The latest word out of Wisconsin (as Lykke points out following my previous post) is that a prosecutor there is considering filing criminal charges in the case of a campylobacter outbreak being blamed on raw milk from the Zinniker Family Farm. According to a local report, a prosecutor has been hearing from officials of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The Wisconsin agriculture authorities no doubt couldn’t wait to get in to see the local prosecutor, because they are almost certainly licking their chops over this case. How can I say that? Because internal emails about their meetings with officials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with agriculture officials in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, earlier this year provide an account of their plans to crack down on raw milk. They’ve been looking for the necessary excuse…and now they have it.
It’s kind of an involved story, which I recount in my upcoming book, The Raw Milk Revolution, but bear with me.
I learned about the internal emails from Max Kane, the founder of a Wisconsin raw milk private club known as Belle’s Lunchbox. His club is one of about twenty whose members reside in Illinois. Another club is run by Richard Hebron, the Michigan farmer who was the target of the October 2006 sting operation that helped launch the state and federal campaign against raw milk.
The Wisconsin DATCP began demanding information from Belle’s Lunchbox in late 2008, when a Chicago-area boy who might have drunk raw milk from the club’s cows showed some symptoms of Brucellosis, a dangerous bovine disease that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says can be passed to humans via consuming raw milk. After extensive testing, the boy was found not to have Brucellosis, but that didn’t end the matter, as state authorities in late 2008 and early 2009 continued demanding information from Belle’s Lunchbox, including its list of members.
Max Kane responded with a Cease and Desist order addressed to DATCAP. Two weeks later he was served at his home with a subpoena to appear before Wisconsin’s Department of Justice and the DATCP to produce documents and answer questions pertaining to him and Belle’s Lunchbox.
Suspecting that the FDA was behind the harassment, Max in May 2009, filed a petition in the state requesting “…all records, of any and all communications, from January 2005 to present, between DATCP, and the FDA, with regards to Max Kane and/or Belle’s Lunchbox.”
Max is a big proponent of raw milk-during the winter of 2008 he bicycled more than 3,400 miles across the U.S. (from Virginia to California) as part of a campaign to further its acceptance. During this 50 day crusade, raw milk made up 85% of his diet. He is in the process of developing a film and a book about his cross-country trip.
In June 2009, Max received a package from a DATCP attorney with eight pages of email communication between Wisconsin’s DATCP and FDA officials in Chicago.
The e-mails suggested, first, that state officials weren’t totally pleased that the boy’s tests had come back negative for Brucellosis. Robert Ehlenfeldt, administrator of the Wisconsin DATCP’s Division of Animal Health, wrote on December 19, 2008, to several of his state colleagues: “I hope I don’t come to resent making this statement but the Brucellosis issue may have been the simplest part of this problem and could have been a pretty good lever to use to push the raw milk issue.”
But the emails also suggested that the regulators had another approach in mind once the Brucellosis case fizzled: to go after all 20 Illinois raw milk buyers clubs. A February 2009 email with the subject, “FDA Raw Milk Conference Call,” summarized the call from DATCP’s perspective. The call had included four DATCP officials, nine FDA officials, two representatives from the Indiana Board of Animal Health, three from the Illinois Department of Public Health, and one from the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Front and center in their discussions were both Richard Hebron and Mark McAfee, per this summary material: “Scott MacIntire [District Director] and Bill Weissinger [Chicago District Special Assistant] discussed FDA-CHI activities. They have done some Internet searching and identified about 20 milk clubs in Illinois. They prefer to address one person or group at a time and want to start with Richard Hebron, Family Farm Co-op, in Michigan who may be picking milk up at the Hochstettler Farm in Indiana for delivery in the Chicago area. Hebron has been prosecuted in Michigan for raw milk sales. Hochstettler was sent a warning letter for FDA Detroit for interstate delivery of raw milk
“There was some discussion on where to go from here.
“Michelle Svonkin from FDA-OCC [Office of Chief Counsel] gave a short rundown on Organic Pastures prosecution in California.
“Larry Stringer [of DATCP] spoke with CFSAN [FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition] about the raw milk issue. They indicated that raw milk sales are a high priority to them as a significant health risk.”
This strategy session shows clearly the preference of the FDA and state agencies to target one raw milk producer or distributor at a time, presumably to send a message to deter others from thinking about producing or distributing raw milk. And the focus on Richard Hebron because he was previously “prosecuted” is curious. He was never prosecuted, never even went before a judge. But apparently because he was targeted by Michigan authorities for an ill-considered sting operation, he’s now akin to an ex-felon–an easy target that’s easy to justify to the public because, after all, authorities went after him once before in a big way. And the federal prosecution of Organic Pastures has become a neat template for others that may well follow.
Now, bear in mind, the officials are likely aware that Max Kane obtained the incriminating emails last spring. So they’ve likely abandoned their plan to go after Richard Hebron, at least for the time being. Now, along comes the Zinniker Farm. A stroke of good fortune, from the authorities’ perspective. They can use this case as an excuse to crack down on raw milk in the state, and say that the plans against Richard Hebron were just idle chatter.
It’s seemed quiet of late in the government’s war on raw milk. But you can be sure that wheels are turning.
"I think David has pointed out a critically important facet of our food systems (and our systems generally for that matter) when he suggests that propaganda and diatribes often fill our official dialogue.
The key here is that policy makers listen to all that garbage. It is quite bad enough that government feels completely comfortable implementing controls on legal behaviors; when lawmakers hide behind presumed science their crazy rules can be impossible to overturn. Those few who might otherwise have a twinge of conscience over chaining up a fellow human being suddenly feel justified.
Americans ought now to be screaming bloody murder, as many are in New York where a giant step toward totalitarianism has been taken by mandating flu vaccines for healthcare workers. It is truly unbelievable that forced vaccination could be happening at all, but I doubt if such madness could have taken hold except that it has been ginned up by science. (How ironic that hospitals professing to do no harm have become lackeys for a power-hungry propaganda machine.) A pharmacist who works with me said it best when he suggested that they ought to just aerosolize the inoculation and lead people from train cars into buildings to dose them.
Since the once beloved dictum In God We Trust is now mere words, I propose a new motto for America: Often wrong, but by god, never in doubt.
The solution, of course, will not be found in any so-called middle ground, where some freedoms are stolen away and others left intact. The only solution is to return to our founding principle that every man owns himself, and no other man may take away ANY of his natural rights.
September 30, 2009 | Registered Commenter Dave Milano"
I just wanted to make sure this post wasn’t glossed over. Thank you, Dave Milano!
Wisconsin: Criminal Charges For Raw Milk Possible
What is to keep the government from sticking a needle into your body….
Answer….it would be considered an assault and battery on your person if done with out your consent. If a white car with lab coated G Men arrived at OPDC to vaccinate me or my family, they would be greated by a rolling video camera, a call to 911, a pleasant but firm request to immediately leave…..followed by a SIg Sauer .45 point directly at their heads. The first amendment is alive and well at OPDC and so is the second amendment.
The two greatest threats to our safety as Americans is: the passivity of our citizens and having a depressed immune system….you must stand up and be vocal and seriuos about your rights. Defend your rights are lose them. The media picks up on this kind of stuff. People would freak out if mandatory vaccinations started happening. It would stop immediately if exposed to everyone.
Seems like the FDA and their friends are picking on the weak and the illegal, cause they sure as heck can not and will not get to the Raw Milk in CA.
They would do so much better to legalize, provide some standards for and regulate raw milk. What a thought.
The FDA has more important things to do than go after raw milk farmers. If they want to stalk and harass, they had better have a solid foundation under them all around, dot their i’s and cross their t’s. I believe in Karma. Our populace alots resources to government agencies to do a job, and they better keep their noses where they belong with that money. Vendettas that distract people from their REAL jobs can be very destructive to the people who insist upon them, sometimes more so than the people they are after. I am ready to yank on one corner of the rug from under them, for one. I’m sick of this garbage.
Melamine in formula, lead in paint, bad peanuts, more e-coli outbreaks in pasteurized and lunchmeats, and drug recalls, formula companies pushing formula over breastfeeding every sly way they can, and who do they go after, but raw milk? That makes tons of sense. I’ll be sure to bring it up at Farm Bureau meeting tonight, and talk to my coworkers about it. So far, most of the nurses at work think the FDA is pretty incompetent, and they’re still irritated I won’t share my goat cheese with them.
Sounds like the FDA is not doing what they think should be getting done. Going after a Wisconsin farm is not going to help their public image, and lets just say that is an understatement.
The reason that raw milk is sold at Wholefoods is because Walter Robb the COO of Wholefoods drinks raw milk and so does his family. He has drank raw milk for all his life and loves it.
The reason that Wholefoods carries and sells raw milk is because IT IS what they are…..RAW MILK IS "WHOLEFOOD"!!
The reason that Wholefoods and 250 other natural food stores in CA carry raw milk is because the benefits far outweigh the theoretical risks of drinking tested, inspected and regulated raw milk.
When pastuerized milk causes severe diarrhea and abdominal pain in 10-30% of its consumers…..I would consider this a severe reaction to a legal product. It is so severe that most people never drink pastuerized milk again. No one ever talks about this severe medical reaction called lactose intolerance!!?? No one ever talks about how raw milk rapidly builds bone density because of the phosphatase enzymes found in raw milk that increase the uptake of Calcium. Pastuerized milk does nothing for bone density and doctors have known this for 70 years. Bone fractures can be lethal to the aged…..and depressed immunity is lethal for the young.
So when Marler talks about his handful of illness people that may have gotten sick from raw milk remember this.,…raw milk did not create the superbugs now found in some raw milk. Those superbugs came from CAFO and Mega Dairy and Pharma and GMO messing arround in labs Playing GOD.
Do not blame the raw milk farmer for the bad bugs that were not created in his green pastures. Raw milk farmers can play a very important role to rebuild the immunity of people in this country.
This discussion applies to the way the FDA is approaching raw milk. It is not in their jurisdiction. So far as I know, it is still up to individual states to make the regulating choices, AND to enforce them. So the FDA kicking up waves is the FDA overstepping their boundaries. How much federal money is being used for them to do this? I’m asking again, is it legal?
This is a branch of the U.S.. Federal Government overstepping their boundaries in the regulation of our food.
My own sense is that the cow is out of the barn (and into the pasture!) and the political outcry will be intense and widespread against these one-off attempts to shut down individual producers – or an all-out attempt to kill the entire raw milk movement. Have no doubt – a total ban, whether from regulators or litigators or from the effects of their de facto alliance – is clearly the goal. Consumers simply need to understand this risk.
It would be great if the two "sides" could talk more constructively about these issues. A naturally optimistic person, I’m guardedly pessimistic at this point.
Marlers narrow, tiresome focus on raw milks potential for causing sickness is a reflection of his acquired belief rather then factual truth. He as well as the powers that be that he relies on to back up his arguments have grasped the wrong straw and are barking up the wrong tree.
With respect to scientific knowledge Aristotle states witness both those who falsely claim it and those who actually possess it, since the former merely imagine themselves to be, while the latter are also actually, in the condition described. Consequently the proper object of unqualified scientific knowledge is something which cannot be other than it is.
I chose to rely on my own experience with drinking, sharing and selling raw milk without incident for over fifty years rather then follow those who advocates an antagonistic methodology towards organisms.
She cautioned that Mark was in danger of being bit despite his honorable reconciliation, and she was right! But, I digressand I want to just comment on the Whole Foods issue.
We purchase both Claravale and OPDC raw milk, cream, and butter from our nearby Whole Foods store and would be incensed if they were to stop carrying these products. Quite frankly, it IS the reason we shop there! In fact, if Whole Foods in CA stops carrying raw milk, it will be the last time we shop at a supermarket because between our local farmers, our local farmers markets and small health food stores, our food dollars wont see the inside of a big supermarket. And herein lies one explanation for the question weve seen on this blog as to why raw milk is targeted more frequently and viciously than all the other foods (processed or unprocessed) that have sickened people. Milk is the foundation and cornerstone to a healthy diet. No other liquid food is more nutrient dense and its nutrients more susceptible to the negative influences of processing! Sally Fallon is not the first to say this! My mother started out on her health quest through whole foods with Adelle Davis. Ms. Davis, back in 1965 drew the line in the sand between whole and processed foods for health and well being. If anyone doubts this, read Lets Get Well page 323 Chapter 33 planning your nutrition program. Ms. Davis unequivocally states the nutrient superiority of certified raw milk. I was a premie and I am seriously affected by Cerebral Palsy, but I had the good fortune of being raised by someone who saw the wisdom of good health in sustainably raised whole foods (before it became fashionable)! Today, Dr. Mercola reports that of the 36 deaths associated with the Swine Flu, two-thirds have been either mentally retarded or have Cerebral Palsy or both! Susceptibility to the flu and physical disabilities are associated with the lack of Vit.D. Is this more of a statistically testament of the poor diets of our disabled population?…rather than an observation that the disabled are just weaker than the rest of the general population? I think it is the former, just given my personal experiences spending days with my disabled peers, because they do eat trash food constantly! And this was a physical education course at a local community college! I could not talk about real food, but I was the only one they noticed that had a pretty complexion; rosy cheeks, nice skin! I have also read recently on the internet that pasteurized milk is not only safer but because of the added Vit.D the uptake of calcium is generally better. What a crock! No one will ever convince me of the better efficacy of synthesized irradiated ergosterol vs cholecalciferol (D3). There are many things that man has improved on during the past, say, 100 years, but whole-real-mother-nature-supplied food isnt one of them, and I will always give my food dollar to those who honorably grow and supply real food.
A Heretic’s View of Influenza’s Role in Health & Disease by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny
"Health is about the condition of the body called "terrian" or its "soil" and ONLY when the immune system’s soil is disrupted and contaminated can pathogens propagate."
"The money is in the medicine-not the cure"
Thats bout 17% US GDP or over 2 trillion US dollars and that buys us only # 37 on the worlds best health list.
Could it be that our whole approach to health is COMPELETLY UPSIDE DOWN???
" Food manufacturing, distribution and storage rely on well-placed deleterious stresses or hurdles that either inhibit or inactivate contaminating microorganisms in food systems. Recent molecular and physiological evidence points to the fact that many food-borne pathogenic bacteria are adapting to these sub-lethal inimical stresses, and as a consequence, becoming more resistant to lethal levels of the same (homologous) or cross-protected against other (heterologous) stresses. Many stress-adapted microbial pathogens are also showing an enhanced virulence. As non-stressed exponentially-growing bacteria are often used in food safety studies, it is likely that predictive models using such data may be underestimating the actual survival capabilities of stress-challenged microorganisms. The stress-hardening phenomenon has significant food-safety implications, especially in situations where the food industry explores levels of lethality that are close to the boundaries of microbial control."
Competitive exclusion does work to inhibit virulence.Why hold tightly to a standard of zero tolerance of pathogens,when it isn’t necessary to prevent virulence?Of course you can’t straddle the fence on this issue. Probiotics are worthless if they are consumed with antibacterials.Eating lots of probiotic foods can overcome the effects of eating or drinking small amounts of antibacterials.It is all a matter of balance.
The present study provides evidence that L. acidophilus La-5 possesses strategies that interfere with QS regulation of food-borne pathogens such as EHEC O157. It is apparent that specific fractions of L. acidophilus La-5 CFSM substantially reduce the production of extracellular AI-2 molecules by EHEC O157, with a consequential reduction in EHEC O157 LEE expression. The mechanisms of action are currently unknown, but they may involve the production of a low-molecular-weight compound by the LAB that either binds to autoinducers (AI-2 or AI-3) or acts directly to prevent transcription of the luxS gene and important EHEC O157 virulence-related genes. Taken together, these observations suggest a model in which L. acidophilus La-5 acts to prevent EHEC O157 colonization. Such a model, if correct, has important clinical implications. If probiotic bacteria such as L. acidophilus La-5 can inhibit EHEC colonization, then it is reasonable to consider them as a novel therapeutic ( or prevention)strategy for EHEC treatment where antibiotic therapy is contraindicated. The need for new approaches is underscored by the fact that many antibiotics commonly used to treat diarrhea are known to induce bacteriophages and are associated with increased morbidity in patients with established EHEC infections (5, 46)."
If we can bring ourselves to let go of the germ theory,we will see a way out of this food poisoning nightmare.
This work was funded by Dairy Farmers of Ontario and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. S.K.A. acknowledges the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing funding. M.J.M.-P. is the recipient of a grant from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologa, Mexico.
But not to worry, we have ‘way more investment bankers than they do.
When there is an **outbreak** of something, we commonly are trying to convey that something happened suddenly, AND, because of its magnitude, the outbreak is difficult to contain. An outbreaks magnitude doesnt matter to the CDC. They prefer a more inflammatory definition it takes only TWO instances to have an OUTBREAK but John Q. Public doesnt register the distinction and the seed of fear is planted.
Similarly, BigDairy, the FDA, and their allies use the term Competitive Exclusion (CE) in a narrow, legal way that suits their purposes. Apparently, they mean **the significant presence of one or more strains of bacteria that TOTALLY EXCLUDES the virulence of other bacteria**. This is not what most of us on this blog mean. Here is what Ted Beals has to say in his response to Amandas white paper that she linked to in the third comment above.
**In the title of her position paper, Rose uses the phrase competitive exclusion. As a biologist, I prefer the phrase competitive inhibition as a more accurate description of this well recognized but complex biological phenomenon. The term has been publicized by the probiotic industry. An accepted description is as follows: competitive exclusion (CE) is used to describe the process by which beneficial bacteria bad bacteria or pathogens. CE implies the prevention of entry and establishment of a bacterial population into the gut. To succeed, the good bacteria must be better suited to establish or maintain itself in that gut environment. CE relates to the interactions of living bacteria colonies in mixed communities, where certain bacteria are able to inhibit (not exclude) others from becoming established. This phenomenon is not something that can be measured in test tubes. Rose inappropriately applies the term Competitive Exclusion to the ability of raw milk to kill off pathogens inoculated into laboratory samples of raw milk.
Those who look at the benefits and value of fresh, unprocessed whole milk (raw milk) point to competitive inhibition as only one of a variety of mechanisms that enable milk, fresh and unprocessed from the cow, to diminish the possibility that a virulent bacterial contaminant might colonize the gut and cause sickness. **
Lets discard Competitive Exclusion in favor of Competitive Inhibition unless we truly mean the former. It will help reduce misunderstandings.
But, I am more curious about something else in this discussion. How can Dr. Beals cite the Doyle and Roman paper from the 1980’s as "proof" raw milk kills pathogens, while simultaneously trashing the paper (indirectly) because the authors used a high inoculum in the experiment? Does anyone else see a problem with this "logic"? Furthermore, his criticism appears only to serve the purpose of refuting other papers that didn’t fit his theory (an inconvenient truth). Gee, as scientists, you can’t have it both ways.
Ground beef is not a completely safe product, said Dr. Jeffrey Bender, a food safety expert at the University of Minnesota who helped develop systems for tracing E. coli contamination. He said that while outbreaks had been on the decline, unfortunately it looks like we are going a bit in the opposite direction.
Notice that no action was taken against the company for violating it’s own rules. Even our friend Bill Marler is mentioned. He can’t even touch the slaughterhouse.
Perhaps I am cynical but if a small raw dairy farm was involved the entire family, all their relatives and all the cows would be arrested. The FDA would swoop in and and bring all kinds of charges.
For those of the from the FDA and state health departments reading this blog Where are you? Why aren’t you dealing with this poisoning of the American people?
I guess Cargill is too big and tough for you.
Looks like you can only handle easy pickings. You are especially good at assigning blame without any proof.
it seems like this is true. fda is owned by big agra / big pharma. fda is their bitch.
fda needs someone to stomp on so they abuse the only group they can, small business. it doesn’t matter if it’s a cherry juice company who cites health benefits on their web site of a small farmer offering real foods.
fda gets away with this behavior because small business can’t yet muster the thousands of outraged americans to come to their defense.
sad… i wonder if it could ever change? we’d need millions of pissed off people… which are now here in america, but their anger isn’t focused, they’re just plain fed up with gov’t but it’s been so long (generations) since americans held the gov’t accountable thet they have forgotten how… it’s a skill i surely hope we can re-remember.
FDA doesn’t regulate ground beef. Re-read the article.
"Six agencies in the federal government have primary responsibility for food safety: two agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)–the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); three agencies under the Department of Agriculture (USDA)–the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES); and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "
The govt should be working as a TEAM. Most group those 6 agencies together, one is no different than the other in most peoples views. I’d bet that many don’t know the individual "responsibilities" of each entity. All are "responsible" for some form of food safety.
I am trying to figure out why tptb are pushing so hard for vaccinations of a flu that is not as virulent as the regular seasonal flu? Making it mandatory? What reason could there be? Money? Maybe the conspiracy threads know something?
The media isn’t promoting boosting immunity, nor are they warning people of the potential of Reyes syndrome with the use of aspirin (studies from Russia are showing this occurance) Many people use aspirin for pain and fever along with the many using it as a blood thinner. Population control? Trust the govt? <snicker>