Shades of Gray: Why A Journalist’s Reporting on MN Raw Milk Won’t Get a Lot of Accolades from Either Side


 There have been many newspaper articles about raw milk over the last few years, and they nearly all use the same presentation formula. They begin with an example of a farmer producing raw milk for many happy customers. Then the narrative switches to all the warnings about raw milk’s dangers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. They conclude with favorable quotes from raw milk drinkers and unfavorable quotes from public health officials.

Michael HartmannWith that in mind, the article in the Minneapolis StarTribune on Sunday is curious. It contrasts the case of a young child allegedly sickened by raw milk from dairy farmer Michael Hartmann two years ago with the claims by a customer that not only is raw milk highly nutritious, but she has the right to privately obtain milk from Hartmann’s dairy

In the process, the article reports on a separate suit brought against Hartmann by the Caldwells, the parents of the child who became sick, and the issue of responsibility. The article reports that the judge in the trial agreed that the child’s parents “potentially bore some responsibility because they should have known of raw milk’s risks.” A jury may be called on to make the final determination as to a division of responsibility between Hartmann and the parents, presumably if no settlement is reached beforehand.

The notion of the parents bearing at least some responsibility for serving their children raw milk is a new idea, at least in my experience reporting on raw milk and food rights. Unfortunately, we’ll likely hear little from the parties that most often discuss and debate raw milk. 

We’ll almost certainly not read anything about the intriguing legalities from lawyers who make the most noise about raw milk, like Bill Marler and Fred Pritzker (who are quoted in the Minneapolis paper’s article); there’s not been a peep from them since the case launched the middle of last year.  That’s because they are focused primarily on marketing their legal services. The family in the lawsuit is being represented by a diversified Minneapolis firm that doesn’t specialize in product liability the way Marler and Pritzker do, so there’s no marketing opportunity, since the case has already been taken off the market. At least I think that’s the reason, unless there is some kind of professional courtesy among lawyers that prohibits them from commenting about another lawyer’s case in public.  

In the same vein, I doubt we’ll be hearing much about this article from food rights advocates. I’ve sent it to a number I know, without a peep in response. My guess is that the article’s depiction of a young child’s illness and the suggestion that Hartmann’s milk was likely responsible is too uncomfortable to deal with.

Hartmann, for his part, declined to be interviewed for the article, sticking to his vow of silence and privacy in the face of what he has long felt to be uninformed and unfair reporting about him.  

I’ve criticized in the past the failure of the Food Rights movement to speak up about illnesses, or to speak appropriately and accurately. I expressed my concerns last summer about Hartmann supporters making a show of support at the trial involving the Caldwell family.  On the matter of inaccurate and inconsistent statements, witness Mary Martin’s devastating list of quotations from Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. concerning the outbreak of illnesses linked to OPDC back in 2006 (following my previous post). Yes, the Internet keeps very much alive the quotations of public figures like McAfee—and the inconsistencies are much more damaging over time, in my estimation, than a frank acknowledgment as to the real situation.

This article in the Minneapolis StarTribune thus helps us appreciate both the business considerations at work (for the lawyers and OPDC), as well as the ideological ones that divide.

So, in the face of the silence, I’ll just congratulate the Minneapolis Star reporter, Michael Hughlette, for making a valiant effort at fairness on a story where fairness is little appreciated. It’s nearly impossible to probe the many nuances of the arguments on both sides of the issue in the course of 1,200 to 1,500 words or so. What I liked was that he took seriously the food rights side of the argument as espoused by Melinda Olson and Alvin Schlangen, rather than immediately trashing it and accepting the usual efforts at ridicule by the opponents of raw milk.  And by appropriately reporting on the Caldwell child’s illness, and filling us in with some new developments on the legal side, he filled in the picture in an informative way.

All involved tend to see the raw milk issue as completely black-and-white , but until each side can accept the shades of gray inherent in the dispute, any sort of mutual acceptance will remain just a distant vision.  

99 comments to Shades of Gray: Why A Journalist’s Reporting on MN Raw Milk Won’t Get a Lot of Accolades from Either Side

  • Lola Granola
    Very good article, David. The original article on the Star Tribune’s website echoes many of my concerns, with these being the most prominent:

    “A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, echoing the public health consensus, says credible scientific evidence for such health claims is lacking. That study also noted that illnesses associated with raw milk tend to make people sicker than those linked to pasteurized dairy products.

    “The incidence of illness linked to any milk products is quite low, said Fred Pritzker, a Minneapolis attorney who has represented about 20 victims of raw milk-related food poisoning. But if disease strikes with raw milk, he likened the experience to driving without a seat belt. ‘When you get hit, you’re really going to get hurt.'”

    “Hennepin County District Judge Susan Burke has ruled that Hartmann was negligent, but she also accepted his argument that Owen Caldwell’s parents potentially bore some responsibility because they should have known of raw milk’s risks.

    “The Caldwells’ attorney rejected Hartmann’s assertion, and noted the “irony” of the farmer’s new tack — ‘after spending much time championing the benefits of raw milk and its safety.'”

    I couldn’t get David’s link to the original article to work. Here it is again:

  • Sylvia Gibson

    Reminds me of the Mcdonalds obesity lawsuit. “caused by misleading advertisements which led them to believe that fast food could be consumed daily without any adverse health effects.”

    If these teens fall for such gullible adds, then our school system is in more need of revamping than imagined. And where were the parents? Didn’t they teach their kids what nutritious food is? Apparently they ‘allowed’ their kids to consume this phood. Maybe their own parents didn’t teach them, after all, our govt/media has been shoving unhealthy lifestyles down our throats for over 100 yrs (more so in the last 50 yrs). I applaud that all parties should take responsibility for actions taken.

    “The parents should have known…” Is this like, parents should know ALL the side effects of medications/vaccinations? Sure, they are safe until you or your loved one has a bad reaction. Then what? Did you know Cipro/levaquin can cause spontaneous rupture of your Achilles tendon? Most aren’t instructed on what to watch for while taking these drugs. Are people taught that those bags of ‘prewashed’ greens have a higher potential of being contaminated than loose fresh picked unwashed greens? (less processing)

    Should people be responsible for knowing where their food comes from and how it is processed? For this to be achieved, I would guess that foods would need, for the most part, local and small. People are so far removed from their foods today.

  • mfpellicano
    Strictly Germ-proof

    The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
    Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
    They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;
    It wasn’t Disinfected and it wasn’t Sterilized.

    They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
    They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
    They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
    And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

    In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped it wiggly ears;
    They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
    They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
    And elected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

    There’s not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
    They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
    And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup-
    The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pub. –Arthur Guiterman. 1871

    Some persons may argue that the above theme in the poem is the only answer to our “food safety” for the “masses.” They argue that we live in such a polluted world that the principles of organic, perma-culture,
    sustainable food production just can’t be relied upon to produce “safe” food or to produce enough quantity for “the masses.” Now that may be, in fact, an arguable issue. However, no one ever talks about collectively “cleaning this mess up!” Respecting Mother Nature can still be accomplished through food production if we actually wanted to follow Her principles. Again, though, it’s the game of “follow the money. So, when individuals refuse to just accept the status quo and produce for themselves and their community organically based food they are treated just like the Bunny in Guiterman’s
    poem. I wonder if Arthur Guiterman knew just how much his poem would reflect reality over 100 years
    after he wrote it. As for me and my house, we not only will follow the Lord, but respect the organic farmers that grow the food for our dinner plates. I’m beginning to think David is right…there won’t be “any sort of mutual acceptance,” because one either sees the glass as half full or half empty.

  • Deborah - Pacifica
    Excellent points, David. I, too, was a bit impressed with this article, definitely different from previous articles. The only problem that I had with the article was the statement “The debate surfaced in Minnesota two years ago when eight people got E. coli 0157:H7, a bug that causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea — often bloody — and other nastiness. At its worst, it can lead to kidney failure and death.” This statement is a bit misleading as it implies that there have been deaths from raw milk, which has never happened. Yes, most definitely E.coli 0157:H7 has caused deaths before, but it was from products other than raw milk. I would have preferred to have seen the statement to have included that distinction.
  • Ora Moose
    Well it SHOULD get get a lot of accolades from both sides, much as we seemingly despise each other, and most would prefer to not acknowledge certain facts or give any ground. We are weak in our armour and that is our strength but we can’t see it just yet.

    IMHO, there is in fact no black and white in this subject or any other. No matter how black it seems or how white it appears, there’s always a darker or brighter shade just waiting for your conciousness of it to appear.

    All we can do on an individual basis is to live and learn, and share that with our family friends and neighbors. Mistakes and accidents will inevitably happen, but don’t let that cloud your judgement.

    One of our dogs was hit by a car a few years ago but that doesn’t mean we will be putting on shock collars or chain link fences, we would rather take our chances. Again, YMMV.

    EAT WELL, and harbor no anymosity. My fave (defunct, look up rubber rodeo) country/rock band always closed their show by pointing out that “if you had half as much fun as us, well we had twice as much fun as you did!”

    I try to live by that…

  • DrRexDexter
    Wow…Parents being responsible for their own children-that’s a concept the State has been working extra hard to squelch…you know, like adults being personally responsible enough to make their own choices. You can’t build and budget Tax-gobbling bloats of Bureaucracy on thinking like that!
  • Kristen P
    I agree that there are many shades of grey. However, I tend to go towards the extreme of banning raw milk in my anger when producers like OPDC lie continually and blame everyone and everything else fir their problems while holding their raw milk up as the worlds greatest superfood. When there is so much misinformation going on in my own backyard (OPDC and Mark McAfee are like raw milk gods around here) it’s hard not to gravitate to the other extreme.

    Thought provoking post. I think parents who don’t read this blog but just listen to other raw milk promoting blogs or groups need to realize that they are actively being marketed to by the likes of WAPF and raw milk producers and need not feel guilty when their children are sickened. They were doing the best with the information they had at the time.

    I’d also like to return to the last OPDC ecoli outbreak when McAfee promised the mom whose children were sickened with HUS that he would do some consumer education? What exactly were those promises? Has he made good on those promises?

  • Sylvia Gibson

    I just visited RAWMI web site and found nothing regarding education for the consumer nor the dairy person. Perhaps they require one to join to obtain information, if that is the case, it is a poor requirement. No one should join anything without full knowledge what they are joining. So far, Amanda’s list of questions and what to look for has been the best I’ve seen towards educating the public.

  • Ora Moose
    Kristen, WHO and why do you think you are that you or anyone else should have the power to ban anything for OTHER people, like say… me? Should suicide be illegal? Are you a polititian or employed by regulatory entities? Tend to your own life and please extend the same benefit to others that don’t think like you. Tobacco, cocaine, alcohol, pot and many other things non-synthetic are mother nature’s gifts to you, FREE unless they’re made illegal. Corporate engineered and generated crapola on the other hand… And that Pasteur guy, I wonder what he’d think if he was alive today.
  • Ora Moose
    And just to make it clear, I am in no way endorsing illegal drugs, just calling out the absurdities.
  • Kristen P
    For the record I have never said raw milk should be banned, Ora. I said when I get angry my anger goes that direction. Big difference.
  • Kristen P
    And I don’t appreciate personal attacks from you or D.Smith. I’m not perfect. I buy mostly organic food and enjoy shopping at my local farmers markets. I make a big effort to buy humanely raised and grassfed meat. I feel this study is absolutely on the mark because not only did I used to get on my moral high horse but I encounter self righteous people all over the real food blogosphere and it really ticks me off:
  • Sylvia Gibson
    Wow, I wonder if the results would be greatly different on a larger scale?

    I wonder how they got their results since everyone views things so differently. Certain foods I will only eat organic, apples are one. If I saw oatmeal, I’d be thinking of cookies, I don’t care for rice and as for volunteering, it would depend on what the job was. I’ve headed committees where people said they’d volunteer and not show up. As for moral transgressions; 2nd cousins is too close for me, as for the lawyers in the ED….someone on here called them ‘bottom feeders’.

    My beliefs have been challenged for wanting organic and the least amount of processing by those who consume mainstream foods. Guess it goes both ways.

  • Kristen P
    Indeed, Sylvia.
  • mark mcafee

    I worked closely with the mom with the Two Sickest Ecoli children ( that had consumed Home Made Kefir made with OPDC raw milk and store bought cultures ) which occured late last summer. She and I traded emails for a month, had several long conversations and we finally came up with some FAQ that we both agreed would help moms make good informed decisions about raw milk.

    Yes…we did make changes and yes we did publish these changes on our website.

    Also…it is my solemn belief that there are those that will follow the FDA into dead food oblivion ( and suffer the predictable and fatal immune depression “Life in a BUBBLE of TROUBLE”consequencies ) and there are those that will make up their own minds and build an immune system in their families and avoid: Asthma, IBS, Crohns, Osteoporosis, weak teeth, excema, Autism, infertility, cancer etc….

    Both are free to do what they wish. The one thing that we are not free to do in America is Bully the other side. It is a free country….free to be scared…free to be smart….free to be stupid.

  • mark mcafee
    I take exception to your comment from Mary Martin…”Mary Martin’s devastating list of quotations from Mark McAfee of OPDC”. None of what Mary stated causes me any second thought or concern.

    The only thing that is devastating is FDA corruption and the ignorance of consumers to recognize the true origin of immune failure.

    I find it fascinating to observe perfectly normal human beings that believe that immune correction is more dangerous than death. In other words….a GUT correction to build immunity ( a case of diarrhea which is the outward sign of Immune development and a reset of immunity ) verses a funeral.

    Pasteurized milk has caused so many funerals…yet it is still sacred. Until Mary and her minion can aknowledge that funerals are worse than immune correcting GUT events…there is not much I can say.

    The Earthis a Sphere….round like a ball. The earth is totally filled with bacteria…so are we! To make enemies of bacteria is suicidal.

  • Lola Granola
    “I find it fascinating to observe perfectly normal human beings that believe that immune correction is more dangerous than death.”

    No one doubts that immune health is paramount, but isn’t it misleading to assert that raw milk is the ONLY way to do this?

  • Sylvia Gibson
    “None of what Mary stated causes me any second thought or concern. ”

    Wow, she quoted you and your words don’t make you look honest. And you have no concern for it? That sounds just like all the other cafos. They don’t care either. if all those “HIPPA laws were broken and the doctors let you look at the medical records” then there is some big money lawsuits to be pursued.

    If there is no credibility, then there is nothing.

  • Sylvia Gibson
    Osteoporosis; just think, you can get plenty of calcium from leafy greens, dairy isn’t necessary. I read that you only absorb about 35-40% of the calcium from that glass of milk and 60% of the calcium from a cup of leafy greens, I think kale has the highest content and if you eat the greens with fat you better absorb the nutrients. . There are numerous tribes that do not consume dairy products and have much lower incidence of Osteoporosis, than people in the US. All the nutrients interface with each other, otherwise the body compensates and if not corrected, it throws the whole system off. For bone health you need (not all inclusive) vitamin D,all the Bs as they work best together, C,K1 &K2,E, A, calcium, magnesium,manganese, Boron, there is more that I can’t think of right now.
  • David Gumpert

    I think the problem is that you have misstated the facts and contradicted yourself on a number of occasions in denying any Organic Pastures involvement with the 2006 illnesses associated with raw milk. As some others have said here, that creates a credibility problem, which makes fending off attacks from the knee-jerk opponents of raw milk that much more difficult. 

    As I’ve said here before, it also creates ongoing, and unnecessary, conflict with the victims of those illnesses, who find it difficult to gain closure on the trauma of the illnesses, as Mary McGonigle Martin has made clear over the years. I agree with you in substantial measure about the FDA’s corruption and about the problem of immune suppression, but those are issues apart from the credibility problems. And they are arguments that are more difficult to make if there are other credibility problems.

  • Ora Moose
    Kristen: I would like to apologize to you personally. As some one who generally preaches tolerance and asks others to think before they click, I must admit that I too am occasionaly guilty of that very same lack of foresight.

    I do hope you understand though, when you state anything like “I tend to go towards the extreme of banning,” there will be some of us that find that offensive. Ban whatever you want for yourself but don’t encroach on other’s choice please. That’s all we (speaking for myself only, but seems I have some company here) are asking – not claiming any food is better than another, or safer or healthier. My choice may be a bad one in many people’s eyes, but I reserve the right to be the one making it and will never surrender that to anyone no matter how strong their argument or experience.

    Regardless, thanks for participating in the discourse, seriously. We need all the varying viewpoints, it wouldn’t be worth our time if we were just a bunch of head nodding parrots.

  • mark mcafee
    I own what I own…that includes: diarrhea from any cases of truly connected Campylobacter ( out of the many unconnected cases ) cases that occured since January 2012….the Novermber 2011 event. As far as 2006 is concerned…my feelings and opinions evolved as more and less evidence emerged.

    When quoting a man at one point in time….rememeber that at that point in time….he spoke truth as given his level of information at that time, but at least he spoke and did not hide. It is so easy to shoot at a person that stands and gets counted for what he believes. It is difficult to shoot at the hiders and the silent.

    I also own the tremendous number of blessed consumers that credit raw milk for their absence of asthma, IBS, Crohns, excema, HP Ulcers, and other immune recovery in their lives. For this I am blessed and forever empowered to produce the most delicious, nutritious and safest raw milk on earth.

    When being critical of raw milk….spend the proportionate amount of time praising its wonderful GUT and immune healing qualities.

  • mark mcafee

    How about “finding closure” with death…how about the numbers of people that have died from allergies to pasteurized milk and just straight up death from pasateurized milk. Those that did not die…but were sickened by any food should think about two things:

    1.How blessed they are
    2. Their immune strength.

    Where is the responsibility for lifestyle choices that people make that create the conditions that allow food borne illness to take hold. What about the responsibility that doctors should take for giving out broad spectrum antibiotics like candy only to see their patients die!!!! What about that. C-Diff kills 14,000 per year!!!! Now that is death, but the best treatment is a fecal transplant!!! ( 92% effective )

    I am so sick and tired of being riticuled for producing raw milk when I am being courted by the leading doctors and researchers in the world….as they tell me that raw milk and its bacteria hold the secret to life and immune integrity and even Killer T-Cell differentiation that is directly responsible for raw milk anticancer effects. When they ask me to come speak to their medical students…that is the truth that is suppressed at all costs. That is the tragedy of the Smoke Screen of the FDA, Mary Martin and Bill Marler.

    Go ahead…your world is flat and it is sterile and bacteria do not matter. Enjoy your days in the germ free medical paradigm and remember these words when the doctor suggests surgery, antibiotics, radiation and or chemo. Condemnation of biodiversity is Bacteriosapien suicide. Go back and watch Bassler again.

    A friend of the family, a 55 year old man I have known for years was just diagnosed with stage 3 or possibly 4 prostate cancer. One look back into his life says it all, he is a doctor obeying pill popper and just came off several rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics in the last three years…all for a missdiagnosed cancer.

    We all choose up….be careful. Killing off your bacteria has dire consequences. Feeding the bad actors in your GUT also has dire consequences. Eat well be well…eat bad or eat sterile and pay big time.

    To quote Dr. Jewett, the Director of Cancer research at UCLA , “pharmacudical drugs are the most inflammatory agents that can be consumed, inflammation is the start of all disease”…. she drinks raw milk!!

  • Sylvia Gibson
    “being riticuled for producing raw milk”

    You sound no different that the politicians, big ag, corporations who think they are better than others, yet are nothing but liers and cheaters. No Mark, not for producing raw milk. It’s your twisting the truth, not admitting to the truth,belittling of others, blaming anyone but yourself;ie, not taking responsibility. You’re always right and as long as everyone agrees with you, life is good, yet heaven forbid should anyone question you or disagree. Then they become the ‘aggressor’ and are out to get you and all you stand for. When you can’t argue your point or facts, you resort to name calling and character assignation. You aren’t even focusing on what has been said.

  • Lola Granola
    “We all choose up….be careful. Killing off your bacteria has dire consequences. Feeding the bad actors in your GUT also has dire consequences. Eat well be well…eat bad or eat sterile and pay big time.”

    It is disingenuous to assert that the choice is EITHER sterile foods OR raw milk. Health is conveyed by a variety of foods, and raw milk may be one factor in creating health, but it is definitely not the only one, and it may be a potentially dangerous one, especially in light of safer alternatives. The constant focus and fall back on this black-and-white thinking (if you don’t support raw milk then you must support sterile phoods!) is a huge turn off, and the reason people like me are seeing this whole movement and it’s de-facto head as nothing more than a bunch of (organic, grass-fed, pasture raised) baloney.

  • Kristen P
    Apology accepted, Ora. Thank you.
  • joelie hicks
    I used to be a subsciber to the Minneapolis Tribune for many, many years. When we got the internet we gave it up. We still get the Sunday paper and the daily still comes to my in-laws home so I still read it quite a bit. Many years ago in their sunday magazine they had an article with the title about tracing a deadly illness to a South Dakota farm. It was about how a number of people in the Twin City metro area had e-coli, and they were dreadfully sick, I think a man from SD actually died. The CDC from Atlanta became involved because the people who were ill had nothing in common, they did not live in the same area, eat at the same restaurant, shop at the same grocery. The conclusion was that the cattle on the farm were fed prophylactic antibiotics in their feed, about that time a group of geese were in an adjacent field, the cattle picked up an illness from the geese and the antibiotic was just enough for it to flourish in their gut, but they were sold before they exhibited symptoms. The cattle were made into hamburger that was distributed in various groceries in the metro area. From there it was ascertained that those who became violently ill were taking an antibiotic. No other family members or fellow eaters became ill. Only one person was actually using a med prescribed for them, the rest just raided their medicine cabinets and once again ingested just enough to make the bad bacteria flourish in their gut. I wish I could find the article again, it was well written and read like a detective story. The moral was to beware of antibitoics that were not prescribed properly. I wonder how many who now become ill have something similar going on, or have a low level of good bacteria in their bodies because of using a lot of antibiotic meds.
  • Kristen P
    Mark, I will not pretend I respect you so sorry if my tone is harsh:
    IF this is the true and complete story, which I find doubtful due to your proven lack of credibility as it relates to the *retelling of conversations with mothers of ill children* as is currently being discussed on this thread…
    Then great. I am glad you are making strides in consumer education. I’m not glad it took a mother of two very very ill children to force your hand and change your website. If I were that mother, I would not have let you get off so easy. I would have demanded that you include these types of sobering realities in your “share the secret” talk, a.k.a. your marketing talk for WAPF chapters and anyone else that will host you. I would demand a video of each one sent to me. Do you discuss the realities that people with compromised immunity, specifically pregnant mothers and young children, should probably not consume raw milk as they are more likely to become ill in your talks?
    I would have also demanded that you acknowledge that your pathogen testing is fallible. Is this currently in your FAQ? This is what Mary Martin believed in when she went to your website in 2006…that you test your milk therefore it must be safe.
  • Kristen P
    Here is a new thought:
    “?Here’s a handy rule for avoiding resentment: If you hate doing something, you absolutely must not do it.”
    I hate reading mean, callous, and hateful comments here. I must not do it anymore, my good health depends upon it. I will not read the comments here, or post my own resentful comments here anymore. My eyes and voice are no longer useful here.
    Good day! :)
  • Ora Moose
    Kristen, I obviously do not always agree with you, but please reconsider.

    It’s when everybody ignores you that voicing is no longer useful, and I see no signs of that (for you, and when Mary ignores me I don’t mind it’s probably fully deserved.) Ever noticed that the title of this blog is “Complete Patient?”

  • Amanda Rose
    When I helped you get your AB1735 campaign on the front page of the Chronicle, Mark, and learned that you were outsourcing large amounts of product from a confinement dairy and selling it to us at a premium, that was actually devastating.

    That you would make up a story about the doctors letting you see Chris Martin’s chart is simply helping others experience that same sort of devastation.

    It is certainly your right to define devastation for yourself any way you choose. Personally I don’t find government corruption to be “devastating” largely because I have low expectations for the government.

  • D. Smith
    @ Kristen P. : What I said was not necessarily a personal attack on you, I only pointed out that you go to other web sites and blogs which I have visited, and I see your attacks on WAPF and often.

    Now, I’m not saying I believe absolutely everything from/on either of those two sites. What I AM saying, however, is those sites have various and multiple contributors. Most of them, such as Mary Enig and Tom Cowan, are veteran (30+ years) doctors and researchers and nutritionists. That doesn’t make them perfect, no. But I tend to believe, too, that since they all raised their families in this manner, you know – they practiced what they are preaching – it carries a significant amount of credibility, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe your standards of right and wrong are different than mine, and that’s fine. But don’t try to put everyone in a box because of your personal beliefs. If you don’t wish to believe them, that’s your opinion, but you should NOT bash them either. If you have real, crucial, proveable evidence against WAPF about some issue, take it to an attorney.

    Thank heavens most people are discerning when they read up and research the benefits/non-benefits of raw milk in regard to their personal situation. Everyone has different ideas of what is healthy for them and their families but it is still a choice they must make based on intellectual *homework*. Seeing as how the gubment has done a fine job of bashing raw milk in the news lately, and making some false statements in the process, it’s not easy to find anything ONLINE about the benefits. Consequently, this becomes one of those issues where they use what’s at their disposal, and they rely heavily on anecdotal information – because it’s sometimes all they have. Nothing wrong with hearing both sides – but fairly discussed, not bashed and trashed – which is your MO from what I’ve seen around the ‘net.

  • D. Smith
    @ Sylvia: From what I’ve been reading lately, the uptake of calcium is poor without the help of D3 and vitamin K. In other words, without some fat, the calcium doesn’t get to the right places and ends up in places it shouldn’t be in our bodies (like arteries). A salad including kale, finished off with a glass of raw milk (in which the vitamins/enzymes/probiotics are intact) would assist that calcium greatly. Calcium is a mineral, as is magnesium (a very important mineral, too) and without fatty acid co-factors those minerals aren’t utilized as well.

    Does that sound right?

  • D. Smith
    @ Mark McAfee: Mark, may I ask a serious question of you? What I mean is that I’m trying neither to fluff up OR discredit your work or your product, I’m only trying to figure out something. Do you and your family members drink your milk and make things from your milk (like cottage cheese or whatever) which are consumed in your home? If so, do you drink the same product you sell, or do you take a separate milking from different cows?

    I have not seen a direct statement with this information (but I can’t say I’ve read everything you’ve ever written either, because I don’t belong to FB and I know you post stuff there because you’ve mentioned it).

    It just seems odd to me that all of these other people are claiming that your OPDC milk contains this or that “pathogen” which made them ill (by findings/testings from a local medical laboratory, I assume) and yet we never hear anything about your family becoming ill from the same milk. Can this be possible???

  • D. Smith
    @ Lola: What “safer alternatives” are you referring to in this comment?
  • Sylvia Gibson
    That is correct D Smith. Calcium does require D3 for absorption. K2 guides it into the bones, otherwise calcium goes anywhere, soft tissue/joints. K2 is like a traffic cop. The other vitamins/minerals are also required for optimal bone strength and other important body regulation. Low D3 causes the PTH to pull calcium out of bones to regulate calcium levels in the blood, thus contributing to weak bones. Fluoride replaces iodine in the thyroid and confuses the body and also affects the calcium absorption.
  • ingvar
    In re. to Bill’s comment [ Shades of; when: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 – 10:33 ] to D.Smith re. Mark’s consumption of OPDC products: Bill’s last 2 paragraphs cover a lot of settled ground. I am beginning to think it is not settled.

    (Short of time to compose,) Here are some of the topics that went through my mind as I read those two paragraphs.

    Slave or free?
    Liberty or shackles?
    Trust you – trust me.
    I must trust you with freedom and liberty.
    You must trust me with freedom and liberty.
    Is the little bird to “prove” it can fly before it is allowed out of the nest without a helmet?
    Cultural/demographic drift away from the food production environment.
    Natural immunity.
    Germ theory.
    Antibiotic theory.
    Pissed-off mamas (both directions).
    Programmed obeisance to stethoscope-collared professionals’ anecdotal world (ask for proof).
    Then prove the proof (see Uffe Ravnskov re. cholesterol or L. Pauling re. Vitamin C).
    Accept uncertainty as part of life.
    Members of the bars’ wild world of anecdotes.
    Licensed physicians’ wild world of anecdotes.
    Good lawyers.
    Good doctors
    Good businessmen.
    Good scientists.
    Destroyed foundations.
    Who made government figures to be good? Are they?
    Evil so outrageous we can’t even guess at it.
    Trained in freedom?
    Trained in liberty?
    Trained to be morally blind.
    Trained to be naive.
    Trained to be foolish.
    Forcing the strong to the regimen of the weak eliminates the strong. Then what?
    Protect the weak. Strengthen the weak. But not by warring against the strong.
    Demonstrate courtesy to others. Demonstrate native respect to others.
    Live less by assumptions, ask more questions, listen to the responses.

    Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

  • SharonZ
    Illinois Dept. Of Ag up to the same tactics, but with bees.
  • Sylvia Gibson
    “He feels he had accumulated the necessary data to document the fact that Round-Up was not only the cause of his bees dying, but also possibly the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). ”

    This may be the reason they invaded his property. Heaven forbid any proof against monsanto be aired…

  • Deborah - Pacifica
    D. Smith, most definitely Mark and his family consume all of the products that they produce. They also make additional products for their own consumption. If you do decide to get on Facebook, you will be able to follow all the things that they do with their products, they even have recipes and videos of a variety things that they make. I was raised on raw milk, got away from drinking it in my teen years when I began consuming pasteurized products and boy did the problems begin big time. Stopped drinking pasteurized milk and then went back to raw milk and raw milk products. Some of the great results that I get from drinking raw milk is the disappearance of arthritic pain in my knees, disappearance of phlegm at the back of the throat and elevation of sinus problems. If I go without raw milk, all of these come back to plague me. My usual diet is local farm organic produce (veggies & fruits), grass only fed beef (again local), eggs from pastured hens along with raw milk, raw milk butter and raw milk cheeses. I no longer eat in any restaurants that do not offer these kinds of items, one of my favorite restaurants is Alice Waters restaurants up in Berkley, CA, they use only the types of items that I listed above. A good friend of mine who is a very prominent chef in Miami, FL does the same thing at his restaurant “Tuyo” (by the way, had the most phenomenal dinner there last week!). In my travels, I am coming across more restaurants that have adopted the “farm to table” concept which is helping in promoting and supporting the small farms and meat producers. Hopefully, they will be the catalyst in encouraging more restaurant owners to do the same thing. As far as, the fast phood places are concerned….well, I avoid them like the plague!!
  • Deborah - Pacifica
    Kristen P – you keep bringing up what had been the situation back in 2006, yet it is now 2012 and there has been many changes made since that time. Also it is very obvious that you have not been to any current presentations that Mark has given, if so then you would clearly see that yes, he does indeed talk about pathogens, as well as, those that should not consume raw milk and/or raw milk products. He had been upfront of all the changes that have been put into place because he very much wants to produce the most safe and health benefitting product. I have always been so perplexed by your apparent intense anger about raw milk, as in all of your previous posts you have stated that while you and your children did not become ill or compromised from raw milk consumption, you still felt that the potential was there and that is what makes you angry. Yet, you have a very recent post here where you alluded to a miscarriage, I am now confused…are you now stating that your consumption of raw milk caused you to have a miscarriage? Your rants against raw milk is very much extreme, it is very evident in your blog. It is one thing to share your feelings and thoughts about your misgivings about raw milk consumption, but to use such strong, almost hate-like language about it, is another thing. Have you truly read all the books, manuscripts, studies, and other documentation with regards to raw milk? There are way too many to list here, but they are a wealth of information. I know of many physicians, some that are pediatric physicians that support raw milk consumption, they do indeed counsel their patients and pedi-patient’s parents about ALL the facts of raw milk consumption and they will be the first to indicate when someone should not consume it when they are in a compromised immune situation. Just like other things that we do for the benefits of our health…some things work for some people and some things do not work for other people. If I was to make a decision about whether to consume raw milk or conventional chicken from the conventional grocery store….raw milk would win hands down. The chicken available in the standard grocery stores are so highly contaminated and many now carry pathogens that cannot be destroyed by heat thanks to the over use of antibiotics. You also need to remember that there are many, many, many people that have benefited greatly from the use of raw milk and raw milk products. Many have seen the incredible changes in their autistic child and there’s many others that had suffered from medical problems that were reversed by raw milk and raw milk products. I know that you have unresolved issues with raw milk, as well as, WAPF, but it not fair to pass these on to others without giving them the chance to explore it themselves. Instead, why not ask yourself ‘why is it that only a small number of consumers had the problems that they did’, or ‘what is different with these consumers compared to the other consumers that did not have problems’. To me those are the most important questions, there is definitely something more going with those that became ill. If indeed there was a problem with the raw milk itself….well, then there would be a huge number of ill consumers…it just doesn’t make sense.
  • Sylvia Gibson

    Can’t the farmers just refuse to buy the GM seeds?

    Soon we’ll have to grow all our own food to know what it is and even then, it’ll be questionable.

  • Ron Klein
    Regarding David’s posting and the judge’s comments on parental responsibility. I prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases representing the interests of children for the State. These cases were very complicated (aside from the attendant criminal, physical and emotional issues) given the huge Constitional issues if they involved termination of parental rights. Cases were prosecuted with dedication. Parents do have huge responsibilities for the welfare of their children. I have talked with several medical doctors who feel that a parent giving raw milk to a child should trigger a legal action for “abuse.” The Judge’s comments should give considerable pause since they take the arguments to a new level. If a child does become sick from drinking unpasteurized dairy-and given the amount of information available as well as well publicized opinions from various reputable mainstream medical organizations-it is not hard to imagine parents being held accountable by a Prosecuting Attorney. A judge citing parental responsibilities and accountability, in my opinion, is very significant.
  • Sylvia Gibson
    “given the amount of information available as well as well publicized opinions from various reputable mainstream medical ”

    Couldn’t this be true then of medicine and processed foods? There are numerous studies/opinions by ‘educated’ medical people, scientists, etc, about the dangers/side effects of medicines,vaccines, processed foods.

    This would also be interfering with ones belief system, no different than preventing someone from practicing their religion. Will they then prosecute parents when the kids have diabetes? Obesity? broken bones? It’s a wobbly fence to sit on.

  • Ken Conrad

    “Can’t the farmers just refuse to buy the GM seeds?”

    I wish it were that simple; unfortunately certain farmers are enamored by technological advancement and are easily manipulated by industry and agricultural officials who have for all intent and purpose thrown caution to the wind.

    In order for tangible change to occur consumers need to educate themselves, demand appropriate labeling and have the freedom make their own choices. Right or wrong, people aught to have the right to choose those foods they deem appropriate for themselves and their children.

    To paraphrase Dr. Benjamin Rush, “Unless we put (nutritional) freedom into the Constitution the time will come when (the food industry) will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship.”


  • Ora Moose
    Ron, try moving to France or Germany, or most anywhere else in the world where the government and judiciary is not controlled by corporate interests, and see how far this would fly. The kids in those countries aren’t getting sick or obese, on the contrary it’s the USA where healthcare costs are rampant through the roof.

    Personally, I consider taking your kids to McDonalds to be a lot more dangerous if you want to discuss parental responsibility, but I would never criminalize it. It’s their choice to go or eat whatever they want, why would a judge want to enforce any laws against stupidity? Oh I get it, we don’t have enough people in jail already, and we need to grow THAT industry.

  • joelie hicks
    Non GM seeds are in short supply, especially sugar beets and soybeans.
  • Ron Klein
    It is not a wobbly fence. I’m just trying to bring a sense reality into these postings. For prosecution of such a hypothetical case–none of what you have noted makes any difference-the only things that could have a bearing from your list are things like “broken bones”. The only belief systems that would have any relevance would be from a recognized Religion. Comparisons to diabetes, obesity have zero relevance. Arguments that “justify” a parent assuming unreasonable risk citing conventional medicine and processed foods, or vaccines, side effects-comparisons to such have zero relevance. None of these counter arguments would survive in court, none have any relevance in law. None.

    When I taught law I always insisted that my students-when in litigation-had to understand the opposing side’s arguments far better than their opponent. And not be blinded by their own biases. You cannot win without being able to agrue the opposite side better than your opponent-you don’t have to believe the opposite side–you just have to be able to argue their perspective. My only point here is that if you look at raw milk illness cases from the perspective of the law-I do not see how parents cannot be held accountable. Reread the judge’s comments-what is she seeing that raw milk advocates do not see? And how does this community address what she sees with other than academic agruments and posturing?

    And from my own experience-defending children-the amount of pain and suffering of a parent being prosecuted for abuse was also not relevant. The focus is on a child’s well being. In my opinion, these are serious and from this specific posting by David–may be far more immediate than hypothetical.

  • Ron Klein
    Ora-again I can only say “So what?” If an abuse case were prosecuted suggesting that a Prosecutor move to Germany or the moon is not relevant. The case would be brought because a child became seriously ill, not in Germany or France–but here in the USA. Health care costs-not relevant.

    Judges enforce laws that many people from many factions of our society consider stupid. In my hypothetical the focus is on the well being of a child-living in the reality of our culture and society.

  • ingvar
    re. “Regarding David’s posting and the judge’s comments…”
    who: Ron Klein | when: Wed, 05/23/2012 – 05:28

    Thanks Ron, for your comment. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the parents-children relationship is of general importance to society and therefore the basic issues found there are basic issues of society.

    Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

  • mark mcafee
    D. Smith,

    You have a great question….the answer is this: my family eats all of the foods we produce at OPDC and we get it from the same creamery source that everyone else eats from. No separte sources. The OPDC products at the stores are the same products consumed by all of our four generations of family members and that includes from 75 years old down to 29 months old. All employees at OPDC eat from these same sources. Everyone eats the same food that our consumers eat. We have no separate cows or chickens or etc.

    When paratroopers select their parachutes they take them from a common stack…..that means the private and the general all take the same risk when they jump. Same at OPDC. None of my family has ever had any illness from consumption of any of our products….for that matter none of the us has had much of a cold or flu for the last 12 years….our health is fantastic.

    As to whether a parent is abusing their child by selecting raw milk for their food, here is my opinion.

    It is very relevant to consider what the FDA says about pasteurized milk.

    IT IS LISTED AS THE MOST ALLERGENIC FOOD IN AMERICA!!! Seven kids have died after consuming pasteurized milk and reacting allergically. If this is true and the FDA is not lying about this as well….( I assume that this is correct ), then it would be abuse to feed pasteurized milk to a child with allergies or asthma.

    What attorney would not consider this a relevant argument. It is critically on point. Showing the court the multiple peer reviewed published articles and studies showing raw milk to be MAST cell stabilizing and healing of allergies and asthma is also relevant and totally on point. How about the death certificate from the seven kids that died from pasteurized milk. That is public record and the medical examiner did not lie about the cause of death. That is relevant.

    Courts become educated when evidence is presented, Courts can not make good judgements if they do not have good evidence.

    This is all highly relevant and on point.

    Raw milk is not perfect and that is a point to be made as well. But….neither is pasteurized milk. Any one who claims that feeding pasteurized milk is a guarantee of anything is missleading at best. There are zero deaths from raw milk and at least 77 deaths from pasteurized milk since 1973 if you include the Jalisco cheese incident in 1985. There have been 422,000 illnesses caused by pasteurized milk since 1973 and about 1100 caused by raw milk. Those are facts available at the CDC.

    Evidence must be presented and if all the evidence is brought in and weighed…the judge or jury can make a good decision. In my experience….juries will side with the moms that have done their homework and have tried their best to do well for their kids. Juries will not side with corporations or the FDA that trip on their FOOD INC corruption.

    These are political decisions and not decisions of child abuse.

    A fat, diabetic, asthmatic, ADHD, Autistic, Crohns kid is an abused kid. Perhaps not abused by a parent…but by a medical industry and a society that feeds off of the money made by the immune torment of that suffering child. If that is not relevant….America is in serious trouble…..very serious trouble.

  • D. Smith
    @ Mark: Then any judge hearing a case should also hear the side about your family and their consumption habits, no? THAT would make for a good balance, would it not? Having been in the legal field for a while myself though, I can’t see that happening. They don’t wanna hear it. Seems only the gory stuff provides fodder.

    In doing some research last night, I came across this vid (only 12 minutes) and came away wondering “who is this guy”? The vid isn’t dated (one of my big complaints about YouTube – they give upload dates but not the date the vid was actually made) so I have no idea how relevant his statistics are today. Also, is the narrator just a narrator or is he the maker of the vid and also a credentialed scientist or a former milk producer himself – or what? Perusing the reader comments was interesting, and I only read the first page. If I was a newbie to raw milk and saw this vid it would probably not influence me right off, but it would certainly influence the totally uneducated newbies. At any rate, it’s likely to be a favorite of the anti-raw milk groups. His information, IMPHO, is whacked out.

    I grew up drinking raw milk (so did my DH), raised all three of my kids on breastmilk, raw cow milk and raw goat milk. My kids were never vaccinated either. They are now 37, 35 and 25 and healthy all their lives. My first baby was born breech and sunny side up so we were “indoctrinated” by how the medical industry worked (even back in 1975) and let me just say it’s where we discovered just how little they knew and how little we needed them for our health.

  • D. Smith
    AND, for the record, I should also state that I do NOT believe that raw milk is a “miracle food”. It tastes lovely (especially spring milk) and it makes the best chocolate milk and other goodies we sometimes have as treats, as well as the fact that IMO there’s nothing better with a bowl of hot homemade beef veggie soup than a huge glass of raw milk. But I’m not blind to the fact that it’s not miraculous because I have immune problems (Sjogren’s Syndrome) and I have two sisters who had RA. I also have twin brothers who are terrifically healthy and they are the oldest children in my family. So I know that other factors are involved in health (Lola seems to think that anyone who is pro raw milk believes it to be a haloed food – not true, at least not for me). My DH’s family also grew up on raw milk and he has lost two brothers to natural causes. So, we do not delude ourselves into thinking that raw milk is sacred or anything. We love it because we love it. It has good fats and lots of other benefits; our bodies need good nourishment and our families, immediate and extended, felt it was better for us than store bought milk. At the time I was growing up, my parents probably gave it to us because it was immediately available and store bought milk meant a trip to town. I don’t know their reasoning but I DO know they had no qualms about giving it to us.
  • Lola Granola
    “(Lola seems to think that anyone who is pro raw milk believes it to be a haloed food – not true, at least not for me)”

    Riddle me this, D. Smith: until the last generation, when Western influence encroached on China (McDonalds, etc.), the Chinese have not traditionally consumed dairy products, but yet were free from the diseases of affluence – asthma, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, etc. How could this be?

    It is proven that dairy (raw or pasteurized) is not NECESSARY for health, yet many in this movement don’t seem to recognize that, and instead defend raw milk with such fervor (not necessarily you) it comes off as almost religious in nature.

    Mark says, “Raw milk is not perfect and that is a point to be made as well. But….neither is pasteurized milk.” The argument he is making is that it’s EITHER raw milk OR pasteurized milk, and that is a false argument, because an option is NO milk, and there are plenty of healthy people who consume NO dairy. If one wants to consume raw milk, fine, but make sure you have no allusions about it (that it’ll cure anything from allergies to male pattern baldness, for example) and fully understand the risks, especially if you plan to feed it to children. Without trying to put words in their mouths, I believe it is the point Amanda, Kristen and Mary have been trying to make.

  • Ron Klein
    Yes, parent-child and society-child, and thus the legal structure dealing with cases of abuse and neglect where the State will represent for The People a victim-child. In such cases the child is appointed an attorney advocate to work through procedural and other matters, each parent has representation, and the State prosecutes on behalf of the victim/child. Just making a point regarding an aspect of raw milk issues that I have not seen raised on this forum before.
  • Pete
    You are probably quite right Ron. But what these people are saying is that approach defies common sense and all of human history until modern times. What you are saying is just one in a long list of evidences that the there is no justice in the court system when it comes to the state taking away parent’s children. Its not about justice, its about whatever excuse can be found to justify taking away a kid. You’ll probably disagree with that, but I’ve seen it happen far too many times.
  • Sylvia Gibson
    I used the words ‘wobbly fence’ because it appears to be (other than obvious abuse) some incidents are not abuse to some as they are to others. Punishing your kids today is a big issue. If you spank them CPS may come down on you. Everyone defines spanking differently. If you don’t discipline them, CPS may come down on you. If you don’t allow your kid to enjoy the ‘great’ things other kids enjoy, you are a bad parent, extremest, abusive, strict, etc.

    It is my understanding in some states, if you aren’t part of a ‘recognized Religion’ and have proof that you belong, you cannot opt out of vaccinations. It doesn’t matter that your beliefs are against the vaccinations, you HAVE to belong to a ‘recognized Religion’. Where is the justice in that?

    “recognized Religion” I do realize that my view of how things should be is not the same as others, including the law. I am part Native American, am I a card carrying Indian? No. I am comfortable in my own skin and have no need of a card signifying who I am or what I belong to. I have stood in line with my Grandma to collect the commodities the govt so ‘generously’ gave the Natives… I also don’t participate in most of their religious/tribal activities. Religion to many Native Americans is a very private thing. Does that make me have less Indian blood? No. So I am not considered, by law part of any “recognized” religion or tribe.

    Sometimes I do understand the opposing side’s opinion, I just don’t agree with it,and many times feel they only see black and white. How would a common, just, ground be found? I don’t see it happening, there are too many individual beliefs.

  • Ora Moose
    Thak you Ron for sharing a perspective many of us might never be exposed to otherwise. I was in no way implying that you or the judge are bad people, only pointing out that what we sometimes perceive as a universal truth may not be anything near that, a lot us our beliefs and laws included. Just as in your profession you may be required to represent individuals that you may believe in your heart are quilty, your job is to defend them even if it means suppresing evidence, and not be the judge.

    What I still don’t understand is that regardless of parental-child or social-child rights issues anywhere in particular… We in this so-called “movement” do not seek to establish laws that everyone else to be forced to drink raw milk, yet the “other side” constantly fights and tries to curtail our rights to not be forced to jump through legal hoops to be able to drink it, unless we own the cow, and even then…

  • Dave Milano

    I have rarely read a more depressing analysis than yours in this thread, thus because it is true.

    We are a grossly overconfident people, currently making a mistake in our understanding of human health so broad and fundamental that dissent from it is deemed irrelevant, or even reason for criminal prosecution. Tyranny with a smile.

    Your analogy to prosecuting child abuse is interesting, given that the “science” of pediatric forensics is undergoing a revolution as we speak. What was considered good scientific evidence of child abuse just a few years ago (evidence that well-intentioned prosecutors, judges, and juries utilized to send people to jail) is now considered false and misleading (watch this video for a report on that: No matter. A few poor schlubs ridiculed, vilified, jailed… oopsy! No worries for us, because now we have REAL science.

  • Pete
    You’re soft peddling it David, it is far worse than that. He also has a history of repeatedly lying about the true nature of his product with regards to outsourcing and his production practices. Its worse than a ‘credibility problem’. He has no credibility. He appears to be nothing more than a self aggrandizing liar. No one should take him serious any more.
  • D. Smith
    @ Dave Milano: I agree with you.

    But ALL science is questionable these days. Here’s a great, entertaining, funny, witty vid on that very subject – by a doctor. This is a wonderful Ted Talk video about “bad science”. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time – and the guy talks faster than anyone I’ve ever heard, but he’s making excellent points. Check it out:

  • Ron Klein
    Thank you Dave, your comments are on target as always-and I speak from experience. Farming fulltime now-just wanting to live happy.

    Best wishes,


  • D. Smith
    @ Lola: You’re right. We raw milk drinkers are religious about it, to a degree. And you’re right, too, about the fact that people can choose not to drink milk or consume dairy in any form (or whole countries, as you pointed out with China, although a source of your info would be good to see). I have an uncle who lived in Mongolia for quite some time (he is a professor of oriental languages) and he relates to me that he and his wife and child drank milk often. It was usually oxen or yak milk (very high in fat).

    Free choice involves consequences whether it’s milk or any other liberty you can think of – doesn’t have to involve food.

    But no one that I know of buys raw milk or signs up for a cow-share accidentally. It’s a choice and presumably they know the risks.

  • Lola Granola
    China is not Mongolia. Mongolia developed herding/dairy culture, China did not.

    I do not have a source for you to reference and will not spend my time finding one for you. Do some research on traditional diets in China and you will find the answer.

    It’s true that no one signs up for a cow-share accidentally, but it’s naive to believe that everyone knows the risks. When Pete Kennedy and FTCLDF guided me on the writing of my farmshare contract they had me write into it that the farmshare ‘owners’ who were signing the contract agreed not to sue me or my farm if they got sick or died while drinking my milk. Did they really understand what they were agreeing to, or did they just agree to take on full responsibility (though I doubt this would hold up in court) because of naivety?

  • D. Smith
    @ Lola: I would have preferred to see the evidence on which you based your claim about China, but never mind. It’s not important or relative to my way of thinking. You told me what I wanted to know.

    You make a great case in another way. Maybe it’s better if parents DON’T know or understand what they’re agreeing to by signing a contract to purchase/drink raw milk. They can plead ignorance either way – of the dangers and/or benefits. If they can muster a stupid enough look on their face a judge might buy naivety. I’ve learned never to try to second-guess what a judge might do. It’s folly because he might do something today and may have treated the same case totally differently the next day.

  • mark mcafee
    This weekend hundreds of OPDC customers will converge on OPDC and set up tents and share food and stories.

    To put the Culture back into Agriculture and reconnect the passion and purpose of real food….so that we can all defend the right to protect our children from illness by building strong immunity.

    I completetly agree that the body can be rebuilt without raw milk. No argument from me.

    But I will say that after nearly 13 years of producing and selling raw milk….I am buried by testimonials of its healing properties. After years of alternative therapies and nutrition…people report that after just a few weeks on raw milk, their bodies respond like never before.

    Raw milk has qualities not found in any other foods…name one that compares. There are none that compare….none.

    Fermented wild caught fish comes close. Lets settle this debate…let the people make an informed choice:
    The most Highly allergenic food in America, processed, dead, lactose intolerance causing food….or delicious living MAST cell stabilizing, allergy relieving, whole food of the ages.

    As far as milk alternatives are concerned….soy is not an alternative.

  • Lola Granola
    “@ Lola: I would have preferred to see the evidence on which you based your claim about China, but never mind. It’s not important or relative to my way of thinking. You told me what I wanted to know.”

    Are you seriously incapable of doing a simple Google search to research this yourself?

    In less than 5 minutes:
    “The traditional Chinese diet features vegetables that have been lightly steamed or stir fried, accompanied by starches like rice, noodles or dumplings. Meat and fish are part of the traditional diet, but are served in much smaller amounts than is typical in the Western diet.”

    “Dairy products are one noteworthy aspect of the Western diet worth particular attention as they are relatively absent from the Chinese diet. Indeed the Chinese commonly associate Westerners with the smell of sour milk which they often exude from their bodies.”

    “In China children are generally breast fed until at least two years of age. Although organic, unpasteurised, whole milk is occasionally used to treat conditions such as constipation, its regular consumption is very rare in China.”

  • Lola Granola
    “Raw milk has qualities not found in any other foods…name one that compares. There are none that compare….none.”

    Human breast milk?

  • joelie hicks
    I believe human breast milk IS raw milk.
  • Ora Moose
    That is definitely the ultimate, but since you can’t just daily put dozens of women out to pasture and collect hundreds of gallons of their milk… you get the idea.
  • D. Smith
    @ Lola: Of course I’m not incapable and stop being snide. I just wondered if there was a particular recent article you’d read which stated as fact the idea that the Chinese don’t drink milk. As a matter of fact, I just did a search about the Chinese drinking milk as a part of their diet and found several pages of articles. So you see, it’s easy to find whatever you need on the internet to back up whatever it is you believe.
  • Lola Granola
    But it’s not the kind McAfee sells. And he asked what food could possibly be better than the breast milk of another species. Uh, milk from your own species? lol…
  • Ora Moose
    I hear you Lola, but… are you grass fed? I think human diets vary much more than cows so a direct comparison is nearly impossible. What I would think is safe to assume is that babies already have their mom’s immune imprint, and you can’t duplicate that with cows to humans, apples and oranges. I would think Mark is refering to food you can buy or sell.
  • Lola Granola
    “…and stop being snide.”

    THAT’S the pot calling the kettle black considering your behavior the last few days!

    The information I gave you is not from “internet articles”, it’s from researchers, anthropologists and medical doctors. Did you by any chance note in your search WHEN the Chinese started drinking milk? Was it recently, or historically?

    By the way…animals have only been domesticated for approximately 10,000 years, starting with sheep and goats, then with cows being domesticated around 8,000 years ago. How on earth did Homo Sapiens crawl out of the mud without sucking on the teat of another species???

  • Lola Granola
    Yeah, I know Mark was implying a food you could buy or sell, but human breast milk has the correct fat, protein and carbohydrate (vitamin, mineral, etc.) balance for a human, a cow’s milk has a different makeup (the reason you need to ‘tinker’ with it so much if you make the WAPF raw milk baby formula), and the challenge was to name a food better than raw cow milk.

    “I hear you Lola, but… are you grass fed?”
    Last I knew I didn’t have a four chamber fermentation-type stomach.

  • Lola Granola
    Why not? The cows don’t volunteer for that position, either.
  • Sylvia Gibson
    Can you sell breast milk? Or is that illegal?
  • D. Smith
    Pot calling the kettle black! Why? Because I apologized to you and a couple of others for ever doubting a word you say?

    Heh. (Oops – now THAT was snide, wasn’t it?) Sorry.

    China, historically, was a huge country and Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Canton and several other provinces were all included when they said “China” because those were, at one time, considered a part of China. I have no idea when they started using milk in the part of China to which you refer but parts of China have been using it since recorded history. They may not drink it by the cup like Americans do, but to some extent they used/drank milk for a long time.

    When you come up with your theory on how Homo Sapiens crawled out of the mud without animal milk, post the link here.

  • Ora Moose
    I know of some mom’s that have shared with friends and neighbors but don’t think there was ever any money involved and have no clue on the legalities. Pretty sure you can’t advertise for it though…

    Check out new legal ramifications regarding the health claims of some other food, that went to court and semi won. Any chance this scenario could play out in the raw milk world?

    In particular, the part that starts with “The FTC tried to create a new, stricter industry standard…”

  • Ora Moose
    To clarify, that would be “friends and neighbors’ babies.”
  • Lola Granola
    “When you come up with your theory on how Homo Sapiens crawled out of the mud without animal milk, post the link here.”


    Homo Sapiens = Where Lived: Evolved in Africa, now worldwide
    When Lived: About 200,000 years ago to present

    Domestication of animals = 10,000 years ago to present

    Obviously, there was a time when humans lived without animal milk.

  • joelie hicks
    I don’t know about selling, but my daughter donated about 50 lbs to a milk bank before she moved.
  • mark mcafee
    Try “Baby Gaga” Ice Cream.

    They make icecream in London and one of the ingredients is human breast milk.
    Howard Hughes and Randolphe Hearst drank raw breast milk.

    The FDA does not regulate raw breast milk because it does not come from a hoofed animal.

    On April 1st the FDA actually outlawed raw milk breast milk for human consumption. See this article. Just joking…it was April 1st.

  • D. Smith
    @ Lola: Well der. . .

    Homo sapiens had to learn about animals before they could do ANYTHING with them.

    And as to your timelines above, I will not get started arguing the fine points of origin. Not the origins of man or beast. The argument about raw milk is enough.

  • null.set
    just when I perceived a bit of light at the end of the tunnel … along comes the local fascists with this new “law framed in mischief” = see below. Exactly the same as where I got thrown into the whole psycho-drama by taking on the crooks who outlawed freedom of Expression around the abortion mills. Last time I went out on the street ( 1998) I was sent off to prison for a month, for ‘practicing Christianity on the public street / uttering criticism of govt. policy in a restricted zone’. I told you so then, and I’m telling you all over again, now with 2 decades of hard evidence of how unspeakably corrupt it is in high places = “this ain’t about health”

    The Province newspaper, Vancouver British Columbia

    B.C.’s Liberal government is poised to further choke off the flow of public information, this time with respect to disease outbreaks. The Animal Health Act, expected to be passed into law by month’s end, expressly over-rides B.C.’s Freedom of Information Act, duct-taping shut the mouths of any citizens – or journalists – who would publicly identify the location of an outbreak of agriculture-related disease such as the deadly bird flu.

    “A person must refuse, despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, to disclose . . . information that would reveal that a notifiable or reportable disease is or may be present in a specific place or on or in a specific vehicle,” Section 16 of the Act reads.

    It is quite conceivable that the provincial government, in the event of a disease outbreak at a farm, would delay releasing a warning in order to protect the farm in question or the industry it’s part of.

    In that event, should you as a citizen hear about the outbreak, or if you were an employee at an affected farm, you would be breaking the law by speaking publicly about it or bringing concerns to the media.

    Citizens or journalists breaking the Animal Health Act but not charged with an offence can be slapped with “administrative penalties,” which are fines. And the legislation contains an additional attack on rights of citizens: if you don’t pay your fine, a government representative simply files a paper in court that is the same, according to Sec. 80(2) of the Act, “as if it were a judgment of the court with which it is filed.”

    Except for the absence of a judge or any semblance of due process.

    Ultimately, this legislation aims to protect businesses from disclosure of information that may harm their financial interests.

    As B.C. Freedom of Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham revealed in a letter to provincial Agriculture Minister Don McRae, his ministry has expressed concern that the province’s legal protection of “third-party business interests . . . does not adequately protect information related to farmers engaged in animal-health programs or subject to disease-management actions.”

    Ministry employees, animal-health inspectors and laboratory employees are specifically barred from disclosing information about farm-disease outbreaks.

    Denham noted that it’s extremely rare for a law to override freedom of information legislation. The Animal Health Act removes “the public’s right to access various records regarding animal testing, including actions and reports relating to animal-disease management,” Denham wrote.

    The Animal Health Act would override another provincial law, the Offence Act. While the Offence Act caps punishment at a $2,000 fine and six months in jail for offences not drawing higher penalties in other legislation, the Animal Health Act says that section of the Offence Act doesn’t apply, and lays out a punishment regime with penalties reaching to $75,000 fines and two years in prison. The offence of failing to keep information confidential falls among the violations drawing the highest penalties.

    by Ethan Baron

    Read more:

  • Jan
    I would like to make people aware that the Senate is voting tomorrow in an Amendment introduced by Rand Paul. Earlier this evening, Senator Paul discussed the abuses of power at the FDA and the need to rein them in by adopting his amendment #2143 to the FDA User Fee Bill, S. 3187. I believe they are voting on it Thursday May 24 at 2PM EST.

    I copied the following off the website and there are their two links below. They are asking people to call their senators to vote YES on the Rand Paul amendment and NO on the Durbin amendment.

    “Senator Rand Paul will introduce an amendment that is likely to receive a vote today.* It would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act “concerning claims about the effects of foods and dietary supplements on health-related conditions and disease, to prohibit employees of the Food and Drug Administration from carrying firearms and making arrests without warrants, and to adjust the mens rea of certain prohibited acts under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to knowing and willful.”

    *Thursday May 24

  • Ken Conrad
    Flame retardants (PBDE’s) are commonly found in in many products including women’s bras. They are endocrine disrupting compounds and accumulate in fatty tissue. Breast tissue and breast milk have been found to contain the highest concentrations of flame retardants in the body.
    “Until recently, brominated flame retardants were considered safe. However, in 1999, Swedish researchers discovered much greater amounts in human breast milk than had been detected twenty-five years earlier. Levels in breast milk of American women are about 10 times higher than in European women. This has raised concern among many scientists and environmental health advocates… But in the U.S., there are no federal regulations restricting use of PBDEs, even though body burdens here appear to be the highest in the world and are still rising. A number of states have enacted or are considering legislation to regulate or ban PBDEs.”

    “There are more than 200,000 metric tons of bromine-containing products produced every year. In 2001, Asia consumed 56% of those products.”

    Raw milk and its bacteria are not the problem we perceive them to be. The problem rests with chemicals such as PBDE’s that disrupt our environment and immune systems.


  • D. Smith
    I posted this at David’s blog concerning the MN fiasco, too, but wanted to place it here, as well, so NO ONE will miss it. Only about 7 minutes. Good stuff.

    Rand Paul introduces Amendment 2143 (S.3187 FDA User Free Reauthorization Bill) to DISARM – yes, disarm – the FDA gun-toting fools, AND to try to stop raids on Amish farms and others selling raw milk. He also delves into the subjects of supplements, prune juice and other things he thinks are federally over regulated.

    I sure hope he makes some inroads.

  • D. Smith
    Oops – it’s early – I forgot to add the link!

  • Sylvia Gibson
    A few years ago, I saw some photos of chemical burns on women in the shape of the bras, they were bought from Victoria Secret, They had previously bought bras from the store without problems, these bras were made in china. If I recall, previously the bras were made in South America. There have been photos of kids with chemical burns from clothes, and burns from shoes (flip flops)….
  • Jan
    Senate just voted to table Rand Paul’s amendment about 78 to 15. That is, according to the quotation below from the “Amending Process in the Senate”, sort of the equivalent of taking a test vote. So the Senate won’t even vote on it. I have been watching the proceedings on Cspan on the entire FDA bill before the senate. There is a love affair between the U.S. Senators and the FDA. The “science” of the FDA is highly exalted by many senators. The many Senators that are in power now won’t touch the FDA.

    “A Senator may stop debate on an amendment by being recognized and then moving to lay it on the table. If the Senate agrees to this non-debatable motion, the amendment is considered to be rejected, or tabled. (The Senate may vote to table a first degree amendment while a second degree amendment to it is pending.) If the tabling motion is defeated, debate on the amendment may resume. However, the vote on a motion to table an amendment often is considered to be a decisive test vote on the amendment; if the tabling motion is defeated on a roll call vote, the amendmentitselfmaybeagreedtobyvoicevoteshortlythereafter. Movingtotable an amendment is essentially a negative action, and there is no other motion available in the Senate to bring the body to an immediate vote to dispose of a pending amendment.”

  • D. Smith
    I know of several places to buy and sell breastmilk. Here is one outlet:

    Some places require a special diet for the Mom (not exactly what I would call healthy eating but nevertheless their rules must be followed) and some places, in fact most of them, require the breastmilk to be pasteurized.

  • D. Smith
    Yeah, it’s sad but there are few who DIDN’T know this is what would happen. Bury (table) it and forget it – the motto of the House and Senate lawmakers.

    Still, many folks were hopeful that it might go places, because I saw several postings about it all over the ‘net this morning. It’s apparent to everyone but our lawmakers that something needs to and has to be done about this travesty/sham called the FDUh, but no one in power is going to actually come out in support of doing anything.

    There are probably more tabled motions, bills and amendments than there are laws in this country. John Stossel – check into this please! He had a utube thingy recently about all the ridiculous laws still on the books in this crazy country – now he needs to tackle some of the un-laws. I’ll bet there’s more good stuff in the tabled paperwork than some of the junk which actually made it into law.

  • null.set
    of course, you can always out-source it … millions of lactating humans being in 3rd Woild Countries would be only too happy to exchange a pint or 2, for Federal Reserve Notes. Just FedEx it … Ain’t globalism wonderful?! Never mind that the last batch of baby formula had melamine in it = The FDA’s position is that a little bit of that industrial waste-product won’t hurt your baby … and have they ever lied to you before?
  • D. Smith
    I’ve been following it on

    At least they only tabled it (heh, as if it matters, right?) – most of the others were out and out rejected. Just a matter of time before this one is, too. I’ve also been following the money trail on S. 3187 (overall, not just Paul’s amendment proposition). Scott Brown – biggest taker with five hundred and some odd thousand so far. No wonder everyone wants to “work” for the gubment . . .

  • D. Smith
    Yep. Our gubment never met an FDA “position” it didn’t like – with the exception of Rand Paul and Ron Paul, it would seem. Imagine that.

    “Scared of a little melamine”, the FDA chants? “Ah heck, the stuff was found in minute amounts in the baby formula – so what? Collateral damage, don’t worry about it right now. Later we’ll make up more lies to cover past lies, which covered past lies” . . . and so forth. But the FDA claims they’re toothless against the gubment. Uh-huh.

  • mark mcafee
    Rand Paul does good!! must watch this.

    Disarming the FDA ( no more FDA armed agents on our farms and decriminalizing the making of medical claims on food! Hallaluya!!

    We are tipping the balance…


  • D. Smith
    The trouble with the court system playing the blame game with parents and children’s rights is that parents are not equipped with a crystal ball, and children don’t come with an instruction manual.

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