Will Raw Milk Advocates Be Ready for a Battle of the Body Bags in “Milk Freedom” Debate?


Will we finally get an updated photo of the FDA's chief dairy bureaucrat, John Sheehan, during the debate over "Milk Freedom" legislation?The proposed legislation to rescind or liberalize the federal ban on interstate raw milk sales holds out the prospect of a national debate on raw milk. 


How so? There will need to be one or more hearings on the legislation before the House committee with responsibility for the legislation. 


An aide to Kentucky Cong. Thomas Massie, who is leading the bipartisan “Milk Freedom” legislative effort, says he doesn’t have a specific timetable for when hearings could be held, but emailed me, “We hope sooner rather than later.” The hearings would be held before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  


I’m not sure Cong. Massie and his coalition of 18 other conservatives and liberals fully appreciate what they have gotten themselves into. The debate growing out of their well intentioned legislation to get the federal government out of policing raw milk won’t be pretty. In fact, it will likely be downright ugly. 


Given the corporate dairy industry’s immediate negative reaction to the legislation, all dirty options are open. The industry could get its committee members on the Big Ag payroll to bury the legislation without a hearing. But if a hearing comes together, I think it is fair to say it could be, how shall we say, contentious. 


The dairy industry has already telegraphed its strategy: a full-scale, bare knuckle, blood-and-guts, full-court press with fear mongering on a level that will be a surprise to much of the general public. Of course, those who follow this blog know well what the industry, and its captive patrons, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, are capable of when it comes to fear mongering. 


The president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation put it this way: “If this measure passes, those most vulnerable to dangerous pathogens – children – are the ones who will suffer the most. The benefits of consuming raw milk are illusory, but the painful costs of illness and death are very real. Consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk. The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well?documented in the scientific literature, with evidence spanning nearly 100 years.


Translation: If your Congressional representative votes in favor of this legislation, blood will be on his or her hands because kids will die. 


The dairy industry isn’t even bothering with its old argument that illnesses from raw milk will taint the entire dairy industry. No, this is going to be all blood-and-guts. 


Expect the dairy corporation bigwigs, America’s version of  oligarchs, to pull out all the stops, including the following: 


-The industry will fly individuals from around the country who have been sickened by raw milk to Washington via corporate jet to testify. 

-The dairy industry will also fly in scientists who will testify that raw milk is inherently unsafe. 

-The dairy industry will fly in bigwigs from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatricians, among other bastions of the medical establishment, to similarly beat the fear drums. 


Only a few details remain up on the air at this time; for example:

-Will the families of those flown in by Big Dairy be put up at in Washingon at the Hay Adams, the Ritz, the Intercontinental, or the Jefferson hotels? 

-Will they have limos at their disposal to get tours of Washington? 

-Will the head of the FDA’s dairy division,  John Sheehan, finally make a personal appearance before a crowd that may include detractors, and actually read his testimony (rather than just submit a copy, as he does in state legislatures) so we can get an updated photo of the mystery bureaucrat to add to the five-year-old one produced here (again)? 

-Will an official of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control appear and explain the voodoo math used to argue that raw milk is 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized? 

-Will the CDC offer a bounty to get the 20,000-plus Minnesota raw milk drinkers it argues have been sickened to come and testify? 


What I’m driving at is that the pro raw milk crowd had better be prepared to do more than just sit in uncomfortable silence when parents at the witness stand show photos and videos of children on dialysis machines from tainted raw milk. Some matters they may want the committee to explore:

— Will it bring in relatives of the three individuals who died from pasteurized milk in Massachusetts in 2007? 

—Might the committee include the woman who lost her fetus as a result of the same tainted pasteurized milk? 

—Will the committee fly in relatives of the individual who died from bad pasteurized cheese in Wisconsin last year, along with the woman who miscarried?  

–How about the newborns and moms sickened by cheese from Delaware last year that its producer says was made “with the strictest pasteurization processes and fulfilling the sanitary aspects demanded by the F.D.A.”?


Yes, this is a distasteful discussion, one I’d rather not be writing about, but one that is essential. That is because, for the Big Dairy forces, NOTHING will be off limits. This is about billions of dollars in prize money. In the industry’s eyes, it will be battling for continued domination of an oligopoly that detests competition, especially from impudent small farms that have the audacity to think they can sell dairy products at a profit, and cut out the dairy processor middlemen. Yes, we have our American oligarchs and they will fight as hard and as dirty as those in Russia for control of land and markets. 

Raw milk advocates better be ready for the battle of the body bags. 


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23 Comments on "Will Raw Milk Advocates Be Ready for a Battle of the Body Bags in “Milk Freedom” Debate?"

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D. Smith
D. Smith
April 1, 2014 5:07 pm

Sadly this is as much about control of land and markets in the US as it is in Russia or any other socialist nation. BigDairy farmers love nothing better than to buy the holdings of a small farmer who they helped put out of business.

Fear sells. Right or wrong, fear is the best tactic to get something accomplished. It’s been a corporate tool for some time. The witnesses who testify at these hearings should appear there of their own accord, not as the “guest” of the corporate accusers. That should be part of the… Read more »

mark mcafee
April 1, 2014 9:17 pm

Battle of the body bags!! Great one David.

To quote the governor of a northeast state, ( when “FDA Industry dairy” types tried to change state laws to overturn their pro raw milk laws)..”show me the body bags! there are not any!” The laws did not change.

This will be “good ugly”….it is the bright shining light of truth that is needed to expose the oldy moldy FDA PMO FOOD INC laws that keep farmers and consumers separated by CFR 1240.61 judgemade lines on our earth.

I already dropped off the FDA citizens petition to Kinkos for copies. The two… Read more »

Ora Moose
Ora Moose
April 2, 2014 12:47 am

You knew this was coming: ” the FDA and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be joining forces to assure “undisputable safety” of all meats sold to Americans. And the only feasible way to assure pathogen-free meats, the agencies claim, is to ban raw meat sales. The joint agency agenda is reportedly slated to take effect as early as next year, at which point all meats sold within the US will be pre-cooked.”


Oh wait, what day is today??

D. Smith
D. Smith
April 2, 2014 2:27 am

But if all the people you mentioned show up and spin the same old numbers they’ve been massaging for the past decade or more, wouldn’t the committee wonder why Massie et al bothered to bring it to a House Bill? If the committee asks the right questions, even they will be able to smell the dead rat in the room.

Products can rarely be totally eliminated from the market. To Wit: the war on guns or drugs. There are always members of the corporate and political *classes* ready to conflate and then vilify a product, try to restrict… Read more »

mark mcafee
April 2, 2014 5:10 am

David you are right….this has more to do with the political intent and intestinal fortitude of the bill authors. I seriously question the raw milk knowledge of the bill sponsors or authors. Knowledge of raw milk history, current science of safety, standards and etc, is held by very few. Very very few!

So this may be a pure “food freedom act” and not a true joust to the torso of the core of the FDA food safety regulators. I will speak with the staff at McClintocks office and find out if they want a real battle for change or… Read more »

April 2, 2014 8:12 pm

This is on topic for a discussion of body bags, but has nothing to do with raw milk freedom. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/28-signs-west-coast-being-absolutely-fried-nuclear-radiation-fukushima 28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima. The “absolutely fried” could be a bit alarmist, but perhaps any potential danger to radiation in California milk is still ahead of us.

April 2, 2014 10:09 pm

I went to the URL, and the first link, “Fur loss, open sores seen in polar bears,” is an NBC news story of Sunday Apr 8, 2012 8:43 AM. Are there more recent stories in there?

April 3, 2014 1:05 am

Sorry, I didn’t realize it was such old news. GreenMedInfo sent out an email today about
“A Sneak Attack on Your Dietary Supplements: The FDA’s New Food Label Guidelines” as their lead story, and that story is scary in its own right. Once I was at GreenMedInfo, I linked to the radiation story, thinking it was more current news. I see now it was written in October 2013, so nothing will be newer than that. The story does report the kind of concerning information you don’t see in the mainstream press. … Read more »

D. Smith
D. Smith
April 3, 2014 2:04 am

@ David: I guess the truth about the health benefits of raw milk from the real life, long time consumers/producers doesn’t have quite the drama factor as a weeping Mom with a sad story that probably contains a little bit of spin itself.

I don’t really think raw milk drinkers are scared or uncomfortable about the issue of raw milk advocacy, but in the face of the court system I think they worry they’ll be tricked into saying something which will be twisted into something entirely different, i.e., as you say “taking data out of context”. Most… Read more »

mark mcafee
April 3, 2014 4:07 am

I wonder if the 9 families that lost loved ones since 2007 from pasteurized cheeses and pasteurized milk would be willing to show up to testify at a congressional hearing? That would be a game changer. I do not think that has ever been attempted.

D. Smith
D. Smith
April 3, 2014 7:08 pm

Those nine families, and others in the same situation have likely received compensation for their loved ones. They no doubt signed privacy disclaimers and other agreements stating they wouldn’t talk about their experience(s) whilst that money was held just out of their reach until they signed. Tracks get covered pretty quickly in instances like those – and money talks. Even hush money.

Probably only those people who had a compelling reason and actually sifted through the records/data provided by the CDC even know about those deaths and illnesses. You can be sure it’s not common knowledge on… Read more »

April 3, 2014 9:34 pm

True, D Smith … “money doesn’t talk, it swears” … and practitioners of the black arts in the Cult of the Black Robe, are masters of its persuasive power. The most insulting illustration of their double-minded-ness being = the Keeper of the One-Trick Pony, whose rants you’ll see on this forum, relentlessly merchandising her tale of woe, now 8 years (?) later from the incident.
… Supposedly the deal she made with Organic Pastures Dairy as to its liability for harms suffered by her son – never proven, mind you – required her to keep her… Read more »

April 3, 2014 9:37 pm

Well documented and useful abstracts from Journal American Medical Association:

Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized milk

C. A. Ryan et al., JAMA. Vol. 258 No. 22, December 11, 1987
Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.
Two waves of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella typhimurium infections in Illinois totaling over 16 000 culture-confirmed cases were traced to two brands of pasteurized 2% milk produced by a single dairy plant. Salmonellosis was associated with taking antimicrobials before onset of illness. Two surveys to determine the number of persons who were actually affected yielded estimates of 168,791 and 197,581 persons, making… Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
April 3, 2014 10:11 pm

California Farm Bureau oppose AB 2505

gee, they supposedly worked with the small farmers in regards to Home Dairy Farm Raw Milk Safety Act (AB 2505) Lot of good it did the farmers. A copy of the letter is on facebook and I do not know how to put it here.

even states raw dairy poses serious health risks. I’m not surprised as most know that most large entities don’t support the little guy, its big ag who gets the cream, albeit burnt cream. Stab those farmers in the back.

Sylvia Gibson
Sylvia Gibson
April 4, 2014 12:26 am

I meant to say the letter stated, “raw dairy poses serious health risks”.

April 4, 2014 12:42 am

“…privacy disclaimers and other agreements stating they wouldn’t talk about their experience(s) whilst that money was held just out of their reach until they signed. Tracks get covered pretty quickly in instances like those – and money talks. Even hush money.”

Just think what a picture these words paint about a legal, lethal product and the monied silence of the coffins, while “Got Milk?®” smiles on. The dead are silent to this world, the money a marketing expense to silence the living to protect (interesting word, eh?) the market. What kind of market is this? A free… Read more »

Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
April 4, 2014 12:49 pm

“Taken together, these insights argue for a new germ theory, one that would up-end our prejudices as profoundly as Robert Koch’s discovery did in 1882. This new germ theory would hold that the body is not a sterile instrument; that the interplay between our organism and those trillions of mircrobes is profoundly more complicated than it has seemed. It would allow that germs are not always, in fact, germs—that they can benefit us as well as harm us, and that knowing the difference is an essential challenge of 21st century medicine. Ultimately, the new germ theory would leave the… Read more »

April 4, 2014 3:21 pm

“The brain directs all microbes. The immune system, traditionally imagined as a sort of army in the body fighting malignant cancerous cells and malignant microbes in a great battle, does not exist in this sense. Following instructions from the brain, the pathogenic microbes become benign apathogenic microbes and retreat into a part of the organism where they are no bother. They can be recalled only in the pcl phase and sent to and reactivated only in the specific organs. Possessed of our anti-bacteria, hygienic thinking, we have tried to stamp out these part-time workers of our organism. We… Read more »

April 4, 2014 3:42 pm

I think that Dr. Hamer’s view of breast cancer is particularly interesting for those of us who take care of cows. After all the mammary gland is an important part of the cow and the way we manage the cows does affect the health of their udder.

“Breast gland cancer has its relay in the cerebellum and will form compact adenoid tumors that consist of the old mesodermal germ layer. Milk duct cancer has its relay in the cerebral cortex, (the sensory cortex to be more exact) will develop squamous epithelium carcinomas and is… Read more »

April 5, 2014 5:17 pm

Dr Hamer’s view of breast cancer is especially interesting to those of us now involved in the Campaign for REAL MILK, after having put in a stint on the front-lines of the ( so-called) “Pro-Life” thing. When we were vilified / brutalized / gaoled for warning + informing Ham-merica about the harms and sequelae of artificial abortion. Geerd Hamer, too, has been imprisoned for telling the Truth to a society in denial
The meta-alalysis by Joel Brind in 2000 proved everything necessary for understanding that the increase in breast cancer perfectly parallels availability of abortion-on-demand. Not only… Read more »