A Raw Milk Tragedy Gone Terribly Wrong in the Re-Telling

OregonDairy.jpg

The photo of Foundation Farm issued by Oregon Public Health, to suggest the unsafe conditions at the farm. As a journalist, I probably read news reports and articles differently than most people….as in more critically. At the same time, I admire well done stories, especially in my own area of expertise. In some cases, I wish I had done one or another story myself. 

 

So I was intrigued with the recent article in Food Safety News about the Foundation Farm illness outbreak of 2012. From the get-go, this outbreak from E.coli O157:H7, which sickened 19 people, most of them children,  was bad news for all concerned. I wrote several posts about the anguish the incident posed, for everyone concerned. 

 

From a journalistic viewpoint, the FSN writer, Cookson Beecher, did an excellent bit of reporting in profiling two families—the parents of a little girl who nearly died from complications of her illness associated with Foundation Farm’s tainted milk, and the owners of Foundation Farm. It’s a gut-wrenching human interest story, in which two families who have every reason to fear and avoid the other wind up forgiving and even helping each other.  It’s definitely understandable that the lesson both families would draw from the tragedy is that raw milk is highly risky. 

 

But unfortunately, Beecher couldn’t stay with the human interest aspects of the story—the guilt felt by all, the tragic unfolding of Kylee’s illness, the inspiring reconciliation between the families, the concerns the families have about raw milk safety. No, Beecher turns the story into seriously slick propaganda.


The article cleverly transitions from a cautionary tale about the challenges of producing safe raw milk into inflammatory propaganda that raw milk is inherently unsafe. If you go into the raw milk debate with the view that raw milk is inherently unsafe, then any single example of illness can serve your purpose. Beecher obviously has that viewpoint, and she quickly loses the human interest story in favor of the real agenda. 

 

It hits all the anti-raw-milk hot buttons in one endless flow. There is the denial of European research showing raw milk protects against asthma and allergies, via a lengthy monolog from the head of an asthma/allergy foundation that includes this bizarre quote: “The thought that this can cure allergies is actually a dangerous thought.” Wow, a “dangerous thought” backed up by serious scientific research.  

 

There is a slam on the stupidity of raw milk drinkers who won’t heed the CDC/FDA warnings because they, imagine, don’t trust the government authorities.  Turning this story into blatant propaganda will simply increase the cynicism and mistrust of those inclined toward raw milk.  

 

Finally, there is the slam on Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation, as if they are the cause of the Foundation Farm illnesses. (“Its website shows a happy, healthy-looking family with this headline above the photo: ‘They’re happy because they eat butter.’ “)

 

Interestingly, the article never addresses the story line first put out by Oregon Public Health, which circulated the photo above—the likelihood that the owners of Foundation Farm, Brad and Tricia Salyers, may not have been running the safest operation. While the Salyers obviously don’t want to consider that possibility–they find more palatable joining the chorus about raw milk’s inherent dangers–how does Beecher manage to avoid any such suggestion about unsafe conditions? 

 

In a comment following the article, Shawna Barr raises that issue, inquiring whether Beecher visited the farm, or inquired about safety standards, gently suggesting that conditions at the farm and the farmers’ lack of training, might have raised the risk of tainted milk at Foundation Farm. Beecher responds that “the point of the article isn’t about problems at Salyers’ farm but rather that no matter how clean things can be on a farm, there’s still the risk.”

 

There you have the writer-turned-propagandist’s true confession: While risk is acceptable for other foods, it isn’t acceptable for raw milk. In her view, raw milk is inherently unsafe, and no amount of attention to farmer education and safety standards will change that. Difficult to have a discussion about change when change isn’t one of the options. 


One final note: There are those in the food rights community who won’t appreciate me giving this piece of scurrilous propaganda the kind of attention I have. They would rather ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist. I would argue that it’s important to answer lies with truth. As in political campaigns, you try not to let the opposition define you. Turning this tragedy into ideological ammunition just compounds the tragedy, and it needs to be exposed for what it is.  

**

I wrote recently about how writers sometimes resort to stereotypes in reporting on food rights. Another example just came out in Modern Farmer, in a summary of hog farmer Mark Baker’s legal case against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and its genetic purification rules. In the space of four paragraphs, Baker’s case is pegged as supported by “Libertarians,” he is depicted as “prone to…gun talk,” and he is described as selling his pigs to high-end restaurants. The “Libertarian” thing seems to grow out of his association with raw milk advocates, who are assumed to all be “Libertarian.” Why? Your guess as good as mine. 

 

The “gun talk” grows out of Baker’s reference to guns in an interview with the writer. At the end of the article, the author provides a partial transcript of her conversation with Baker (in response to his complaint about inaccuracy), in which she clearly prods him about guns. (“Do you own guns?….a lot of guns?…..Would you use them to defend your farm?”) In my many conversations with Baker, I’ve heard him refer to guns in one context only: his fear that law enforcement agents might hunt him down somewhere around his isolated farm in their ongoing effort to intimidate him out of business. 

 

As for his business supplying pork to restaurants, that business ended two years ago, with the DNR rules against so-called feral pigs, some of which Baker raises. 

 

That’s a lot of screwups in such a short article. But necessary when you are creating a particular stereotype. 

 

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123 Comments on "A Raw Milk Tragedy Gone Terribly Wrong in the Re-Telling"


Shawna Barr
February 21, 2014

Yes David, a very disappointing article and huge lost opportunity to talk about lessons learned I’m afraid. Except the lesson to not drink and not produce raw milk. Period.

The politics are exhausting and largely fruitless…whether it be those of the “inherently dangerous” folks or the “inherently safe” folks.

My call is to fellow raw milk producers in the trenches. Good information, the right mindset, and sound processes make a difference. Want to do something to prevent another Foundation Farm? Join us at RAWMI where good information flows and politics stop. Go to the site, fill out an application, and get the ball rolling to join a supportive community of raw milk producers committed to doing it right. Share your knowledge, and gain from others. http://www.rawmilkinstitute.net

rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

Just in case anyone has forgotten:
…
Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University says:
…
“The philosophy that you and I have and others in the world of extension share” “When someone asks me for advice I rarely give them advice.” “I’m just not an advice giver.” Even though the entire conversation was on, what is the proper advice to give on thawing meat.

The Minnesota study “It probably doesn’t make any impact on those we need to communicate to.” Why is it so important to get this information to us if it isn’t to give us advice? Furthermore, why would you need to get hypothetical data to people who already know raw milk’s risks and benefits. If they were serious they’d be targeting the general public but of course that would be free advertising for the competition.
…
“Wull ya n I that’s the conundrum right, like that’s the the the, situation, is we can kind a, um ya I don’t know, beat our chests and point at this n say look look look more people get sick then this than we thought um but we have to figure out a way to be credible to that population.”
…
“We’ve known fur a long long time I mean going back to the history of I have P(IAFP) that this this product is risky.” “This is disheartening part of this whole thing.” “It’s one more tool in the tool box”
…
“We can’t tell them not to drink it.”
…
“Ya ya, I think it’s easier or a better way, the more and more I look at raw milk, I, I move away from the dogma that we can’t do it we a that that making it illegal fixes it cuz it doesn’t and it clearly hasn’t um but a the I, I don’t know the answer. You get into this whole messy area of well, well if we make it legal and we regulate it then we’re giving some legitimacy to the, to the industry but ya it gives us some control measure.”
…
Don Schaffner of Rutgers says:
…
“We want to give you the right information and have you understand that information so that you can make the right decision.”
…
“That’s a, that’s a startling statistic right a, ta say a that u um that 3.7% of people with infections reported raw milk consumption.” Even though this number is obviously over inflated, it is still very close to the number of raw milk drinker in the state. Which means it is not startling at all.
…
“Um ya mean raw milk is a risky food and a mean people you shouldn’t feed it to your kids fer sure um.”
….
“If people want to drink raw milk they should be allowed to but let’s tell people what the risks are and then they can make their own decision but boy.”

“This is what we want to do.”

“This raw milk situation”
…
“We don’t at this point we don’t have enough science to say well OK what we out to be doing is encouraging farmer to do XYZ. I don’t think we even know that yet.”

http://foodsafetytalk.com/food-safety-talk/2014/1/food-safety-talk-53-raw-milk-hamsterdam

mark mcafee
February 21, 2014

Shawna,
Thank You!

I am going to reserve my typing on this subject for another time. I have said my piece already.
Instead I am going to invite every one to our 3rd annual OPDC “Camping with the Cows” event on May 3rd and rejoice in the community of those that celebrate life and the tremendous health that is brought by whole unprocessed foods. I have even invited Michele Obama…she loves whole unprocessed foods for our families. We have a place for Marine one to land…LOL!! Rejoice!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8i–8sILLk&feature=m-ch-fea&app=desktop

heckman@aesop.rutgers.edu
February 21, 2014
rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

Now how can 2 cows provide enough raw milk for 48 families? (at 8 gals per day per cow)

rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

When Don Schaffner of Rutgers said: “The term “minimum infectious dose” is not in line with modern quantitative microbial risk assessment thinking.” I linked to a definition of pseudoscience.
…
I may only be an electrician but Don’s response shows he doesn’t even consider the possibility of using empirical data or microbiology in his battle against healthy food. What good is “modern quantitative microbial risk assessment” without any empirical data or microbiology behind it? Using “quantitative microbial risk assessment” this way is pseudoscience. Technically epidemiology is not pseudoscience but the way we’re using it is.
…
dschaffner | when: Sat, 02/08/2014 – 16:12
http://thecompletepatient.com/article/2014/february/7/negotiating-raw-milk-standards-has-begun

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
February 21, 2014

Mike

I doubt those two jerseys are producing 8 gal of milk per day, let alone consistently supplying the daily requirements of 48 families.

The average jersey produces about 6 gals/day and they would need a generous supply of grain at that, especially during the fall and winter months.

In order to consistently produce enough milk to supply 48 families one would need 2-3 times that many cows with straddled lactations. Then again if the families are merely consuming half a quart a day it might just work. In our family half a quart a day wouldn’t cut it where we consume at least 1.5 gallons/day.

Ken

rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

Thanks for the info on Jerseys Ken. I’ve recently gained access to a little Jersey milk and wow what a difference. And yes, with a 4 and a 7 year old we drink at least a gal a day.
…
And check the out.
… …
The following denial begs the question. During a supposed raw milk out break how many of the sick raw milk drinkers also drank pasteurized milk during the out break period and how many of the sick non-raw milk drinkers in the surrounding area drank pasteurized milk during the out break period.
…
“Pasteurized dairy products from commercial dairies are safe and nutritious and are not implicated in the recent cluster of illnesses.”
https://news.tn.gov/node/11632

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
February 21, 2014

Shawna asked some very important questions in the story from David’s link. And her questions were basically ignored. It is obvious the writer is very biased, which makes her an example of a poor journalist. Is a writer like that even dignified with the title of journalist? I would think not.

From the story, it appears the the Slayers really didn’t have the knowledge to produce raw dairy safely. He is even quoted that “Cows aren’t like horses,” he said. “Cows like to lie down a lot.” Horses do lie down, quite often. He stated he had 5 cows and was milking 3…for 48 families? Wow. That statement doesn’t add up at all.

When people make such drastic switches in their beliefs, it is a red flag. Money not an issues any longer? In this economy? Spokespeople get paid to shut up about their real beliefs and to shill for those in power… just sayin.

null.set
February 21, 2014

the premise of our cowshare was that a cow gives an average of 3 gallons of milk, per day, for 10 months’ lactation. So : with three cows in milk, getting 60 gallons per week enables the farmer to provide a bit more than gallon for each household of those 48 families. Pretty skimpy rations for people who love their REAL MILK, but not unrealistic

D. Smith
D. Smith
February 21, 2014

All one has to do is look at the source of this information. If ya’ll trust dot gov web sites to give you adequate or correct information, you will be disappointed. 😉 They’re so busy peddling propaganda they don’t have time to really investigate anything, and yet about 98% of the people who read that junk will believe it because it’s from our gubment. Imagine it.

D. Smith
D. Smith
February 21, 2014

Here’s another tragedy. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/crosby022114.php3 Apparently our gubment doesn’t want small farms but they don’t want better cities either. It makes one wonder exactly what they do want. 8-\

[quote from article at the link I posted above]
“If you think that community organizers are always looking out for the best interests of the community, consider the Trader Joe story which was reported about two weeks ago. The Trader Joe grocery chain had to pull out of a planned expansion to a poor area in Portland, Ore., after a community organizing group objected. The group said on Feb. 3 that opening a Trader Joe’s in the historically Black neighborhood would “increase the desirability of the neighborhood for non-oppressed populations and risk gentrifying the neighborhood.” In other words, let’s not make the neighborhood better; let’s keep it a crappy ghetto.”
[end quote]

Disgusting.

rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

This is a must see for anyone concerned with this countries oppressive government and constant state of recession.
…
“Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney Lopez”
…
Listen – Aired January 22, 2014 – 8:00am;
http://www.wpr.org/shows/racism-politics
…
Read – Posted on 2013-12-12;
http://ebookee.org/Dog-Whistle-Politics-How-Coded-Racial-Appeals-Have-Reinvented-Racism-and-Wrecked-the-Middle-Class_2412499.html
…
Watch, Published on Jan 14, 2014;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqKHc8Fmaxg

D. Smith
D. Smith
February 21, 2014

@ rawmilkmike: Well, the point I was trying to get across wasn’t necessarily the racial angle, it was the fact that community organizers are supposed to be helping communities become better organized, right? Well, if this is how they go about doing that, we’re all in trouble and better keep our eyes open wide. Besides, Trader Joe’s would have offered these people, no matter their race, healthier foods. As the article states, it’s surely a better option than putting up a 7-11 and selling candy bars and potato chips, or another liquor store. People will shop where it’s handy for them, thus buying whatever is available, no? But the community organizers obviously didn’t see it that way. Or maybe they did and their mission was accomplished. Oppression, pure and simple. We see it everywhere and not much in that regard has changed in 200 years – for whites as much as any other nationality.

The youtube vid you posted, rawmilkmike, was excellent though.

rawmilkmike
February 21, 2014

Thanks D.

mark mcafee
February 22, 2014

Signs of organic milk contraction in the domestic markets. White Wave ( Deans Foods Horizon etc ) is selling its Idaho Organic operations and buying into Chinese dairy systems and infrastructure. Found this really cool website that shows the PRO V CON of raw milk and has plenty of our arguments plainly posted against the FDA etc… http://milk.procon.org/

I need to get OPDC and RAWMI posted into the last piece of the historical review after 8000 years of raw milk chronology the last piece is a little weak and mostly announces James Stewart the RAWESOME Raid.

I think that we can do alittle better than that considering the tremendous strides towards raw milk safety accomplished by RAWMI and its awesome LISTED farmers!!!

ingvar
February 22, 2014

Here’s an article related to nanotechnology and food.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/wait-theres-nanotechnology-in-my-food-16510737?click=pm_latest

“… Nanotech also keeps food fresher over a longer period. Brown says the nanopackaging industry is actually larger than its nanofood counterpart, and has three main focuses: barriers, antimicrobials, and sensors. Ideally, the packaging would provide protection from moisture, bacteria, and pathogens. There is also a type of packaging that would involve what Brown calls oxygen scavenging, which means that the packaging would absorb oxygen before it reaches food. Other techniques have involved coating packaging with nano silver particles to make them antimicrobial, using polypropylene and or polyethylene barriers to inhibit moisture, and even embedding packages with silicon-based nanoparticles that can detect pathogens. These are currently being tested, but Brown says that the experimental food packaging has been successful in lab settings. …”

“… Basically, you can put this yummy blob into the microwave and specify what you’d like it to be. Nanoparticles in the food would be activated by the appliance and change color, shape, and possibly even nutrients. Eventually, the hope is that this food product could become so smart, it would even be able to tell what ingredient one is allergic to and block it. …”

Have a great weekend everybody!

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

mark mcafee
February 22, 2014

Signs of Pasteurized Organic pasteurized milk contraction in the USA. White Wave ( Horizon Deans Foods etc ) is selling its Idaho Organic operations and buying conventional milk systems and infrastructure in China. Organic milk pay price is stagnant and organic ( that sell to pasteurizers ) farmers are struggling.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
February 22, 2014

So does that mean they will be importing milk/milk products from China?

mark mcafee
February 22, 2014

Shelly D.
It is my hope that WIFSS will engage RAWMI some time in the near future and really make huge strides like they have with other industry food safety organizations. They have done great things with the Leafy Greens group and others to assure that our vegetables are safe for consumption by the immune depressed citizens of our cities. It will be glaringly super obvious that Dr. Linda Harris was dead-on right when she testified at the Dean Flores SB 201 hearings in 2008. Senator Dean Flores asked her if the AB 1735 standards for raw milk ( less than 10 coliforms ) were the best standards to assure the safest raw milk. She then said in a very low voice…as if she was scared to say it and as if she was about to be struck by an FDA lightening bolt…”that a comprehenive food safety program coupled with testing was the better program” ( not her exact quote but that was the intent and content). Well…that is precisely what RAWMI did in 2010 and that is what has been found to work extremely well. Thank you Dr. Harris!! Your vision became our mission and history has been made. You helped us see this!! Michele, please share our deep gratitude with Dr. Harris.

Dr. Linda Harris works for WIFSS and I along with the RAWMI LISTED farmers share the credit of her foresight with her. Some people suggest great things…but it is those that actually do them that are the pioneers. These pioneers will be recognized soon and I hope that WIFSS can invite us to join with them to create a raw milk future for America with is solid as a rock and profoundly safe and good for people. The technology is there…the consumers demand is there. The track record is rapidly emerging. The proof just needs to be assessed and reviewed, then mainstream acceptance will follow.

When some see WIFSS as the devil against raw milk….I see it as the portal to the FDA and breaking down all the walls, even interstate walls.

Yes….it appears that WIFSS PhD’s helped co-created Marlers real milk facts website. We all know that it is biased. But…we also know that Bill Marler is very bright and intellegent. He will soon see what we have done and he will respect and begin to appreciate its brilliance!

Time is a great thing…it allows for education, information & evolution.

rawmilkmike
February 22, 2014

Scratch A Lie Find A Thief.

Don Schaffner of Rutgers says:

rawmilkmike,
Are you asking if I have an opinion on whether raw milk is a “low risk” food?
who: dschaffner | when: Sun, 02/09/2014 – 12:44 |

“low risk” is not a question that interests me.
who: dschaffner | when: Sun, 02/09/2014 – 12:55

Mike, if “Anyone consuming 3 cups of raw milk per day for more than 6 months ( knows ) it’s safer and healthier than anything they’ve consumed before. ” then I don’t think peer review or quantitative microbial risk assessment can help them.
who: dschaffner | when: Mon, 02/10/2014 – 06:24 |

http://thecompletepatient.com/article/2014/february/7/negotiating-raw-milk-standards-has-begun
…
“Um ya mean raw milk is a risky food and a mean people you shouldn’t feed it to your kids fer sure um.”
….
“If people want to drink raw milk they should be allowed to but let’s tell people what the risks are and then they can make their own decision but boy.”
…
“We don’t at this point we don’t have enough science to say well OK what we ought to be doing is encouraging farmer to do XYZ. I don’t think we even know that yet.”

http://foodsafetytalk.com/food-safety-talk/2014/1/food-safety-talk-53-raw-milk-hamsterdam
…
Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University says:
…
“The philosophy that you and I have and others in the world of extension share” “When someone asks me for advice I rarely give them advice.” “I’m just not an advice giver.”
…
“We can’t tell them not to drink it.”
…
“Ya ya, I think it’s easier or a better way, the more and more I look at raw milk, I, I move away from the dogma that we can’t do it we a that that making it illegal fixes it cuz it doesn’t and it clearly hasn’t um but a the I, I don’t know the answer. You get into this whole messy area of well, well if we make it legal and we regulate it then we’re giving some legitimacy to the, to the industry but ya it gives us some control measure.”
…
http://foodsafetytalk.com/food-safety-talk/2014/1/food-safety-talk-53-raw-milk-hamsterdam
…
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing its intention to receive and consider a single source application for the award of a cooperative agreement in fiscal year 2008 (FY08) to establish and support the Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS), to be located at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) on the University of California, Davis campus in Davis, California (UCD). The estimated amount of support in FY08 will be for up to $1.5 million (direct plus indirect costs), with the possibility of four additional years of support for up to $2.6 million, subject to the availability of funds. This award will improve public health by creating an applied research, education, and outreach program related to the interface between food protection (i.e., food safety and food defense) and agriculture.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/IntramuralResearchProgram/ucm080507.htm

Prayer my be our only hope.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 22, 2014

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points–HACCP

RAWMI has taken this concept and applied it to raw milk production.

mark mcafee
February 22, 2014

Don Schaffner is a scientist then he will follow the establishe standards used to conduct proper QMRA’s. The EU does these all the time. Nadine quoted some of these in her Canadian raw milk presentation. They are considered the Gold Standard for risk assessment.

What he needs is a subset of data that flows from a differentiated source of raw milk, then he can compare data. This is not about finding low risk. When a QMRA is properly conducted, the facts that flow from it are just the facts.

I invite Dr Schaffner to contact Dr. Cat Berge ( PhD RAWMI board member ) and join her in writing a scientific article using RAWMI LISTED producers data as the basis of a comparative study.

At the end, when it is peer reviewed and published…. We will see what kind of risk RAWMI listed producers raw milk presents. Let the facts tell the story.

mark mcafee
February 22, 2014

My bet…. Dr Linda Harris was right in 2008 and RAWMI has proved it since 2011 with cold hard evidence. Whether mainstream scientists have the guts to put their careers and grant sources on the line to speak this truth is another subject completely. A wonderful PHD that absolutely loves raw milk, but us funded by Milk Check Off dollars, told me once in an email…’ A hungry mouth can not freely speak’. Truly sad that our best minds are gagged by financial restraint & grant shackles for fear of being thrown out of the institutions they get a paycheck from.

Truth and free speech are not truly essential parts of university science. That’s a very sad fact.

MrJohn
February 22, 2014

Mr Gumpert. Just a brief ‘thankyou’ for allowing me the occasional space on TCP blog.
I would also like to compliment you on addressing situations like the one that evolved at Foundation Farm ‘head-on’. It would be easy (as at other sites) to just simply avoid such examples. So, full marks from me for bringing balance to the raw milk picture overall.
But, I cannot resist one final observation that relates to risk assessment. My guess is that the farm picture at the very top left might have looked quite a bit better before it rained, and I can’t help thinking that rain was a strong risk-factor in this case.
And yes, I carefully engineered my example because I’d like to argue the risk of producing contaminated milk varies with each and every milking (no matter how small this risk might be). As a result, I’d argue that historical risk assessments are of little value, simply because they are historical. And before someone refers me to the presentation by Nadine Ijaz (again), I’d point out that her risk assessment is heavily influenced by information from Italy (and, personally, I have no idea what the conditions on Italian raw milk farms are like). To me, the important approach to the microbial risks should be PROSPECTIVE by enforcing the best possible hygiene during each and every milking (together with a preparedness to not sell the milk if there is a lapse in hygiene). The RAWMI producers seem to get this, but they are only a tiny fraction of the total supply. Non-RAWMI producers, in my mind, need a mechanism for reminding them that they are now in the FOOD business and that the hygiene standards normally acceptable on-farm are now likely inadequate. The question is being able to reach them (a more enlightened WPF might be a good start). Until then, I fear stories like Foundation Farm are likely to be repeated again (Tennessee) and again (maybe when some other pastured cows go out in the rain this Spring and the pastures turn to slop).

I’ll probably continue to read TCP (as I have done for some time), but will try to not post messages again.
Having visited some California dairies and toured the Fresno area, I must admit that the current water situation there is very concerning to me, and my thoughts are with all California farmers as they face the challenges ahead. Good luck to all.

John

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 22, 2014

Mark, you are early in the game with RAWMI. How many years did it take for OPDC to have its first documented outbreak without using RAWMI standards?

So you have to admit that in 2008 you had an entire group of people in food safety who were trying educate you about raw milk safety and you fought this information every step of the way. Now 6 years later, you are embracing it with open arms. What prevented you in 2008 from listening to and believing that information then? I believe there was an a video produced denouncing everything presented in at the hearing from public health experts.

rawmilkmike
February 22, 2014

MrJohn, If according to the CDC:
…
Minnesota’s non-RAWMI raw milk drinkers only have a 1.7% per year(17% per 10 years) chance of getting sick from foodborne diseases. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sn-minnesota-raw-milk-20131211,0,1666103.story#axzz2tOoRRo3j
…
And
…
About 48 million people (That’s 15% or1 in 6 Americans) get sick each year from foodborne diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101215.html
…
Isn’t that a negative risk factor? Doesn’t that mean that even non-RAWMI raw milk prevents foodborne illness? How much rain do you think it would take for raw milk to go from preventing foodborne disease to causing it?
…
If my math is off or if I’m comparing apples and oranges please let me know. I promise not to argue.

null.set
February 22, 2014

so true, MrJohn : the conditions to do with rain, and also the water the cows are drinking, are major factors in the risk of raw milk being contaminated. British Columbians do know a bit about rain … particularly, Nadine Ijaz, who pioneered cowsharing here. Against the mountains, we get 120 inches per year.
Re ; what the Italians know about producing raw milk = well, they’re doing fairly well, so far … over the last 3000 years. Roman white cattle = Chianninas = aren’t exactly a dairy breed, but there’s Brown Swiss and red+white spotted cows [ descended from Jacob’s cattle ] giving lots of raw milk for those who want it. The Eye-ties would laugh at you if you told them it was ‘a threat to the public health’.
…. I have a photo here – taken when my Dad and his comrades-in-arms were fighting their way up the peninsula – of a milk vendor at a doorstep, with the goat, circa 1943-44. Didn’t get any fresher than that. Won’t surprise me to see it still going on when I get over there to trace the route of British 8th Army Axis 55
Yes, so far the RAWMI producers are only a small percentage of those who are producing REAL MILK, but, now that they’ve set the bar, beyond doubt, we’ll see anyone who wants to do it seriously, copying them. Let’s get one thing straight : such better practices demand higher prices for the product. One of the major components of the Campaign for REAL MILK is ; educating this nation how our health and our heritage was stolen from us with the subterfuge of “cheap food”
The drought in California is nothing less than catastrophic, yet Ham-mericans drift-along in ignorance. For dairies, one part of the coping-strategy is : barley-grass fodder sprouting chambers.

tsiebertz
February 22, 2014

Why is the story propaganda? Raw milk IS inherently unsafe. Duh, that’s why we’ve pasteurized it for so many years. I think they are just trying to prevent more people from harming themselves and their children. I suggest you watch the video about Kylee Young (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/video-parents-of-sickened-girl-urge-others-not-to-feed-children-raw-milk/#.Uwkhg0JdWBM) to see that raw milk does cause irreparable damage. Get the message out that this is not a safe product. We can prevent illness and death. Trust science.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
February 22, 2014

It appears to be a matter of opinion as to whether raw milk is safe or not.

I believe that fast foods and chemically added, over processed foods are unsafe and contribute to the endemic poor health of Americans. Science has shown this to be true, yet those in power and those with the most $$$$ obviously don’t care about the common people, its all about money.

prop·a·gan·da
?präp??gand?/
noun
noun: propaganda; noun: Propaganda

1.
derogatory
information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
“he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda”

Shawna Barr
February 23, 2014

John, I find the I agree with you once again. It is about mindset shift. From homestead food production mindset to community food production mindset. Or in the case of the TN situation you reference, from Grade A dairy PMO mindset to raw milk dairy mindset.

Here’s one form of producer outreach that is happening now:
http://rawmilkinstitute.net/what-we-do/education-and-outreach/next_webinar/

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

This message is intended for my friend Bill Marler but must be expressed publically,

I know that you deeply care about people and stand against all sorts of opposition and strife in your efforts to speak what you feel in defense of health and safe food. You are regarded by many as a foremost spokesman for food safety!

Please please answer this simple question:

Why did you write an article in your FSN journal about the newest death from PASTEURIZED Roos Cheese and not ever mention that the product was a PASTEURIZED product??? Not one hint!

It is critical that you include the processing origins of the illnesses and deaths. You know full well that pasteurized milk and especially pasteurized cheese has a track record of serious illnesses and many deaths and now another one!! The last pasteurized cheese deaths to occur just this last week from ROOS Pasteurized cheese. You are not serving the public good by not informing the public of the dangers of pasteurized cheeses.

http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/roos-foods-linked-to-listeria-cheese-illnesses-and-death/#.UwhrfONdV8E

This was not raw milk cheese…this was pasteurized cheese and the public needs to know about the innate food safety deficiencies associated with pasteurized cheeses and processing & heating of milk in the making of cheese. 60 day aged raw cheeses simply do not have LISTERIA or deaths associated with them. You also know, because you have deposed many world class scientists, that raw milk and raw milk cheeses have powerful enzymatic and bacterial activity which tends to reduce or outcomplete LISTERIA. Hence the CDC data that shows no listeria associated illnesses with raw dairy and tons of listeria in pasteurized dairy. YOU KNOW THIS better than anyone. You vet the experts!@!

Please, please…. I ask you in the name of humanity to start telling the whole truth!! Please amend the article to include the word “pasteurized” in it….this is the very least you can do.

I look forward to seeing the change. This is not about politics. This is about dead people, true tragedy, funerals and real human lives. Lets rise above petty FDA alliances and speak some truth here.

Most sincerely…

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
February 23, 2014

Could it be propaganda through purposely omitting? People may ASSUME i is RAW cheese that caused the illnesses. So much for being factual, poor reporting.

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Sylvia,

Bills heart is bigger than that.

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Speaking of raw milk food safety. RAWMI is inviting everyone to join in our FREE webinar on February 27th at 1400 PST. http://rawmilkinstitute.net/what-we-do/education-and-outreach/next_webinar/

The title is Udderly Safe Raw Milk.

We will touch on important RAMP elements specific to udder health and methods to assure very low Coliform counts, zero pathogens and dramatically reduced risk raw milk production.

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

As always….the news reports that the deaths happened 6 months ago and we just find out now?? Pasteurized outbreaks always get the ice put onto them and massive delays on the bad news flowing out bound. This just adds to the numbers of deaths and illnesses. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/22/listeria-food-cheese-babies/5723115/

This one is personal….ROOS pasteurized cheese killed a Californian.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

Mark, the article was posted on FSN. It clearly states, “These are presumably pasteurized cheese products, not products made using raw milk.” Did you read the article?

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Maybe…just maybe, there is a hint of progress in the reporting by the CDC. Even though they do not mention the word pasteurized in their report, they do make the serious improvement of not suggesting to the public to stop consumption of raw cheese or raw milk. In the past when pasteurized products sickened or killed, the CDC would recommend no consumption of raw dairy products ( even though the illness was from pasteurized ). This did not happen this time.

This is a littlestep in this little 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch measure of raw milk progress and reporting accuracy and story telling. http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/cheese-02-14/index.html

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Yes. I looked carefully at the article. I did not see a mention of the word pasteurized. Did you see it? Where. Did we read the same article

Mary…. There was no one teaching me anything back in 2005-2008. It was all solo time. The state never taught me anything. They just passed AB1735 with out a whisper or a hint of a hearing. It was legislative ambush. Far afterward….we realized that low coliforms were part of the whole picture. There was no team of people helping OPDC. The inverse was true. Teams of people with lab coats were trying to shut me down. I do not consider that ‘help’

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Mary. The word pasteurized does not appear in the Marler FSN Article that I linked too

D. Smith
D. Smith
February 23, 2014

I’ve read three articles today, all from widely different sources, and none of them mentioned the word pasteurized OR raw. It’s all wide-open space. One of the articles mentioned newborns being ill from the Roos cheese. How does a newborn eat cheese? Or did they mean to say that the newborns became ill from the breastmilk of the mom’s who actually ate the cheese? There are some key items not addressed in these articles.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/cheese-sickens-8-in-md-and-ca-with-listeria-one-dead/#.UwlkP02YY5s

James Andrews wrote the article for FSN. You linked to Bill’s blog.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

I’m assuming they are newborns because they were born prematurely due to the mother having a listeriosis infection.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

Here is another FSN article that also mentions it was from pasteurized cheese.
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/consumers-warned-not-to-eat-roos-foods-cheese-due-to-listeria-risk/#.UwllUE2YY5t

rawmilkmike
February 23, 2014

Gordon, wasn’t it Joel Salatin that said industrial food is only cheap because it’s subsidized.

rawmilkmike
February 23, 2014

What is an outbreak and how is it associated with raw milk?

rawmilkmike
February 23, 2014

Tsiebertz, according to the CDC people who don’t drink raw milk are 9 times more likely to contract a foodborne illness than people who do.

Minnesota’s raw milk drinkers only have a 1.7% per year(17% per 10 years) chance of getting sick from foodborne diseases. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sn-minnesota-raw-milk-20131211,0,1666103.story#axzz2tOoRRo3j
…
About 48 million people (That’s 15% or1 in 6 Americans) get sick each year from foodborne diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101215.html

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Mary,

Thank you for digging up the other FSN articles. The FSN article that I provided the link too was written by Bill himself and did not mention the word pasteurized. Thank you for providing the two additional FSN articles which do mention the presumption of pasteurization.

Maybe the FDA should now seriously consider ” consumer warnings on pasteurized cheeses” becuase of their direct association with repeated Listeria M. outbreaks and many deaths.

I know that a group of doctors many years ago sued Deans foods and other brands in an attempt to force a “warning label on pasteurized milk” becuase of its assocation with lactose intolerance and the subsequent gas, pain and diarrhea. http://milk.procon.org/sourcefiles/Lactose_Intolerance_Lawsuit.pdf

Not sure if the suit is still brewing.

mark mcafee
February 23, 2014

Mary,

What are your feelings about the death of a newborn and 8 other seriously sickened people secondary to a pasteurized dairy product?

I would truly like to know how you feel about this? I know how you feel about raw dairy. I would like to know if your feelings are as passionate when a baby dies from a pasteurized dairy product? We all know you are pasionate and very committed to arguing against raw milk. I would like to hear how you feel about pasteurized dairy products, now that we know they have killed 10 since 2007 and the deaths included babies.

Whittier farms 3 dead 2007 Listeria
Pasteurized cheese 3 dead 2011 ( not sure the brand )
Craven Brothers 3 dead Listeria 2013
ROOS 1 dead Listeria 2013

Now is a great time to make your case.
I thank you in advance….Much appreciated.

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
February 23, 2014

David
“Reducing illnesses runs counter to what the dairy industry and public health professions want.”
This is indeed the truth in a nutshell, and in more ways then raw milk?

The unfortunate aspect with respect to extension specialists, (even those who grew up on raw milk), is that very few of them out there are willing to stick their necks out and encourage healthy production practices aimed at reconciling the consumption and sale of raw milk. Especially here in Canada where it’s consumption is strongly discouraged and its sale is strictly forbidden.
And when I speak of healthy production practices I am not speaking strictly in terms of bacteria! It is the variety of microorganism that gives raw milk its genuine healthy, life giving qualities.

The purpose of the following study is probably aimed at replicating alpine cheese production. Studies such as this will hopefully nurture greater respect for raw milk’s diverse microbial life giving qualities. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765600/

“This work enlarges the knowledge of fungal consortia inhabiting raw milk and introduces microbial ecology among the altitude-dependent factors, in the composition of Alpine pastures, with the potential of shaping the properties of milks and cheeses, together with the already described physical, chemical and botanical variables.”
Ken

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
February 23, 2014

Dare to hazard a guess what would happen if a guide map such as this were made available for public access to raw milk? Perhaps some day it will become the norm.
http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/unpasteurised-raw-milk-uk
Ken

heckman@aesop.rutgers.edu
February 23, 2014

When I traveled in England back in 2007, I tried to find real milk without success. Glad to see this link.

http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/unpasteurised-raw-milk-uk

heckman@aesop.rutgers.edu
February 23, 2014

David,
“The mechanism you speak of is known as agricultural extension. I don’t know of a single state that provides agricultural extension classes or other education for raw milk producers.”
I think that is currently true.
But I want to suggest a way it might change. Cooperative Extension Service is publicly funded. The raw milk community of producers and consumers are taxpayers. Raw milk is a legal food. We need to speak up and demand that our interests be addressed.
Extension works with many different private agricultural groups to organize and put on educational programs for farmers and the general public. As an Extension Specialist I do not know of any legitimate reasons why Extension cannot work with groups like Raw Milk Institute.
Become the squeaky wheel and demand fair representation for raw milk producers.

Dave Milano
February 23, 2014

The seeming recalcitrant desire to systematize every aspect of our lives is what has gotten us in this mess in the first place. Solutions will certainly not be found by feeding more of ourselves to the beasts that already dine on us daily.

The primary business of institutions is to institutionalize things. It is what they do best. Institutions are emphatically NOT good at determining right and wrong. “Proof” for institutions is a very flat thing, always and only established within an intellectual framework limited by the paradigm that supports the institution. Institutions therefore often ask the wrong questions, and then, since they never suspect that truth might lie outside their field of vision, often don’t even find correct answers to the questions they do ask. That is exactly how we ended up with a world ruled by a zillion “correct” laws, regulations, rules, and policies, that is still biologically, sociologically, and economically sick to death.

The notion of a finding solutions within these institutions is extremely wrongheaded. It supports the very thing that needs breaking down. It’s not even a reasonable short-term fix. Claiming some little piece of the institutional pie is a loser’s game because it does nothing to change the foundational paradigm. Second, fighting institutions on their scale is only to become what one hates. (And anyway, when it’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, the town always loses.)

Arguments on this blog and everywhere else will undoubtedly proceed forever and ever unresolved (especially when organizational science–the great paradigmatic god of truth and justice–gets involved, since the first message of organizational science, just like politics and religion, is that we cannot live properly without its conclusions, so must depend on paradigm-certified experts for direction).

May I suggest that we would do far more good by simply getting out of the way of individuals and families and communities who are trying to care for each other, rather than telling them how to do it?

rawmilkmike
February 23, 2014

I am open to any reasonable suggestion but:

Doctors pushed for mandatory pasteurization of commercial fluid milk and got it, 100 years before admitting they know nothing about raw milk. They were the first inspectors.

Dairy farming is very very complicated. Doctors have been regulating something they know nothing about for over 100 years.

How is it possible doctors still admit they know nothing about raw milk, after 100 years in the dairy industry, even though up until 50 years ago half the country was still drinking raw milk? Since most adults can’t drink pasteurized milk, raw milk most likely accounts for a large percentage of adult fluid milk consumption and they still haven’t seen fit to do any empirical research on it.

Doesn’t this confirm something we should already know, that being that raw milk is the medical industries stiffest and most serious competitor?

Don Schaffner of Rutgers says:
“We don’t at this point we don’t have enough science to say well OK what we ought to be doing is encouraging farmer to do XYZ. I don’t think we even know that yet.”
…
The CDC says “The enzymes in raw animal milk are not thought to be important in human health.” In other words they don’t know.
…
There is no evidence that raw milk consumer’s risk of stomach flu has anything to do with raw milk other than they are probably not drinking enough of it. There is no reason to think, just because a child puts a few ounces of raw milk on his Froot Loops in the morning before school, that the raw milk would have anything to do with his stomach flu days later.

mfpellicano
February 23, 2014

“May I suggest that we would do far more good by simply getting out of the way of individuals and families and communities who are trying to care for each other, rather than telling them how to do it?” Thank You Dave Milano, because that is exactly what many of us ARE doing! Following good practices…and “caring for each other.” That IS community…humanity…substantive living. BTW David G., you don’t need to apologize for being “jaded,” because we all certainly understand that intellectual frustration. Marietta

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

Any outbreak regardless of the food source is tragic. I think soft cheeses, whether raw or pasteurized, shouldn’t be sold. Due to the risk of listeria, the most deadly pathogen, soft cheeses should be banned from retail sale.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
February 23, 2014

What you are describing is the Jack-in-the Box outbreak. Victims, Executives and one brilliant attorney worked together to make positive changes in food safety. Dave Theno of Jack-in-the-Box still carries around a picture of Lauren Rudolf, the first victim to die, in his wallet.

D. Smith
D. Smith
February 23, 2014

No, Mary. IMPHO people should not have to make assumptions about these things when they read the articles. The journalist should either provide the entire truthfully vetted story, and all relevant information, or they should keep quiet. Since many people depend on what they read to be gospel, doncha think that’s the least that should be required of journalism – no matter the author? Doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief . . . and still the question remains unanswered, other than your assumption.

tommculhane
February 23, 2014

David’s article here begins, “A Raw Milk Tragedy…”

I really feel sorry for most of the people reading and posting here. David’s title starts by assuming there really was a raw milk tragedy, and then goes from that premise.

Watching you guys is like watching kids on a playground, being tricked by an older evil kid, you try to help but the kids ignore you…

Several articles back, I made a post, explaining why I no longer post in this blog, the center of gravity here being way too far from Reality. I’m making one more post here because you guys are a threat to me and the whole raw milk community, with your childish approach.

I made a lot of posts last year, and they got erased. I’m not going to repeat the links. But one of the themes of my posts was that dirty tricks is standard operating procedure for the government. I posted articles going into how all the well intentioned grassroot movements have historically been infiltrated and derailed by government agents, and other means. Over and over again well intentioned people have learned this the hard way…I posted that video of that “testimony” of the 14 year old Kuwaiti girl, before Congress, breaking into tears, telling her make believe story about babies being thrown out of incubators by Iraqi soldiers… This fake testimony was used by Bush Sr over and over to launch the first Gulf War.

I compared the wording of this Kuwaiti girl to JillyB’s testimony in this blog, the mother involved in the Foundation Farm “Raw Milk Tragedy” that is the subject of David’s article here. Some of Jillyb’s words are almost word for word identical with that Kuwaiti girl’s: “my life was changed forever…”, like it came out of the same CIA textbook.

You space cadets need to start waking up. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but so many of you being clueless to how the government operates, is a threat to us all. There is no reason to take that Foundation Farm story seriously. It’s a government stunt.

Mary Martin Mcgonigle’s pattern fits exactly with how government agents operate also. Going around endlessly retelling her “tragic story” (which no independent group has ever bothered to even investigate), these isolated stories being retold over and over by the media cartel, and yet the thousands of mothers with real world stories of children healed of life threatening conditions like asthma, how much airtime do these stories get with the media cartel? Basically zero. (I already mentioned how farmers get fined 8000 dollars for putting mothers’ raw milk healing testimonies on their website, but Mary Martin Mcgonigle and company are allowed to put their “real life stories” about the alleged dangers of raw milk online, with impunity. The website Mary is hooked in with can’t seem to find any of the thousands or millions of raw milk healing stories, only (alleged) disease stories.

David’s blog says comments are welcome if “genuine”. Why he allows someone like Mary to post here is beyond me, someone obviously hooked in with a propaganda website.

I posted about the Iranian government that the CIA overthrew in the early 50s, when their president wouldn’t play ball with Big Oil. As one author who wrote about this said in an interview, “Even today he (the Iranian ex leader) would be amazed if he knew how much of the “unrest” and “instability” leading to his overthrow was simply created by the CIA.

People, the secret government spies on everything we do. Even the most spaced out person, if you simply investigate things in the real world, will quickly find that they are the real terrorists, they are the bad guys.

I can’t give people common sense. But I feel duty bound to tell you all once again, being spaced out like most of you are, about the most basic facts on how the government operates behind the scenes, makes you a threat to everybody.

Being involved in environmentalism, you come across the secret government presence regularly. To give but one example, a girl that was head of a small environmental group (less than ten people), wrote up how they got derailed and all ended up with criminal records: A guy joined their group, seemed like a good guy… ended up sleeping with the her, did other things together… and ended up talking the group into doing this illegal stunt with a local corporate polluter. It was all a set up, everyone got busted and now has criminal records, except for of course the government agent that instigated the whole thing. You can find all the stories like this you want, out in the Real World.

On a different note (no pun), I posted a song about raw milk in that earlier article I posted in this month. I am focusing on non verbal communication such as music, from here on out. Reason and real world facts don’t seem to reach too many people these days.

Ok back to your debate on whether it’s ok to eat real foods, and whether the government and media cartel are trustworthy.

ps the lyrics to my song are hard to hear so here they are:

Mother Earth turns right on time
I see the Sun feed the trees
I see the cows in the field
The ancient food nourishes me

But there are evil people
who want to make you sick
with their modern fake-foods
and their dirty tricks

Deborah - Pacifica
February 23, 2014

David & Shawna – you both are so correct on this…a huge lost opportunity on different levels, plus being a preventable situation that unfortunately gives raw milk a bad rap. Here you have the Salyers, lovely people, with good intentions & honorable people, but unfortunately their experience with this incident has totally scared them off. It does appear that they did not have the experience, knowledge & skills for being raw milk farmers, but they could have had the opportunity to have become so. Unfortunately, that will never be so now. Having them drop out of the raw milk production is a big loss. My heart goes out to them & the others that were sickened & extremely saddened that they will never discover the true benefits of safe, clean, nutrient-rich raw milk. This is not the raw milk experience that any of them should have had. This is also an example that when someone goes into any form of food production, they need to be fully knowledgable & trained in the techniques required. A big appalling aspect of this situation is that those against raw milk production, access & consumption will take full advantage of this incident & ‘milk’ (yes, pun intended) it for all it’s worth. Never mind that there are many, many raw milk farms & farmers across the nation (some of which I have had the privilege to meet in my travels) that have been producing safe, healthy, clean raw milk for many, many years without any incidents ever! But, of course, this will never be mentioned nor acknowledged by the raw milk opponents. The opponents like to say that “raw milk production can never be safe” totally excluding those that have been doing so nationwide for a very long time. This is so frustrating, as this omission gives incorrect information to those who do not know, yet alone, understand the raw milk ‘picture’. Another frustration is people, such as the new poster, who have no clue about the history & purpose for pasteurization. The true history of pasteurization came about by a request from Emperor Napoleon III who enlisted Pasteur to save the French wine industry which were causing huge economic losses. It did not come about for the use with milk!

~ Deborah