Another Dairy Farmer Questions the Ag Regulators Practice of Shooting First and Never Asking Questions

One thing you have to say about the state agriculture officials in New York, Pennsylvania, and California. At least theyre consistent.

When they claim to find pathogens in samples of raw milk and no one gets sick, they force a recall or shut down raw milk production at the targeted dairy.

And when people who happen to be raw milk drinkers get sick and no pathogens are found, the regulators automatically blame raw milk, and force a recall or shut down milk production.

Sometimes they find a dairy producer who gets their sadistic juices flowing, like Mark Nolt, and they hit him again and again, where the only indications of pathogens or illness seem to be with the individual regulators in charge.

Heads I win, tails you lose.

The only good news is that the regulators’ claims are increasingly being questioned. Farmers are speaking up more often and more strongly. And, surprise surprise, theyre actually getting at least a bit of their viewpoint heard in the media.

The latest such raw-milk mystery involves a Pennsylvania dairy, Hendricks Farms and Dairy, accused by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture of having sold raw milk that sickened at least ten people with campylobacter. Except the PDA cant find any campylobacter in the dairys milk, nor do independent tests by the dairy show any pathogens.

The Pennsylvania Health Secretary took the unusual step of issuing a press release on PR Newswire, a major press release distribution service that charges hundreds of dollars to issue releases. (To locate the release, go to www.prnewswire.com, and search under Hendricks.)

All that has the dairys owner, Trent Hendricks, understandably upset.

HF&D has never had a positive pathogen test from any samples taken directly from our farm. Any statements to the contrary are false and misleading., Trent says on the farms web site.

And local organizations of consumers are speaking up as well. Three organizationsthe Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the Pennsylvania Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, and the Weston A. Price Foundationon Wednesday issued a joint press release stating, A series of rush-to-judgment raw dairy recalls and actions against raw milk farmers around the country, has exposed inappropriate protocols used to assess the safety of raw milk and extreme bias on the part of investigators.

Trent points out in that joint release, I have jumped through hoops in an attempt to meet or surpass the state requirements. Our farm has an excellent track record on test results, and we even go above and beyond by testing the milk weekly for pathogens. All of our good faith efforts and compliance didnt amount to a hill of beans. When we needed the benefit of the doubt from the state, it wasnt there. We take food safety very seriously. All we asked is that PDA have evidence before they convict us. Instead, they insisted on putting out a press release damning our product before test results were back–before they had any conclusive proof.

It would seem as if the local agency that requires you to register and takes your registration fee should be willing to try to figure out exactly what’s happening before shutting you down.

The local news media have given the affair significant coverage and, to the credit of some, have raised the questionable nature of the findings.

Youd think that with all the questionable findings, or non-findings, that maybe the regulators would be curious to understand the discrepancies. That is, maybe theyd want to have their scientists explore what could be leading to false positives, or what other foods or conditions might be making people sick. Because right now, all theyre doing is confusing people.

It’s important to understand that the state agencies take their marching orders from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and here is what the FDAs John Sheehan, Director, Division of Plant and Dairy Food Safety Office of Food Safety, said before the Maryland House of Delegates in early 2007 when testifying against legislation that would have allowed cow-shares in the state:

Raw milk should not be consumed by anyone, at any time, for any reason. FDA’s opinion in this matter is entirely consistent with that of the American Medical Association, which holds as policy the position that all milk sold for human consumption should be required to be pasteurized

You cant get a much more definitive policy statement than that. The fact that half a million or more Americans are consuming raw milk each day without any problems is irrelevant to the regulators. If youre basing policy on ideology, exploration is the last thing you want to encourage. Because the answers might be different than what you want them to be.

Leave a Reply

54 Comments on "Another Dairy Farmer Questions the Ag Regulators Practice of Shooting First and Never Asking Questions"


Don
September 19, 2008

Can anyone fault or even wonder why Mark Nolt or the many other brave Pa. raw dairy farmers are rejecting the "permitting" process? Its freedom or tyranny there is no in between.

Gary Cox
September 19, 2008

david, trent has asked for representation and the board of the legal defense fund has agreed. we’re officially representing trent in this and maybe in one other case.

farmwife
September 19, 2008

Don, exactly! They harrass anyone who sells Raw Milk! If you have a permit or contracts they are out to get either one. All I can say is that the more news it makes the more business the Raw Milk farmer gets! There scare tactics are working with most people anymore.

People wonder why the fuss and do the research!

Go Farmers Go!

raw milk mommy
September 19, 2008

In the raw milk community, it is common knowledge that raw milk has anti-microbial properties. We also know that there is always a remote possibility that raw milk can harbor pathogens.

Mark McAfee did a test on his milk: McAfee injected E.coli, listeria, and salmonella in his milk and in pasteurized milk. He says that in the raw milk, none of the added pathogens survived because of the naturally occurring acids and anti-microbial bacteria that fought off these pathogens.

It doesnt say how long it took for the pathogens to die. Was it hours, days?

Last month in Connecticut, the same exact thing happened, except it was a different bacterium. People became ill after drinking raw milk, but they didnt find the pathogen in the milk. However, later they found the matching fingerprint in cow poop on the farm. So it was in the milk, but didnt but tested false negative. Maybe after time the pathogen disappears because of the anti-microbial properties.

Maybe the same thing happened in this situation.

milkfarmer
September 19, 2008

"All of our good faith efforts and compliance didnt amount to a hill of beans"

And many wonder why the raw milk movement is best served underground……….

farmwife
September 19, 2008

My question is where are the actual people who do get sick. I never see an interview on TV or in the newspapers of them. How do we know that they aren’t making it up? There is no evdience of sick people. Ok, if they are too sick, than can speak later. I just don’t believe it.

Also, most customers buying raw milk know there farmer as a friend for the most part and our weekly customers. This isn’t the normal big business where you are just a number. You are treated as a friend and customer at the sametime. Now I realize some raw milk dairies are alot bigger, but not all. So when it comes to sick people, the farmer and family should be sick too. I know for us we get milk out of the batch everyday, so we know what we are selling.

Our customers don’t believe this crap on the news. They feel it is all scare tactics and that just makes them buy more stuff that isn’t government approved. The US a FREE Country, well than let everyone do there thing. If they come to the farm, it takes effort to do this. I feel this are the educated people who know what they want. They know the risks, but if the farmer screws up, the farmer has no business. This is where the state comes in to mess it up for the farmer. Well, they don’t mess it up! The customers and new people come all the more!

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 19, 2008

"Youd think that with all the questionable findings, or non-findings, that maybe the regulators would be curious to understand the discrepancies."

It is obvious that they only care about their own agenda. To hell with facts,honesty, freedom of choice, or truth.

Steve Bemis
September 19, 2008

Not to defend those who ought not be defended (they are certainly abroad in the land, and they must be challenged in their excesses), but as a point of reference and in fairness, there are regulators who are trying to have an honest dialogue. A partial approach to such a dialogue seems to have happened in the California hearings leading up to SB201, although the regulators were notably absent. In Michigan we’ve had a group meeting for well over a year now, including facilitators from Michigan State University, top milk regulators from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, "fresh unprocessed milk" producers (to distinguish their product from raw milk that is intended for pasteurization) and even pasteurized milk producers ("big ag") at the same table, meeting monthly. A central premise seems to be, that neither side should dictate to the others. It should be just as valid for those who wish to drink only pasteurized milk to do so, as it is for those of us who wish to drink raw milk to raise our glass. The group’s broad goal is to figure out where fresh unprocessed milk should be in Michigan over the next 3-5 years. Their agenda is long and thorough, and they are making progress (cow share agreements are valid in Michigan, but retail sales are not). Based on this experience, it seems important for everyone to keep their eyes and ears open, and look for opportunities to dialogue in ways which will preserve the right to choose the foods we eat, while preserving regulation only for those products which actually require it. The dividing line between the freedom and the regulation is THE question, obviously, with most of us preferring more freedom and less regulation.

mark mcafee
September 20, 2008

Great ideas flowing today.

We have found in CA that the definition of illness is undefined. If a pathogen is found in someones stool sample, that counts as an illness even if that person is not treated and not hospitalized.

So the very definition of what a "sick patient" is…is not defined ( so far as we can see ). So numbers of sick people is a smoke screen that no one can look behind, becasue the identities of the patients is not revealed and no one knows if any one is really sick.

That is why I immediately traveled to Loma Linda hospital on September 25th 2006 at the onset of the OPDC ecoli recall. The state agencies told the public in press releases that six kids were near death and on respirators.

What I found was two kids…not six. What I found was two kids that did not have matching pathogens in their stool samples. What I found was two kids that were not in ICU two days after our recall was initiated and were not on life support. This was a huge difference from what was told to the public.

So the search for the truth offers a big insight into what the public is told and the truth actually is. The exposure of this gross disconnect of information verses state Press Release information was the major reason that OPDC got their raw permit reinstated quickly and the state of CA signing a Settlement and Release for recalling product that could not be found to be contaminated ( they also wrote a big check to cover some of the lost product ).

So if you have some diarrhea and go to a doctor and they take a sample and find Campylobacter, it is reported to the health reporting agencies and you become a statistic in a data base. Your level of illness is not really an issue. You are part of the "gotcha data" even though you may not be ill ( what ever that means ).

In order to be defined as an outbreak, it is important to note that it takes more than one sample reporting positive to get on the radar screen. It takes more than two and they ( from what I have been told ) must be from different families.

So…here lies the problem. The regulators may find a pathogen in a stool sample but they may not have a sick patient to go with the pathogen. When people are exposed to pathogens most of the time they become immune to those pathogens. Hence, that is why dairy farmers rarely ever get sick from drinking raw milk that routinely may contain so called pathogens.

Which brings us to the greater question…what the hell is a pathogen.

Pathogens are politically significant bacteria or viruses ( biological agents ) that may cause illness in susceptible hosts ( people ). As our country slips further away from its food sources and becomes more and more immune depressed ( because of antibiotic abuse and lack of exposure to biodiversity that can be consumed and found in natural foods ) the list of politically correct pathogens gets longer and longer.

This is the chicken and egg challenge. The challenge is to educate our consumers, because when a consumer understands basic immune system physiology, they rebel against the sterilized paradigm.

So we have our work cut out for us. There must be a change of theory and this is a force that is massive. Sick people make money for doctors and insurance companies and drug companies. So why change anything???

We try and connect with consumers directly and bypass the paradigm in power and educate the consumers themselves. A small percentage want to know the truth and see the truth as evidenced by better health in their families.

This is a long road….the road to sustainable health through whole food nutrition.

Speak these things to power and the power crumbles. These are the talking points for addressing sterile food lovers like FDA’s John Sheehan. He will say the same old things in response and look really stupid.

Mark Mcafee

Lisa
September 20, 2008

"What I found was two kids…not six. What I found was two kids that did not have matching pathogens in their stool samples. What I found was two kids that were not in ICU two days after our recall was initiated and were not on life support. This was a huge difference from what was told to the public."

Mark, You just don’t know when to stop. I don’t know who your trying to fool. It is really insulting.

concerned
September 20, 2008

Here we go again.

Mark McAfee says something and someone gets insulted.

Steve Bemis
September 20, 2008
a disgusted reader
September 20, 2008

Mark McAfee,

You come on this blog and twist the facts about the children who became ill in September of 2006. It is unconscionable! You state you visited on September 25, 2006. Both children entered the hospital at the end of the first week of September. Around three weeks later, you come for a visit. Does that erase what occurred the three weeks before? Chris Martin almost died. Please do not make light of this fact. The day you came to visit he was past the ventilator stage (life support), but he was still in the pediatric intensive care unit and still enduring dialysis (his kidneys werent fully functioning). When you had your little rally celebration on September 29, 2006, Chris was back in the PICU because he suffered two seizures and had to be placed back on the ventilator.

Do you think this is funny????? Playing games with the facts. It is sick!!!!!!

It is disgusting on such a deep level that you would visit these families in the hospital and then tell lies to the raw milk community about the facts regarding this case. There is not even a name in the dictionary to describe someone who is low as you have become. Your behavior is repulsive!

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 20, 2008

Steve, can the Hendricks sue the state? The false accusation, I am sure hurt the business for a time.

IS there a way to notify the public on a grand scale of the targeting of raw dairies? You know it won’t stop at just the raw dairies.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 20, 2008

Lordy David….here we go again.

curious
September 20, 2008

Sylvia, give me a break. You remind me of a blind follower of a religious cult movement. Are you a beloved follower of Mark McAfee? Are you another victim who has fallen for his lies? If so, youve been brainwashed. Try using some discernment.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 20, 2008

"You remind me of a blind follower of a religious cult movement. Are you a beloved follower of Mark McAfee? Are you another victim who has fallen for his lies? If so, youve been brainwashed. Try using some discernment. "

Whatever. Your opinion isn’t my concern. Childish bickering serves no purpose. If the posters don’t like what someone says, have the maturity to ignore it or take it private. I don’t follow anyone nor am I a victim. Perhaps it is you who are brainwashed. Perhaps you are a victim of the govts lies?

revgen
September 20, 2008

A Discusted Reader,

I know who Mark McAfee is. However, I don’t know who you are.

There is nothing wrong with posting anonymously, I do it myself. But if you are going to accuse somebody of lying, then at least identify yourself and tell us why Mark is a liar.

no name
September 20, 2008

Who cares what name people use when they post. Does it really make a difference?

revgen
September 20, 2008

A name doesn’t really matter if you are just posting opinions. However accusing somebody of lying while posting this accusation anonymously seems a bit extreme. If you have information that proves somebody is lying, then at least tell us who you are and how you come to know what you know. Mark has given his side of the story. If this person has a different side and knows something, then come out with it. Otherwise I have to assume that A Disgusted Reader is just a troll looking for fun.

concerned
September 20, 2008

Disgusted, et al

Here are some facts:

No pathogens were found at the OP farm or in the OP products.

The children did not get sick from OP products.

The state paid a settlement to OP.

Any other conclusion is pure speculation or a hallucination..

Get over it. Get some therapy. Change your meds.

Revgen,

Troll is the word. Calling Mark a liar is a typical ploy of the anti wholesome milk crowd.

Mark,

Please continue your good work. As a leader you will be taking hits from those who don’t like or agree with you. I hope you have the strength to continue. I support my raw milk farmer whenever possible.

Dave Milano
September 20, 2008

Steve Bemis correctly said "The dividing line between the freedom and the regulation is THE question, obviously, with most of us preferring more freedom and less regulation." But there is a tether on our freedom, called healthcare. Our health science controls the regulations, and as so many have said here and elsewhere, it is based on a faulty premise, that bugs equal sickness. Until that premise is called into question, this fight will not go away.

Raw milk regulation is very emblematic of the mess. Medical theory dictates (now there’s a truism that ought to give pause–theory "dictating") for example, that microbial growth in milk increases the risk of transmitting illness. Regulation follows in kind. So in the milking parlor, milk goes into a chiller as soon as possible. But is that wise with raw milk? Many here are picking up on the idea that positive microbes in raw milk neutralize potentially negative ones. Could that be why raw milk pathogens (our definition of that word sorely needs changing) are here today, gone tomorrow? And if raw milk microbes do offer some natural protection, why not give them a chance by delaying chilling? Well, because we already know, KNOW, that the fewer microbes we have the better. No need to go further. Regulations stand.

Until the notion is better accepted that health is damaged, not assisted, by a kill-the-bug methodology, researchers will not be sufficiently interested in the related functional biology, the medical establishment will maintain its inertia, and we will be stuck in a perpetual uphill battle for our rights to live in concert with microbes.

In this day of dense regulation of everything, when every good idea must become a law or a regulation, understanding must come before rights.

A disgusted reader
September 20, 2008

I will assume the Hendricks are reading this blog. Mark McAfee does serve as a learning tool for raw milk farmers who find themselves in a situation where people have become ill after consuming their raw milk. DONT DO WHAT HE HAS DONE!

When people become ill, have sensitivity to the fact people have suffered; especially if children are involved.
Dont down play the seriousness of the illness
If for some reason you ever visit the ill children or adults in the hospital, dont twist the facts and make up lies about the visit. For example, dont tell people you talked to the doctors and reviewed the medical records.
t is probably wise not to tell people that the victims really werent that sick

In the 2006 California case involving OPDC, raw milk was implicated. The contaminated food that was ingested has NOTHING to do with the facts as to the severity of how ill these children became. Why would Mark McAfee lie about the facts regarding anything to do with children that were hospitalized? Why is he even talking about anything that has to do with the medical care of these children?

So two years after the fact, heres the spin Mark McAfee still spews:

That is why I immediately traveled to Loma Linda hospital on September 25th 2006 at the onset of the OPDC ecoli recall. The state agencies told the public in press releases that six kids were near death and on respirators.

Correction of Facts:
His dairy was closed September 22nd. He didnt arrive at the hospital until September 25th. Remember, the children had been in the hospital since early September. The parents had contacted the dairy. If he was really concerned about the children, he would have visited much earlier. He didnt visit until his dairy was closed down.
The T.V. coverage on September 22nd indicated there were 3 children ill: One in San Diego County, one in Riverside County, and one in San Bernardino County. It stated that the girl in San Diego was back home and recovering. Mark McAfee was interviewed and he stated that the media was overreacting.
The T.V. coverage on September 25th (the same day Mark claims he visited) showed a picture of Lauren Herzog and stated that she was at Loma Linda University Childrens hospital. They stated that both children were recovering and both had been moved to the pediatric intensive care step down unit (actually Chris Martin wasnt moved to the step down unit until a few days later, only to quickly return to the PICU).
Go to http://cbs2.com/video/ to view news stories. Type in raw milk to find the stories
There was nothing in the news media about Chris Martin being on the ventilator. Mark knew this information because he was talking to the person who gave Lauren Herzog the raw milk.
Chris Martin did endure a ventilator for nine long, miserable, heartsick days

What I found was two kids…not six. What I found was two kids that did not have matching pathogens in their stool samples. What I found was two kids that were not in ICU two days after our recall was initiated and were not on life support. This was a huge difference from what was told to the public.

Correction of Facts:
Everyone discovered there were actually six children involved in this outbreak. These facts came out after the lawsuit was filed (February 2008). During the timeframe that Mark visited the hospital, only 3 children were claimed to have become ill. There is nothing in the news media about 6 children on respirators. Mark just likes to make up facts to suit the venue he is pushing at the time.
Ecoli 0157:H7 was isolated in Lauren Herzog. They were unable to isolate the bacteria that caused Chris Martin to become ill. See how Mark framed this. It sounds like two different pathogens were found. This is not the case. Both children developed HUS. E.coli 0157:H7 is famous for causing this syndrome in children. Both Lauren and Chris suffered complete kidney failure and needed kidney dialysis to keep them alive.

Heymoytic Uremic Syndrome is a very serious medical condition. 5% of children who develop this die. It is nothing to make light of and nothing to present false facts about. Children and their families deserve nothing but the greatest compassion and respect when they are confronted with the challenge of surviving this horrific illness. Mark McAfee doesnt seem to grasp this concept.

I am hardly a troll telling lies. I’m sorry some have a difficlt time with the truth.

elderberryjam
September 20, 2008

"Do you think this is funny????? Playing games with the facts. It is sick!!!!!!"

I agree with this statement, on both sides, not just Mark’s. It is horrendous when the news media reports that 6 children are on life support, when only two are. It is horrendous when health departments and state agricultural departments spend money on press releases rather than on looking for where the pathogen came from when that is not clear.

The only way to solve such a problem is for Mark to defend himself, even in the face of a dying child, to hold those agencies accountable. To do this publicly takes courage. Otherwise, we will never know why children became sick, or what actually sickened them. People become an old west posse, looking to hang someone without a trial. From a medical standpoint, that issue to me is primary, and I actually find the public agency behavior in this situation more disgusting than Mark’s, even though I disagree with some of his opinions.

"Who cares what name people use when they post. Does it really make a difference? "

It makes a difference to me. I don’t take anonymous posts seriously, and I suspect them of being some of the same people who post under other names, who have very strong bias’. If someone posts a diatribe against Sarah Palin and lists themselves as "disgusted," I would take that post much less seriously than I would if they listed themselves as "Bill Marler" or "Mark McAfee." Their intentions and accountability are hidden. They could be some psychologist playing troll in their time off for kicks, so far as I’m concerned.

Whereas if you type in my given name into Google, you will come up with numerous geneology hits. If you type my internet handle, you come up with my blog, which contains pictures of my farm and of me. So you know where I come from. I am not, and don’t try to be anonymous.

Despite Mark McAfee’s glibness, I have a lot more regard for his position than for those who post under titles such as "concerned," "disgusted," or "no name," and give the posts of those who accept such BASIC public accountability much more weight when considering my own position.

Gwen

anonymous
September 20, 2008

Warning: if you post a real name, that person who produced raw dairy/colostrum linked to 2 outbreaks and 2 recalls will immediately threaten to sue you.

Robin Marie Monroe
September 20, 2008

Gwen, Youve missed the point. It is horrendous when the news media reports that 6 children are on life support, when only two are. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. I gave everyone the website for the news videos from the Sept,. 2006 raw milk outbreak. Watch them and see for yourself how the media covered on this story.

I used a name. Does this somehow make the news stories that you can view more valid?

A disgusted reader

revgen
September 21, 2008

A Disgusted Reader,

Since you failed to either post your real identity or the source from which you’ve acquired your "facts" as I’ve requested, I will consider you a troll from now on. I was willing to hear your side, but it appears that you are not willing to actually be on the level here.

maurice
September 21, 2008

I live in a society that is predisposed to witch-hunting.

If you believe that there is a devil or witch, then you are going to find one.

I have been both a hunter and huntee. It was interesting to be on the receiving end after so many years of being other wise.

The decision to break from this was the first mature decision I ever made.

I have problems with commentators who speak without having ever been an active part of any dairy and ranch. This means WORK and being intimately involved in day to day operations.

The mindset of a rancher/dairyman to death and sickness is different than the mainstream. It is a daily fact of life in a myriad of ways and no matter what happens, the animals need to be fed and milked daily. The work continues on. It has to.

Unless you have ranching, farming, dairying experience or unless you know any of these farmer’s personally (McAfee, Nolt, etc), unless you’ve had experience with raw dairy, then seriously think twice about what you contribute.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 21, 2008

Anonymous, if my business was slandered, I’d sue too, as would many business owners. As Gwen pointed out, any business owner will defend what they believe is true.

With the govt entities screwing up so often, performing sloppy investigations, it only reinforces the need to speak out. Should Mark or any other dairy farmer just lay down and take what the govt says as fact, when it is obvious they have performed substandardly?

Maurice, my friend’s husband died a few years ago. They raise standard-breds. All 48 head had to be fed that night and twice each day. Foalings still occured, the chickens needed tending as did the rest of the farm. My father grew up on a dairy in Pheonix in the 20-30s (he swears he only wants to see beef on a plate now) It is hard work. All 14 kids drank the milk they retrieved from the cows. He didn’t know what pasteurization was until after he was drafted. He doesn’t recall anyone getting sick from milk. I haven’t milked a cow since the 60s and don’t want to start at this point in my life. I have no problem paying someone else to do it.

Maurice
September 21, 2008

Sylvia,

Your post is what I am talking about.

Thanks.

curious
September 21, 2008

Here’s the CDFA press release–Organic Pastures Raw Milk Recall. It mentions only 3 children.

http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/Press_Releases/Press_Release.asp?PRnum=06-053

anonymous
September 21, 2008

Out for a nice late summer evening troll…you guys banter back and forth about rights to sell/buy raw milk. The evolution of the conversation has gone from discounting food safety to admitting it is the key point of the debate. Open minded and curious by nature, I read the state reports and looked up the farmer under discussion: http://www.fresnobee.com/263/story/827763.html

An outstanding citizen that has the time to make safe raw milk/colostrum?

Conclusion: the consumers do not have the ability to "know the farmer" when a product is sold commercially. It is the responsibility of the retailers and the regulators to deal with deceptive advertising, greed, and lies. The public cannot be expected to "know the farmer" when they are buying from a major retailer. If raw milk goes commercial, this is an example of how "not to do it."

anonymous
September 21, 2008

curious,

dumb thought, but maybe reports come out before all information is available. the agencies could wait, but how much would the public like that? we knew of x cases and x product associated with illness, but decided to wait for several weeks/months to tell the public, because there might be a press release that doesn’t coincide with the final sloppy report we are going to write.

If you were in charge of food safety and public health, how would you respond to several people being sick and the only thing in common being a raw dairy? If you were in charge, how would you deal with a positive pathogen test from a raw dairy? If SB 201 passes, there may be many positive tests – how would you respond knowing the limitations of the technology, but also knowing that you would worry about someone getting sick?

Mary Blair McMorran
September 21, 2008

No Name said "Who cares what name people use when they post. Does it really make a difference? "

Yes. It does to me. I like to know a poster’s identity. When you post anonymously, you are a coward. You don’t have the personal courage to stand behind your name. The raw milk movement is all about taking personal responsibility for one’s health. If you don’t understand that, you appear to be a sniper, shooting in surprise from the dark, afraid to put your name on your arrows. You disrepect my freedom of choice, therefore, you don’t warrant my respect.

I would prefer that anonymous posts receive no response – they are snipers – paid to kill. I don’t have time for cowards. They are vastly irritating.
-Blair

elderberryjam
September 21, 2008

Disgusted, you missed a very important point about forums. Your post was not visible when I posted mine, so I was unable to view the videos. I believe 6 or 7 people all wrote and posted around the very same time, and so were unable to see each others’ responses as they were being concurrently written. Even so, your argument is shoddy.

"Both children developed HUS. E.coli 0157:H7 is famous for causing this syndrome in children. Both Lauren and Chris suffered complete kidney failure and needed kidney dialysis to keep them alive. "

You are still making several assumptions: 1)The E. coli came from Mark’s milk; 2)That it was the milk’s e-coli that caused the HUS; and 3) That Mark has direct responsibility and culpability for their kidney failure and poor health. You made further assumptions regarding the information he had received without knowing his sources. You did not quote television stations or news sources. It is often true that different sources quote different facts, so it is possible there were stories saying there were 6 children in the ICU. Just because you posted one that didn’t doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Culpability of Mark’s milk has not been legally established, but you talk as though it was tried and convicted.

Because of these problems, I’m sorry, but I have to ignore your entire argument.

Gwen

nameless
September 21, 2008

Gwen, I can see that the truth is too scary for you even to contemplate. Three sources have been posted on this topic; the report from the CDFA and two news videos to view. They all state basically the same information.

If Im not mistaken, you are a raw milk dairy farmer or have sold raw milk in the past. You seem to have integrity so Im sure it is difficult for you to believe that another dairy farmer would make up blatant lies about helpless children who became ill.

How come no one is asking Mark McAfee to site his source? Where did he hear or read the information about 6 children on respirators? Mark can you make your source materialize? This should be interesting. Can you pull it out of a hat like a rabbit trick?

Blair, just make sure you skip over this. I know you wouldnt want to be exposed to the truth either. Just because someone is a raw dairy farmer, doesnt mean they have character and integrity. See the link posted by anonymous. Is anyone willing to open their eyes? Or are blinders safer? In the world of psychology its called denial.

elderberryjam
September 21, 2008

Nameless, you ARE mistaken. I have never sold raw milk. We milk a maximum of 3 goats at a time, for our own use, and did not milk at all last year. I sometimes make cheese as a hobby, especially Chevre, in my kitchen, for my family. I pasteurize the milk I feed my family on my stove at home. I have BOUGHT raw milk from farmers whose barns I’ve been in chatting with them and their cows. I raise fiber and meat animals. The most meat animals I’ve sold in a year is 6, and the most fleeces I’ve sold in a year is 10.

I might have gone bigger a long time ago, but I am the primary income earner in my family of 6, so I work as a nurse. I currently work on a busy floor with often critically ill people, and seeing people die, or saving them from dying is a regular part of my job. I also have 4 children and belong to several organizations and am very negligably active in my church.

The truth you seem to know doesn’t exist, because there is no proof of it. The assumptions you have made about me prove you are careless with your facts. I’m playing Socrates here. I’m not some blind raw milk follower. I simply want people who make assumptions when lab tests don’t back them up to come clean. I don’t think Mark McAfee is any saint, and have stated so numerous times. Many people in this group and others make false assumptions about my opinions because of the questions I ask – but my questions often have very little to do with my opinion. I also don’t usually join bandwagons or "sides," although I sometimes do.

Infectious disease is a fickled puzzle, and frankly, I’m fascinated with it. I aced Microbiology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology; have taken Calculus and 4 college Chemistry classes.

If you were to accuse me of making somebody ill, and you didn’t have the facts straight to prove I did, you can bet you are up for a hard battle. And you can bet I will sue you for libel if you can’t prove your statement, if you put me out of business as a result. If I invest a livelihood in a large operation, and you post a video of a sick kid on the internet, and you can’t prove I made that kid sick, yup, I’m going to be pissed off. I will feel bad for that child and may even mourn for them; but if you cannot prove to me that I made that child ill, to accuse me of doing so, and flagrantly announcing it to the public is taking it to a new level. I’ve been reading this forum and others for a few years, and nobody has come up with hard facts that Organic Pastures made those kids ill. They might HAVE made them ill. It might even be LIKELY.

The only even close connection is to outsourced milk.

But there are no facts to prove it.

That is the truth, and it is too bad that some people here are unable to see this.

Shall we halt all raw milk production because a few children MIGHT have gotten ill and almost died as a result of consuming raw milk? Applying this logic to all food we consume, we would have to halt all food production. As a person who regularly sees people lose their lives, and regularly follows lab tests to report to doctors, I think there has to be a different approach. Putting OP out of business will not solve this problem. Recalling food after we think there MIGHT be a pathogen that makes someone ill will have us going on wild goose chases with all food. It is madness. From what I see in the hospital, furthermore, leads me to feel that singling out raw milk is ludicrous.

As a small farmer who is acutely aware of the many barricades and hurdles I must jump even to keep a small herd of 30 animals, I am gravely concerned about our ability to feed ourselves and our small communities in the event of a major military event or disaster. Most of our food comes from large farms. To centralize milk production legally, and keep it so, is a mistake so far as I’m concerned. I think it is much more important to get a handle on how pathogens go about making people ill in our food; and much more important to have many local sources of food; and some protection for the people who produce it.

Unable to see the truth? It depends on what truth you’re talking about. Assumptions are not truth.

Gwen

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 21, 2008

The govt entities have a very good track record for performing poorly. The FDA was aware of contamination problems in Californias Salinas Valley agricultural region for years. They knew of the virulent strain of E. coli, associated with manure and run-off from the large factory cattle farms, and knew it had repeatedly been detected in spinach and other leafy greens fields in the region. Yet, they failed to inform the public. They knew about the peanutbutter contamination in, I think it was 2004, yet they did nothing.

http://wizbangblue.com/2007/04/25/fda-knew-about-recent-food-contamination-problems.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_foodborne_illness_outbreaks

This has such a small list of the outbreaks, in 2000, Wendys didn’t get shut down " although beef was the suspected vector of transmission, such a link was not conclusively shown" . So much for equality in America.

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html

This shows what TPTB ALLOW in our foods. "Average of more than 1mg mammalian excreta per pound" Yum!

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 21, 2008

"I think it is much more important to get a handle on how pathogens go about making people ill in our food; and much more important to have many local sources of food; and some protection for the people who produce it."

Gwen, I would think finding the solution to the first part of your statement would decrease foodborne illness significantly. It doesn’t appear to be a top priority though. During WWII the victory gardens kept many alive. They are important for survival. I do believe education for all is another key for decreasing potentional contamination.

troll
September 21, 2008

Mark McAfee posts on this blog in support of the Hendricks family during the recall that this family is involved in. The examples he gives about his own recall experience are lies. This is the truth that is being referred to right now. We are not debating if the children became ill from his milk. We are debating if this man tells the truth regarding the facts of his own outbreak and recall.

The evidence providednew videos & CDFA reportsupports the claim that Mark McAfee continues to tell lies. Syliva, Gwen, revgen, & Blair, are you willing to acknowledge that in this particular situation with the statements that Mark made and the evidence provided about what was in the press, there is a huge discrepancy? A glowing example about how he behaves in other situations was also provided. Would any of you behave in this manner if your daughter was arrested for drunk driving? This should be a red flag for all of you to question anything that comes out of this mans mouth.

Im surprised that any supporter of raw milk would want this man in their corner. You need to find better raw milk role model and spokesperson for your cause. This man will take you down ugly roads that will not help the raw milk movement.

concerned
September 21, 2008

Trolll,

Mark sounds like a man who is protecting his daughter and standing up to authority.

How would you respond? I guess you would meekly submit.

I would want Mark in my corner any day, not a coward like you giving up all my rights to the government.

Mark, we need warriors like you.

How many here would stand up land fight like Mark has?

Anti-Ignorance
September 21, 2008

Sylvia said: "The FDA was aware of contamination problems in Californias Salinas Valley agricultural region for years. They knew of the virulent strain of E. coli, associated with manure and run-off from the large factory cattle farms, and knew it had repeatedly been detected in spinach and other leafy greens fields in the region. Yet, they failed to inform the public."

There are no cattle "factory farms" in the Salinas Valley. The large central valley dairies and feedlots are 100’s of miles from Salinas Valley. Your ernest desire to blame factory farms and runoff for the spinach E. coli outbreak doesn’t change the facts. From page 3 of the FDA’s executive summary: "land on the ranch was primarily utilized for cattle grazing by the large Paicines Ranch grass fed beef operation."

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/Documents/fdb%20eru%20Spnch%20EC%20Dole032007wph.PDF

http://www.paicinesranch.com/grass-fed-beef.htm

Your statements about this outbreak can be immediately debunked by a drive to the coast (or by looking at a county farm map) . This suggests that you would similarly make false statements (or back-up someone who makes false statements) about raw milk and outbreaks.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 22, 2008

"if your daughter was arrested for drunk driving"

IF my daughter was arrested for DUI and her blood was positive for it, then she would have to deal with the results of her actions . Since I didn’t see your links, I am not seeing how that correlates?

Discrepancies? They come from all areas, that is why most on this blog have stated and encourage people to do thier own research. No one is asking non raw dairy people to conform, just let people make thier own choices. What is so hard about that?

If an MD told you that you had a disease, wouldn’t you research it to learn more about it? I would hope so. If not, how would you be able to recieve optimal care/health?

"The large central valley dairies and feedlots are 100’s of miles from Salinas Valley. Your ernest desire to blame factory farms and runoff for "

Earnest desire? LOL I’ve been in the Salinas area, have friends that grew up there. Do you also only watch Fox news?

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/oct1306ecoli.html
"Manure implicated in E coli outbreak"

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_2644.cfm
"The bacterium that has sickened people across the nation and forced growers to destroy spinach crops is so pervasive in the Salinas Valley that virtually every waterway there violates national standards."

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/355/19/1952
"authorities detected the same strain of the bacterium in manure from one of four contiguous cattle ranches that are suspected sources"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/10/13/MNG71LOT711.DTL
"The pasture is part of an unidentified beef cattle ranch that also leases its fields to spinach growers" "Reilly said that the farm where the suspect manure was found did not fully adhere to the voluntary guidelines used by growers to keep fresh leafy greens safe from contamination. For example, although no evidence indicates that the beef cattle had strayed onto the spinach fields, Reilly said there is concern about the proximity of cattle to spinach fields "

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/sep/21/local/me-water21
"The bacterium that has sickened people across the nation and forced growers to destroy spinach crops is so pervasive in the Salinas Valley that virtually every waterway there violates national standards."

Anti-Ignorance
September 22, 2008

Sylvia,

What is your definition of a factory farm and where are the CAFOs in Salinas Valley? The spinach outbreak strain was found in cattle manure from a grass-fed beef operation that now has its own slaughterhouse. Do you stand by your statement that this is a factory farm associated with E. coli?

http://www.gourmet.com/foodpolitics/2008/04/politicsoftheplate_04_29_08

Two conscientious beef farmers on opposite sides of the country have opened their own slaughterhouses. In Bluffton, GA, White Oak Pastures, the states largest grass-fed beef producer, has just completed its own on-farm plant, according to Sustainable Food News. The plant was designed by Dr. Temple Grandin, an expert on the humane treatment of animals. A similar facility was opened earlier this year by Sallie Calhoun, owner of Paicines Ranch, a grass-fed cattle operation in Benito County, CA

milkfarmer
September 22, 2008

can’t we all just get along……..lol

concerned
September 22, 2008

Looks like the trolls have taken over this blog again.

I strongly suggest not engaging these trolls and ignore them.

Kirsten
September 22, 2008

Tests apparently found Mark’s daughter not under the influence. Tests found OP negative for the matching strain of E. coli. Likewise, tests found Chris Martin negative for E. coli.

Do we accept science, or not?

concerned
September 22, 2008

Kirsten,

Should we blindly follow Mark and WAPF while they promulgate lies?
The science is strong on the OP E. coli and Campy outbreaks. You can suggest reinventing epidemiology, that’s your right, but good luck. Likewise, law enforcement did their job taking a drunk off the road – can you imagine MADD discussing the argument that an adored and worshiped raw milk farmer stepped up in this situation to attack the cops and prevent them from protecting the public (maybe law enforcement faked the data and are in kahoots with public health)? Kudos to law enforcement and the legal system for standing up against weak excuses for bad and deadly behavior.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
September 22, 2008

Wow you continue to say she was drunk, even after the link posted stated she was cleared. FYI, that means she was NOT drunk. Is that defamation (sp) of character? Who said anything about blindly following anyone? As per the link " attorneys said Makel took her crying as a refusal to submit to a blood or breath-alcohol test" Now the cop knows not to assume things.

I wonder why the writer felt it was neccessary to mention Mark’s father? Hmm perhaps a need to make a mundane story appear more exciting? Angela Davis? How many eons ago was that? Geez if that is the best that writer can come up with…. Perhaps I should hide the hippy van and the water pipe I picked up in Turkey. Oh yeah and the opium pot I found at a flea market in France.

It is apparent that some really have it in for Mark more than any other raw dairy farmer. They remind me of those mannish looking women in the old photos running around with axes to stamp out booze. Most assuredly they are not part of any solution. Bad mouthing him or anyone else only closes people minds to what they have to say.

Mary Blair McMorran
September 22, 2008

Gwen wrote: "Infectious disease is a fickled puzzle, and frankly, I’m fascinated with it. I aced Microbiology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology; have taken Calculus and 4 college Chemistry classes."

Me too, Gwen. Don’t have the academic credentials you have, but I’ve been googling it for 8 years. This weekend I went to a Standard Process seminar, and the focus was on gut health. Calcuim, Vitamin F and Vitamin D are called the "Triad of Immunity" – crucial for fighting disease. Ironically, calcium-rich diet (with sunshine and grass-fed fats, as well as the minerals and enzymes that make those nutrients bio-available) are rare in the Standard American Diet. Could that be why people are sickened by manure in our food?

They gave references for studies that show pH, lactic acid inhibit some strains of salmonella – some just by acidity alone. If you have the right gut flora, and gut acidity, e.coli with adequate calcium can’t hurt you. Interesting that corporate dairies are now coming out with patented strains of probiotics – they know the science; but they hate to bow to Ma Nature’s wisdom. No money in it.

Most want to blame something besides themselves for a sick child. It’s too terrible to face. Convenience and money. If we don’t change, We’re screwed.

-blair

concerned
September 22, 2008

Wow,

Some people really hate mark McAfee.

No matter what he does he is guilty.

And remember folks, please don’t feed the trolls.

Don
September 22, 2008

Just my opinion. The biggest problem we have in this endless circular raw milk debate is BIG. BIg farms require retail distribution which maybe the only way for many to have the CHOISE to consume raw milk but that opens the door to BIG government to exert CONTROL. Can anyone say that government is not antii raw milk? Their mantra is always " Children and the elderly should never consume any raw dairy for any reason" that is the governments stated position. No debate.
TPTB "license" and approve filthy confinement dairies and we the sheoples health are poorer as a direct result. TPTB last week in plain site plundered the American tax payers of our last drop of financial blood and placed upon us all of Wall Streets toxic debt.
After many years of being poisoned via the "approved" foods and now being bankrupted by them I fine it hard to believe ANYTHING they say.
I dont know what the answer to all our problems are but I sure would like to give "THE CONSTITUTION" and individual rigths a try, but saddly that wont happen in our socialistic nation

Kirsten
September 22, 2008

concerned,

Yes, the science is good. Extensive testing of the OP facility found no matching E. coli. I don’t have to reinvent epidemiology to think that OP wasn’t the source, and I’m not blindly following anyone.

On the subject of Mark’s daughter, why are some children to be pitied while others undergo character assassination? Both were innocent.

BobdG
September 23, 2008

I work at Hendricks Farms and Dairy so I cannot be objective about this. But I promise you that if we thought we were the source of the outbreak, we would have shut down production without complaint.

Thank you for this.