expensive, time-consuming, unnecessary task, that may lock your product into the drug category...Consequently, companies are turning to ex-US locations for conducting probiotic food research.”
In other words, the CDFR appears to be supporting complaints that probiotic research is being forced outside the U.S., possibly for foreign countries to benefit from the emerging business opportunity.
What the CDFR seems to be saying via these articles (including the banned one) is that California dairies are being screwed over so badly that its members are committing suicide, yet there’s this emerging business opportunity via raw milk that lies out there just beyond the horizon, if only they are allowed to grab it.
If you are wondering why the CDFR didn’t just tell the FDA to get lost when it told the foundation to pull the raw milk article, the answer is that the FDA has pretty much complete regulatory control of the dairy industry, through the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, which it enforces with the states. It also determines which foods can be sold as foods, and which must get approval to be sold as drugs, per the above article.
It could be that the struggle for control of an emerging commercial raw milk business is unfolding right before our eyes.