On the Madness of Banning Raw Milk

According to the CDC, there have been “1,505 reported illnesses” including “185 hospitalizations and 2 deaths” from raw milk since 1993. I don’t mean to sound callous, but 2 deaths in 20 years? This is cause for nationwide panic?

For perspective, consider the following:

Yet, we don’t ban backyard pools, punish Merck or any other pharmaceutical company, close hospitals where MRSA is found, punish doctors who prescribe medication without having to pass an exam on the pros/cons of a drug beforehand. We don’t ban cars nor prohibit alcohol. Keeping people from drinking and driving has proven impossible. Mainstream medicine kills more people than almost anything else, yet it marches on unburdened by consequence.

Meanwhile, the FDA, DHS, DEA and ATF (or whatever it’s called now) are sending SWAT to terrorize farmers and their customers, pouring milk on the ground, forcing farmers to destroy raw milk products, putting farmers out of business because raw milk might, what, give you a stomach ache? Clearly, the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

The inmates being the Milk Lobby. Here’s a Washington Post article on how the Milk Lobby spent millions of dollars over three years — three years — crushing a dairy farmer who wouldn’t tow the lobby-line. Just to get you started down this rabbit hole.

I wouldn’t drink pasteurized milk out of the carton on a bet. Why would anyone? Our family no longer consumes any pasteurized milk products, unless it is impossible to avoid. We buy raw cow’s and goat’s milk products locally whenever we can.

And we Boycott Organic Valley. Here’s why:

Thanks to the traitorous Organic Valley corporation, currently the largest organic farmer co-op in the U.S., raw milk products are less available this year than last. I read O.V.’s press release to the Weston A. Price Foundation explaining their position (thank you, Cheeseslave, for bringing this to my attention). I responded thusly:

Dear Organic Valley,

Because of your refusal to allow your farmers to sell raw milk, making them choose between your organization and income, I am boycotting your products. And I am letting my local Whole Foods store, the local and politically active Good Foods Co-op, and every health food store and farmer’s market I frequent know why.

Raw milk is only illegal because of the industrialized milk lobby. You are in effect supporting that lobby. Criminal.

You say “The Cooperative cannot condone the sale of raw milk in states where it is illegal.” By that logic, Rosa Parks should have moved to the back of the bus. Shame on you.

They wrote me back: a long boring letter with more of the same whining-disguised-as-rationale as the first letter. I angrily whipped off a response, but didn’t send it, thinking surely I would calm down. That was a month ago and I have not. So I sent this:

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I understand your decision was not made in an afternoon. However, to deny that raw milk is only illegal for political reasons is disingenuous. Its being illegal has nothing to do with safety or health.

Your hope for a “national harmonized standard” for raw milk smacks of CODEX. The federal government and the U.N. have no business or right meddling in our food. More to the point, since the FDA and leaders like Michael Taylor have taken the reins, our nation is fatter and sicker than ever before. Following their guidelines is literally suicide.

If it weren’t for the industrial milk lobby and Big Agri/Pharm/Chem, raw milk would be available nationwide in Piggly Wiggly instead of in back alleys where we have to look over our shoulders for SWAT.

I was informed last night by my cowshare farm that the federales have decided to make it even harder for us to get milk from cows we own. (A ridiculous loophole through which we must jump in order to get FOOD.) Because the local peace officers have nothing else to do — I guess there are no real criminals around — they’ve decided to “crack down” on raw milk criminals.

Statistically, we are more in danger of physical harm from arrest and incarceration than from drinking raw milk. The farmer from whom I bought my cowshare has already suffered a violent arrest — perpetrated in front of my fellow cowshare owners — and imprisonment for LEGALLY providing raw milk to consenting adults.

This is unacceptable.

In the United States, we are losing our food freedoms. It is a critical moment for those of us who would like to eat free of government intervention. Your letter states that OVC is sympathetic to our “plight”. Indeed, your corporation could join with WAPF, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, among others, and make a difference. Yet you’ve essentially turned your backs on us in the name of profit. There is no other explanation.

Today, I am going to drive an hour and a half to the farm to get a gallon of fresh, whole, raw milk produced by my cow. A drive I now must make every week. Your position will see that I am forced to do this for awhile longer. Thanks.

If you are not an active part of the solution, you are an active part of the problem. I see your position as one of cowardice and I will not support it. Our progeny demand that we take an active role in fighting injustice, particularly where we live.

Cheers! [Now raising my virtual glass to you, in the hopes you are enjoying food freedom in your home.]

LINKS for more info:

Kentucky specific links:

43 comments to On the Madness of Banning Raw Milk

  • Man if they saw my milkman they would have a fit!
    Especially the days when he is really hung over and slurring the pura vida!
    We have been buying his milk, delivered to our door from God knows where, for years and have yet to even get a tummy ache.
    That even includes the babies.
    Though my son-in-law was a little skeptical having been very well brain washed to the dangers of raw milk. So we boiled babies for a while, until it was proven that he could drink it.
    Now we buy all our natilla, cheese and dairy from our milk man.
    oh and the wonderful price? About $3.00 per gallon.

    • Dana

      Wow! That’s a better price than Organic Valley’s milk, which by the way is ultra-pasteurized, as almost all “organic” milk is anymore.

      I still get pasteurized milk, but it is low-temp pasteurized, and the cows are grass-fed. Not ideal, but tastes a hell of a lot better than Kroger’s milk.

  • Mary

    Loved this article while drinking a big glass of raw milk…ooohhh I am crazy!!

  • Robbie, I’ve met your milkman, lol. He’s a mess, but very cheerful!!! I’d drink his milk. Buying raw dairy in a third world country and surviving, like you and Mary have, is proof the stuff is not dangerous. Thank you!

  • Kevin Huey

    Robbie, does he deliver to Escazu?

  • Kevin, ask Corinne if she knows someone. She showed me a goat’s milk farmer near me. Maybe look for a farm near you with cow’s in a field… they do something with that milk, right?

  • james

    Sally, you probably should not be drinking milk anyway. It is not a healthy food especially at our ages. However, I love ice cream and cream in my coffee and many other “milky” things so since I intend to continue my addiction to this harmful substance, I am equally outraged that the government is sticking its big head into my fridge. Betchya din’t have THIS problem in Ticoland.

    • Dana

      Yes, milk *is* a healthy food, assuming it’s produced correctly. Considering that we now eat grazing animals way too young, counter to our species experience of hunting down the old and fat specimens, we have to get that extra fat intake from somewhere. Especially since so few of us (including me) eat organ meats anymore, which are also a good source of animal fat.

      I don’t usually drink whole milk because of its lactose content–I don’t need all that sugar. Lactose converts pretty easily to glucose, and type 2 diabetes is a scourge in my family. Had I not spent my twenties and part of my thirties treating myself like crap, I could probably deal, but I have to work with my body as it is now. So I use half-and-half and cream instead.

  • gayle swanson

    Sall love,
    Never forget. It’s ALL about the money. gayle

  • Great article! But you must understand that the FDA doesn’t have enough manpower and money to do their job protecting the citizens of this great country. What with shutting down church bake sales, raiding Amish farmers at 5:30 in the morning, shutting down supplement manufacturers and confiscating their products, and raiding food co-ops, they’re pushed beyond their abilities.

    What we need is a comprehensive food safety bill that will outlaw growing food for everybody but the big corporations, and then the FDA will have only six or so corporation it will have to visit and regulate.

    Yay for MORE government! Down with the little guy! All those cows are burping copious amounts of CO2 anyway and burning up our little planet. Ha hahahah.

    But seriously, as someone who is also heading into the second half of her century, I enjoyed your article (and your blog name).

  • No gov in my fridge in Costa Rica, James. Only in dingy buildings at the end of long long lines!

    Don’t worry, Gayle, you taught me well. <3 (heart)

    Ahh, Joanne, it will be a relief when there are only five brands from which to choose. Kinda like our TV channels… bwahaha!

  • No TV for me. Blech! I found salvation in Netflix.
    Joanne recently posted..Eliminate Food Allergies and Chronic Diseases with NAET

  • What are we, twins separated at birth? We don’t have TV now either. Brain suck for us… just wander down and start staring and surfing… 1,000 channels and nothing on. Now, we watch Hulu and just got Netflix. Streaming movies is the bomb. And internet of course. There’s where the real news is!

  • I guess that’s what happens when you start eating real food: you want real entertainment. It was the pharmaceutical commercials for jittery leg syndrome in 2005 that put me off TV forever. Have you seen this?

    FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful
    Joanne recently posted..Eliminate Food Allergies and Chronic Diseases with NAET

    • SaanenMom

      I watched the video about the overly happy people. That is a spoof….the Onion site is known for spoofing all manner of things. I’m not saying that they won’t come up with pills like that in the future, but it’s not happening now, near as I can find out online….still need to research a PDR (Physician Desk Reference).

  • Oh, I love a mad woman over 50! They really get things done. I just facebooked this to the 13,000 plus fans of WAPF!

    And tweeted it, too.

    Thanks, also for running the Morningland pledgie widget, I hope everyone with a blog or website joins our efforts to save this dairy farm!

    Well done, Sally!
    Kimberly Hartke recently posted..British Grassfed Dairy Raps Yeo- Yeo Dairy

    • Thanks, Kimberly! And thanks for the good plugs!!! Wish I could meet you at the conference but not going after all. Turns out there is a big meeting here in KY to discuss introducing food freedom legislation. This is where I live, can’t afford to meet these legislators, the other WAPF chapter leaders and the farmers!

  • Art

    Raw milk is the battleground for real food. Our GM food is void of nutritional value as is our milk like products. There is not any money in raw milk for the agchem industry. Future, former and soon to be agchem execs are protecting their past and future by trying to destroy raw milk. When and if raw milk becomes history, true organics and our backyard garden will be the next to be attacked.

    • Hi, Art, I’m with ya! I think it’s no small coincidence that current FDA head Michael Taylor is a former CEO of Monsanto. If raw pastured milk got too popular, what would Monsanto do with all that GMO corn and soy??? This is Taylor’s at least second go round as FDA head, the most revolving-door public servant I know of. Criminal! Pastured meat is next, bet my last dollar on it.

  • I love this! The statistics you pulled up in the first letter (only two deaths, etc) are the ones that I pulled up when I decided to drink raw milk. I had heard somewhere (in my raw milk research) and I can’t remember where now, that the only outbreaks were from milk that was produced to be pastuerized and somehow got out of the normal cycle and sold to someone who wanted raw milk. But, I can’t remember where I heard this, have you seen that information anywhere?
    Sarah recently posted..Bitter Chocolate- Hot In the Cup Oooh Yeah!

  • April Boughton

    We bought a cow in order to get our raw milk. That led to goats and now I milk 3 of those in addition to the cow! I’m afraid to sell our extra milk even though it’s “legal” here in Missouri. So, our farm animals get our leftovers. I hate that humans aren’t benefiting from the glorious milk.

    I feel very frustrated and impotent and I don’t know where to even start to try to make a change.

    Thanks for this article, very well written!


    • Hi April, Is there a WAPF chapter leader near you? Go here for MO: http://www.westonaprice.org/chapters/#mo. Many chapter leaders (although apparently not all) are politically active in their states — I sure plan to be! If there’s action happening near you, you can support it financially if possible or physically.

      Another thing you can do is, join WAPF which supports the work they do. They are VERY active politically, working to change the trend. Membership is between $25-$40 annually.

      The most immediate thing you can do is sponsor a cheese for $5 which goes toward Morningland Dairy’s legal defense — see the link upper right column. Go here to read the story: http://hartkeisonline.com/2010/10/11/family-farm-ordered-to-destroy-50000-pounds-of-cheese/

      Enjoy your milk! My dream now is to have 10 acres and goats and bees and chickens. Can’t wait!!!

  • Cheers to you, too! Thanks for the great info!
    Melanie recently posted..Eliminating all that artificial stuff

  • Alissa

    Thanks for turning me on to the Nourishing Traditions book and this whole raw milk issue. I recently purchased it and we are already making some decent changes to our diets. Haven’t tried raw milk yet but plan to visit a farm in my area and purchase some in the next two weeks… for “pet consumption” only, of course ;)

  • melissa

    sarah, i heard something similar about the two deaths – only what i heard was that it was from cheese that was made from raw milk that was meant to be pasteurized. i looked it up and found a very informative press release (linked below).

    the numbers of people sickened by *pasteurized* milk is astounding. not to mention spinach, eggs, ground beef, and orange juice, to name a few.

    this is a direct quote from mark mcafee:

    “There are zero deaths from raw milk in the CDC data base in the last 35 years. There are many many deaths from pasteurized CAFO milk.”

    620 documented deaths from pasteurized milk, according to this press release from realmilk.com.

  • Leimana

    Nice letter to OV. I am sitting here reading this with my tall glass of still warm from the cow milk that I lovingly accepeted from my own cow this morning. To think of getting in “trouble” for that is absurd. Demons think they can rule the world but they will never win. God plays with them like a cat with a mouse. He lets them think they will get away and then destroys them with one swipe. Drink your milk, eat your cheese, stand up for your your right to grow, eat your own food. Develop a strong underground network of millions who want to eat real food and raise our children with it. We have to become more they can handle and they might just give up. Our voices are made strong from all that good food we eat:) No fat GMO cheese puff people here!!!

    • Very inspirational, thank you! Standing up… only 5′ but I gotta big mouth so I seem taller, lol! I feel like we are at the tipping point of being more than they can handle. “Never doubt that a small, committed group of people…”

  • Art

    Elena Kagan wrote an amiacable (sp?) brief in support of Monsanto before she was appointed to the Supreme Court. Besides Michael Taylor, there is another Monsanto plant in the Obama administration, whose name escapes me.

    Raw milk is the current battleground for healthy food. If raw milk falls, that will open the door for assaults on everything organic. Organics are current under attack in Washington DC. The agchem industry is doing everything in their power to weaken organic standards.

    Those of us who believe in raw milk should stand tall and not cave to governmental threats and intimidation like Organic Valley did.

    The non organic food that is being consumed is void of any nutritional valve. Chemically produced vitamins and minerals are added to food. Only a small percentage of these vitamins and minerals are digested by the body.

    This is not only a battle for healthy foods, it is a battle for our health and must not be lost.

  • I am with you 100% on this, Art. You took the words right outta my mouth. If we lose this battle, we are in for some real trouble here. What if Monsanto controlled ALL our food choices? That to me is more frightening than any of my other tin foil hat wearing ideas. I’m not done talking about this topic by any stretch. May I quote you? Won’t use your name if you don’t want me to, but I’d like to use your wording. I’d like to use a lot of what I’ve read in the comments… ok, making up a comment policy!

    • Art

      You may use whatever you want. You can also use my name if you wish.

      When I was a kid, my sister worked on the local dairy farm and would bring home milk fresh from the cow. We had a garden about 60′ x 50′ in the back yard along with raspberry and blueberry bushes. Far too many people have no idea of what real food is.

      One more thing…Genetically modified food is the next tobacco.

  • Art

    GMO (genetically modified organisms. There were unforseen health problems caused by tobacco use. Cancer, heart disease, etc. The chemicals and the GMO’s will create health problems that their manufactureres and the government will not address. We are going to see health problems from these items that will surpass tobacco’s impact on health. You can see these trends appearing now including obesity, diabeties, learning disorders, etc.

  • Ah, I see! No question in my mind.

  • Lava

    Yes, we DO punish doctors who prescribe medication – as soon as narcotic prescriptions exceed a particular, say “prescribed” amount. Narcotics are used to ease pain. The government keeps track of doctors and periodically checks saying he’s prescribing too much. Doctors have been acquitted and still lose their license. The result is, doc’s back out of prescribing painkillers, refer patients to another doctor, who is caught and considered “prescribing too much.” Either he is culled from the gene pool (losing his license — no due process, an acquittal is no defense) leaving fewer prescribers of pain meds, or he spies on his patients. An Oklahoma doctor checks other offices to guard against “doctor shopping” and demands urine tests. None of this is medically necessary, it’s legally necessary to protect the doctor. Most doctors simply under-medicate pain.

    Liquor store/bar owners, who sell a recreational drug seldom used for pain, do not have to call ’round town to track where else a customer bought alcohol. Nor do they have to decline a customer who has reached a preset dose, determined by breathalyzer. They can wait till it’s obvious to the naked eye the person is drunk.

  • Oh, Lava, thank you for bringing that very important point up. You know about PainReliefNetwork.org, I’m sure. It is criminal what the drug war is doing to doctors who prescribe pain medication. There are people in chronic pain who cannot get the relief they need to survive because their doctor won’t prescribe it for fear of going to jail for being a drug pusher. Suicide is common for people in chronic unrelieved pain.

    I was with my mom in a(nother) doctor’s office today. She has pretty severe hip pain at the moment and we talk a lot about pain medication. He is one of the few doctors who will prescribe pain medication.

    I wonder why more doctors don’t fight the drug war. If they were true to their hippocratic oath, they would.

  • The funny thing is (well, not funny really) doctors can’t wait to prescribe my mom all manner of non-narcotics. Got an itch? Take a pill. Got anything? There’s a pill for that. These are the drugs I’m talking about doctors prescribing for which there is no consequence if things go wrong, aka Vioxx. Not a single doctor has warned my mom about any side effects or discussed the drug at any length. Unless I’ve asked about a specific side effect.

    And not a single doctor, in all the visits we’ve had about my mom’s hip, have suggested that she sleep on her back (she says it hurts her when she sleeps on her side. Hello!!!) Or suggest that she exercise to strengthen the surrounding support muscles. Doctors only recommend drugs.

  • Jennifer

    They are voting on an ammendment called s510 in 60 days to take away our right to local organic non GMO food, seeds and raw milk/dairy. This will leave us with few healthy options and put local farmers out of business. PLEASE sign this petition (below) and take a minute to call your senator to oppose s.510 to protect o…ur future and our children’s right to healthy organic, real, non genetically modified, clean fresh food and dairy. Not to mention give more power to the FDA when they really need more reform and accountability. Please repost and pass along. http://www.ftcldf.org/petitions/pnum1061.php

  • Lava

    Update: A doctor in Enid Oklahoma lost his Medicaid contract for “prescribing too much” painkiller. Get it, he can still prescribe for non-medicaid patients! Story by Robert Barron http://www.newsok.com

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