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The Ride For Farmers (wishes to extend its full support and strong encouragement to all those in California fighting a ban on Raw Milk.

For information on Raw Milk, go to

The Ride for Farmers sees the push to ban Raw Milk, as part of a larger corporate push to control all milk sales in the country and to destroy family farming communities.

The Ride for Farmers believes the bans and the threat of bans are a corporate mean (via its corruption of agricultural departments across the country and at the federal level) effort to break the link between farmer and his neighbors and customers, a natural link independent of government/corporate intervention.  Using "raw milk scares" and "food safety" as the argument, the state departments of agriculture are destroying farming communities' well-being financially, as well as the interconnection between neighbors with their customer base.

The ban on Raw Milk as well as the threat of a ban has created palpable fear in farming communities.

Those communities have consumed Raw Milk for generations and the exchange of such wholesome dairy products have gone on between neighbors and customers for as long.  The sales are not just financially important but are essential in the web of relations within farming communities, milk being a basic food.  

Raw Milk is considered not only safe but especially wholesome, not only wholesome but UNIQUELY rich in pro-biotics that help keep people healthy.  

"There are three things which build and maintain civilization throughout time: pure air, pure water, and pure food.  And as an eternal truth I say unto you, that there are three things which bring the end of civilization, even the mightiest that have ever been and shall ever be, from the beginningless beginning to the endless end of all time: impure air, impure water, and impure food." - Zenda Avesta, c. 3000 BC.

"...the right of the individual to elect freely the manner of his care in illness must be preserved." - Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"The degree to which patients desire to control their own fate is continually underestimated by physicians. For the most people, diet is the easiest health measure to manipulate." - Jan van Eys, MD, PhD, in ACS, Nutrition and Cancer, 1978.

The Ride for Farmers sees the attack on Raw Milk sales as draconian control over farming communities.  It also sees the concern for "food safety" as an empty and, in fact, malicious argument given that the the states have done nothing to stop sale of rBGH milk which is associated with a 7-fold increased risk in breast cancer, as well as increased risk in colon, lung and prostate cancer.  

The Ride for Farmers urges journalists to investigate who is behind the nationwide push to ban Raw Milk, concerned that it might be Monsanto, which is behind a state to state effort to ban labeling of milk with its own product - rBGH - used to produce it, and which is suing farmers who honestly declare their milk as rBGH-free.  The two efforts to crush dairy farmers for selling "plain milk" seem related but only an investigation will determine if that is the case.  Please do not take at face value that the effort to ban Raw Milk is about "food safety."  

"The most solid...piece of scientific truth that I know of, that we are profoundly ignorant about nature. Indeed, I regard this as the major discovery of the past 100 years of biology." - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer President, Dr. Lewis Thomas, "Hubris in Science?", American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, June 30, 1978.

"...The system of influence and highly skewed in favor of the corporate and financial system." - Vincente Navarro, (Professor of Health and Social Policy, John Hopkins U.).

The FDA and USDA, in fact, care so little for the public safety, that they have allowed or supported banning of labeling of all milk, while leaving the public trapped into not knowing which milk is from rBGH-injected cows and which is not.  And those departments have not protected honest dairy farmers who have attempted to tell the public their milk is rBGH-free.

"The problem with 'prevention' is that it does not produce revenues.  No health plan reimburses a physician or a hospital for preventing a disease." - NCI Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention; and of Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Program.

Raw Milk has been associated with very little disease of any kind.    It is full of pro-biotics increasingly missing in our pasteurized, sterilized, degraded, overprocessed diets.  Informed customers should have the right to decide for themselves whether the milk is safe for their families.

"Four distinct groups of bacteria survive pasteurization....the strep of pasteurized milk are the most frequent cause of rheumatic fever --the most deadly disease of childhood.'" - USDA

"...Cartels...(drove) independent (milk) distributors out of business....The small (milk) producer couldn't afford the excessive cost of pasteurization machinery,...manufactured by the (cartel)." - American Capsule News, Jan. 19 & Feb. 9, 1957.

"Animals fed on raw milk and raw meat reproduce homogeneous litters and the usual causes of death are old age and injuries....The cats fed pasteurized skeletal changes, lessened reproductive efficiency, and their kittens present progressive constitutional and respiratory problems. ...Cooked meat (fed) cats commonly (have) heart problems,...infections of the (organs), inflammation ...parasites...abortions..." - Francis M. Pottenger, Jr, MD, author of 55 articles, Pottenger's Cats: a Study in Nutrition, c. 1983.

"From about 1850 until the late 1930's, one of the standing jokes in the medical profession, was about a few idiots who called themselves doctors, who claimed they could cure pneumonia by feeding their patients moldy bread. ...Until...they discovered moldy bread!" - P.E. Binzel, MD, in Thomas Mansell, Cancer Simplified, 1977.

The state agriculture departments, the USDA and the FDA, to provide food safety, MUST institute an immediate labeling of all milk, informing customers whether the product is rBGH (or BST) free or not.

In NOT yet doing so, the departments are going against the Nuremberg Code on human experimentation - in this case, in genetic engineering - exposing millions of people against their will to a known and deadly risk of a variety of cancers.   They are doing so not only without the public's knowledge but thus, obviously, without the public's "informed" consent, and with every indication of resistance where there is information (compared to putting a skull and crossbones on the product, in terms of public's strong avoidance if they even know it is genetically engineered).

Regulations and Ethical Guidelines:  Directives for Human Experimentation


The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.

The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.

During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.

During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

Reprinted from Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10, Vol. 2, pp. 181-182.. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1949.

The Ride for Farmers urges readers to support the people fighting for Raw Milk in California by writing and calling.  It is before the legistlature on April 15th,.  

We also urge you to support family dairy farmers under immense threat right now by corporate interests.  Get informed.  Farmers are living in real fear and could use help from progressives who begin to know even not to misled by raw milk "scares" which are the usual prelude to imposing laws against raw milk.  Food scares are frequently used to wipe out farmers or their stocks of animals, to corporate advantage.  

Please, become informed and don't let Monsanto and government agencies use food scares as they use terrorism, to impose totalitarian controls in their own interest.

Originally posted to Scaredhuman on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 02:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Sorry I can only tip once. (7+ / 0-)

      Wish I could give it 10.  Through the raw milk and grass fed movements we have the ability to drop atmospheric CO2 to preindustrial levels in less than three decades.  And did I mention  the drops in cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease we would see as well.

      Not surprisingly, corporate America is teeing off on independent farmers who serve a market they should be innovating toward themselves.  Keep up the hard work.

      In the echo chamber, but not of the echo chamber.

      by SuperCameron on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:20:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for the comment on COs levels. (0+ / 0-)

        Do you have a link to it?  That's a strong argument for environmentalists to become involved and help farmers.  Thanks for writing.

      •  Cow farts are methane, a greenhouse gas worse (0+ / 0-)

        than carbon dioxide. The other claims are specious as well. Grass fed beef tastes better than grain fed and the cows carry fewer pathogenic E. coli ,but still contains cholesterol and saturated fats.

        Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

        by OHdog on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 09:11:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree rGBH should require labeling. (6+ / 0-)

    But I think raw milk, though bans are a bit too much, is dangerous, and should also have VERY stringent labeling requirements and should be ILLEGAL to serve to minors.

    WARNING: There is a high probability that the preceding comment is snark. Use your best judgment (hopefully better than Sen. Clinton's or Sen. McCain's).

    by Anarchofascist on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:06:14 PM PDT

    •  Actually, minors are probably most in need (7+ / 0-)

      of the good microbes in raw milk. It helps boost healthy immune systems.

      But hygene on farms is not what it used to be; a by-product of pasturization. When milk was sanitized, sanitary barns didn't matter.

      So, as one who grew up on it, I disagree, with proper barn hygene, raw milk is the way to go.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

      by zic on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:42:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are bad microbes in raw milk, too (8+ / 0-)

        and they can be deadly to children and those with compromised immune systems.

        And are you REALLY going to say that back in the "olden days" farms were clean and sanitary?  Before pasteurization, regulation and other legal requirements, food-borne illnesses were far, far more common.  As a matter of fact, in developing countries where there is limited regulation and pasteurization, children die of food-borne illnesses all the time.

        Now, I have no problem with fully-informed adults deciding on their own what they eat or drink, regardless of the dangers, which is why I think labeling is sufficient for adults.

        But I'm sorry.  The CDC, FDA, USDA, et al may not always be serving the best interests of the people, but there's not some grand conspiracy to suppress raw milk.

        This almost reminds me of the thimerosol conspiracy theories.  Please, people, listen to the FDA, the CDC, and scientific consensus.  Don't put your children's lives in danger.

        WARNING: There is a high probability that the preceding comment is snark. Use your best judgment (hopefully better than Sen. Clinton's or Sen. McCain's).

        by Anarchofascist on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:14:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well. (0+ / 0-)

          Your reply certainly doesn't sound very anarchist. I'm  hoping it was snark (as per your sig line.)

          Fully informed adults are more than capable of making good decisions about their children's diets.

          "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

          by RonV on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:19:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re-read my screenname (0+ / 0-)


            (Figure out if that last bit is snark on your own.)

            WARNING: There is a high probability that the preceding comment is snark. Use your best judgment (hopefully better than Sen. Clinton's or Sen. McCain's).

            by Anarchofascist on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:24:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No need. (0+ / 0-)

              I read it the first time.

              Yeah, it's probably snark, because most people don't recognize my genius-ness from one of two lines of text.

              Good one.

              "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

              by RonV on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:34:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  fully informed? (4+ / 0-)

            Are they  running an enterotube test on each and every gallon of milk they buy to check for listeria, salmonella, and yersinia? If they are, then they're informed. Just cause the raw milk was safe last month and last week doesn't mean the cow didn't get an infection over the weekend.

          •  Why are we so short of the commonsense in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rowanleigh, Rachel Griffiths, BYw

            your last sentence?  Who can argue with that?  Meanwhile, look at the degraded food that goes into children's food - the additives, the genetically engineered corn and soy associated with diabetes and a great increase in allergies, respectively.  No government agency is objecting to that, and they are, in fact, making sure we can't know the food is genetically engineered so we "can" make good decisions for our families.  

        •  Actually, many of their warnings put our lives in (5+ / 0-)


          Remember about not eating butter? Eggs? And on and on.

          And yes, there is some grand conspiracy to suppress raw milk. Just ask the lobbyists who represent the dairy industry (big industry, not small farms.)

          Proper farming, farm hygene, refrigeration, and common sense avoid most milk problems. If you've got an impaired immune system, don't drink raw milk. If you haven't got the genes to tolerate milk, don't drink any.

          But most of the milk problems we see today come from bad farm hygene and from people who didn't develop the immunities from exposure to raw milk (typically through their mother's breast milk -- she had the necessary antibodies.)

          Cows that wallow in shit are bad farming. Cows that are fed grains and hormones instead of grass is bad farming. Farmers that don't clean the equipment properly or dump milk from ill cows is bad farming. And slow exposure, small amounts over time, is the best way to acclimate your system to raw milk.

          Suggesting that it's bad for everybody is as stupid as suggesting butter (a great source of omega 3 fatty acids,) and eggs are bad for you.

          One of the greatest stupiditdies of modern science is the idea that banning microbes -- instead of learning to live with them, and building up our immune systems -- is healthy. It isn't, unless you have a compromised immune system. My brother had AIDS, he shouldn't drink raw milk. Me, I'm from a long line of dairy farmers and should, long as I know the farm and practices.

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

          by zic on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 06:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The FDA is who blocked all labeling of rBGH milk, (6+ / 0-)

          who attempted to include genetically engineered food and cloned meat, and irradiated food and sewage sludge on crops, as "organic," who passed aspartame while doctors and scientists were showing one study after another of terrible diseases related to it, while trying to keep stevia, a natural sweetener, out of the country, though 900+ studies showed zero history of harm.  The FDA is not the best place to go for the best word on food or drugs.  Monsanto altered numbers on rBGH, and the FDA scientists who reported that to Congress were fired.

        •  I completely fell for this. I'm still (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          laughing - having read that you were kidding.  Yes, let's listen to the FDA.

      •  no, they aren't. (3+ / 0-)

        Which microbes do they need?
        show me the research.

        •  read this month's Harper's. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pletzs, RonV

          I'm serious.

          And remember, who pays for the research? Certainly not the Federal government or small farms who produce good, wholesome milk.

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

          by zic on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 06:10:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't have access to the article (0+ / 0-)

            So I tried a few google searches - lots of stuff about "boosting" and "stimulating" the immune system; terms that are legally allowed puffery when it comes to health claims.

            Here are the claims I found.
            -kids whose immune systems aren't  regularly challenged by harmless bacteria, etc, are more prone to allergies and maybe asthma (not a sign of a weak immune system, I'll add)
            -If you don't have a healthy population of coliform bacteria in your gut, pathogenic bacteria will have an easier time invading.

            Therefore: raw milk has harmless bacteria, so it must help in both cases.

            Is there any datato back this up, something beyond anecdotes?
            If ingesting harmless bacteria is important (and I'll agree with that), why isn't eating yogurt with active cultures sufficient?
            Yogurt takes care of the lactose intolerance issue as well.

            •  Yougurt is typically made from pastuerized milk (0+ / 0-)

              that is then innoculated witn a single bacteria; It is not a host for the wildlife that strengthens your immune system (both by challenging it and by beneficial relationships that you develop) in raw milk.

              I will also add that we don't understand what other changes happen to milk when it is pasteurized. Or when it has it's fact stripped out, and is then thickened with dried milk or other substances. (Did you know that's what makes reduced fat milk seem tolerable?)

              And raw milk from grass-fed cows, goats, and sheep that eat a natral diet, not a diet of food wastes, grains, and hormones produce milk that is high in Omega3 fatty acids. This is missing from the typical American diet, and (according to Michael Pollen's lastes book, "In Defense of Food,") may lead to increase in inflamatory disease -- all the things people take ibuprofen for.

              I could go on, but the point it nutrionalism hasn't made us healthy, and viewing microbes like terrorists hasn't made us healthier -- though it has made some of the mirobes much stronger. And by eliminating many of those microbes from our foods, we may well have weakened our selves.

              "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

              by zic on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 08:29:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I keep thinking of the all the dairy farmers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, zic

        who grew up on it and gave it to their families.  If it were dangerous, wouldn't they have become wary of it at some point?  Wouldn't their customer base have fallen off rather than be growing - even with "scares"?

        •  I'm one of those farmers. (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, pletzs, RonV, mataliandy, JeffW, BYw

          Or at least I grew up as one.

          Before it was outlawed, we sold milk to dozens of families. None of us ever got sick. But we paid close attention to our hygene. We washed and sanitized our milking equipment. We dumped milk from sick cows. And we fed our cows a diet they were meant to eat.

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

          by zic on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 08:15:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Legal Purchases of Raw Milk (7+ / 0-)

      State laws vary on purchasing raw milk. Some totally ban it, some allow sales in small quantities. I purchase milk from a small goat dairy that was compliant with USDA/state regulations. Everything was clean, she tested her milk, & kept the necessary records.

      The milk that I purchase has a very clean taste and makes wonderful cheese. Many farm children grow up drinking raw milk.

      I would like to see the USDA and the states get back to supporting the small producers instead of fighting against them. Emphasize regulations that are for safety, but don't make the process so complex that producers cannot afford to comply. I also don't like a recent trend of using license renewal as leverage to force dairy owners into other USDA/state programs.

    •  I have seen little evidence of danger. Or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      evidence of little danger.  What information do you have?

    •  minors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      does that include mother's milk too? just wondering...

  •  Tipped and rec'd for family dairy farmers (7+ / 0-)

    I hate what has become of our food supply.
    I do have a question for you re raw milk:  I had thought the main reason for requiring pasteurization was the threat of bovine TB, which does cripple people.  Could you discuss that?  Is there something other than pasteurization that can be done to kill or screen for it?

    This primary has become not one damned thing after another, but rather one damned thing over and over.

    by middleagedhousewife on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:10:33 PM PDT

  •  I agree (9+ / 0-)

    If properly labeled, raw milk should be available.  Also they should allow the import of some European cheeses that are currently banned here.  

    The risks are real but very unlikely so a warning label should be sufficient to let people decide for themselves what to eat.

    God knows Americans eat plenty of worse things...

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:19:59 PM PDT

  •  Sneaking around for raw-milk loving (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, zic, Owllwoman, SuperCameron, BYw, blueocean

    The small farm where i get my raw milk is absolutely living at the mercy of her customers - should one of us decide we don't like her anymore, all we have to do is call the big guys in the sky who want a monopoly of all the milk we drink in this country.  we live in a culture of fear, and i was under the impression at one time that cleanliness was not enough, that we had to boil all the good value out of the milk before we could drink it. and she lives in fear that she could very well go to jail. shameful.

    •  It is terrible she is afraid for milking (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, pletzs, RonV, Rachel Griffiths, BYw

      a cow and selling its milk, while those who produce genetically engineered food and degraded food which is linked to deadly diseases are not held responsible and are part of pushing her out of business.

      Things are so out of proportion (people should be able to choose their own food) and so upside down (normal food is banned and dangerous food is kept unlabeled and forced on the whole population).

  •  Raised on raw , whole milk . (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, zic, mataliandy, Sharon in MD, BYw, blueocean

    I was raised on raw whole milk . Our family drank as much as seven gallons a week and my Mom used to scoop the cream off the wide mouth jugs to make whipped cream for Sunday deserts . That was over 50 years ago and I don't know if the Sunset Hill Farms in Valparaiso , IN is still there or not .
    I read the whole article and findings . Used some of the other links also . Thanks for putting this together .There are at least a dozen or more dairies scattered about my state , and I'm sure that the safety and history of consumption has been attested to over time .I could not find information on testing and precautions so I would guess you would get that information from the individual dairy or by contacting the foundation .

  •  Great article on raw milk (7+ / 0-)

    in this month's Harper's.

    If you've got the genes for digesting milk, raw milk is probably better for you. We've forgotten that we're not individuals, we're ecosystems, and the friendly microbes that exist in our guts are indispensible for our well being.

    Thanks, recommended.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

    by zic on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 03:39:36 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for this. I think Americans never (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, zic, Rachel Griffiths, BYw

      got over finding out there were "germs" and haven't yet reached a place of understanding they are mostly beneficial and those that are, are essential for protecting them from the ones that aren't beneficial.  It's as though they think the outside world should be sterile and our insides should be as well, and then things would be healthy.

    •  I'll find it. Well-timed to help California. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, zic

      Thanks.  And this issue needs to be raised across the country, not just for the milk but for its relevance to the survival of farming communities.  

    •  lactose intolerance (0+ / 0-)

      Slide 72:
      "Results from a private survey carried out in Michigan indicate that 85 percent of those diagnosed as lactose intolerant can drink raw milk without problem."

      Before pastuerization, milk contains constitutuents for its own digestion when activated by stomach acid which makes sense since it as a food for infants whose digestive systems are not yet developed.

      And, yes, we are colonies not a single organism.

      -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

      by whitis on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:04:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Public demand makes a difference (11+ / 0-)

    On the topic of rBst-free labeling on milk and dairy products, public demand does make a significant difference -- enough so that the dairy food industry as a whole (which is a different entity than the farmers, though often dairy food producers also own and operate farming operations too) supports ALLOWING labeling of milk from cattle free of rBst. (Dairy food industry links*)

    They support this because the last thing they want is for American families to lose faith in milk and dairy products as healthy and safe. Their entire industry -- and it's huge -- is dependent on public trust (and milk and dairy products being considered a staple of daily diet, both at home AND for the very lucrative school lunch and breakfast programs.)

    Fewer dairy farms are using rBst than in the past, because of this very pressure.  Wal*mart and other major grocery chains have recognized that this is what consumers want, and have adapted their product lines (and their demands on their suppliers) accordingly. So it does make a difference to put pressure on state governments, regulatory agencies and grocery chains -- to demand that they permit milk labeling as rBst-free.  

    (*disclaimer - this trade association is one of my employer's clients, and I do work on this website.)

  •  Disease prevention has come so far (7+ / 0-)

    That we forget what it's like to live in a time when

    Health Impact: Before pasteurization was widely employed in this country in the 1930’s, approximately one quarter of the foodborne illness could be attributed to raw milk and dairy products.  Raw milk and raw dairy products may carry many types of disease-causing germs such as Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Yersinia, and Brucella. When raw milk or raw milk products become contaminated, people who eat the contaminated foods can get sick. Here are a few examples of outbreaks that have been reported since 2000:

    a. 2001: Outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni infections from drinking "raw" or unpasteurized milk.

    b. 2003: Outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections from eating unpasteurized queso fresco (a Mexican-style soft cheese)

    c. 2003: Outbreak of Salmonella infections from eating unpasteurized queso fresco.

    d. 2004: Outbreak of E. coli.O157 infections from eating unpasteurized queso fresco.

    e. 2007: Outbreak of Salmonella infections from raw milk and from eating unpasturized queso fresco.

    Raw milk might be the cat's ass, but it's not reasonable for a large society to give up pasteurization.  Raw milk might be safe enough when it's fresh, but it's not appropriate for large scale food distribution.

    Freedom IS free... it is only tyrants that demand we pay so dearly.

    by No Gods No Masters on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:11:23 PM PDT

    •  Listeria is definitely a problem..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lrhoke, SnowCountry

      for the elderly, pregnant and children.  Adults otherwise won't die from it unless they are immune compromised.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 04:41:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sale of raw milk needs to be banned; it's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lrhoke, No Gods No Masters

      safety cannot be guaranteed.

      •  Ready to Ban (6+ / 0-)

        The sale of hamburger too? Far, far more cases of food poisoning from USDA approved conventional meat than from raw milk.

      •  What Safety Guarantees have the USDA and FDA (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, mataliandy, BYw

        provided us....and then had to go back on....the FDA and USDA have some serious credibility issues...what they have 'guaranteed' as safe from cough syrup ingredients to cloned food ingredients is frightening.

        if You are going to use this arguement daliscar:

        The sale of raw milk needs to be banned; it's
        safety cannot be guaranteed.

        I suggest you take a look at the long list of ingredients (in food and medicine) that the FDA/USDA have stated are safe enough for us to ingest...which then have to be recalled off the shelf because they are killing us.

        If you have concerns about the safety of raw milk "not being guaranteed", don't drink it...go back to your  Coke/Pepsi... but don't try to stop me from drinking it.

        At the core of the human spirit there is a voice stronger than violence and fear - S. donna ortiz

        by Rachel Griffiths on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 10:04:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How Many Rural Areas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, BYw

      Had electricity in the 1930s? You and your link are making assumptions as to what changes have lowered the incidence of food-borne illnesses. Ignoring refrigeration is a gaping hole in the claim.

      I live in a dairy farming region in the northeast that wasn't fully electrified until the 1950s.

      •  Listeria can grow in cold temperatures (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's what make it so dangerous.  Pasteurize and you kill it before it gets started.

        Listeria monocytogenes

        Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium commonly found in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food.[1] Each bacterium is Gram-positive and rod-shaped. Listeria are known to be the bacteria responsible for listeriosis, a rare but lethal food-borne infection that has a devastating mortality rate of 25%[2](Salmonella, in comparison, has a less than 1% mortality rate[3]). They are incredibly hardy and able to grow in temperatures ranging from 4°C (39°F), the temperature of a refrigerator, to 37°C (99°F), the body's internal temperature[1]. Furthermore, listerosis's deadliness can be partially attributed to the infection's ability to spread to the nervous system and cause meningitis.[1] Finally, Listeria has a particularly high occurrence rate in newborns because of its ability to infect the fetus by penetrating the endothelial layer of the placenta.[2]

        Freedom IS free... it is only tyrants that demand we pay so dearly.

        by No Gods No Masters on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 05:10:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did Listeria (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, RonV, BYw

          Account for 100% of the "approximately one quarter of the foodborne illness could be attributed to raw milk and dairy products" prior to pasteurization?

          Like I said, you're quoting a government agency with an agenda that is making a sweeping claim with no solid evidence to back it up. Pasteurization was one thing that was introduced in the 1930s. So was refrigeration. So was motorized transport of milk from farms to dairies. Probably a few other changes occurred during that time frame.

          Which of those things had the most impact is open to study and debate. Assuming that pasteurization was the one and only, much less the most important, factor is just that, an assumption.

          Pasteurization may be necessary  for milk being consumed hundred of miles and days later from the cows that produced it. Milk being consumed a couple of miles and a few hours later is a very different activity.

          •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Probably a few other changes occurred during that time frame

            Like disinfectants.

            And smooth, easy to disinfect, stainless steel vats.

            And laws requiring dumping milk from sick cows.

            And regulations that require farm inspections.


            Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

            by mataliandy on Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 07:00:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  listeria (0+ / 0-)

          Slide 20

          In spite of of order 1 million people consuming raw milk in the US, a FOIA request to the CDC on raw milk outbreaks did not list a single listeria illness from raw milk over a 13 year period.

          Slide 35:
          Listeria was present in the bulk tank raw milk of a manufacturing-grade dairy equipped only to produced process dairy products; bulk tank raw milk from dairies equipped to sell milk as a beverage did not contain the organism.

          Some cases of listeria have been blamed on raw milk or cheeses made from raw milk, with absolutely no evidence that raw milk was the cause and even evidence to the contrary.  

          -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

          by whitis on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:20:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  In rural areas you had access to fresh milk. (0+ / 0-)

        If you drink it soon enough, it doesn't matter if you don't pasteurize.  If you want to ship it across the country it's a different equation.  Refrigeration or no.

        Freedom IS free... it is only tyrants that demand we pay so dearly.

        by No Gods No Masters on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 05:21:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, raw milk should be regulated not banned. (5+ / 0-)

      It actually has some properties that make it helpful for healing some diseases in animals and possibly humans.

      Access should not be shut down, but should be regulated so that it is not distributed in a fashion that can cause other health problems such as e.coli and other infectuous agents.

      Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 05:02:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you have a cow, you can drink all the raw (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chainsaw mary, OHdog

        cow juice you want.  It has no place in a food distribution system.  It's not some magical elixir to heal all ills.  It's just milk. Protein, fat, sugar, and water.  

        Freedom IS free... it is only tyrants that demand we pay so dearly.

        by No Gods No Masters on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 05:13:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is incorrect. (8+ / 0-)

          It's not just milk protein fat sugar and water.  When it's raw it's also enzymes and pro-biotics and undenatured vitamins.  When you get it fresh from a farmer you don't need to have an ungodly shelf life.  

          The problems that occurred in America were because of the giant conglomerates that were handling milk in an unsafe way. Billions of people continue to drink raw milk safely all across the planet as they have for millenia.  You have every right to decide for yourself that you aren't going to drink anything but that chalk mixed with water that substitutes for milk on grocers shelves.  But please treat me with enough respect that you allow me to make my own decisions on what is or is not good for me.

          •  Ah Ha! Exactly my point! (0+ / 0-)

            When you get it fresh from a farmer you don't need to have an ungodly shelf life.  

            If you buy all your milk from the farmer across town, you can probably drink it before too many bugs start to grow.  Might even be the same for a small town buying all it's milk locally.  But as soon as you start to ship it from dairy farms in Wisconsin to grocery stores in New York City, it might as well be time bomb waiting to go off.  

            Freedom IS free... it is only tyrants that demand we pay so dearly.

            by No Gods No Masters on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 05:51:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah Ha! (5+ / 0-)

              Has anyone in this diary advocated selling raw milk in NYC from Wisconsin? The discussion is about draconian bans on raw milk that bans selling it off the farm or at local markets.

              •  So what the hell are you suggesting? (0+ / 0-)

                Special dispensations for raw milk purchases for people who are within a certain distance of the dairy farm in question?

                WARNING: There is a high probability that the preceding comment is snark. Use your best judgment (hopefully better than Sen. Clinton's or Sen. McCain's).

                by Anarchofascist on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 10:28:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  why not (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                •  It's very simple (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RonV, BYw

                  The way it works now is that local dairies provide raw milk to people who either come to their farms or to local markets.  No reason to change it.  Within big cities such as NYC and Chicago, there are co-ops who either go have an assigned person to go get the weeks milk or who have the milk delivered twice a month to a central house and everyone picks their milk up that day from the central point.  

                  Currently, not everyone could purchase raw milk since there isn't enough being produced but as demand grows (as it is) more farms will convert either fully or partially and more dispersal routes will develop.  

                  In states like California things work perfectly fine as is with different ie stricter, rules for raw milk dairymen.  It's more expensive, you have to be willing to pay more for the cleaner conditions, organic usually free range cows, grass fed, locally produced, and quickly delivered raw milk.  On the other hand, this raw milk can substitute for all your protein needs.

                  •  This seems fairly reasonable, but also (0+ / 0-)

                    seems to increase the regulatory burden.

                    I think it would be a lot simpler to just have more stringent labeling requirements and a ban on consumption by children.

                    WARNING: There is a high probability that the preceding comment is snark. Use your best judgment (hopefully better than Sen. Clinton's or Sen. McCain's).

                    by Anarchofascist on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 11:38:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sorry you could ban sales to children (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      but a ban on consumption is wrong (parents get to decide what their kids do, we're talking milk not drugs) and unenforceable.  I don't find the 'regulatory burden' to be much of an issue, especially for a country that imports a ton of food from China. The farmers have the heft of the regulatory burden as they have to have their milk tested far more often and the cost of that is passed on to consumers.

            •  Why would you not just ship it from NY state (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, mataliandy, BYw

              farmers to NYC? In general, I try to eat as locally and healthily as possible.  But at any rate, it's better if you have a delivery contract like it used to always be and still is at a few dairies.  

    •  Thanks for this. I don't think anyone is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, BYw

      suggesting large scale distribution.  I also noticed that the outbreaks you mention did not list deaths.  

      I am struck by the difference between these two people:

      1.  someone choosing rationally to drink raw milk, knowing what it is and being at worst, at small risk of catching something unlikely to kill them and usually treatable by antibiotics.
      1.  someone not able to choose because the government and corporations have kept them from being able to know, so ending up drinking something genetically engineered they might very well have avoided if they did know, while there are studies linking that milk to an increased risk of a number of different cancers.
    •  "'s not appropriate for large scale dist." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Then get rid of large scale distribution, i.e. monopolies.

      Large scale distribution is the problem.


  •  I drink raw milk all the time (6+ / 0-)

    and love it.  I was developing arthritis in my tailbone (I'm not quite as old as dirt)and since I started drinking raw milk the pain has completely gone away.  

    Mostly I make yogurt from it.  I've got it down to about a 3 minute involvement from me (and overnight growing in a cooler).  It's so yummy I eat several cups a day.

    The taste is not even on the same plane as that stuff you get in the store.  Even if I strip off the cream to make butter by hand (a 20 min process that I can do while watching TV and which I feel actually gives me a bit of exercise) it's still so much better.  And the best thing is, if I keep it a bit too long it never becomes that AWFUL thing that happens to pasteurized milk if you let it live in your fridge too long, it just starts smelling like cheese and I know it's time to go (I wish I had more time so I could actually make my own cheese but that's not to be at this point in my life).

    Also, I can drink it even when I've got a cold and that phlegm thing doesn't happen.  I'm all for it.

    Thanks for the diary and the update on what's happening to our food supplies.

    •  How do you make your yogurt? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When the milk goes sour, can you make yogurt and/or cheese from it?

      •  I keep my milk in glass gallon containers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RonV, Chalice of Jamshid

        because I try to avoid phthalates which like to leach from plastic into fatty liquids (it will leach into other liquids and even dryer goods but it loves fatty liquids).  

        So all I do is take a gallon out of the fridge, dip out some of the cream to make a batch of butter with that.  This gives me enough room to plop a 6 oz. container of brown cow plain or vanilla into the container which I then close up and shake like crazy for about a minute.  Then I take my playmate cooler, plop the milk jug in and fill with very hot tapwater.  My water heater is set so that this runs about 120 F.  I also have an aquarium heater that I store in the cooler between batches that I have set to keep the temp at about 112-115.  I check it at 7 or 8 hours, sometimes I give it another hour or two.  Plop it in the fridge, dump the water, store the cooler and heater and I'm done.

        I have tried it using plastic containers and it does not do well at all.  I believe the stuff leaching out affects the bacteria we want to keep alive.

        If it starts to smell like parmesian cheese I will quickly make a batch of yogurt.  I believe you could make cheese from it but I haven't conquered that yet.  I have yet to have a gallon go completely bad in the two weeks before I get my new milk.

  •  If you want health information from blogs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, chainsaw mary, BYw, blueocean

    you can try a science blog on this topic:

    Raw milk demand increases despite the risk

    She's a PhD in epidemiology.  

    Please, become informed

    as the diarist requests.

    Personally, I find Listeria and Q fever scary.  The diarist has different fears.  Fair enough.  But please become informed.

    •  Yes, my concern is for the farming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      community and the web of connection between dairy farmers and neighbors and customers.  I am not promoting the wide spread distribution of raw milk, but then, the wide spread distribution of food is a bad idea in general since we need a local food supply and a strong community network to support it.  

      I just see something ugly in banning a desired product that people can choose for themselves to drink and the banning of labeling of a heavily pushed country-wide product that is associated with a serious of cancers.

  •  Raw milk and rGBH milk both have the increased (0+ / 0-)

    possibility of spreading disease causing bacteria. The hormone treated cows are more susceptible to infections of the udders. This is real biology so pay attention. These cows are then treated with antibiotics leading to the cows carrying more bacteria of all kinds that are antibiotic resistant, including those that are not killed off with the pathogens by Pasteurization, thereby increasing the pool of bacteria that can pass resistance to antibiotics to pathogenic microorganisms once the milk has been consumed.
    The consumption of raw milk is a great vector for many disease organisms. The reason for Public Health regulations is not primarily to protect the individual drinking the potentially infectious milk but to protect the rest of us from the spread of disease from these individuals to truly innocent victims.

    Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

    by OHdog on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 09:06:00 PM PDT

  •  Raw milk has been effectively banned in CA (0+ / 0-)

    for many years.

    I personally think that is too harsh - among other things, it restricts cheesemakers. However, portraying it as some conspiracy to keep you from a healthy product is over the top. There are very real dangers involved, and very real illnesses that can result. If you're getting the milk within a day and consuming it all immediately, you might be OK.

    I am against rBGH and I go out of my way to purchase dairy products labeled rBGH free. I don't think these two issues have anything in common. Many small dairies pasteurize their milk, and indeed, pasteurization is probably cheaper for a small dairy than the raw milk monitoring protocol and whatever insurance they have to take out.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 10:10:13 PM PDT

  •  Milk is a sham (0+ / 0-)

    The only milk that mammals are designed to drink is milk from their biological mother during infancy.

    Human milk has a certain ratio of fat/protein/sugar that is optimal for human health during infancy. The ratio of rat milk is closer to human milk than cow's milk.

  •  The documentary that most Americans won't see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ad Absurdum

    The World According to Monsanto.

    It originally aired March 11 on ARTE, the French-German cultural channel.  Google video lets you see it here.

    I did a quick search to see if this was mentioned elsewhere.  I didn't find it so put it in this thread.

    You're all over Monsanto, so I'd guess I overlooked it.

    Great writing, keep it up.

    As long as I'm here, I've got a food related diary you might want to take a look at.

    Growing Vegetables on City Rooftops.

    •  Unbelievably wonderful garden. Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      so much for sharing that.  I'm going to send it on to a lot of people I know.  It is full of ideas but maybe the nicest part is that it is full of your pleasure and your family and your friends all enjoying it.  Thanks so much.  

      We have a friend who uses a floating dock (the land being too shaded) to grow an enormous amount of food, using waist-high deep troughs in the center and all around the edges, and the outer edge surrounded by trellising covered with beans and others things.  The dock is not that large so it was surprising how much it could produce.  

      Have you considered a grape arbor which might be nice during the summer for shade and meals under it?  

      Really appreciate your sharing your garden with me.

    •  Must see indeed. (0+ / 0-)

      The levels of complicity of industry and government in poisoning our food, our biosphere, and the staples of indigenous communities around the world is the most evil thing I have ever witnessed.  Evil is a strong word, easily abused, but in the case of Monsanto, it is not harsh enough.

  •  We love raw milk (0+ / 0-)

    We live in a city, and travel 80 miles every week to get raw milk from a certified farm dairy. We love raw milk, and also love the pure butter and buttermilk we can make from it. Any ban on raw milk is unconscionable. Raw milk is a great way to improve health.

    We need to question the Pasteurization ahd homogenization practices of the industry, as they denature the milk and make it like junk food.

    Great diary.

    •  Thank you about the diary. I think we've (0+ / 0-)

      been taught to think everything needs to be sterilized to be safe, and the fear behind that and the lack of understanding of the value of germs, sets us up to be manipulated by "scientific" moves to protect us.  Until we know more about nature itself, and how things work together, we will continue to buy into medical practices that are extreme and damaging, into food that is valueless and dangerous, into ways of farming that are poisonous, into many other things we do - including dealing with each other around the world - which are destructive.  

      I think what happened with breast feeding in this country is a good example of the overvaluing of "science" and the medical profession and "cleanliness" over nature.  Breast feeding, which science tried to replace with sterilized bottles and rigid schedules, turned out to so richly full of antibodies and other valuable things in the milk itself, full of closeness between mother and child, full of ease, and free and available with no effort.  And full of lessons for anyone in the family about nature and natural bonds and how bodies work and are bound together in such an amazing way.  

      And then there are all the lessons we still need to learn about the intrusion of "science" and "medicine" into something that was working for thousands of years without them and trumped them on every level.  We are still needing to learn that lesson and to be able to keep science and medicine bounded by common sense and a valuing of a wholeness in the world that both fracture, with no sense of the harm they do.  It is a testimony to nature that we are surviving them but we are pushing nature to its limits around the world and it is that we must come back from.

      The issue for me around raw milk is not only the naturalness of it and the right of people to choose for themselves, but protecting the integrity of the farming communities and building more community via the sales of the milk.  The interconnected web of relations is what the corporations are destroying, as well as leaving us without skills and resources to be independent of them.

  •  Hysterical much? (0+ / 0-)

    The Nuremburg Code. Give me a break...

    •  Not my idea. From Marc Lappe's work. (0+ / 0-)

      He was a highly regarded scientist and ethicist and was to genetic engineering what Rachel Carson was to pesticides.  

      Only in thinking that genetic genetic is not a serious threat, or in disregarding the right or need or strong desire of any person to avoid it,  do we treat "non-labeling" as minor.  

      Do you think so little of our right to know something so fundamental about what we are forced to eat?  (If you say no one is forcing you, the force is in the deceit, the forced ignorance leading to easy control.)

      But if the material in question were poison and one could not determine which item had it or not, it would not seem minor.  

      And when imposing that threatening blindness is dong on the scale of the entire population, I find it hard to find words for the depravity of exposing people like that - especially to something associated even originally with cancer, and to something banned by a large number of Western countries.

      I met someone today and told them about the danger of rBGH milk.  They were so grateful because they had had cancer already and asked how they could tell which milk was which, very much wanting to know.  They live in a poor area. where the odds having a choice of milk are almost nil and of having a visible means of discerning, less than nil.

      What do you call that?  Someone wishes to "escape" this imposition of a substance, and can't unless they give up a basic food group.  And they wouldn't even have known there was an issue if someone outside those "imposing" this situation, hadn't supplied the "informed" part.  And now, even with no consent, the person has no means of opting out.

      They are trapped into being party to this experiment in testing genetic engineering on people or loosing it on them, letting us all deal with the unavoidable consequences.

  •  I've consumed raw milk for the past year (0+ / 0-)

    I purchase it directly from farmers whom I trust here in Texas.  They have been doing this for generations.  I also get their cream and buttermilk.  It is one of the best things I've done for the quality of my life.  There's nothing like real milk.  I will never drink the nasty, grain fed, pasteurized, homogenized, hormone-replete stuff from the store ever again.

    Thing is, I consume tons of it, I cook with butter, and my cholesterol levels are normal.  I also eat grass-fed beef.

    I realized the whole cholesterol thing was a sham when I lived in France and Germany.  People there enjoyed very high saturated fat diets and were lean and healthy.  What they consume less of are the grain oils that industry and the FDA have pushed on us and which are common in American diets and fast food.

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