Learning to Live on a “War” Footing: Louisville Buying Club Knows Better Than to Revel in Its Success; New Theory on Europe Outbreak; FDA “Evidence” on Raw Milk

When an inspector from the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness slapped a quarantine on 76 half gallons of raw milk about to be picked up by members of a local buying club ten days ago, the action seemed to come out of the blue.

But John Moody, the club’s co-administrator, wasn’t in the least bit surprised. “I have been preparing for this for five years,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time till something happens that involves a showdown with the state. It’s not a maybe, it’s a certainty. I’ve always told this to my members.”

This past Friday, a week after the quarantine was implemented, a health inspector showed up again, this time to issue a “withdrawal” of the quarantine. Victory. The first known official withdrawal of a public effort to block raw milk distribution and consumption.

In an email forwarded to Moody from Louisville city officials, Matt Zahn, interim director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, stated: “After lengthy discussion…the Kentucky state health deparment feels that it does not have a legal basis to support quarantining milk from a ‘cow sharer’ group. While they continue to believe (as we do) that raw, unpasteurized milk represents a health hazard, they have reversed their previous guidance and instructed us to release the milk from quarantine.” 

John Moody, co-administrator of Louiisville food club. (Photo by Cathy RaymondBut Moody isn’t basking in the glory. Quite the contrary–he’s preparing for more trouble. Indeed, the email from Zahn of Louisville public health, concludes: “The sale of raw milk remains illegal. I have asked the state health department for a statement clarifying their stance on cow sharer situations in order to avoid local confusion in the future.” In other words, we’ll be back.  

So Moody advises other food clubs to similarly prepare, and stay prepared. Here are five suggestions he offers as guidance for food clubs and herdshares everywhere:

1. Be prepared to fight back. Moody wasn’t sure exactly what the state’s attack would entail, so he couldn’t know in advance how he would fight back. But he knew that resistance was essential, and the first step he came up with was the idea of asking members to officially break the quarantine by taking their milk, and signing an official note so informing public health officials. That led to blog articles and radio interviews, which raised awareness. “You never waste a crisis,” says Moody.

2. Go after state and local legislators…directly. Don’t waste time on petitions or email letter-writing campaigns. “I have never seen a petition accomplish anything,” he says. “And letters go to staffers, who are meant to insulate legislators.” What buying club members need to is “call your legislator.” But don’t call the office. “You wait till the weekend and you call their home numbers.”

3. Prepare food club members to communicate a focused message. It’s important for members who call legislators to “frame the issue carefully.” That means giving members talking points to focus on when they reach legislators, so the message is consistent and focused. The focusing enabled the Louisville buying club to get probably 80% or more of its members feeling comfortable enough to make those personal calls.

4. Develop a united front. Moody says he had worked hard for a number of years to develop alliances with other farming and food organizations. When this crisis hit, they were ready to help out, and had their own members calling legislators, for a kind of echo effect. The result of all the calls was pressure on public health officials to retreat, and retreat is what the Louisville agency did this past Friday.

5. Stay on the move. Moody has no illusions that the latest battle with Louisville officials will mean a cessation of hostilities. “We’re basically at war. We need to play the field as if we’re at war.” For the buying club, that means preparing to move on to new quarters, if necessary, and always being prepared to pick up and re-locate.

Moody says his food club benefited from the new political atmosphere in Kentucky growing out of the election of Tea Party candidate Rand Paul as a U.S. senator. The defeat of the Republican candidate has made state Republican legislators much more open to countering abuse of property rights and privacy.

“This has been a great opening round,” says Moody. “It’s the first case ever in which we’ve gotten them to leave us alone, …on paper.” Until the next time, which is certain to come.
One question that no one seems able to answer is why the E.coli sickening consumers in Europe is so resistant to antibiotics. I’ve assumed it’s the result of over-use of antibiotics on farms around the world. Mike Adams, a health writer, offers another theory–that the E.coli was intentionally manipulated by someone or some group to create fear, and encourage broader sanitation of our food system. Interesting reading.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continually argues that “scientific evidence” shows raw milk to be inherently unsafe. Yet when you look for examples of the evidence, it’s difficult to come by. The same holds true in the FDA’s latest filing in U.S. District Court seeking dismissal of the suit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund challenging the interstate ban on raw milk sales.(I quoted from this response recently about the argument against any claim for food rights, but didn’t have a copy then I could link to.)
If you read through the section beginning on p. 29, “The Administrative Record Contains Ample Evidence
Documenting the Dangers of Raw Milk,” that evidence is primarily statistics from 1923 to 1949, along with two scientific papers linking salmonella outbreaks in California to raw milk. Yes, there are lots of people and organizations and agencies quoted saying the evidence shows raw milk to be a public health threats–many more quotes than data.
And there’s no way to change the situation, the FDA argues. A follow-on section is headed, “FDA Reasonably Concluded That Careful Production of Raw Milk Does Not Eliminate the Public Health Threat.”

Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "Learning to Live on a “War” Footing: Louisville Buying Club Knows Better Than to Revel in Its Success; New Theory on Europe Outbreak; FDA “Evidence” on Raw Milk"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ken Conrad
June 8, 2011 12:19 am


From the article you referenced the author states, When people are afraid, remember, its not difficult to get them to agree to almost any level of regulatory tyranny.

Hes got that right!

For anyone who chooses to believe the above author is exaggerating consider this. The feeding of arsenic laced broiler litter ensiled with GMO high moisture corn to cattle along with a hodge-podge of antibiotics and hormones is well documented and those who endorse such a practice are one brick short of a load. Science in the hands of such individuals hell-bent on manipulation and control is a dangerous… Read more »

June 8, 2011 1:02 am

It is important to take note how this scare was used.Vegetables from Spain were fingered first.Why?There was no evidence to support this accusation.But Spain has been reluctant to accept GMOs and the accusation was enough to destroy the market for their vegetables as punishment.The message was "Open your market to GMOs or else because we(guess who) have the power to destroy your markets".Next Organic local produce in Germany was falsely accused.Why do they make these accusations before they have evidence to back them up?The objective is obviously to cripple these businesses financially.We are in an economic war with big… Read more »

June 8, 2011 6:39 am

Miguel makes a lot of sense.

I was confounded that they'd jumped the gun in blaming/destroying with their accusations industries even before all the results were in.

But then I shouldn't have been… that's been SOP for raw milk accusations all along.

Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 6:53 am

Is this world War 3….

It would appear that the fight over food and sustainance meets all the definitions of war and certainly a world war. John is right and Mike Schmidt is right. This is a war.

When consciuos people see their children being poisoned and see the remedy for that poisoning in unprocessed whole milk…yet they are denied the right to access that food. There will be a fight. Cops involved and government involved and moms involved.

Always wondered what world war 3 would look like. Here we are living it…complete with body count. A body count… Read more »

Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 6:54 am

Congrats to John and his Raw Milk Musketeers…..Daniel Boon would be very proud!

Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 7:11 am

High temperature HTST, UHT, UP have all failed the public and their taste buds and nutritional scrutiny…and now the markets are dictating a change to PMO CAFO Death Row for Raw.

Now it is time to send raw milk to the electric chair for death….it seems to be so much friendlier to kill this way.

Bacteria change…..when will the mind of man.

Milky Way
June 8, 2011 7:53 am

"What is it about raw milk that brings it so much scorn….what is it about scientists that does not allow them to be scientists when it comes to data and the facts.???"

1. That you market, market, market raw milk for children and infants.
2. That you ignore the data and facts on the risk for children and infants.

If raw milk was an "adult beverage," or a risky food eaten by adults drinking alcohol and gulping raw oysters in a bar, it would be a non-issue given limited resources for public health work.


Violet Willis
June 8, 2011 9:29 am

Wow . . . . Milky Way,

I must be a child abuser because when my son was five years old I introduced him to raw oysters . . . . . I picked them by the bucketfulls in an obscure cove in the Chesapeake . . . . some were as big as my foot. We had swapped houses for our vacation with a good friend . . . She lived on the Bay and we lived in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains in Wine Country.

My husband and shucked and feasted on the smaller ones… Read more »

Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 9:48 am


This is the link missing from the comment above that I entered. Some how it did not get connected.

This is the newest effort at CAFO PMO death row….and it has so many death benefits!!

Milky Way I wish you could hear about all the illnesses that babies and families suffer with consumption of pasteurized milk. Does this information have a snow balls chance of penetrating your skull….?

Pasteurized milk is the most allergenic food in America for kids!!!

Google it!

Pasteurized milk causes serious digestive problems for 30-60% of Americans!!!

Try drinking it!

Pasteurized milk killed… Read more »

Milky Way
June 8, 2011 9:56 am


I was just sharing an observation and likely explanation relating to Mark's question. The medical and public health communities are not going to budge in their position until the issue of risk to children and infants is addressed (and that may be an impossible barrier).

Most public health folks support local, fresh, healthy foods, and abhor fast-foods, CAFOs, and antibiotic use in animals for non-medical purposes. Public health practitioners were fighting antibiotic use as growth promoters before the term "foodie" was coined. But, public health scientists don't support raw milk because it is one of the… Read more »

Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 10:25 am

Milky Way,


Most allergenic food in America…PMO CAFO pasteurized milk….


FDA listed Top ten most dangerous foods in America…take note #6 and #7are both pasteurized dairy products ( ice cream and cheese ).

Nealry all of these foods are really good for you! Leafy greens are the most dangerous, yet encouraged by nearly everyone to be eaten. No where on this list is raw milk??!!

Please explain yourself. I do not understand your comment. Please provide the data to support your statement that:

"1. That you market, market, market raw milk for… Read more »

Milky Way
June 8, 2011 10:27 am


If you refer to the CDC FoodNet Atlas of Exposures, you'll see that 78.5% of respondents drank pasteurized milk compared with 3% that drank raw milk in the last 7 days. Putting these numbers together, your allergy rates are not impressive.

Also, there is a campaign to end the "r-word." http://www.r-word.org/


Mark McAfee
June 8, 2011 10:28 am

Many of the FDA Top Ten are, unfortunately, some of the healthiest and most
popular foods consumed in the U.S. And while some are already considered high
risk foods, others are surprising. The FDA Top Ten riskiest foods regulated by FDA
1. Leafy Greens: 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness
2. Eggs: 352 outbreaks involving 11,163 reported cases of illness
3. Tuna: 268 outbreaks involving 2,341 reported cases of illness
4. Oysters: 132 outbreaks involving 3,409 reported cases of illness
5. Potatoes: 108 outbreaks involving 3,659 reported cases of illness
6. Cheese: 83 outbreaks involving 2,761 reported cases of illness
7. Ice Cream: 74 outbreaks involving… Read more »

Milky Way
June 8, 2011 10:59 am


The CSPI list is worthy of consideration, but has several caveats. First, they didn't separate contamination by the food worker/consumer vs. at the farm or elsewhere in the distribution chain. How many of those outbreaks were poorly handled potato or egg salad at a church picnic? Second, they do not include a denominator – billions of leafy greens, shell eggs,etc. are sold, yet only a handful of outbreaks. All that being said, it is too many outbreaks and illnesses.

If you look dollar-for-dollar, more public health response and research funds are put into leafy… Read more »

June 8, 2011 9:43 pm


Your Mayo Clinic reference does not differentiate between raw milk and pasteurized milk. Are there other references that differentiate allergies between raw and pasteurized milk?

Don Neeper
June 8, 2011 10:16 pm

Scary words from food safety chief Michael Taylor:

"Obama food safety chief and former Monsanto lawyer Michael R. Taylor today defended the FDA's sting operations and armed raids against raw milk producers, including Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, who is facing an injunction for selling milk across state lines. None of Allgyer's milk was contaminated. The agency's actions are likely to put him out of business."

"Taylor outlined an aggressive approach, saying he would seek a "high rate of compliance" with new food safety rules, touted the agency's "whole new inspection and compliance tool kit," including access to farm records, mandatory… Read more »

Ken Conrad
June 8, 2011 11:31 pm


You statement that, most public health folks support local, fresh, healthy foods, and abhor fast-foods, CAFOs, and antibiotic use in animals for non-medical purposes, is indicative of their hypocrisy since they chose to remain aligned with a public health care system that forces and threatens parents to inject biological and chemical toxins into their children aligned with a system that endorses the use of GMOs as well as antibiotics and arsenic in feed in order to promote growth in chickens and pigs aligned with a system that endorses the mass medication of men, women and children with toxic… Read more »

Mark McAfee
June 9, 2011 3:10 am

In order to understand the ignorance and frustration that appears to surround this raw milk revolution….I am reading "POISONED" by Jeff benedict.

It is all about the "Jack in the Box" ecoli illnesses and deaths and how Marler became the bacteria fighting superstar hero of the FDA and others.

It is climbing inside of the world of liability wars and how the death of one child from a emerging pathogen is far more important than the deaths of tens of thousands of children that die from other food related things every year. One of the quotes that rings loudly was… Read more »

Violet Willis
June 9, 2011 9:23 am

Milky Way wrote:

"Most public health folks support local, fresh, healthy foods, and abhor fast-foods, CAFOs, and antibiotic use in animals for non-medical purposes. Public health practitioners were fighting antibiotic use as growth promoters before the term "foodie" was coined."

Then why are you not spending all of your time and my tax dollars going after the above . . . .

My raw milk supplier is not making me sick . . . . in fact we are very, very healthy.

Do you know about the milk situation in Michigan where cattle were fed grain laced with the flame retardant .… Read more »

Mark McAfee
June 9, 2011 10:58 am

Your Mayo Clinic reference does not differentiate between raw milk and pasteurized milk. Are there other references that differentiate allergies between raw and pasteurized milk?

Dear Interested,

The PARSIFAL study clearly demonstrated that consumption of farm fresh milk ( Euro lingo for American Raw Milk ) improved asthma, allergies and allergic rhinitis.

That is a far cry from being pasteurized milk that increases allergies and triggers asthma.

I can assure you that Mayo Clinic was referring to common pasteurized milk. They do not study raw milk.

I am half way through POISONED the book by Jeff Benedict.

Bill has… Read more »

June 9, 2011 6:28 pm

"We stand one recall away and or one pathogen detected away…. from Shock and Awe FDA and Marler style."

Mark, not sure who collects or tests your milk samples, but better be extra wary of that "one pathogen." Remember New York where the "inspector" was putting dirty hands into the milk…. and lo and behold, found "pathogens."

June 9, 2011 6:56 pm

Healthy Animals Need Antibiotics: Baloney


"….the amendment to a House bill passed June 2 that … would prevent FDA from in any way restricting on-farm use of antibiotics."

I'm so glad I raise my own food.

Sylvia Gibson
June 9, 2011 9:13 pm

"Do you know about the milk situation in Michigan where cattle were fed grain laced with the flame retardant . . . PBB."

I didn't know this. I would bet that many other people don't know it either. PBB and arsenic…what other poisons are they feeding the people? Healthy animals adn humans do not need antibiotics. Each time an "inspector" comes around the visits needs to be streamed to the internet as it occurs…..


Mark McAfee
June 9, 2011 10:42 pm

I am going to report one last thing about POISONED and then I am going to stop…because it feeds the monster and this monster needs to be starved.

The author freely brags about how Marker was the powerful force behind the Governators veto of SB 201 and CA Raw Milk Food Safety Bill in 2008 ( so powerful that it trumped all the votes from both sides of the isle in both CA state houses and all of the massive testimony from hundreds of people with thousands of people attending multiple hearings ). He got the… Read more »

June 9, 2011 10:43 pm


Call it conspiracy theory if you wish, but if there are any statisticians out there, please tell me what the chances are that this e. coli could've evolved on its own. I am well aware of the Black Swan theory. But how in the world does a bacteria, on its own, become resistant to all these strains of antibiotics when they aren't all used in agriculture? And then it has plague DNA in it?

Alyssa Pellicano
June 10, 2011 1:00 am


Yes, please do "drop this monster," and don't internalize this affront! He (Marler) and his book is not worth your health! Of course he's wearing this book (it's content) as a "badge of honor" because it is a POLITICAL "badge of honor" and we ALL know how much stench comes from politics.

To tell you the truth, after WF's dropped OPDC milk and we stopped shopping there we have done better, both with our grocery bill and with our efforts to eat locally. And OPDC milk is still there for us at our Farmer's Market downtown Sacramento every… Read more »

Ron Klein
June 10, 2011 4:27 am

"Do you know about the milk situation in Michigan where cattle were fed grain laced with the flame retardant . . . PBB."

The most massive food poisoning-contamination to date-the contamination of Michigan dairy by PBBs- may be found in Joyce Egginton's excellent and updated book.

The Poisoning of Michigan by Joyce Egginton (Aug 1, 2009)

This is one of the most important books ever written about our food sources and what did go wrong–poisioning millions of us Michigan folks–devastating the dairy industry and our rural communities as well as impacting the long term health of our… Read more »

Violet Willis
June 10, 2011 7:34 am

Thanks Ron . . . . I will have to get Joyce Egginton's book.

9 million were contaminated from PBB laced milk . . . . . some of my Michigan high school and college friends who are women are developing reproductive cancers in thier late 30's and early 40's. It is really, really scary. Was it caused by this milk contamination when we were kids . . . . who knows.

And yes, it did decimate our rural communities.

When I was little, I remember a HUGE farmer's market in Lansing that we used to go to every… Read more »

Milky Way
June 10, 2011 9:12 am


Honestly, I don't know much about the PBB in Michigan incident, and try not to make comments on things I don't have any expertise in. I'll look up the book that Ron Klein references and get back to you (however, it is not on the top of the reading pile – I still need to read Poisoned – sounds more intriguing than ever :) Like Mark, I try to read as much as I can on these topics – from all the different views, not just one "side."


Sylvia Gibson
June 10, 2011 7:09 pm


"even though no tests of the sprouts from an organic farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive for the E. coli strain behind the outbreak, an investigation into the pattern of the outbreak had produced enough evidence to draw the conclusion."

What kind of science is this? The sprouts are NOT positive for the e-coli yet the govt is saying they are the cause? A scapegoat? What BS.

Violet Willis
June 11, 2011 8:10 am

Milky Way . . . .

If you post about any type of milk and tell us raw milk drinkers that we should be aware of risks. . . Then you must also know of previous contaminiations from not only pathogens but also chemicals. All of those farms that contaminated us in Michigan were conventional, inspected, and non-raw milk. We are talking about 9 million people here Milky Way.

It was illegal to sell raw milk in Michigan in the 1970's when this contamination happened. If those cows had only been on grass and hay none… Read more »