A Small MA Town's Misinformation Campaign About Raw Milk

The public health profession is terribly inept when it comes to public communication. Some of the problem--the tendency to talk in “scientific” terminology and to limit public access to information--stems from ignorance about how to communicate with the public. But some of it is more devious, and stems from a desire to control and confuse.  

Two current examples make my point. 

The situation with Tennessee’s reporting about the the McBee Farm is one example of communication ignorance. It took science researcher Michele Jay-Russell to report in a previous comment on how she tracked down a press release from Tennessee public health officials by going to the agency’s Twitter feed and finding it there among the various tweets the agency put out. (She also provided a clear explanation about how DNA from shiga toxin creates health problems.) Is relying on Twitter, which many people don’t use, a reasonable way to keep people informed about what is supposed to be an important public health situation? 

Move from Tennessee to Massachusetts, and the Foxborough campaign to put Lawton’s Family Farm out of business, and you have more of the deviousness element. I finally got to speak with Foxborough’s health director, Pauline Clifford, and she portrayed the proposed regulatory changes against Lawton’s Family Farms as a matter of “taking the minimum standards (of the state) and tweaking it up.” In other words, no big deal. 

When I pointed out that the change to weekly testing from monthly seemed more than “tweaking”, she expressed surprise that was in the proposed town regulations, indicated she wasn’t sure the changes went that far. And what about the requirement that the town have access to the customer lists? “We can talk about that,” she said, presumably referring to the upcoming board of health meeting on Monday evening. “I guess people are upset about that.” Yes, they are, and apparently Clifford has been hearing from them. 

She said the town was prompted to propose the new standards following on two instances since last April when Lawton’s Family Farm was “out of compliance” with state testing standards. She says she was concerned that the farm’s customers weren’t properly notified, and when she inquired of Terri Lawton, was told only that the compliance issue “was posted in the barn.” She said she was concerned that customers who had the milk that was out of compliance needed to be informed not to drink what they had purchased (though there was never any evidence of pathogen contamination). 

Terri Lawton, who runs the farm, told me that not only was the compliance information posted in the barn, but emails were sent to all customers. Moreover, these actions were above and beyond anything required by the state’s Department of Agricultural Resources, which has responsibility for overseeing raw dairies in Massachusetts. She speaks with the voice of authority, having been a dairy inspector for MDAR for two years. 

Even more misleading information has been communicated by the town to the public. An article in the local paper, the Foxboro Reporter, quoting a member of Foxboro’s Board of Health on the new regulations, was full of inaccuracies, really, misinformation. 

In that article, Eric Arvedon, a member of the Foxborough Board of Health, makes a number of statements that are flat out false. Here are several examples, quoted from the article: 

*"He said 30 states do not allow sale of raw milk and cheese products…" This is completely untrue. There isn't a single state that bans raw milk cheese sales--these are allowed by the U.S. FDA--have been since the late 1940s, so long as they are aged 60 days. While there are 17 or 18 states that ban public sale of raw milk,  even most of these states (like MI, WI, OH, VA) allow herdshare arrangements where customers buy part of a herd of cows and gain access to the milk. This makes raw milk more widely available than might seem at first glance. 

*"Less than half of the towns in Massachusetts permit such products." Nearly all towns that banned the sale of raw milk did so in the 1950s and 1960s, when a number of state bans were going into effect as well. When towns want to allow raw milk sales, they usually find these bans and reverse them, like Framingham, in eastern Massachusetts, did in 2009. There are enough towns allowing the sale that between 27 and 30 farms selling raw milk around MA. 

*"Arvedon said the draft regulations ‘mirror current state regulations…’ This is a similar pronouncement to Pauline Clifford’s statement that Foxborough’s proposed regulation are just a “tweaking”-- also completely untrue. The Foxboro draft regulations are much more strict than the state's regulations, indeed, much more strict than regulations of ANY state in the country, as Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures pointed out in the comments.  

* "I have suggested that the BOH evaluate whether to continue to allow the sale of unpasteurized dairy products in Foxboro…" In other words, Foxboro's Board of Health could vote on Monday evening to ban raw milk sales entirely. Foxboro has allowed the sales since time immemorial; Lawton's started in 2005 or so, and there hasn't been even a hint of illness; indeed, there are many more serious injuries and maimings on an average Sunday at Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots play football, within earshot of Lawton's.

I can understand a problem of information dissemination, like in Tennessee, since it likely isn’t badly intentioned. But Marlborough, MA, is on a path that any number of state and local public health bodies have taken, of disseminating patently false information, under the illusion of “scientific” pronouncements. These agencies hope people won’t notice, or if they do notice, won’t be informed enough to recognize the lies. 

If you are in eastern Massachusetts. try to make it to the Foxborough Board of Health meeting Monday evening, 7:45 p.m., at 8 Chestnut St. in the McGinty Room of the safety building/fire station in Foxborough. There is plenty of parking at a shopping mall across the street. Terri Lawton deserves your support. 

Ora Moose's picture

David. I could be wrong but I think you meant "try hard to make it to the Foxborough Board of Health meeting." Monday evening, at 8 Chestnut St. in the McGinty Room of the safety building/fire station in Foxborough. We'll see you there. Is there something going on in Marlboro we should know about?:

David Gumpert's picture

Oops...nothing in Marlboro that I know of, the action is in Foxborough. Thanks. 

Shelly-D.'s picture

here's a link to a news article if anyone wants to post comments to correct the misinformation that the health board is spreading: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/street-beat-raw-milk-at-i... . How about raw milk consumers in that area band together, form a lobby group, issue their own press releases, and even raise money to legally defend raw milk via a court case suing the Health Board if their supply is threatened?

mark mcafee's picture

The states that appear to have serious concerns about raw milk and are taking steps to move backwards by limiting or eliminating consumer access, are literally refusing to look at the California raw milk and raw dairy market experience.

For those of you that may not know, 700 CA retail stores carry state inspected raw butter, raw cheese, raw Kefir,raw whole milk, raw skim milk, cultured raw butter and a favorite raw cream. It sells out every week and sales trends grow upwards every year. Besides the retail store available raw dairy products....there are perhaps 800 to 1000 micro dairies and or cow shares that share or sell raw milk to local communities. The state of CA has been very rational in regulating and managing all of this raw milk!!! We have good standards for raw milk.

Why is the CA raw milk market experience being ignored and or disregarded by other states??? Perhaps each state has its own reasons for ignoring CA. I know why Wisconsin does....the processors hate raw milk and Wisconsin is the land of dairy processors. But what kind of excuse is available for other states?

Not sure.

It would be very appropriate for other states to look west for an example for how raw milk can be done and done well, to not look west....is sheer denial.

rawmilkmike's picture

The greater the supply and demand the more the state must inhibit raw milk.

David Gumpert's picture

Mark, I definitely am going to try to relate some of your comments about the California experience, along with your earlier assessment of Foxborough's proposed regs compared to those in other places. 

rawmilkmike's picture

David, it's not “DNA from shiga toxin” it's DNA from E. coli O157 encoded for a shiga like toxin. If the samples were actually positive for E. coli O157 wouldn't they have just said that?
…..................................................................................
So did Michele Jay-Russel say that Tennessee public health officials did tweet “one raw-milk sample obtained from a consumer and several manure samples collected from the farm revealed the presence of DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157 that causes HUS.”?
…...................................................................................
Sense we're talking about “DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157” Let's not forget E. coli O157 does not cause HUS. It doesn't even cause diarrhea in most people. As a matter of fact it is only claimed to cause diarrhea and only in some people. Diarrhea is the most common ailment in America, afflicting the average American 3 times a year and only 3% of Americans drink raw milk. Diarrhea is usually not serious and usually never progresses to HUS. Even though HUS in children sounds serious it is not, if treated properly. If what they say about E. coli O157 were true we'd all be dead by now.

Shelly-D.'s picture

I found an article about HUS, Mike. It does say that "HUS develops when Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria lodged in the digestive tract make toxins that enter the bloodstream and start to destroy red blood cells." More at http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/hemolyti... . The wikipedia article says that it has a 5-15% mortality rate - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemolytic-uremic_syndrome#Prognosis.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Yes Shelly. When the E.coli bacteria begin to die, the Shiga toxin is released. The more serious the E.coli infection, the more Shiga toxins that will be released. This is why it takes 6 to 8 days to develop HUS after the initial symptoms of an E.coli infection. The Shiga toxin is what does the damage to the human body. The kidneys, pancreas and brain are the vulnerable organs because of the Gb3 cells. After developing HUS, it takes another 10-14 days for the Shiga toxin to die. Once the toxin is gone, kidney function begins to return.

rawmilkmike's picture

"Shiga toxin" is not alive.

rawmilkmike's picture

Shelly, Yes they say ”HUS develops when Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria lodged in the digestive tract make toxins that enter the bloodstream and start to destroy red blood cells” but what's the cause? Is it dehydration, drugs, antibiotics, GMOs, or vaccinations? What causes “(E. coli) bacteria lodged in the digestive tract” to “make toxins that enter the bloodstream”. There are so many twists and turns between the initial unproven possible ingestion of (E. coli) in raw milk and the final kidney transplant that this statement is nothing but pure speculation. Why doesn't it happen to everyone who consumes (E. coli)? Some people don't even get diarrhea after consuming (E. coli). Common sense tells us that vaccines must effect the kidneys. Considering all the secrecy surrounding vaccine injury wouldn't that be the most logical place to start?
http://community.babycenter.com/post/a23208243/can_vaccines_give_diarrhea
It looks like diarrhea is a listed side-effects on many vaccines.

rawmilkmike's picture

"Toxin synthesis by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) appears to be coregulated through induction of the integrated bacteriophage that encodes the toxin gene. Phage production is linked to induction of the bacterial SOS response, a ubiquitous response to DNA damage. SOS-inducing antimicrobial agents, particularly the quinolones, trimethoprim, and furazolidone, were shown to induce toxin gene expression in studies of their effects on a reporter STEC strain carrying a chromosome-based stx2::lacZ transcriptional fusion. At antimicrobial levels above those required to inhibit bacterial replication, these agents are potent inducers (up to 140-fold) of the transcription of type 2 Shiga toxin genes (stx2); therefore, they should be avoided in treating patients with potential or confirmed STEC infections. Other agents (20 studied) and incubation conditions produced significant but less striking effects on stx2 transcription; positive and negative influences were observed. SOS-mediated induction of toxin synthesis also provides a mechanism that could exacerbate STEC infections and increase dissemination of stx genes. These features and the use of SOS-inducing antibiotics in clinical practice and animal husbandry may account for the recent emergence of STEC disease."
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/5/00-0503_article.htm

"These features and the use of SOS-inducing antibiotics in clinical practice and animal husbandry may account for the recent emergence of STEC disease."

Our food safety heroes have so much to say about ad hoc alleged vectors like raw milk, and so little to say about systemic mass causes like subtherapeutic antibiotic use, antibiotic resistance markers in GMOs, leaky gut-inducing glyphosate (a comment above was linking HUS to gut absorption of the bacterial toxin), gut-busting Bt toxins. Same as always - they're pure frauds, as is anyone who can mention "food safety" but isn't committed to the abolition of CAFOs and GMOs. It's a rational impossibility and a moral fraud.

rawmilkmike's picture

yep

churchlanefarm's picture

By all means folks, continue with your obsessive inclination to manipulate and control bacteria. The day is coming, like it or not, when you are going to have to deal with your demons, namely, your irrational fear of bacteria and your desperate attempts to avoid them.

The author of the following article states, “As I wrote here in December, antibiotics are not picky about who they kill. They can destabilize your microbial ecosystem, allowing invasive species to push their way in. Doctors have to become more careful with using antibiotics, and scientists have to explore alternatives, such as repopulating ecosystems with transplanted bacteria”.
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/08/the-nightmare-bacteri...

The next article discusses the importance of phages found in mucus covered surfaces such as the inside lining of our stomach. Jeremy Barr, a microbiologist at San Diego State University in California states, " "It's a novel immune system that we think is applicable to all mucosal surfaces, and it's one of the first examples of a direct symbiosis between phages and an animal host."
http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/05/friendly-viruses-protect-us-against-b...

Ken

mark mcafee's picture

Russ you are so right on with your last point. So much to say a a about technical causes of illness and so little to say about the health brought by raw milk. In fact the benefits to raw milk consumption is largely ignored. Eastern Europe it is a central theme to health and disease prevention. Yet all the while we cry about health care and piss off nearly a billion dollars on a failed health insurance website. How backward can we be??

churchlanefarm's picture

The following “Nature” article addresses the relationship between e coli, antibiotics, phages and shiga toxin release.
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110609/full/news.2011.360.html

“Our use of antibiotics may be helping those viral genes to spread. If bacteria are exposed to some types of antibiotics they undergo what is called the SOS response, which induces the phage to start replicating. Active replication of the phage causes the bacterial cells to burst open, which releases the phage. It also releases the toxin, which is why antibiotics are not usually used to treat E. coli infections”.

And here is the kicker, “Not only are more E. coli strains being infected with Shiga toxin, but it seems to be moving into different classes of bacteria. The genome of strain O104:H4 has been sequenced, and it shares many genes with enteroaggerative E. coli (EAEC) strains. "EAEC strains are not typically associated with zoonotic infections, and EAEC and Shiga toxin is a very unusual combination."

Ken

churchlanefarm's picture

Note: “The genes for the Shiga toxin are not actually bacterial genes, but phage genes being expressed by infected bacteria.”
Ken

D. Smith's picture

@ Ken: Yessssss! ; -)

Now if that article would only have gone on to say, definitively, where the "infected bacteria" came from. They know, they just aren't about to state the obvious. Anyone with half a working brain cell can figure it out, as you obviously did, Ken.

Keep in mind there are micro and macro phages . . .

rawmilkmike's picture

You know Ken, this only explains how E. coli gets in the manure. We still don't know if it is getting in the milk of if it has anything to do with human illness or HUS.

mark mcafee's picture

Hey gang....let nothing surprise anyone of us....when you screw with nature you are screwing with human destiny. GMO'S and CAFO antibiotic abuse leading our near and far term disaster.

For anyone that has seen the Bill Marler Vimeo video piece about his recent trip to South Africa and his speech about food safety liability,.. brace yourselves. South Africa is in the beginning phases of starting to adopt US style lawyer based liability hunting system. All in the name of protecting kids. If South Africa was smart...they would embrace smart food safety practices and prevention right up front and avoid most of the pain of increasing insurance rates, jammed courts, increased food costs, increasing sterile long shelf life low liability food in the market place and on and on. Is it human nature that pain is the only motive for change ? Why can it not be intellectual anticipation of challenges and practical changes in the present that leads progress. If South Africa could learn one thing from America....it would be this. Low liability, long shelf, non-gut friendly foods are also the foods that will bankrupt the health & immunity of your nation!!! And send your nation into health hell with diabetes, obesity,asthma, Crohns, IBS, ADHD, autism rates and on and on. The Bill Marler food world is the long shelf life sterile food world!! It is not the gut and brain friendly world of whole food nutrition.

I would be glad to speak in South Africa to try and offset the heart felt landmark speech made by Bill Marler that championed the virtures of "suing the hell out of anyone that that causes illness by food". It is critical that his speech be followed with an equally passionate speech that emphazises proper balance of precaution with investment in whole food production safety. If not....surely South Africa will find itself in the same disaster that America finds itself. A disaster characterized by a few stinking rich food liability lawyers and tens of millions of very sick children and corporations scared to death to produce whole foods....even though the First Lady begs US families to eat as many farm or garden fresh raw foods as possible every day.

Bill, your speech was a speech I could have made myself in 1997 when I spoke on the side of the FDA and sterile food loving bacteria paranoid scared parents ( Odwalla victims ). I now know better and I now know about the value of gut biodiversity and the critically essential research done at the NIH and he human biome project.

Sadly...it is so much easier to blame farmers and processors on behalf of one sick child. It is much more courageous and important to teach good standards to farmers and processors and nourish millions of children with gut friendly whole food.

One idea is narrowly & selfishly shortsighted...the other, a vision to protect and nourish humanity on earth. I know where I stand and who I serve!

Ora Moose's picture

Awesome post Mark, not you need a beam!

And this one;s again, for mama:
Origin of NON SEQUITUR
Latin, it does not follow.

That's me

saying "If South Africa was smart ..." shows you to be "unclear on the concept" on that topic, Mark. South Africa went communist and is now in the IN-evitable death-spiral consequent. Not too long and the whole country of once beautiful SA will resemble the bankrupt city of De-Tr-oilet. And for the same reason

When you get what you deserve, and the same corporations which are assaulting South Africa and Detroit, and which have been assaulting you, take your farm and you're literally living in a box, at least you'll still have the consolation of your loathesome racism.

Meanwhile the true people who really want to fight for freedom and economic self-determination will do so without the likes of you, who clearly hate human beings infinitely more than you dislike the very corporate system which is destroying you.

We'll get what we fight for, while you'll get what you deserve.

how droll that your programming kicked-in, with such a minor trigger, Russ. Your reaction makes my case better than I could = whites in Ham-merica are deeply troubled by cognitive dissonance about 'race' : knowing innately that it most certainly is a major factor in human affairs, while desperately denying the obvious. Every day the Human Genome Project provides more scientific evidence of the difference between the races, is more proof repudiating the communist core doctrine that 'all bipeds are created equal, thus, interchangeable'.
where I started with this, was : saying ambulance-chaser-Marler is wasting his good will upon South Africa. It's now spiraling-down to politically-contrived famine, as did Russia / Ukraine, in 1933. Calculated genocide being perpetrated on white farmers = Boers rather than kulaks = motivated by the same anti-christ race hatred.
Commissar Joe Slovo + his pal Mandella, "fought for freedom and economic self-determination", alright ... how's that turning out? To see where SA is bound under the hard-core African National Council, look northward, at how former Rhodesia = within living memory the breadbasket of Africa = fares today. A 3rd world basket~case, like Detoilet. And for the same reason

lately the forum has not been posting replies right below what's being commented-upon. So I underscore that this one is occasioned by Russ presuming that I < "clearly hate human beings infinitely more than you dislike the very corporate system ..." > ... a textbook example of what the psychologists call "projection". And his veiled threat (?) to me, ie. 'I'll get what I deserve'.

Hmmm. For what? for pointing-out that the impetus of the Campaign for REAL MILK is = white people remembering our racial heritage? = that whites are rejecting the communist policy of industrialized agriculture, as that glaring failure degenerates to enforcement by police power ... same as white flight from Detroit (etc) is, people voting with their feet against 'diversity' enforced by fixed bayonettes? For mentioning the fact that Caucasian DNA determines we produce enzymes for metabolizing milk, into adult-hood, while most other races don't have that trait?

Someone who feels threatened by presentation of a scientific fact, had 'better check their head' as we used to say in the hippy~daze.

As for yr half-quote from John Donne ... Indeed, he knew that the Bell doth toll for every man, but he had faith he would see his Redeemer in the Resurrection of the Just and the Unjust. Where will you stand in that Day, Master Russ? With Joe Slovo + fellow-traveller Mandella, shaking their communist fist in the face of Heaven?
< One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die >

Shelly-D.'s picture

Except, dear Gordon, for the fact that many of us raw milk folks ain't white! :) The Campaign for Real Milk unites people across racial, cultural, religious, and political "boundaries". And, even folks who lack the enzymes to "metabolize" milk can still drink pure, fresh, unpasteurized milk - it's just the pasteurized crap that's indigestible. And, even better, ferment or culture it and even more people can benefit!

you yourself, and "many raw milk folks", may indeed not be of the Caucasian persuasian, but = demographically~speaking = yr total number is a drop in the bucket against the 9 million people drinking raw milk in N America. My premise is ; the ones who are out there this very hour, doing the work, producing REAL MILK, for the city people, are overwhelmingly white folks. That one religious commune down in Texas being the exception to the rule ... and God bless them for what they're doing! And that they do so, motivated by their DNA resonating with the Law of our God. As Jimi Hendrix put it "there are things to realize!"

In marketing, knowing who yr customers are, is all-important. with REAL MILK, that segment of the market is overwhelmingly white. As politically-incorrect as it is to even utter the R-word - other than in context of food/fun/festivals! - these demographic FACTS need to be grasped in order to get to a political resolution
If you yrself have signficantly more melanin in yr hide, than do I, and happily drink milk with no ill effects, it's because the gene for being able to digest raw milk into adulthood, is dominant, ie you got that trait from the white folks in yr family tree. For instance ; my nephews, whose father was Negro, love raw milk + thrive on it because the genetic coding given to them by their mother, enable their pancreases to keep on producing enzymes necessary for metabolizing raw milk, into adulthood.

Ora Moose's picture

Gordon you make too much of the race difference gene thing, we're all a bunch of mutts and it's all for the better. Share and enjoy sharing, it's relatively cheap and can become an adulthood habit if you practice enough.

speak for yourself, Ora = Whosoever despiseth his heritage, shall lose it. The Law of God is the Heritage of Israel ... including the agricultural laws.
Even the commies know "the world belongs to those who show up" ... My old man was a cop; He taught me to always "count the house" ( as did operative 007 ) Of the couple-hundred who showed up in Foxboro, asserting their heritage, what percentage were non-white? Q. E. D.

Shelly-D.'s picture

Ah, dear Gordon -- often it's due to coincidence here. We "Caucasians" tend to be in the middle of the raw milk movement because of coincidence: (1) our ancestors were lucky enough to be given land grants and be given wide open access to, as "settlers," take American Indian lands away from them all across the continent, and (2) because other later immigrants weren't as lucky and ended up in cities, as slaves on plantations, or (3) as Native American, didn't have a dairying tradition and had their land taken away anyway. Look at any family whose been in North America longer than 150 yrs and you'll find Native and likely Black ancestry too! And never-mind that going back 2000 yrs the Roman Empire was a great melting pot, as any Roman citizen from Africa to England to Arabia could travel freely, work, and intermarry anywhere else in the Empire they chose to. And in the middle ages and Renaissance, there was frequent travel between Northern Africa and Europe, ensuing that many "Europeans" (and even Brits) have some African ancestry. And the Russian empire and Eastern Europe has a similar history.

But be it keeping goats, sheep, water buffalo, llamas, yaks, or cows -- or African, European, Middle Eastern, South Asian, or South American cultures (and "culture" is a better term than "race") -- dairying and the right to raw milk is universal. :)

D. Smith's picture

@ Shelly-D: "dairying and the right to raw milk is universal". Yeah, it should be, shouldn't it? In america it's not viewed that way, I guess, culture aside.

I strongly recommend you read = The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by E. Gibbon, required reading when I was a boy. MOST edifying to those of us who care about our own race
the parallel between dis-integration of the Roman Republic and the Republic of the united states of America, is un-deniable. The Romans were unstoppable as long as they cleaved to the Laws of the Gens = the founding families, ie. breeding true to type. Rome failed for the same reasons Ham-merica is, today = they got soft and out-sourced the work / using slave labor to work the latifundia, producing food + goods far from the homeland, whilst scions of those ancient houses, wasted themselves in the fleshpots. See the similarity of Roman bread & circuses, with the NFL game, last Sat. at Foxboro? Hell-of-a-game, I hear

As Romans despised their hard-won heritage, citizenship was outright sold, rather than one being qualified by birth. Exactly as Canada / the US do today. George Washington had in mind the Roman experience, when he predicted Americans "would wind up serfs on the very land their forefathers had pioneered". Abject servitude is next in the Israel-ite cycle. We do 'come out the other side of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, but in order to get back on-side with our God, we MUST separate ourselves from the religions of the other races. Practicing the agricultural laws set out in the Bible, is one of the easiest - most scientific - ways to start doing that. Thanksgiving being one of our ancient festivals

In case anyone's in any doubt about what's happening in Detroit, you can stop doubting. The bell tolls for you. The de jure dictatorship the state government and Wall Street have set up there is a template for all parts of America, in the exact same way the FDA's assault on raw milk starting several years ago is a template for their plan to dominate and control all food.

mark mcafee's picture

http://vimeo.com/80022649

A very well done video and excellent look into the well meaning heart of Bill Marler.

It is too bad that nowhere in the Food Safety Modernization Act or anywhere else in America is their a penny of funding to prevent raw milk illness by prevention or farmer training, setting protocols, testing, or anything else. Not one penny!!

Perhaps a fund should be set up that forces the settlements paid out by insurance companies to fund prevention. I do not even like this idea....it is after the cow left the barn.

Smart money and investment happens before the issue begins to present. Unfortunately, consumer raw milk demand is far ahead of available supply from sources of low risk raw milk from smart caring produers...and the FDA could care less and in fact I think I hear some distant applause...not sure, but I think that is what I hear from the FDA and others in industry when kids get sick from raw milk.

I am working on this right now.

Shawna Barr's picture

Their answer to prevention is "Don't produce raw milk. Don't drink raw milk."

Shelly-D.'s picture

Re consumer demand: we need to educate many consumers about WHAT they should be demanding. If consumers knew how to tell a good farm from a bad farm, there would be far fewer problems with "dirty farms," because no consumer would touch their milk anyway. So how do we go about doing that? There's no website dedicated to raw milk education other than the RAWMI site (sub-pages of other orgs/businesses like WAPF or FTCLDF don't count - the public can't/won't find them anyway). What about setting up a 501(c)(3) "Raw Milk Education Foundation" of some type?

Ora Moose's picture

Shelly, there's always this place and its much more internetskining than all the udders. I itch therefore I scratch. Sorry, mama but I just had to.

Ora Moose's picture

yikes, didn't mean to douboule do it. And now the Pats are on and I didnt even realize it, check back later.

mark mcafee's picture

I prefer to think of farmers not as good or bad....Or clean verses dirty. I think that history will record that it will be a contrast between the farmer that was dedicated to learning and application of great science and lessons learned and farmers that just did not bother to look for a better way and assumed too much about lots of things. It is more about the vital mind that never rests for information verses the retired mind that just gets by and of is lazy. Bacteria never rest and change constantly. If you want to produce low risk raw milk you must embrace a dynamic world of learning and evolution as well

None of us now very much. The more we look for answers to our questions the more humble we become. Complacently is the real problem. We must never rest in our work to be safe and low risk. I guarantee any farmer even with great bacteria counts .... Somewhere someplace in your herd looms the next challenge. Innovation, humility, and an open minded discovery based mind set will be the key to safety. Remember, so little has been done to research raw milk production safety. We have made a great start but so much more to discover. Remember this also, GMO and Antibiotic abuse even though not on your farm.,,,, dramatically effects your farm. The immunity of the depressed American public effects your farm. Natural and raw means being on the end of the "crack the whip" rope when industrial forces run the majority of the environmental game and deliver to us undeserved industrial pathogens.