Caught in the Middle: A TN Raw Milk Farmer Agonizes About Serving Multiple Masters

Marcie McBee with her husband and one of her three children. “It’s frustrating,” says Marcie McBee. “I can’t fix something I can’t find. I can’t fix something they can’t find.” 

The 36-year-old owner of McBee Dairy in Mascot, TN, is referring to the allegations that her dairy’s milk was responsible for nine illnesses from E.coli O157:H7, including three children who were hospitalized.  Through her comments on this blog, following my previous post, McBee provided a sense of some of her frustration around getting at the causes of the problems that may have occurred at her dairy. In a couple of conversations I had with her yesterday and today, she provided additional insights. 

Especially upsetting to McBee is the case of a five-year-old girl who remains hospitalized and on dialysis, with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). (The girl’s family has put up a Facebook page, “Praying for Maddie.”) 

According to McBee, the two other children who were hospitalized have been released and are well on their way to recovery. 

McBee is relieved the state on Friday reinstated the dairy to resume distributing raw milk to about 200 families via a herdshare.  But she remains deeply troubled about Maddy, and the inconsistencies and confusion the case illustrates. 

On the one hand, the little girl’s family is understandably upset. According to McBee: “The family got very angry at us. They wonder, ‘Why don’t you fix it?’ It is hard for them. I hate it. There is not a lot you can do but pray.” 

McBee has been similarly frustrated with the state’s approach to the illnesses. “I want to know as much as anyone else where this is coming from,” she says of the E.coli O157:H7.  She feels the state’s approach to the case hasn’t been as focused as it should have been on trying to get to the bottom of the illnesses. “Are you investigating me, or are you trying to find the bug?” she asks.

The indications she has received is that the state has been focused more on investigating her. While the state took milk and manure samples from some of her 24 milking cows (all of which have come back negative for E.coli O157:H7), the initial probe focused on her customer list. McBee declined to provide the list until the state had come up with evidence linking her farm to the illnesses; eventually, the state obtained a search warrant to obtain the list, and at the end of last week came to her farm to forcibly obtain the data. 

Even while the state was pushing to link McBee with the illnesses, her customers were pressuring her and the state to get the milk flowing again. Many peppered county health officials with calls. 

McBee made an observation that other raw dairy owners have made about the pent-up demand that occurs following a dairy’s shutdown: “People are hot for their milk. The government is biting themselves in the toe. People want it. If the government says it is going to kill you, people say, ‘I want that.’ “

McBeel told me she lost at least two herdshare members as a result of this episode. One told her he couldn’t afford the milk any longer and another “couldn’t stand worrying about her children.” 

Yet McBee said she retains complete confidence in the milk her dairy produces, to the extent that her three young children continue to drink it. 

One of the most intriguing outcomes of the case is that the court order re-opening the dairy orders her to “cooperate with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Office’s food safety expert in the provision of education regarding dairy operation best practices.” The public health community, led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has actively worked to prevent dairies from obtaining food safety guidance. It's difficult to know whether the University of Tennessee even has experts who can provide serious guidance of use to a raw dairy owner. Does this order represent a shift by the public health community in sanctioning educational outreach for raw dairies...or is it just an aberration? 

**

 I’d say from the reaction of the 1,000 or so people who watched the big GMO "Debate of the Decade" put on by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, it did a lot of entertaining, and even some educating. I sure had a lot of fun in my referee get-up, and Joel Salatin and Joe Mercola looked like they were having fun as well, even when they were generating some serious sparks. There is an excellent wrapup of the debate at Activist Post--more complete than I can provide at this late hour. 

"Pray for Maddy " ... "There is not a lot you can do but pray.”

to whom are such petitions being addressed? ... the power-less local Baal-god = the "authorities" ? What have they done for you, lately? When things are this serious, Americans get down on our knees and talk to the only One Who has healing in his wings

McBee's picture

Amen Gordon. I said that wrong. As a human I tend to try to fix things when at the end of the day I throw my hands up and turn it over to God. I am so backwards in this. Thanks for pointing that out. I will right now throw my hands up to God and turn it over from the beginning as that is not the only thing that can be done but the first and best thing that can be done!

rawmilkmike's picture

McBee, Maddy's condition is almost certainly caused by medical malpractice but don't expect them to admit it. When people drink your milk for their health the $4 trillion a year medical industry becomes your competitor and they do not play fair. I am also, praying for Maddy.

McBee's picture

As for the cooperate with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Office’s food safety expert. Faith came out and watched us milk, she said our set up and practices were sound not much I can do here but offer you some more resources. She gave me a packet that we had with the Grade A Dairy about machines cleanliness and general guidelines. She gave me The Lab Book with supplies in it. She said she would be happy to help find or give us and explanation of how any equipment works, just to give her a call if we need anything. The lab book may come in handy, I did not know some of these thing were available. That is the end of that. I think the state that we are working with them was made to look like we are letting them help us and oversee some of our operation kind of thing. (who knows, wait and see). But it was a one time I am here let me know if you want anything else kind of thing.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Marcie, I don't know if you have people helping you with milking the cows or if your family members are the only ones doing the milking. There are people that have the E.coli 0157:H7 in their stools, but are not symptomatic. However, they can still pass on the bacteria to others and someone can become ill. It might be a good idea to have everyone who milks or comes into contact with any of the steps in the milk production process to have their stools checked for E.coli 0157:H7.

David Gumpert's picture

So Marcie McBee pretty much answered the question I posed at the end of the post: the extension person did a cameo and vanished into the countryside. The comment that follows, from Mary McGonigle-Martin, illustrates well how screwed up the information-dissemination process is for producers of raw dairy. Mary has an excellent suggestion for potentially getting at the source of the E.coli O157:H7. Something I'm sure Marcie wasn't aware of. But something the public health community has known for a long time. 

It illustrates a shameful reality--that the public health community is a party to these illnesses, and must bear significant responsibility for their occurrence. As part of its campaign to rid the U.S. of raw dairy producers, the public health community, up to the highest echelon of the CDC and FDA, has actively blocked the dissemination of useful information designed to improve safety, in hopes that enough people will get sick from raw milk produced by uninformed farmers, and create an outcry that will allow for completion of the anti-raw-milk agenda. This community helped send the children in the McBee case, as well as the children of Mary and JillyB, to the hospital as well, to fulfill the community's warped goals, and must bear that burden. 

 

rawmilkmike's picture

McBee, I read this on the food safety attorney Bill Marler's Food Safety News website.
““We feel we’ve identified the source,” Dunn said, pointing out that all of the children who became ill drank raw milk from the dairy.” Is this true? Is this their evidence? If it were then what did they mean by ““It’s a pretty clear signal about the source,” he said. “The data and exposure information is very compelling.””? It is completely imposable for there to have been only 9 cases of diarrhea in your entire area over a 30 day interval and it is unlikely that there would be no further cases in your area.
............................................
McBee, in case you haven't seen it, here's my infamous cucumber story.

These numbers come directly from a resent CDC report on a cucumbers, salmonella outbreak. It is a typical example of what the CDC passes off as a so call out break of foodborne illness.
1. Illness; diarrhea and not cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, lactose intolerance etc. Aren't these what the public would naturally assume the state is referring to when they say illness?
2. Food; only agricultural commodities and not canned food, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, chocolate milk etc. They are totally ignoring the really toxic foods that make up the majority of our diet. They actually have us afraid of spinach and sprouts, two of the healthiest foods on the planet.
3. Outbreak; 73 cases in 3 months, while the nearly 300 million other cases of diarrhea in this country are not even acknowledged. The average American gets diarrhea 3 times a year. There was no evidence to show that these 73 cases were actually caused by salmonella.
4. Association; cucumbers, because 67% of the 45 ill interviewed ate cucumbers while only 44% of the well people surveyed ate cucumbers and not because of any actual Salmonella contamination found.
5. Blame; 2 Mexican producers because 6 of the 45 ill interviewed eat their cucumbers and not because of any actual Salmonella contamination found.

Shawna Barr's picture

Well, prayers for all coming from us Marcie...for the little one who is so sick, for your farm and your family, and for the truth of this situation to be known. Obviously, IF your farm is the source of this outbreak, you what to know that and why. And if its not, it would be great to know that too!

Couple of questions...did all 9 of the people who have been sick drink herdshare milk? Any of them in the same family?

Also, did the University offer to provide you with ongoing milk testing services for coliform counts and SPC? And, to advise you on how to properly take a milk sample? That would be a very valuable service for you and all your share members. Even better if they would be willing to send someone monthly to take that same and run the tests, free of charge. Seeing regular test results with 0 or very low coliform counts will be a great relief to you, or it will reveal any weak links in your production plan!

This would be a praiseworthy use of our public funds. And its not like working with a lab at this point is going to put you on government's radar. That cat is already out of the bag! ;)

I once consulted with my local dairy inspector about our raw milk operation. I found that while she was quite knowlegeable in the inspection routines for Grade A dairies, her expertise was limited to inspecting procedures for milk intended for pasteurization. As raw milk producers, that is not good enough. I would say that if you want someone to give constructive feedback on your production plant, it ought to be someone with extensive experience in raw milk production.

Shawna Barr's picture

production *plan*...not *plant*....:)

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

I sure hope the McBee's have liability insurance. If not, I hope they plan to get it in the future. The shareholders can pay for the monthly premium by raising the cost of the milk. A family could sue the McBee's and they could lose everything. All people in the raw milk business should have liability insurance. It is very foolish not to have it.

yup ... right on schedule, the Perpetual Pessimist dumps her load of personal poison into the mix. Doing so, she gives away the game = the fact that product liability insurance IS available to raw milk dairies, proves that the actuaries have crunched the numbers, so as to figure out that the risk of harm from consuming raw milk, is tolerable in the commercial system.
Proponents of REAL MILK do not begrudge lawyers like Marler & Co ... they are just filling a role in the ecology / ambulance-chasers are same as the crabs at the bottom of the sea.
What I do resent, is, those who have the intelligence to know better, yet persist in studied ignorance, flogging the dead horse of "risk of harm to public health"
What's been published so far about the cluster of illnesses in Tennessee, is nothing but 'guilt by association'. Burden is on those fomenting the hysteria, to answer why the other 991 members of the cowshare DID NOT get sick from the McBee cowshare.

jillyb's picture

These outbreaks are expensive. I can only speak to my daughters medical expenses but in the 18 months since her getting HUS from drinking raw milk she easily has over 2 million is medical bills. This year alone I figured out our out of pocket expenses have been $16,000. This number doesn't consider lost of wages (for having to quit my job to take care of my daughter), my husbands lost of wages for when both she and I had surgery at the same time for her kidney transplant. This is why raw milk dairies need to hold liability insurance. We are one family of four that got HUS and this was a small diary. Families putting claims against a liability policy doesn't mean they have to sue the farmer. It just unfortunate that victims need lawyers like Marler in order to get what they are entitled to when these outbreaks occur. Our farmers had no liability insurance and we choose not to sue them.

But guilt by association is all that is needed to collect checks. A consumer knowingly chooses to buy a potentially dangerous product and they blame the farmer when it goes wrong? Casting blame on other parties is a nice way to absolve oneself of ones guilt.

jillyb's picture

If the information out there really lead parents to believe that the product is "potentially dangerous" that would great. There is no warning labels on raw milk and most of those selling it are not talking about the potentially dangerous risk to drinking raw milk especially for young kids.

What you say is equally true of nearly every other food out there.

The government, medical establishment, media and scientists all repeatedly go to great lengths to warn of the dangers of raw milk consumption. I fail to see that much more could be done to make it clear to people. Sure, there will always be the oblivious, warning labels or not. But many different foods are more frequently contaminated with pathogens and they do not carry warning labels.

Go ahead and put a warning label on the milk. 'This product could kill you.' There will still be people who wish to roll the dice and then get mad when it doesn't land in their favour.

jillyb's picture

and nothing will ever absolved my guilt for my daughter life changing illness because I choose to give her raw milk and buy into the belief that we were providing her a better health.

rawmilkmike's picture

jillyb, you are only guilty of trusting your doctor and our government as many people do. Your doctor does have insurance. He's the one you should sue.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Mike, you really don't grasp HUS at all. What you have written is ludicrous. Little Kylee wasn't even 2. She drank multiple servings contaminated milk and developed a severe case of HUS. Do you realize she had a stroke and died? They were able to bring her back to life, but with neurological damage done.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, “Caveat Emptor, Let the buyer beware.” Doesn't just apply to buying food. It also applies to healthcare. We have a responsibility to know what our doctor is selling us.
…....................................
Most children who have gastroenteritis recover fully in 2 or 3 days and do not develop HUS.

HUS, a disease that destroys red blood cells, is the most common cause of sudden, short-term-acute-kidney failure in children. Although HUS can cause serious complications and can even be life threatening, most children who develop HUS recover without permanent damage to their health.

Treatments, which consist of maintaining normal salt and water levels in the body, are aimed at easing the immediate symptoms and preventing further problems.

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/hemolyti...

If you have an E. coli O157:H7 infection, the CDC recommends that you DO NOT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS. According to the CDC, few, if any, positive effects of antibiotics have been shown on Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections. In fact, some antibiotics have been found to increase the duration and severity of associated diarrhea (1,2). Antibiotics have also been implicated as a contributing factor for the development of a potentially lethal complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), especially in children.
….................................................................
They also found that treatment with intravenous cephalosporin greatly increased the chances of developing HUS (18.2%).
…................................................................
Severe abdominal pain typically accompanies E. coli O157:H7 infections, and one may be tempted to take pain medication. Typical medications used with abdominal pain–antimotility drugs, anticholinergic agents, and opioid narcotic–relax the muscles of the digestive tract, which can relieve cramping pain and increase water absorption resulting in less watery stools. However, relaxation of the muscles controlling the intestines also allows the pathogen and associated toxins to be further absorbed and can result in longer and more severe bloody diarrhea (5). A study by Bell et al. found that children treated with antimotility agents had approximately a 2 times greater risk for developing HUS (6). According to this study, common antimotility agents to avoid would include loperamide (Imodium®) and dephnoxylate (Lomotil®).
http://www.ecolilawyer.com/e-coli-o157h7/avoid-antibiotics/

Sense there is no proof that little Kylee's milk was contaminated and no research to suggest that it would cause diarrhea even if it were, don't you think it would be much easier to sue the doctor for malpractice?

It would interesting to know the first course of treatment was undertaken by persons/families who sought conventional medical treatment for food related diarrhea versus those that dealt with the diarrhea in some other way.

How many used some type of food (e.g. rice or barley gruel, yoghurt rice, probiotic capsule etc), kitchen spice (e.g. fennel, cumin, dill, "gripe water" etc for the intestinal pain; turmeric, ginger for inflammation), other herbal/botanical substance (e.g. kutaja for amoebic dysentery) or classical homeopathic remedy (e.g. nux vomica, arsenicum alba, mercurius corrosivus etc) when the symptoms started?

On the continuum of least invasive to most invasive treatments, there a common product or treatment method in use by those who developed complications versus those who did not? Is there a pattern of more (or fewer) serious complications with one type of treatment versus another?

How many used OTC pharma products like Lomotil or Imodium etc versus kitchen based or non pharma products when the diarrhea first presented itself?

We now have several post WWII generations in the US who were raised with the concept of visiting the medical doctor or pharmacist or calling the HMO health nurse for every health concern. As a result, I meet many people who do not know any other first course of action for dealing with nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, flatulence, intestinal griping, phlegm, gall bladder attacks etc. We have more medical treatment in use than ever before yet the nation's health is lower.

jillyb's picture

I think what you are failing to understand is that HUS isn't about diarrhea or a stomach bug. HUS is about the shut down of the kidneys, a major body organ that take toxins out of your body. No kidney function means no pee which means that toxins are traveling around in the body with no where to go. This will kill you. The only intervention is dialysis. It is supportive care. Wait, watch, hope and pray while the shiga toxin makes it way out of the body that can be causing damage to major organs (kidney most common but also can harm the pancreas, heart and brain). No natural treatment will rid the toxin from your blood like dialysis.

I wasn't referring to treating cases of HUS once that has developed. I was referring to the treatment of initial symptoms of E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobactor etc. The HUS seems related to the Shiga toxins that are released when the infection is treated by particular medicines.

I am interested in knowing if any of the initial treatments used to address the initial diarrhea & nausea show a higher or lower rate of complications. If there is a pattern, this would be helpful information to possibly prevent further cases of HUS from developing. Not everyone with these infections develops complications such as HUS.

BTW, there is an alternative to dialysis that will remove toxins from the blood. It is a particular type of steam treatment that moves the toxins out through the sweat. This treatment is used successfully in several Asian countries but not available in the US. The skin is considered the third kidney.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks again Suzanna, that was even more awesome.

rawmilkmike's picture

jillyb, the primary treatment for HUS is the same as for diarrhea; water(electrolytes).

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Mike - water is not electrolytes & electrolytes is not water...electrolytes are a compound that dissolve in water.

rawmilkmike's picture

Your right deb. I didn’t know that. I wanted to just say water but of course if the you drink a lot of water you will eventually need some added electrolytes like sodium chloride, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonate which you can get at the gas station, supermarket, or department store. This is an important point don't you think. "The primary treatment for HUS is the same as for diarrhea; water." Bias is bias. Yes I'm bias but so is the state.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Mike - you cannot buy just electrolytes at "the gas station, supermarket, or department store", you can buy electrolyte infused liquids (i.e. electrolyte infused water, Pedialyte, electrolyte infused juice, etc) at a store. While there is a so-called electrolytes tablets available through Amazon.com, it is not the same as the electrolytes that we give in a medical setting. Electrolytes are given to stablize a patient's very dangerous condition. These so-called over-the-counter electrolyte tablets can be very dangerous when used inappropriately & can put someone at serious risk.

rawmilkmike's picture

Deb, would you agree; diarrhea is not a "very dangerous condition" unless treated improperly? http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/e-coli/tab/test
If you work in the industry, what do you think leads some people to a liver transplant while most don't get sick at all when exposed to E. coli O157? Or can't you say? Who should we believe? Can we really just takes someones word? Have you seen some of the treatments that are contraindicated?

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

That would depend, mike, it depends on the patient (age, physical condition, medical conditions, etc), the severity of the diarrhea, involvement of dehydration & so on. An old time treatment involved nothing but pure water initially (even if vomiting persists) with total bed rest. Once vomiting began to subside, then the BRAT diet was begun: small bits of mashed bananas (which helps with electrolyte depletion), once that is tolerated & vomiting is significantly diminished, the next step is small amounts of white rice, as things improve the next step is to add in small bits of apples & the last step is small pieces of dry toast. Today, this treatment might (& I strongly emphasize the word 'might') be helpful & effective, but today (meaning 'modern' times) things are so different, especially in the way the physical body can behave due to the major differences & quality in our food sources. I cannot answer your question about why some people may end up with a liver transplant (although I think you meant kidney transplant) while others do not. That is not my medical speciality, but I do know what to be aware of when any patients that I have seen in interventional cardiology who have kidney impairment and/or kidney transplant & how the interventional cardiology treatment might affect them differently compared to other patients. Personally, I am still of the belief to do natural remedies first & foremost when dealing with diarrhea and I am strongly against ANY use of antibiotics and/or ANY over-the-counter drugs (Imodium, etc) as they will definitely place the patient into a more serious situation. With regards to Mary's situation, to this day I still don't understand why they didn't go after the Kaiser system & the medical personnel involved with how her son's medical condition was handled. I don't know if Marler is experienced in medical malpractice or not, perhaps he didn't realize the gross miss-handling of Mary's son's medical situation. I wasn't the only one very much disturbed when reading all of the extensive information that Mary had documented during the course of her son's treatment & which showed very disturbing & questionable medical handling. But, we were not there, we were not even remotely involved in her son's case, I will say that I have many concerns about the Kaiser system & personally would never go to them.

I know that you would like to make diarrhea a simple physical condition (& in all actuality, it really should be), but in today's world...it is simply & sadly no longer that way! Would I still follow the 'olde tyme' treatment & BRAT diet...you betcha! Would I advocate it to others, probably not as strongly as their diarrhea situation may not respond in the same way, but I will continue to share this information with the caution that if they do indeed go to the E.D. or Urgent Care, be very insistent about NO antibiotics or other pharmaceutical drug interventions. Also, please read what D. Smith & jilly posted, they have some very worthwhile statements in their posts.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks Deb.

D. Smith's picture

Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve in water and carry electrical charges. Sea salt has electrolytes that our body needs. Pure water does not conduct electricity, but water containing salt does. Since electrolytes have an electrical charge they can move through your cell membranes and thus carry other nutrients with them right on into the cells. They also carry messages along your nerves and help control things like your heartbeat. I have an arrhythmia, as well as PMV. I drink water with sea salt added to it every day. I also use Bioplasma cell salts sublingually. I drink warm lemon water every morning to internally massage my liver/gallbladder and get things going for the day. ; )

When my sons played baseball (from T-ball on up to City League) I used to mix filtered water with sea salt and lemon, orange or lime juice (freshly squeezed not the junk out of a bottle) and that was their homemade gatorade. Sometimes I would add mashed strawberries or raspberries or something, as well. ALL the boys wanted the stuff and I had mom's asking me for the "recipe". Good grief, it's so simple they couldn't believe it. But I didn't want my kids to have purchased Gatorade. I would never have DREAMED of giving my kids Pedialyte, either. Ewwww.

rawmilkmike's picture

Deb, is it true; "Electrolytes are what your kidney filter out and balance so your body can run" like jillyb said?

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Yes, jillyb is correct, although there is a bit more to it than that. The kidneys also release out 3 hormones:
1) EPO (erythropoietin) which stimulates bone marrow in making red blood cells
2) renin which regulates blood pressure
3) calcitriol which maintains calcium for bones & for normal chemical balance of the body

You can see what a big job the kidneys have & how important they are to our physical welfare! Urine output is one major thing (besides breathing & heart rate) that we constantly monitor during medical procedures. It is one of the first things that will indicate something about to "go south" so to speak.

jillyb's picture

Electrolytes is what your kidney filter out and balance so your body can run. To much potassium can cause a heart attack. To much phosphate can create high PTH which effect calcium absorption and your bodies ability to grow. To much electrolytes during HUS when your kidneys are not function can cause major problems. When you have HUS you are actually restricted on the intake of these key electrolytes and minerals. IF your kidney don't wake up or start functioning fully then you will continue to have restrictions on these key electrolytes and minerals. I know because I have managed Kylee's diet for the past 18 months in which I have done major research to create her own whole food formula that I blend up and push through her gtube (a button that goes strait into her tummy). I have had to watch labs constantly to be sure sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, calcium, bicarb continue to stay within range because her kidneys were not balancing these key electrolytes and minerals. Two months after her kidney transplant she is doing amazing and has no restrictions because her new to her kidney is doing what the old could not when they were destroyed from HUS/ecoli/raw milk.

rawmilkmike's picture

jillyb, you and your doctor know there is no evidence that your daughters condition was caused by raw milk. By spreading this disinformation for the $4 trillion a year pharmaceutical industry you are harming millions of Americans who will never know this life saving food.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

mike - that is enough! Just stop! If you want to make a general comment, then do so, don't direct it personally to someone who went through a horrific event. That is very insensitive, inconsiderate & rude!

rawmilkmike's picture

Yes deb, that's very true and her story hurts to even think about. The same should be considered with Mary. The thing is this is a public forum and these ladies are attacking our children. We are not trying to take food from there children but they are trying to take food from our children. They have to expect some resistance to their disinformation. If they want us to question our belief they must be willing to do the same. No fair playing the sick child get out of jail free card.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

mike, mike, mike - they are NOT "attacking our children", they are NOT "trying to take food from our children", they are simply sharing & questioning THEIR raw milk experience! For heavens sake, do you not have any sensitivity to their experiences?! The point that I am so delicately trying to share with you is that, by all means, post your feelings, findings & opinions on this blog, just realize that these are how YOU look at it. It is NOT necessary to attack their positions personally. If you feel so strongly about the things that you have been posting, then post it as your own thoughts & opinions, just don't address them personally by name & attack THEIR thoughts, opinions & feelings! Yes, this blog can be very valuable in sharing much information regarding raw milk, as well as, other real food concerns & issues, so yes, everyone should be sharing information. It is a great way to enlighten those that may have never received all of the information which then could have them re-look at the way they had perceived things. Let's not invalidate their experiences & push them off from gaining valuable information from this blog. Remember the old saying...."honey gathers more flies" in other words, sweeten the words!!

David Gumpert's picture

Thanks, Deborah. 

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

You are quite welcome, David. By the way, I just learned about Ajna Sharma-Wilson's nasty Frontier Airlines at LAX incident when she was trying to get out to Atlanta for the conference. I was appalled by what they did to her AND without any explanation what-so-ever!! I sure hope this comes back to bite them in the 'hiney' big time, considering that she is an attorney!

David Gumpert's picture

Yes, here is a link to a story about what happened to Ajna. Either Frontier has a serious problem, or they have a group of renegade employees who like to take the law into their own hands. 

http://peacenewsnow.com/attorney-mysteriously-detained-in-lax/

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Thanks, David, she & I just exchanged some messages via Facebook about the incident. Yes, Frontier definitely has major problems and Ajna's is only one example. I no longer fly on Frontier because of these types (and others) of problems. For the past 3 yrs or more, I have pretty much stuck with United Airlines. Last year, Delta offered to match my high status on United to give them a try, but after last week's flight, I will no longer be using Delta either.

rawmilkmike's picture

jillyb, dialysis is only used in 50% of HUS cases. How does a doctor decide who gets dialysis? Is there a criteria, a standard of care? Or is it personal? Does dialysis increase the duration of the hospital stay?

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Mike, let's just think about your question for a minute. If you really thought about it, you could answer it yourself. Only 50% of HUS cases need dialysis. You need dialysis if you go into to renal failure. Only 50% of cases go into renal failure. The others have a lighter case of HUS (Shiga toxins not as severe) and have reduced renal function, not complete renal failure.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, if you think about it, you really didn't answer any of my Questions. "Dialysis is only used in 50% of HUS cases. How does a doctor decide who gets dialysis? Is there a criteria, a standard of care? Or is it personal? Does dialysis increase the duration of the hospital stay?"

D. Smith's picture

@ Mary: How do you tell a "severe" shiga toxin from a "not so severe" shiga toxin? Do they wear little sandwich boards so the "scientists" know which are which?

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

D. Smith, you can be sarcastic if you want, but believe me if your child was the one sick with HUS, you wouldn't be laughing.

As the Shiga toxin E.coli is dying, it releases the Shiga toxin. The more bacteria in the body, the more Shiga toxins that will be released. If the strain of E.coli was virulent, the Shiga toxin is released in larger amounts. Younger children have move Gb3 cells that are located in the kidneys, pancreas and the brain. It is hypothesized that this is why they are more vulnerable to developing HUS, along with having immune systems that are not fully developed. This is the layman's version explanation of a very complex chain of events in the intestinal track that lead to developing HUS.

D. Smith's picture

It wasn't sarcastic and I wasn't laughing. Mary, my husband is a microbiologist so I understand a lot more than you think I do. I was trying to lighten the moment between you and rawmilkmike.

Saints preserve us.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Well Mike since you are presenting your self as an expert about HUS, you should know the answers to these questions. Blood and urine test give an idication of how the kidneys are functioning.

When HUS begins, blood will be in the urine and the red blood count will be low on a blood test. It takes time for the kidneys to go into complete failure. In the mean time they monitor the kidneys through blood and urine tests as well as watch the level of urine output. Once BUN and creatinine levels are too high, dialysis will begin. http://www.medicinenet.com/creatinine_blood_test/article.htm

For the 50 % who don't need dialysis, their kidneys become impaired, but they never reach the stage of acute kidney failure.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, I think everyone here knows I’m just an electrician with a computer. Thanks for your attempt to answer my questions but that information was readily available on the net. What I couldn't find was the specific difference between the children that received dialysis and the ones that didn't. You know the actual numbers. Their layman’s descriptions seem to leave a lot of leeway for creative billing and diagnoses. This is a very important question since once the decision is made to start dialysis the floodgates of cash are opened wide. More importantly the pain, suffering, and length of stay my be dramatically increased.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

The specific difference are the numbers on BUN and creatinine along with urine output. It also depends when you are brought the hospital. Some children are brought to the hospital already in complete renal failure. Chris was in the hospital when he was diagnosed with HUS and they watched his urine output and BUN/creatinine numbers for three days before he received dialysis. Chris had zero urine output by the time he received dialysis.

Mike, they don't just jump in and give any child kidney dialysis like it is giving an I.V. There can be all sorts of complications with kidney dialysis and it is only used if necessary.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, even though I don't share your level of trust in our medical system that doesn't mean I would have done anything different if I would have been in your situation.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Mike, what I think you are failing to grasp is that once your child has a severe case of E.coli 057:H7 which then develops into HUS, you don't have any choices as a parent. You can say no thank you to blood, platelet and plasma transfusions, antibiotics, kidney dialysis, central lines, PICC lines, chest tubes, ventilators, but that means your child dies. The decision for all of the above medical interventions are a do or die situation. Modern medicine saved Chris life. Without it, he would have been a raw milk death statistic.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, you're not the only one that trusts what their doctor tells them. Have you ever considered why?
…..............................................................
Did Chris receive any vaccines or other medications the week before his diarrhea or the days before his admission to the hospital?

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Mike, Dialysis is usually started when the kidney function drops to @ 10-15%. people can have many various complications from the various IVs being injected into their bodies, normal saline can cause many problems and not to ignore the potential problems from have a foreign object sticking out of your arm/neck/chest, etc. As you know, there are risks with everything in every day life and those risks only increase with things poked into you in any form.

Your discussion reminds me of the Amish family whose daughter was diagnosed with leukemia or was it lymphoma? They began chemo, and it made her so sick, she begged to stop and the parents did stop and decided to use alternative treatments. The hospital and state want to take the 10 yr away from her family, so the mother and child fled the country. Forced treatments. I would harbor the mother and child.

rawmilkmike's picture

That's exactly what I was thinking Sylvia, and those are the very reasons why 10% to 15% may not be appropriate in a child STEC case.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks Suzanna, that was awesome.

I don't give my littlest one raw milk, and I generally nurse my kids until they're two-years-old. That's their raw milk supply. My personal opinion is that mother's milk is the best for babies.
And while reading this comment thread, it occured to me that some people just shouldn't be consuming raw milk, just as not everyone ought to have a homebirth.
Unless you've done your homework, made an educated decision, taken full responsibility for the decision and REALLY trust your provider, it's foolish to impulsively participate in these activities and then freak out if something goes wrong. Then inevitably, to blame all homebirth midwives or raw milk and try to prevent anyone else from making a thoughtful, rational lifestyle choice.
BTW, "Fast Food Nation" covers in horrifying detail, the death of little children from eating tainted burgers. "Food Inc." also contained a dreadful story of a 2-year-old boy who died from a burger. I would love to know what kind of real changes were made to prevent this ever occurring again.
Oh, the burgers were not from small farms, just in case anyone was worried; they were standard mass-produced burgers.

rawmilkmike's picture

Right on Mama, accept the hamburger part. Hamburger outbreaks are based on some of the sames nonsense that raw milk outbreaks are based on.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Jillyb

Would you feel guilty if your child had an adverse reaction to a vaccination? Or any other contaminated food? I would hope not. Most parents try very hard to do the right thing and keep our kids healthy. We do the best we can with what we know and I assume that is what you did. There is no reason for you to feel guilty.

Had I known about vaccines when my kids were young, I'd not have allowed them to be injected into my children. No one told me about the ingredients or the potential side effects. There was a story on the news the other day where a lady's son died after a flu shot, he was late teens or early 20s and supposedly in excellent health.

Shelly-D.'s picture

Regarding how these "outbreaks" are checked -- there have been reports that families are asked by health inspectors about drinking raw milk, but they are not asked about other foods. This is from the "Comments" section of the article “A Clash over Unpasteurized Milk Gets Raw” at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230437030457515166377...

" Here's what they did to my daughter: She caught camplyobacter from a bad chicken taco. She received a call from an 'agency', purporting to be official, asking if she had drunk any raw milk in the previous three weeks. She said 'no', 'but I did eat some stinky chicken tacos. Do you want information on that?' They said 'no. We're only looking at raw milk.'
" Suppose they had called 1,000 camplyobacter patients, and five of them had drunk raw milk...well, probably 300 of them had eaten tomatoes; 900 of them had taken baths; 650 of them had pet a dog or cat...They would have concluded that 'raw milk is LINKED to camplyobacter.' But it is no more linked than all the other things that people eat, that also have no causative connection.
" Believe me, the food and chemical companies along with the FDA are protecting their profits. Why have they forced GMO soy and GMO corn on the public? What about the rbst hormone they give dairy cows? How about the inflammatory effects of homogenizing milk? The list goes on...They are poisoning us and they want to prevent those of us who want to drink raw milk from having that choice."

Can the health department prove that it surveyed the health habits of every family in your area who had this illness at the same time, whether they belonged to your cowshare or not, to find out if there were other foods which may have been the cause? Did they test all the other foods that these families may have eaten? Maybe they all bought lettuce at the same grocery store. Maybe they all had burgers at the same restaurant. I would like to see the health department prove that they have ruled out these possibilities.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

If that was the case you would have had other people ill that did not drink the same raw milk. If it was lettuce, then someone else who ate lettuce and did not drink the milk would have become ill. That is when the health department would begin looking in another direction. In this case, 9 ill children, all young, and all 9 drank the milk.

rawmilkmike's picture

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" Upton Sinclair

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, no one said there weren't "other people ill that did not drink the same raw milk." It is an epidemiological impossibility for there to have been no other cases.

Some background about foodborne disease outbreak investigations that may be helpful.

The Science and Art of Epidemiology
Part 1
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
Part 2
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%202.pdf

rawmilkmike's picture

Possible “Epidemiologic”evidence that it is unsafe to “not” drink raw milk regardless of the raw milk's quality.
….............................................................
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US (Scallan et al, 2011). Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.”
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
At that rate any group of 900 people should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness” each month just to be average. And since 10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS any group of 900 people should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
….............................................
That means if any cow share with 900 people has less than 1.25 cases of HUS each month, their raw milk is preventing HUS not causing it. Is there any cow share with a safety record that bad? Someone please check my math.

rawmilkmike's picture

Amen, Shelly.

First of all, the Facebook page you listed in your article is wrong or you listed her age wrong. You stated in your article that she's 6...click on the link you listed, does that look like a 6 year old girl to you? Secondly, Marcie McBee says that she can't fix something she or they can't find. I'm confused because the local news media reported that one milk sample did test positive and several manure samples did test positive for the toxin of the strain of E.coli that the 3 confirmed cases had. So they did "find" something. Fixing means acknowledging feces could have come in contact with milk, and being more careful going forward. I'm not sure why there is such denial when McBee says everyone is aware of the risks. The reason the state needed the customer lists was to interview and see if anyone else had been sick. If each of these people had their own cow at home and were milking and consuming on their own there would be no investigation; but since one farm is milking for 200 shareholders, and the common link of the illness is them, then they are required to investigate. I'm impressed with how quickly they got things done and lifted the order for McBee to resume business. I'm shocked that they have only lost 2 customers. Since they have a waiting list then it should be a non-event. I wonder how much money the families of the children hospitalized have lost. I wonder if any of them will have long term medical affects that will constantly plague them. When something bad happens I always hope something good comes of it. So I wish the best for the McBee farm, the workers of it, their customers, and especially the children and families that have been sickened by E.coli.

You are correct, news sources did report that there was contamination found in the milk from at least one persons share and home. The cows stools did test positive for the same strand of E. coli effecting the children.
Furthermore, though it was not reported via the news that I have seen, there were many other cases that were reported to the hearth department via the interviews, but as they were not treated by medical professionals or those that were not treated or tested as E. coli (normally sought medical attention after weeks of being ill when they were in the rebound and tests might have been cleared) they can not actually be counted.
At least three adults I have spoken to personally have reported being severely ill with severe diarrhea, bloody stools and more weeks.
There's also a tummy bug going around the community at the same time so you have to wonder if more would been tested if the numbers could have been higher. Who knows.
All the children in the hospital were connected by the milk from the farm and only the milk from the farm which is why the health department had enough of a connection to get the court order.
From there, the effected milk was the batch from around the 11-12th. Milk samples taken by the health department were from about the 30th. This batch was cleared of infection.

The story, while yes, supporting raw milk, is lacking some information.

Madison is five btw :-)

Yes, some of my info is hearsay, but most can be pulled straight from news sources or even the final health department write up.

I'm a supporter of local farms through and through! I support the right and choice to offer better food options and weigh the choices on your own.

It's not an unknown Rick of the raw milk consumption that these things can happen, Marcie herself has been saying that in every interview from the start. It can take a piece of infected feces the size of a dust mite on an udder to cause an E. coli infection. It doesn't take much. Maybe better education to both the handlers of the product, and the consumers of the product is more important than either demonizing the health department and media or the farmers or people like Marcie.

Is everyone aware of this risk? I don't believe so. I believe people feel safe assuming the farmers know what they are doing and taking the precautions to protect them. Do I believe the farmers are? Yes. I believe Marcie and other raw milk farmers are trying to put out the best possible product that they can. Is there area for improvement? I don't know, but maybe that's another area to research and look into. Maybe there's a way to test every batch before it goes out. Maybe there's a way to clean differently than what's being done? A better method for training employees or the importance of taking every step seriously.

I think these things are all important not all the finger pointing or blame seeking going around here.
Nor trying to ignore any sort of problem was there which is what I read out of the blog.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Sarah Jane. Very well said. Thank you!

Great response Sarah Jane. That is the most detailed, even sided post I've heard. Thanks.

rawmilkmike's picture

SarahJane, “...trying to ignore any sort of problem”? The only thing being ignored is the evidence and the only ones pointing a finger are the $4 trillion a year medical industry and some doctors trying to avoided a malpractice law suit.

The article said “the presence of DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157 ” not the presence of E. coli O157 and as far as I know Shiga-toxin doesn’t have DNA.

“I believe Marcie and other raw milk farmers are trying to put out the best possible product that they can. Is there area for improvement? I don't know, but maybe that's another area to research and look into. Maybe there's a way to test every batch before it goes out. Maybe there's a way to clean differently than what's being done? A better method for training employees or the importance of taking every step seriously.”? Isn’t it obvious that Marcie is doing all that an more. These people who obviously don't care about our health, have Marcie running around her farm like a chicken with her head cut off while they sit back on their bleeps with a bleep eating bleep on their faces.

“It can take a piece of infected feces the size of a dust mite on an udder to cause an E. coli infection.”? If there is any evidence to support that you should post it.

“From there, the effected milk was the batch from around the 11-12th.” but the illnesses happened over a 30 day period. How long do you think E. coli O157:H7 can survive in raw milk?

“There's also a tummy bug going around the community at the same time...” That's nice to know. You do realize that throws the states case right out the window. The state wants us to believe that there were only 9 cases of diarrhea in the entire area over a 30 day period and that all 9 children drank Marcie's raw milk. If there's a tummy bug going around the community as you say, half the community could be sick over a 30 day period. Which would mean Marcie's milk may have just prevented 441 cases.

McBee's picture

I have come to the conclusion that was stated with the first comment on this article. My God is great and mighty and going to him in Prayer and Petition is the first and best thing that can bee done. As for the news media I give up. I have the documents and I was told that every, yes every test came back negative. If their really are any positive test do you not think that it would be good to let me know. Do you not think if they were concerned for your safety they would at least let me know what other types of test can be ran (I have asked) or should the media only have privilege to that? What purpose does that serve? To make your milk safe or to scare you? The media is spoon fed just like most Americans, most of them don't even have to dig anymore or know how to report. All my customers are told that raw milk can kill you, I don't agree with that but that is what the FDA says in our contract and it is explained.

This is not a case were nine children were sick lets find a link. It was three children were sick and confirmed (two went home over night) now lets call all the member and see who had any diarrhea or vomiting in the month of Oct, then lets make that number 9. I am supper glad you feel that they looked every were for the problem for your child but in this case that has not happened. I have parents of sick children that don't even know the test results of their milk and that were never questioned about any other food. I would test that milk in a heart beat. For that mater any individual can test their milk, you can send milk to a lab as well as I can. In this state you own the cow I work for you.

As a parent I will step up and take that responsibility for my family. It is a shame that as a society we must place the blame onto someone else for every thing that happens. For that matter I don't think it is true but I will even carry the blame for this out break. 8 to 10 children sick, 800 to 1000 people a week drink. That is a 1 to 2 percent chance you will get sick in five years. No food comes with a 0 risk. I do not personally think that society will be wiped out by the 1 to 2 percent risk of drinking milk. I believe that it helps more than it hurts as all real foods do and that is what keeps me producing. Every time a farmer gives up due to the 1 to 2 percent inherited risk of food that leaves us closer to no choice but deep fried twinki burgers and pink slime burgers. I guess those have a 0 risk if you look at bacteria, maybe we should be looking at some other risk factors like cancer and autoimmune and obesity not just can a bacteria grow in this food.

I have learned my lesson in this. I have not just a good God but I have the All Mighty, All Consuming, All Powerful God and I will rest in that. And he will hold this all and he already knows the end. And I will continue producing milk the way God Intended it.

rawmilkmike's picture

Amen, McBee.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

This wouldn't be your tune if your child was in the hospital with HUS. I can guarantee you would never drink or produce raw milk again. It is easy to rationalize when your child is not doing the suffering.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, that would require the parents to blame the raw milk which would require irrationalizing.

Sigh...I wish all those obsessed with the dangers of raw milk were as concerned about GMOs and other toxins in children's food.
I just read an article in the local paper about Polybisphenol-A or whatever the heck that sealent is in bottles and cans, warning readers about the health risks linked to it.
Darn, where are all these concerned citizens when we need them?

churchlanefarm's picture

Exactly mama!

If we continue to focus on and preoccupy ourselves with avoiding bacteria in food such as spinach, lettuce, nuts, apple juice, milk or you name it, while carrying on with the current toxic paradigm that predominates in conventional medicine, agriculture and food processing, then these so-called food born illness scenarios among other things will continue to get worse.

Here is an example of where our fear driven, narrow-minded contempt for the microbial world has led us.

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/10/27/Expert-The-end-of-antibiotics-...

“U.S. health officials said in September more than 2 million U.S. adults and children get infections resistant to antibiotics each year, and at least 23,000 die as a result.”
“Bacteria, like any living organism, want to survive. Bacterial resistance is largely inevitable, because bacteria will always change to survive.”
And here is a little added perspective
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-03-24/features/ct-x-n-health-dir...
“Analyzing data collected from thousands of children over two decades in the Philippines, researchers have concluded that a healthy dose of germs and pathogens during infancy reduced cardiovascular inflammation in adulthood — a precursor to heart attacks and strokes.”
“We found that kids who had higher levels of exposure to infectious microbes — kids who had more diarrhea and higher levels of exposure to animal feces as an infant — those individuals had lower levels of CRP as young adults."
Ken

rawmilkmike's picture

Thank you Ken.

rawmilkmike's picture

What is “DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157”? Does “the toxin produced by E. coli O157” have “DNA”? If the samples were actually positive for E. coli O157 wouldn't they have just said that?
…...........................................
“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.”
….............................................
From food safety attorney Bill Marler's Food Safety News. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/11/tn-raw-milk-dairy-linked-to-e-coli... Linked by Mary McGonigle

rawmilkmike's picture

The only test I've ever heard of showing that x amount of E. coli could possibly cause diarrhea in some people some of the time went something like this: 10 people are given increasing doses of E. coli O157 over a 10 day period until 1 person gets diarrhea. The problem with this type of study is that any group of 10 people over a 10 day period will likely to have at least 1 case of diarrhea whether they are given E. coli O157 or not.
…...........................................
The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages.
…...........................................
Here is a disruption of the most serious Foodborne illness. Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to drink water.
…................................................
Because antibiotic therapy in patients with STEC infections might be associated with more severe disease, prompt diagnosis is needed to ensure proper treatment.
…...............................................
(HUS), an illness that may lead to kidney failure and even death if treated improperly.
….........................................
Recently, the increased use of enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Shiga toxin or the genes that encode the toxins (stx1 andstx2) has facilitated the diagnosis of both O157 and non-O157 STEC infections. Although EIA and other nonculture tests are useful tools for diagnosing STEC infection, they should not replace culture; a pure culture of the pathogen obtained by the clinical laboratory (O157 STEC) or the public health laboratory (non-O157 STEC) is needed for serotyping and molecular characterization (e.g., pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE] patterns), which are essential for detecting, investigating, and controlling STEC outbreaks.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5812a1.htm
….........................................
Shiga-toxin
The most common sources for Shiga toxin are the bacteria S. dysenteriae and the Shigatoxigenic group of Escherichia coli (STEC), which includesserotypes O157:H7, O104:H4, and other enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).
….............................................
Shiga toxins act to inhibit protein synthesis within target cells. After entering a cell via a macropinosome, the protein functions as an N-glycosidase, cleaving a specific adeninenucleobase from the 28S RNA of the 60S subunit of the ribosome, thereby halting protein synthesis.
…..............................................
The toxin has two subunits— The B subunit is apentamer that binds to specific glycolipids on the host cell, specifically globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). Following this, the A subunit's A1 component then binds to the ribosome, disrupting protein synthesis.

And manganese confers resistance to the Shiga toxin.

First, Prayers for those sick.
I am a whole food advocate and have been for a very long time. Yes there are huge problems with the way the agro-industry and the US government is linked and what the public is being told. Yes people have agendas and they are linked to money. I love small farms and support choice and really want the McBees to succeed in their business. But reading this it seems people are quite illogical and are linking sick people to government conspiracy. Not everything is a conspiracy. I would hope that the McBee's learn from this and try to make their product better and safer.
However raw milk, while a great product and healthy as long as it is not contaminated, does pose one of the highest risks of contamination. I have read several articles on this issue and have followed it from the start. McBee says she has all the tests and they are negative. So does that mean we will see a law suit in the near future for bad journalism? Because it has been reported that some of the consumer milk was positive for E. Coli. It has been reported that the same E. Coli was found in fecal matter from cows on the farm. Genetic markers indicated it is the same strain, yes all living things have DNA so it is traceable.
What also has been reported and McBee states here is that 9 people got sick that drank milk from her. She states that 1000 people (high #) a week get milk from her. She concludes that there is a 1 to 2 % chance of people getting sick. That sounds low. Lets look at this with the same logic, as well as RAWMILKMIKE concluding it could be something else. Until you look at who gets sick, the young, old and people with compromised immune systems. Some of the very people who drink raw milk for its health benefits (there are many). Then you take the fact that in 2012 the census says that there are 182,200 people in Knox county alone. Of the people who were sick and hospitalized all drank milk from McBee Dairy. In #s 9 people is 0.0049% of the population of Knox county. I would bet that some of those people live outside of Knox county. Of those people reporting symptoms 100% drank milk from McBee Dairy. It should not take a genius to conclude that there could be an issue at the McBee dairy. It is diagnostic process. The HD was trying to find the bug. If Mike is correct that it is some other commercial source and 0.0049% of the population of Knox county who just happened to be drinking raw milk from the same location also ate contaminated tomatoes that 182,191 of the rest of the population somehow avoided that seems like a statical impossibility. I could be wrong.
Now McBee says her tests were negative and I am sure they are. However when she says the tests are negative does that include the fecal tests? Or just the milk test? She states she has all the test data. Does that include her customers milk from the families that are sick?
Knowing how E. Coli gets into milk one could conclude that it is possible for fecal material to get into the receiver jar, holding tank, containers, sealing lids, transport lines, suction lines, hands of the persons milking and so forth. Then that contaminated milk go out to the consumers. The entire milking system is sterilized as soon as the milk is removed from it for the next milking and the contamination would be away from the milking equipment. So unless there is contamination on a daily basis the milk in the parlor and holding tank will test negative.
I do not say this stuff to chastise McBee or her farm. I am glad there are producers like her. But to deny that contamination is a possibly is wrong. To deny that her dairy could have been the source and claim that she is the victim is not correct on her part. I drink raw milk. I have worked on a dairy. It is a risk that people who drink raw milk take. That is a choice and you should have that choice. However if you are a parent you are making that choice for your child, your child is dependent on you to make the correct choice. If you have a compromised immune system I would suggest you look very close at your choice.
I wish the McBees luck and hope they succeed. I really hope they take this incident to heart and review their practices, I am not suggesting they did anything wrong, and try to make changes that will ensure the health of their costumers. God did intend us to eat naturally, he also gave us common sense.
I know almost everyone here is a raw milk advocate. I am as well. McBee makes the consumers sign a waver and states in interviews that there is a contamination risk with raw milk. Then when something like this occurs all these people say it cannot be the milk and make wild accusations and conspiracy theories and crazy jumps in logic. When if we want this industry to survive it would be much better and healthier for us all to admit it is a possibility and even a probability. Try to learn from the problems and come up with ways to correct or reduce the possibility of future contamination. Then educate people so they can make a healthy choice.

the fundamental flaw in yr logic, Natural Guy, is : accepting the DNA pulse-field gel test as the "holy grail" for absolute proof. Last time 'round, when the authorities were putting Organic Pastures Dairy under the microscope, there were 30+ reports of PRECISELY that same DNA pattern, from locations OTHER THAN his neighbourhood. Bacteria are a] everywhere ; b] being sprayed from above by mysterious programs undeniably linked to the military.
In Burnaby in 2000, I proved that the so-called "eradification" program for the so-called "gypsy moth" was a war-game, testing a new ELISA device for its use in bio-warfare [ manufactured by Response Bio-Medical Corporation ] The manufacturer's own printed material ( Adams Labs.) admited that the goop contained e. coli. So 1/4 million+ urban residents were doused from on-high with a live bacteria, which these same "health authorities" acknowledge certainly does result in some "adverse incidents" = people getting sick
There's an awful lot of hard evidence, to substantiate some conspiracy theories.

DNA is proof of genetic strain.
Do the McBee dairy was sprayed by the government or some group of people or industry intending to shut them down? Is that what you are saying? How many consumers do the McBee's supply? That is worth what to the agro-industry?
seriously dude there are sick kids and not everything is a government conspiracy.

Deborah - Pacifica's picture

Would love to see where it is being reported that there indeed was positive findings of e-coli contamination from the McBees cows and/or farm. The news/media reports that I have found do not state that.

http://www.wate.com/story/23915782/knox-officials-clear-mcbee-dairy-farm...

KHD is not in the business of tearing down or publishing results good or bad.
By the way Deborah, what is that Chargers vs Broncos score?

"To date, several raw milk samples, including those most recently collected, have been negative for E. coli, according to the Knox County Health Department. However, one raw milk sample from a consumer and several manure samples from the farm revealed DNA from the toxin that causes Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome." -WATE

The court order also states that no FURTHER infection has been found since Nov 1st
Someone's user name is Grammar Matters :-) here's a prime example

Further means that there was indeed some to start

Oh the government is after all of us. I am the so called Naturalguy..... Watching you from my NSA position

David Gumpert's picture

Naturalguy, you say, "It has been reported that the same E. Coli was found in fecal matter from cows on the farm. Genetic markers indicated it is the same strain, yes all living things have DNA so it is traceable."

I have yet to see a single official statement reporting on lab findings from any of the public health agencies being cited by various media. If anyone has links (or even a single link) to statements direct from Tennessee officials, I would love to have those. Nor have I seen anything reported by reliable media about any kind of genetic links between pathogens in those made ill and anything on the McBee farm. Remember, much of the reporting is coming from the product liability lawyers that have a stake in fanning the anti-raw-milk flames here. They want to hear from people who got sick, and possibly file damage suits. 

The only official statement I have seen comes from the court order allowing McBee Dairy to begin supplying milk again, and this comes from the joint motion by the Knox County Health Department and the Tennessee Department of Health, to allow the dairy to reopen. It states: "No Eschericia coli O157 was detected in the milk samples collected at the McBee Dairy on October 31, 2013. No ongoing transmission of Eschericia coli O157 related to consumption of raw milk in current cow shareholders has been detected." 

In the emotion that follows an outbreak blamed on raw milk, truth and accuracy in reporting are often the first casualties. 

So you contend that there is no possible way the E. coli strain came from the farm?

David Gumpert's picture

Didn't say that, Naturalguy. Read what I said--that no govt agencies that investigated have said publicly what you are saying. If you have links with their statements, please share. 

David this is your blog and I am sure you are very good at research. I am sure you investigated this out very well. In fact I bet you will put your reputation that your journalism is unbiased. I am sure that in your process you have realized that the Facebook link you have is not correct nor is the age you report the girl that is still in the hospital. She is 5 not 6. That page you link to is not correct.
Perhaps you should read what I said. I said it has been reported, and it has. My hypothesis of contamination could and does occur on dairy farms. You people and your conspiracy theories are a real problem for this industry. Sometimes things are what they are no black helicopters or lawyers of "authorities" trying to destroy someone who owns a dairy farm. The local media has been very good to the McBee's. There have been more positive stories than negative (if you can call anything negative). The families that are affected have done no negative interviews. As a matter of fact the "authorities" have been very good to the McBee's. They shut them down but allowed them to reopen very fast after the threat was over. To put this down an attack against the raw milk industry is laughable. I am sure the McBee's are good people and have a good product. I hope they are not as blind as some people and realize that it is possible that they are the source and look at their process to do their best and address any short comings. This is a sad situation for all involved, anytime raw milk is a potential problem it hurts the industry. But to act like this was a conspiracy and there are no fact to support that the contamination could have come from their farm hurts the cause even more. The real issue dates back to the divergence of how the US treated milk vs how the French treat milk 100 years ago. The lack of regulation and leadership in the raw industry had led to vast differences in quality control. Google such and you will find the media outlets and the phone #s or you can call the KHD and ask them as a journalist. You may find that these people are not willing to tear down the McBees they are just doing their jobs. No agenda just looking out for health. If you want the #s ask Marcie she has published them on her emails. I guess you do not realize it that the KHD is not in the business of publishing information positive or negative. That of course seems in contrast with your lawyer statements. WATE (who has done several stories) is 865-637-6397. Marcie has a direct contact you can ask her for she has published it earlier this month. By the way I am aware of the issues and agree that the FDA and big 4 of the food industry have way too much power and control of laws. However this is not a case of attack from the "authorities" this is a case of public health. I am aware you have an agenda and we probably have very like views. I do see things as they are and not through rose colored glasses. Sometimes a duck is a duck even if you want a chicken. I really do wish the McBees and the whole industry well, and hope it evolves into a choice for a consumer anywhere not just as a share in TN. Maine might be the best US case at this time.

Have a great life.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Naturalguy, awesome post!

Update
http://www.wate.com/story/24033710/state-links-strain-of-e-coli-to-anima...

It seems if it quacks like a duck and looks like one it is a duck even if everyone here wants chicken.

rawmilkmike's picture

"any short comings"? The state has already said the McBee's have no short comings other than the fact that they are selling raw milk.

rawmilkmike's picture

Guy, haven't you read the states statements?

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks David. This was left out of the media report: "No ongoing transmission of Eschericia coli O157 related to consumption of raw milk in current cow shareholders has been detected.” The media report only said " No ongoing transmission of Eschericia coli O157 has been detected." Big difference. We definitely need to listen to what is not said.

rawmilkmike's picture

Naturalguy, if there are 182,200 people in Knox county then on a normal day there will be 1,822 cases of diarrhea not 9. Many websites say the average American gets diarrhea 3 times a year and the CDC says 1 in 6 get a Foodborne illness every year. When your dealing with a competitor it is important to listen to what they don't say. The article said “the presence of DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157 ” not the presence of E. coli O157 and as far as I know Shiga-toxin doesn’t have DNA. “yes all living things have DNA ” but they are not testing for DNA. Naturalguy, Mike says it's malnutrition, in other words, what's not in the food. As fare as I know I am the only one “to deny that contamination is a” possible cause of these 9 cases of diarrhea. It is a contradiction to tell a farmer to stop trying to find the cause of the problem and to just plead guilty and then with the next breath tell them to try and find the cause of the problem again. It is foolish to stipulate to their propaganda.

"Naturalguy, if there are 182,200 people in Knox county then on a normal day there will be 1,822 cases of diarrhea not 9."

You do realize the nine people you are referring to, well more specifically the nine children you are referring to, were not sick with diarrhea, They were hospitalized and in PICU for days, and even weeks, Still there. Needing blood transfusions still.

Addison and Madison both are still very sick.

These are not "Nine cases of diarrhea"

That's only the cases that were hospitalized too. Yes, that's still a small percentage, but none the less Downplaying e coli as "Diarrhea" is sort of ridiculous.

rawmilkmike's picture

Sarah you missed the entire point. The point is what caused these children to become sick in the first place? If there were 1822 cases in the Knox county area then this raw milk was obviousness prevent illness not causing it.

rawmilkmike's picture

SarahJaneS, It was only 2 hospitalized not 9. The other 7 were diarrhea cases found when they called McBee's customers. And by the way on Sat, 11/09/2013 - 19:24 you said “There's also a tummy bug going around the community at the same time”. Did you mean in Knox county? Where did you hear that? That is a vital piece of information left out of the media report. 7 cases of diarrhea per day is all ready below the national average.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

David, something to consider. It would be nice if you did a post on E.coli 0157:H7 and HUS to educate everyone about it. There is so much misunderstanding on the topic. It is not a typical case of diarrhea and vomiting. I would write one for you, but I don't think that would go over very well on this blog.

David Gumpert's picture

Mary, you have written extensively about E.coli O157:H7 and HUS over the years--I've certainly learned a lot from the info you have provided. It's unfortunate that Rawmilkmike underestimates its seriousness, and categorizes it as diarrhea. I'm not sure there is anything I or you could write that would change his view. 

rawmilkmike's picture

David, you are right. Mary and I are reading the same material. We both have our own bias. My viewpoint is in that same material if you're looking for it and if you are a raw milk consumer for any length of time you should be looking for it because you will already know many of its benefits and it's safety from your own experience. Anyone that drinks a glass of raw milk a day will know there is a conspiracy and that's no theory.

http://www.wate.com/story/24033710/state-links-strain-of-e-coli-to-anima...

David I say agin I am a raw milk fan. I have been to this dairy actually in October on a farm tour. I do not want to say bad things about anyone. But I will drink raw milk and do but after the tour (I had to pay money for it which is a first for me on a raw farm well it was a forced donation) I would not from here. Anyone who has toured any dairy or worked on any dairy would think twice about drinking her milk raw.
Know your source.... As for McBee's statement from this article, she said at the time she had decided to not test her milk for E. Coli. as "It is a very low risk and not a concern for us".
I would recommend you go to their parlor before you reply with support.
I support choice, and local farms and freedom but this farm will cause a negative effect because of how they do business. She needs to grow up if she wants to sell raw milk.
Again have a great life. But be careful who you support.

churchlanefarm's picture

Mary,

Of the 23000 individuals that die each year in the United States as a result of antibiotic resistance infections, how does that compare to those who die as a result of apparent food poisoning, if in fact they are indeed dying from the pathogens they claim are responsible for the food poisoning and not the toxic aftermath of the treatment?

Here is something to consider. Another elderly individual from this area went into the hospital this time for a skin graph to her leg, was administered antibiotics, developed a gastro intestinal issue, and passed away as a result.

Ken

McBee's picture

Mary,
I understand what HUS is. I have been to the hospital to see one of our shareholders child a few times. It is super scary and serious. I would like to know more about what all can cause it. I do understand the 157:h7 can. I have been told that so can a shigitoxin treated with an antibiotic, or a respiratory infection treated with an antibiotic. Is this information true? Is their any thing else that causes HUS?

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

There are two types of HUS. HUS with diarrhea and HUS without. The kind without can be genetic or caused by certain drugs and also people who have AIDS can develop it.

The type involved with raw milk is HUS with diarrhea. The milk becomes contaminated because cow poop gets in the milk. 250 thousand cells of E.coli can fit on the head of a pin. It can take as few as 10-50 cells to make a human being ill.

When the E.coli 0157:H7 bacteria are dying, it releases a toxin--the Shiga toxin. This is what does the damage to the kidneys, pancreas and brain. These organs have the Gb3 cells. This is what the Shiga toxin attacks. Children are more vulnerable to developing HUS because their immune systems are not fully developed and they have more Gb3 cells.

There are studies that have shown that a person with an E.coli 0157:H7 infection should not be given antibiotics. Antibiotics can act like gasoline on a fire. They can make the Shiga toxin explode. However, sometimes an antibiotic has to be given. It can make all the difference between saving or losing the colon. Many children who develop HUS die because their colon died. It is a horrible death. Death is also caused by strokes because HUS has gone to the brain.

People in the raw milk movement like to blame HUS on antibiotics believing that all HUS cases happen because the child was given antibiotics. It just isn't true. Many a child is brought to the hospital already in renal failure after suffering at home with an E.coli 0157:H7 infection. They enter into the hospital with HUS. Antibiotics did not cause it.

Here is some detailed information about HUS http://www.about-hus.com/

If you would like to speak to me, email David and he can give you my email address.

rawmilkmike's picture

So Mary, you are saying once a child develops HUS then it's completely safe to proscribe antibiotics.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Yes

churchlanefarm's picture

Mary

Children and adults are most susceptible to the toxic effect of antibiotics and are therefore most likely to experience kidney damage and/or failure as a result of their use.

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/drug-prescribing-in-renal-impairment

Ken

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Ken, children who develop HUS and need kidney dialysis are in the pediatric intensive care unit for at least two weeks. They have a catheter inserted for kidney dialysis and either a central line or a PICC line inserted for TPN, blood draws and medications. Some have chest tubes to drain the excess fluid that builds up in the body. Some children have to have surgery right away to remove part or all of the colon. Others are placed on a ventilator.

To say the least, infection is a huge concern. Antibiotics have to be used to prevent infections or they would die. Remember these children are suffering acute kidney failure because their red blood cells die and clog the filters of the kidneys. They are not suffering from chronic kidney failure, although, some are left with permanent damage.

You have incorrect info for Maddie. She is actually five and her name is spelled Maddie, rather than Maddy. The Facebook link you provided is also incorrect. The correct link is https://www.facebook.com/praying4maddie. I sincerely hope this mistake wasn't an intentional act.

David Gumpert's picture

Absolutely not intentional. I had incomplete info, and thought I had matched it up correctly. I changed the link on my post. Encouraging to see she seems to be improving. Thanks for the correction. 

Naturalguy: "By the way I am aware of the issues and agree that the FDA and big 4 of the food industry have way too much power and control of laws. However this is not a case of attack from the 'authorities' this is a case of public health. I am aware you have an agenda and we probably have very like views."

Well then your posts might seem to at least suggest more of the "very like views," Nautralguy. David is focused and has a point. You are random and scatterbrained, and I would guess have never been privileged with the authorities (the "government") showing up at your own door at at gunpoint if needed to "enforce" laws as obscure and unclear as your posts, have you? Innocent people ARE, in fact, being oppressed by government, routinely and ridiculously.

Best to you in whatever area on the Ivory Tower you inhabit; the rest of us out in the real world will continue fighting fraud and corruption as it exists - not because we have nothing better to do but because it is unconscionable and unacceptable be it visiting upon ourselves or other innocent people in our communities. Apparently only after it visits you personally will you get it, or any portion of what matters most in David's post here.

You are an excellent person and a genius AxTramp... You never know I might be one of those authorities. I see doors being kicked in at most farms all over the place around here.
Seriously this scatterbrain has seen his fair share of corruption and problems with the government. I do not live in an ivory tower, nor do I live in a huddled bunker thinking everyone is about to get me like some of you. Sometime things are as they seem. I am for choice however I am also for responsibility and many in the raw milk business at least in TN do not take responsibility. When children are dying you should come out of your bunker or down out of your tower and be objective. Admit the possibility of contamination and try to help where you can.
There is plenty of corruption and fraud to fight but pick your fights this is one that you will loose. McBee states in her emails and on her FB page that "it seems we have to deal with the government once a year or so," now I work in an industry where regardless of how slack I do my job or anyone else we will not harm the public and I have to deal with the government almost weekly. I also know the history of this farm. I have also been to this farm. I actually like the McBees. I just wish they would accept some accountability, not all but some. Instead of making statements like the one in this interview and the one on the link I am posting here.
http://www.wate.com/story/24033710/state-links-strain-of-e-coli-to-anima...
OF course it does not matter what I or anyone else say you are of your opinion and welcome to it. But I do live in the real world you are the one who seems delusional. Keep an eye to the sky for those black helicopters, oh wait they quit using them. If you want a real conspiracy then go comment on the NSA spying program I will probably be on your side.
I am aware of small farm problems, government corruption, Monsanto and gag orders. However if you look at this case with an open mind (just try for once in your life) and think if you were investigating illness and everyone involved had use a single product. What would you do? Try once to open up the doors to your bunker and look at the sunlight (it is nice right?) and be objective.
Yes, innocent people are being oppressed but this is not the case here. This farm was only shut down for a short time, the government agencies did find links, the farm was aloud to start back up and is operating. I just pray they have learned their lesson and work a little harder at cleanliness. Fight the correct battles and only use victim status when warranted would be my suggestion to anyone trying to overcome anything like oppression. We must do that or we devalue the farms and businesses that are really being oppressed or unfairly targeted.

I do get David's posts. I am an advocate for raw foods and small farms as well as farm to table restaurants. However when there is an issue many of you stick your heads in the sand and cry conspiracy and do not look at things objectively. When advocates, for anything do that, they devalue their voice.

Have a great life and do not forget to take vitamin D supplements when you are in you bunker for days on end.

@Naturalguy:

I never trust people who immediately accuse those who disagree with them of "conspiracy theories", and deride them about "black helicopters". They are attempting to smear the other person, and are pretty much claiming their opponent is mentally ill (paranoia is a form of mental illness, last time I looked). No matter how much you assure us of your enthusiasm for raw foods and small farms, your comments indicate either that your head is buried firmly in the sand, or your support really lies with corporate agriculture and their partners in crime, the government agencies which turn a blind eye to the dangerous practices of factory farms while they harass small farmers.
Geez, when was the last time a factory farm asked for help in solving a problem, like Mrs. McBee has done? All they care about is covering their butts!
Children are dying from eating industrial food. I trust you are working feverishly to remedy that, Mr. Naturalguy? (Oops, did my conspiracy theory just show? Probably glyphosate,2-4D and Bt isn't bad for little kids-it's just that I forgot to take my Prozac today).

BTW, if you're a raw food advocate why would you be urging people to take vitamin D supplements?

OH MY GOSH, DAVID. You wrote that the little girl was 5 instead of 6?? That's serious misinformation, y'know.
When people start raking you over the coals for mistakes like that, it's obvious they're grasping at straws.
Similarly, when someone starts with the emotional "what-if-it-were-your-child" response, I sense a weakness in the argument.
For some weird reason, I'm more inclined to believe the truthfulness of the farmer who probably knows her customers by name and face and doesn't want to harm them, and additionally has to deal with the possible damage to her business (unlike the unnamed producer of Shop Rite milk, for example).
I have trouble keeping blind faith in government agencies that have no problems with CAFO practices, pesticides on produce, or the U.S. population being unwitting guinea pigs in the GMO feeding experiment.
At least I have a choice to stop patronizing my dairy farmer. It's far more difficult to do that with GMOs, or poisons on the apples my family eats.
Someone told me yesterday that bananas have something like 17 different poisons on them. How many times have you watched a little kid handle a banana peel? I hope they were mistaken about that statistic :(

The easiest way to identify intellectual and moral bankruptcy, as with the supporters of Big Ag, is to look at how pathetically flimsy their "arguments" are.

McBee's picture

Now that we are up and running again I can give you some uptodate numbers. We have lost 3 family's that have had a sick child, 4 family's that don't want to worry about having a sick child and 6 family's that did not appreciate the boarding aspect of not knowing how long they would not be receiving milk and still paying. From here we keep praying for Matti, we learn, get our testing in place. Thanks to Mr. McAfee we know we're our numbers should be verses state standards. We move forward being better farmers.

Shawna Barr's picture

Mrs. McBee, I just want to say that I appreciate your willingness to be so open and to dialogue so publically about what has happened on your farm. Your humility really comes through. My hope and prayer is for a full recovery for Mattie. And also for a full and complete recovery for your family, farm and herdshare. I also hope that you will to allow others to learn along with you by continuing to share your story.

Just curious about something (Hopefully this isn't a stupid question, or one already covered!). Why was the illness confined to a few kids? I would think anyone who consumed the milk would be sick.
Mrs. McBee, all the best in the future. My hat goes off to all the raw dairy farmers who risk this kind of situation every day, while providing our families with a delicious and healthful food. I will do my best to support you!

Shawna Barr's picture

Mama--
In order for illness to occur, a pathogen must be present, it must be a virulent strain, it must be present in a quantity (load) high enough to induce illness, and it must have a susceptible host. All 4 of those things must aline. Pathogenic e coli does not necessarily evenly distribute itself through out a batch of milk. A small raw milk producer may produce small batches of milk. If a batch is contaminated with a virulent bacterial pathogen, that batch may only be distributed to a small group of people. Out of that batch, perhaps only some jars contain enough of a bacterial load to result in illness, while others contain less or none. Of those who drank that load of bacteria, an even smaller group may be susceptible hosts. In other words, some may consume pathogenic ecoli by not become ill. Children tend to have higer susceptibility than adults though.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mama, The only test I've ever heard of showing that x amount of E. coli could possibly cause diarrhea in some people some of the time went something like this: 10 people are given increasing doses of E. coli O157 over a 10 day period until 1 person gets diarrhea. The problem with this type of study is that any group of 10 people over a 10 day period will likely to have at least 1 case of diarrhea whether they are given E. coli O157 or not.

http://www.wate.com/story/24033710/state-links-strain-of-e-coli-to-anima...

No milk but genetic match... I guess you know more and it is a conspiracy. I am sure you mis-spoke when I was on your farm tour in October and you stated you had quit testing for E. Coli...

@Naturalguy,

I think this whole blog is a conspiracy against you, designed by conspiracy theorists.

rawmilkmike's picture

Naturalguy, your article says “State officials have confirmed that a strain of E. coli that sickened nine children has been matched to animal waste”. That's not what the states tweet said. “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 ” This is not a claim of a “genetic match ” either.

D. Smith's picture

@ Mama: I soak my veggies and fruits in clay water to remove gunk. On melons and other produce with hard outer rinds, I just sprinkle the clay in my hand and rub onto the rind and then rinse. It takes very little clay to do the job and it's very inexpensive. Clay is one of the best health products around.

@D. Smith,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions about the fruit and vegetable cleaning tips. Where might I get this kind of clay?

D. Smith's picture

@ Mama: I hope this comment ends up under your posted question. I had a helluva time finding this post after seeing it on the home page! Anyway, you can use any kind of clay you want. I use bentonite because I can have my DH get it for me when he is in WY (Fort Benton - near present day Worland - has the largest deposit of bentonite in the world as far as I know). It's cheap and very effective for almost everything you can think of from cleaning veggies to being used on barn floors. I could, literally, give you about a thousand links to information on this stuff and all the varieties available, but you can likely look up the info if you're interested in knowing all the things it can do. I think I have at least a dozen books on the subject of clay and it's myriad uses.

I have also used a good grade of Fuller's Earth (not the kind used in kitty litter), I've used Kaolin (it's what's in Kaopectate for diarrhea), I've used French Pink, French Green, Rhassoul, etc. I buy the dry clays at Mountain Rose Herbs ( www.mountainroseherbs.com ) and they also carry bentonite, too. I know there are some places online where you can buy some stuff called living clay, but I don't think it's necessary to spend that much money on something so basic. Our earth itself is clay, for heaven's sake! In the area where I live we have a small canyon just up the road from the canyon in which I live, and we call it Red Rock Canyon because it's literally blood red from the iron deposits. It's maybe a mile long with sheer cliffs of red rocks. I usually mix some into my potting soil and my Sweet Cicely and Citrus Southernwood bushes just love the stuff.

If you decide you'd like to have me share some more information with you, please have David supply you with my email address - I'd be happy to give you other links. You sound like my kind of person so I'd enjoy visiting with you anyway!! Keep naturalguy on his toes because I wouldn't dare respond to him with what I'd LIKE to say. ;-< People like him & Mary remind me of the old saying "it doesn't matter what's true, it only matters what people think is true".

Have a good one!

http://www.wate.com/story/24033710/state-links-strain-of-e-coli-to-anima...

Well MOMMA I guess as long as it is not your child lying in the hospital bed it is ok. Glad I had a decent mother and not you

Haha, am I "MOMMA"? Nice to see you come off your high horse! LOL.
How does my alleged callousness towards children in hospital beds indicate flawed mothering, my dear? Rather, your temper tantrum accuses me of only caring about my own kids. That merely makes me seem rather average.
I'm glad you had a decent mother, and I hope you treat her nice on Mother's Day, y'hear? And I am so glad I'm not your mother :)

rawmilkmike's picture

Naturalguy, Why do you keep linking to that same tiny article with it's vague accusation that isn't supported by any official or even unofficial statement. If you are truly a raw milk consumer you should know better by now.

rawmilkmike's picture

Naturalguy, even if the “strain of E. coli that sickened nine children” had “been matched to animal waste collected at a Knox County dairy farm” that wouldn't prove that it came from the farm or was in the milk or that the children's diarrhea was caused by it.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture
D. Smith's picture

[quote from article]
"E-coli tests on the farm's milk came back negative from the Knox County Health Department. The Powells say they're not upset and don't blame McBee Dairy Farm.

"It's not anything that they did, it just happened. But going forward it's not a risk I'm going to take anymore," Powell said."
[end quote]

Well, then they better quit eating because it could have come from anywhere. AND . . . it's been such a *sobering experience* for them that they aren't even really worried about trying to find out exactly what DID cause the problem? Neither is the hospital? Neither is the State?

Wow, did the whole group working on this deal just get off the noon stage??

rawmilkmike's picture

Right on D.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture
Ora Moose's picture

Mary, can you stop the fear mongering already? It's not my blog and I wouldn't even suggest to David to ban anyone (and that included Bill Andersen) nor do I expect that you would agree with some of what I and many others here have to say. But your endless barrage of selected and filtered information is annoying and not very helpful to the vast majority of us that are just trying to learn all we can and eat healthy food.

Here's a whopper for you: "But from now on, she said, her family will buy lightly pasteurized milk — milk that been heated to a lower, but safe temperature, and kept at that temperature for 30 minutes, a process that kills harmful pathogens."

Lightly pasteurized, is that like semi-pregnant?

How does a safe temperature process differenciate between "harmful" and beneficial pathogens? It's either real food or modified, dead food no matter how you measure the temperature.

Maybe there's some raw hamburger, oyster or sushi blog out there that might be a better investment of your food safety time and passion? But thanks for contributing anyways, just try not to be so shill for food ambulance chasers.

Oh and glad you could help the McBees at least on a moral comfort level. I know you are a good person trying to do good deeds and I mean that sincerely.

D. Smith's picture

Very first paragraph lies. The TN farm has NOT been "linked" to or found to have been involved in the outbreak. The tests came back negative as I quoted here before. I don't use facebook and I could care less what kinds of rumors and mongering they are spreading. But you see this is the problem. A lie gets a foot in the door and from there it manages to travel at the speed of sound, even if it's untrue.

And I've never yet seen a retraction of any of these rumors by the newspapers unless it's something which has gone through a court process, and then the papers have no choice but to print what really happened. You should be ashamed of yourself for continuing to pass on links to a story that is not true.

D. Smith's picture

Oh where's that edit button - - my above comment was directed @ mary mcgonigle and the link she posted from food safety news.

I clicked on the "reply" right under her comment but it moved down the line. Sorry for the confusion.

Shawna Barr's picture

I find the above article to be exceedingly frustrating. It is more of the same message: All raw milk is bad. Kids are sick because the milk was raw.

That is only part of the story though. What is missing is the WHY. Because CLEARLY not all raw milk is harmful. CLEARLY. So what's the difference? We would know very little about this situation if Marcy McBee had not actually been on this site, speaking for herself. I recently spoke to a high level Food Safety expert who expressed this very same frustration about raw-milk related outbreaks. She said with other food-borne outbreak, public health turns over ever stone to discover the REASON in the PROCESS for the outbreak. They just chock it up to, "its raw milk, that's why. Period."

I know there were reasons why the McBees processes were inadequate. I'm not blaming her for what she didn't know, but I'm sure in hindsight, she wishes desperately that she knew more so she could have done more. What was her testing protocal like? What were her Coliform counts running? What was her method for cleaning her milking system? Was there a plan to control biofilm buildup?

And this quote: "University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Office’s food safety expert in dairy-farm best practices, visited the farm and gave McBee some pointers on how she could improve the safeguards the dairy already had in place."

NO, they did NOT. We know that because of what Marcy said right here. They did not help her improve her safeguards. They gave her a wink and a nod, and said, just keep doing what you're doing. You're following PMO guidelines and that's good enought for raw milk.

So there can be another outbreak and more kids sick. So the state can say "See, raw milk bad." Really frustrating.

Its nice to see Mark McAfee quoted at the end of the article. However, the author quickly discredits him by pointing out that OPDC has experienced food safety issues of their own.

Yes, they have. And, they have gone through drastic steps to understand the weak links in their processes, and minimize that risk, with a huge success. How about that information? How about asking about OPDC current processes and data? That might actually be helpful and informative to other producers out there, and we might see fewer sick kids.

David Gumpert's picture

Shawna, I think the last paragraph of that Food Safety News article is key, where it quotes TN officials, as if it is fact, as saying "raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products are inherently risky to consumers..." The key word is "inherently." The public health people use that word like a mantra, repeating it over and over to themselves , because it absolves them from responsibility, and guilt, when they fail to properly investigate illnesses from raw milk and block important safety information from reaching farmers like Marcie McBee. As long as the milk is "inherently" unsafe, well, there is nothing that can be done to prevent illnesses. 

But, you see, there is a bigger problem with "inherently." It means they need to have frightening cases like little Maddy's, so they can keep hammering home their argument about raw milk being "inherently" risky and unsafe. If those cases go away, well, then it's much more difficult to make the "inherently" argument.  It is a vicious cycle, and hopefully RAWMI and other outreach can help break it once and for all. 

 

Shawna Barr's picture

Can you imagine if public health took a similar position about sex? That all sex is "inherently" risky and so everyone should just abstain. For the sake of safety. Period. There is no such thing as safe-sex. Safe sex is no sex. And anyone who thinks otherwise is irresponsible.

Ora Moose's picture

Shawna, you've got that right but my son took says he thinks that sex is safe or he wouldn't be here without it. Can't argue with that, he's inherently my son. Nor would we have any cows or milk. What's truly unsafe is the factory produced GMO chemical laced high profit junk they deceive you to buy on a regular basis, using pretty pictures and convenient packaging. Wish me a happy 25th anniversary today, and come back to wish me a 50th.

Ora Moose's picture

ooops, that shoulda been son "took exception." And please let me join in on the chorus of support on this site for you and your family and customers in difficult times, we need you and others to keep doing it or there would soon be no other options. Be happy, it costs only pennies more and lasts longer.

Ora Moose's picture

oh while I'm on a roll though no hot dog, let me admit that's why I don't drink or eat anything anymore it's just way too dangerous. Mary any advice on that? I am admittedly hungry but scared.

The FDA is going to pre-digest our food for us and then regurgitate it down our gullets. Works for the birds.

LOL, Russ. That's the solution!

Ora Moose's picture

One last before I go away for the holidays this one is for mama (see, I spelled it right.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm_p8yIvsH8

Sorry Ora, but the video has been removed. Wasn't able to see it.

Shawna Barr ~ I recommend you step back a bit, to save yr sanity. Such “crazy-making” as is found in the article which upset you, is the stock-in-trade of lawyers / apparatchiks / commercial interests bent on running competitors out of town 'on the noon stage'. Of course, the prima donna of them all drops-in right on cue, revealing herself – again! - as one of those sent “to wear out the saints”. And not just on this forum … She’s bad, she’s nation-wide! Don’t let Mary Mc M & the Nay-Sayrs get you down. [Great name for a folk Group, eh Ora?! ]
As Pastor Pete Peters used to say = “what’s the first thing you need to be an overcomer?” Answer = “something to overcome!” Being a Thorn in our Side is her calling.

On the website (URL below*) is a short essay by Ronald Doering, who was the head of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It is deplorable that a man of his experience & credibility, is still parroting the same old utterly UN-scientific non-sense about the incident at Gort’s Cheese, last summer in British Columbia his quote < “ The essential facts in this case are clear. The deadly bacteria came from cow poop. If the milk had been pasteurized, the bacteria would have been killed and the victims would be alive and well today.” > end of his quote
In fact, there was not, and is not, evidence to substantiate that assertion. Similar to the McBee’s cowshare in Tennessee ; where, applying their high-tech Crime Scene Investigator tools, the high-priced, high-powered “authorities” couldn’t come up with any real reason why a few people got ill, meanwhile everyone else in the cowshare / others who ate the same batch, DIDN’T. So they just trot-out the same old ILLogical line = “it must have been raw milk”. That isn’t done for the sake of improving public health, overall : it’s so they can perpetuate their fable … ‘raw milk is always and only teeming wit’ bad bacteria’.

In his book The Urban Food Revolution, Peter Ladner winnows it all right down < “local food production has a much higher return per acre than the highly specialized industrial food system based on economies of scale. There’s a conflict between local food production and a large economy industrial food system” > The contest arises from the Marxist model predicated in ‘gigant-ism’, being disrupted by people practicing ‘small-is-beautiful’. Praise God the REAL MILK is flowing in the Great State of Tennessee and we are overcoming!
*
http://www.manitobacooperator.ca/2013/11/14/raw-milk-cheese-another-ster...

Shawna Barr's picture

First, let me apologize for the disrespectful tone of my last comment. My point is simply that in some areas, public health has done a superb job of making information available about "best practices" if you will, without a lot of judgement or narrow-mindedness. Sexual health information is one of those areas. And the generous and proactive distribution of information has arguably been successful in reducing illness.

churchlanefarm's picture

“And the generous and proactive distribution of information has arguably been successful in reducing illness.”

“Arguably” is indeed the key word here!
In essence they have armed young people with a loaded gum and then, proceeded to encourage them to play Russian roulette with their health. Much of the info they are distributing to children and young adults is in fact harmful to their overall well being.

Their approach to sexual health is wrongheaded and very narrow minded. You do not encourage good health or teach young adults sexual responsibility by advocating the use of the pill or a condom. This approach perverts the sexual act and is the epitome of shortsighted irresponsibility.

The pill for example, represents a quick fix that certainly doesn’t encourage what I believe aught to be a cooperative act between husband and wife, for it places all of the emphasis on the woman to take sole responsibility for preventing pregnancy, as well as assume all of the risks with respect to its many side effects. The toll is immeasurable when one considers its overall psychological effect on society.

Our sexuality is a powerful emotion that commands respect for its gratifying, complex, and ultimate purpose. Failure to do so will only lead to despair and suffering. As one woman pointed out in the news a while back, quoting her mother, “Sex is for procreation not recreation.”

Ken

McBee's picture

Once again I can not find the string to post this correctly. Thank Mary for your answeres on the cause of HUS. From what I have Learned you have you can eradicate and easily locate 157:h7 on a closed heard farm fairly easily. (Not the needle in the haystack kind of thing the health department has told). We are now on that quest and I will have some answer back in a few weeks. Mary I do have another question if you would email me that would be great, my email is info@mcbeedairyfarm.com.
Thanks

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Marcie, I have learned that some cows are super shedders. It would be nice if someone could chime in about the occasional pathogenic E.coli shedder. It is my understanding that at any time a cow can harbor E.coli. I will email you.

churchlanefarm's picture

Mary
I will ask you the same question I asked Shawna earlier today. “Do you really believe that we can control the presence of perceived dangerous microorganisms in our environment and food using current methods and without causing ourselves more harm?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3319128/

If we continue with our current focus on microbes as the primary cause of illness then I fear the future in store for us is grim.

Ken

D. Smith's picture

@ Mary: You know who else are "shedders"? People. Especially newly vaccinated babies. Wanna know how I know that? Because I care for infants five days out of each week. It took nearly 7 years to put it all together but my DH, my brother who is a holistic vet, and I finally concluded that since I now have an autoimmune condition, I am highly susceptible to vaccinated babies, especially if they've had live virus or oral/nasal vaccines. I had to start a new policy wherein babies cannot come back here for at least one week after they've been vaccinated (which really isn't long enough but it's the best I can do). My symptoms from being exposed to these babies seem to be an upset stomach, mild fever for a day, ocular hemorrhaging in my most compromised eye (from Sjogren's Syndrome) and a horrific rash on my arms (from cradling babies) which I now treat with coconut oil mixed with Almond Glow. The worst part of this, though, is my eye, because when it hemorrhages I must go immediately and have the blood drained off.

So this business of shedding isn't new, it isn't unique to animals and it is certainly going to get worse before it gets better as long as we keep loading up animal and human bodies with drugs (read: antibiotics mostly, and certain vaccines). But I'm not going to give up my work because of it, that's for sure.

If a cow is purchased from a herd who has been previously dosed with drugs for one thing or another, I would start with those animals in my search for a culprit. I'd be much more concerned with animals from large herd operations (CAFO's mostly), so farmers (especially fresh milk/raw dairy farmers) need to be mindful where they purchase newbies to their herds.

But bacteria of all kinds are elusive to a point, and isolating them can be downright difficult and some can never be isolated in a true sense. Getting rid of them is not an option because bacteria are everywhere - and so they should be. We must take the good with the bad in that regard.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Yes. People are shedders. I'm glad you brought up that point. One of the children in the Jack-in-the Box 1993 outbreak dies and never ate one of the hamburgers. The child got the infection from another child who ate the hamburger. This has happened in raw milk outbreaks where there have been secondary infections.

D. Smith's picture

I don't really remember that Jack in the Box incident, but then we don't have those in this part of the country, so it likely wasn't as heavily reported here. Secondary infections aren't usually as problematic, although they can be, depending on the reason for its presence.

Here where I live, we have a military base about six miles from town. A few years ago a trooper coming home from active duty had to receive about a gazillion shots before he could come back to the States. He was shedding something (I'm not sure it was ever identified, per se) assumed to have been from the vaccines and his 3 month old daughter died after his second day back home.

If we want to avoid danger we'd almost have to dress in hazmat suits 24/7. And you know what? We'd probably be even sicker for the effort, seeing as how people do not understand the intrinsic role of bacteria in our world. Remember the boy in the bubble? He got worse instead of better inside that bubble, but it took science quite a while to figure out their mistake.

rawmilkmike's picture

More cool info. Thanks again D.

D. Smith's picture

@ rawmilkmike: Heh! You'll think this is particularly interesting, I'm just sure of it. I thought it was totally fascinating reading/learning: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/as-antibiotic-failure-grows-poop-...

I read about fecal transplants a few years ago, but never anything like this.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks D, and speaking of poop: “The fresh cow-dung poultice. This is yet of common rustic use, strong testimony being available as to the relief it gives against pain, and as to the speedy maturation it brings about when placed over a gathering abscess, or an indolent boil.” This saved my fathers leg twice. Once as a boy and again in Korea.
http://chestofbooks.com/health/nutrition/Medicinal-Meals/Tomato-Continue...

D. Smith's picture

@ rawmilkmike: Clay also does the same thing, as far as a poultice for abscess, etc. And clay can be used in the mouth, whereas I don't think poop would go over too well. I actually use a homemade toothpaste made from either dolomite or calcium carbonate, coconut oil and a bit of peppermint oil or whatever flavor I'm in the mood for when I mix it up.

I used a mixture of charcoal and clay when I had a bunch of slivers off a wicker basket in my leg a few years back. It pulled about 6 extremely small slivers to the surface just enough so my DH could see them and pull them out with a tweezers. Haven't had a problem with that leg since. We also just recently used bentonite for my 3 year old grandson who had an abscessed tooth after bumping his mouth on his tricycle handle. The dentist wanted to pull the tooth but we opted to try this instead. Worked like crazy. Go figure.

rawmilkmike's picture

D, I've had some good results with tooth-soap, but this clay sounds like the bomb.

I call "bullshit" on M Mc M, again.

If anyone has evidence of a real person, ever dieing from an infection which provably arose from consumption of raw milk, then produce it. By which I mean : the kind of thing which can be tested. Otherwise your allegation is just more of the same old dairy cartel confabulation

A real for-instance will help the Natural Guy appreciate that there most certainly ARE malicious conspiracies among govt. agencies. In Dec 2009, the so-called "Health Authorities" in BC, trotted-out the fable that "a child is lying ill in hospital after drinking raw milk from Home on the Range dairy". When I ran that report to earth, by way of Freedom of Information procedure, not only did it come out that IT NEVER HAPPENED, but the email from the doctor who'd originated it, stated "no concerns for daycare". Meaning ; no concern for infection of those around that child. The very opposite of what Mary Mc M presents. See the difference?

Rather than find out why there was shiga toxin in the stool of that child, as soon as the Dr learned the family was a member of our cowshare ... that's all he needed to know. "Case closed". He never bothered to find out what ELSE may have caused it. Prime suspect = Sushi ... or dozens of other suspicious foods brought home from the retail store? ... let alone some other far more likely factor in the environment... such as the family cat? !
There was no evidence that that child in BC in 2009, had actually drank milk from our herd. But so what!.... Fraser health Authority had the pretext they needed for dumping hundreds of gallons of perfectly good REAL MILK = our property = down the sewer, then launch a made-for-media fear~mongering tale.

rawmilkmike's picture

Cool info D. Does that mean farmers would have the same problem on the farm when ever a vaccinated person or animal is present on the farm?

D. Smith's picture

@ rawmilkmike: I cannot definitively say yea or nay to that - although I lean heavily towards the yea. On this forum I mind my P's and Q's by sticking to basic facts so as not to be caught out giving "medical advice" ya know what I mean? I can say that it's entirely probable. MIke, if you would like to discuss this stuff further you, too, could email David and ask him to hook you up with my email addy and we can further discuss all this. I'd be happy to do so. Keep on, man.

D. Smith's picture

@ rawmilkmike: Here is some more information you might find extremely interesting; I know I did. (I hope you don't give up trying to find this post because of the willy-nilly way things are sequenced! Be persistent!!

7 minutes & 22 seconds that should be presented to parents BEFORE they choose whether to vaccinate themselves or their children - or not.

Phrases like "cell substrates", "obscured etiology", and "constant evolution" made my skin crawl. The part about animal pestiviruses didn't set too well, either.

This didn't go far enough to really explain much, but it does help us to see where the CDC stands on saying the right thing to the public but doing it with such stealth that the majority of the public misses it entirely. It is the typical MO of the current medical industrial complex. Yes, things need to change, but how can we make it change, that's the $64 gazillion dollar question nowadays.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSeiAs_A4w#t=58

McBee's picture

Here is what I know about the new press release saying that we are the direct source for E. Coli. The Health Department did not send these to me, I obtained them from Channel 6 news. I have a request in to Martha Buchanan at the Knox County Health Department to show me some test results but I have not heard back from her.

Here is my understanding of how fecal testing works from my lab. You can have a positive 157:H7 test back in 24 hours, so they should have had this two days after the raid. If you get the positive test then you have to pull the DNA out (like fingerprinting) and match it to the fecal sample of the sick child. The 157:H7 DNA should match together to show where it came from. I have been told this takes from 3 to 5 months to do.

This week I have learned a lot about the 157:H7 bacteria. It is elusive if you are searching for it in thin air or in food or in liquid like milk. But the fact is that it lives in the manure of the cow. If you have a herd of cows with the 157:H7 bacteria one to two cows will be called the persistent shedder cows. Meaning these cows have 157:H7 and they can not get rid of it. They will shed the bacteria all the time. As they shed other cows can pick it up and then shed it out the next month. So if you do fecal testing on all the cows you can tell if you have 157:H7 in your heard. If the test is negative you do not have it, and if you have a closed herd of cows (you do not bring any in from other sources) you will not get it. If there is a positive test you have to repeat the test for several months so you can find the shedder cow or cows and move them out of the herd. Once they are removed from the herd and the other cows shed the next month you no longer have 157:H7 around. My understanding is it quickly dies when it comes in contact with oxygen.

Weather you have 157:H7 on your farm or not does not mean you will ever get sick or not sick. This is a strain of E. Coli that is all over the USA, not a superbug that just popped up. But it is mean and and cause fatal complications especially in children.

We have decided to do fecal testing of all cows here for 157:H7. We will be doing these on Dec 2nd so we should have results back by Dec 4th. If our test are negative then this is all hog wash. If our test are positive, while that does not say it came from here, it does say we have it here and it could have happened or it could happen. If they are positive we will continue testing until we locate the sheddar cow or cows and remove them from our herd.

If the health department wants to keep you safe this is info that they should have provided to me. If their goal is safety then they need to be able to help the farmer identify and find the problem. We do not have all the answers but we are willing to learn and improve.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thank you McBee, Your posts are always so clear and concise. It's surprising how some just refuse to get it.

D. Smith's picture

Nice going, Marcie. Kudos on your learning and improving.

The health department could care less about our safety. In fact, it's more their job to make sure people get and remain ill, because it justifies their lucrative, albeit useless, *created* jobs. I say lucrative because right now being a bag boy is a lucrative job in america. \:-)

Keep updating us with your info. It's been interesting to see this play out.

Ora Moose's picture

D, one of my mantras from back in the old days is "never ask a barber if you need a haircut." When you say "The health department could care less about our safety" is that a double negative or a double positive? And when you say lucrative I assume money is involved, but I've come to the conclusion that handling money ie dollar bills and coins is much more dangerous than milk, spinach or raw cantaloupes. Change matters that's why we still have pennies.

D. Smith's picture

@ Ora: Maybe I should have said "the health department would have trouble caring any less about our safety". No double entendres intended. ; ->) Really!

Cash money is probably the dirtiest thing people handle all day. It's lovely but it's filthy. I always used to say money and public phones were the worst, but there are no more public phones (or at least very few) so shopping carts and door handles in public places have taken the new role of "dirty" to a level unseen before. But here again, this is only constructive if you believe in the germ theory of aggregation. I do not.

There's dirty and then there's "germy". Germy stuff is only dangerous depending on the terrain. If this weren't true, why are people with autoimmune problems cautioned at differing rates than "normal" people?

Yes, by lucrative I did mean dollar wise and penny smart. :)

Ora Moose's picture

D, you certainly seem to have a handle on that, money is dirt wonder why Mary doesn't rally to abolish it or sue anyone with some in their pockets and passing it around especially to children. Very dangerous, look up the statistics.

Ora Moose's picture

Oh and D, I think you have a great idea for a waiting to be born business: Peel and strip door handles! No chemicals, all natural and recycable too. Maybe we should just outlaw hands and fingers. And eyeballs, tongues and keyboards and especially touch pads. Now that's dirty.

OND just for symmetry even if nobody gets it.

D. Smith's picture

@ Ora: The answer is already out there - copper. See this: http://findmeacure.com/2008/11/23/what-door-handles-actually-kill-bacteria/

Sorry to be so short, but I've gotta run out now. Read that and let me know what you think. Anyone? Truth or fiction?

Ora Moose's picture

Very interesting D, thanks for sharing. Here's another band name for Gordon: Mary and McTestTube babies! They really rock.

Anybody here remember the prohibition? Yeah that really worked.

Maybe the easiest way to understand what is happening in Foxboro is simply to realize that Patriot Place has outgrown it's surroundings and needs more parking spaces. Cui bono.

D. Smith's picture

@ Ora: Cui bono . . . who benefits? The people of the city of Foxboro certainly don't, do they?! No, the 1% who want the property are the ones who benefit. If they can't get the land one way, they'll just try something else.

DrCatBerge's picture

Dear McBee. I am a veterinary epidemiologist and Board of Director of the Raw Milk Institute. We work very hard to educate our raw milk listed dairies about hazards in milk and how to ensure that raw milk is safe. Unfortunately, the situation is not as simple as you have come to understand. I Believe you have not
not totally understood the complexity of E. coli O157:H7 in dairy farms. There is a wide variability in E. coli O157:H7 shedding within and among dairy farms and the complexity of control at the farm level is high. (Edrington et al., 2004) E. coli O157:H7 is not only present in the cow feces. It has been identified in various locations on dairies such as feed, wild birds, pets, water. Strains can persist in a herd for more than 2 years. (Shere et al., 1998). Animal-to-animal and waterborne dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 is common and effective water treatment to reduce the spread of this pathogen in cattle is needed. (Shere et al., 2002). Heifers and calves are much more likely to shed E. coli O157:H7 and therefore simply monitoring the lactating cows is not sufficient to rule out the presence of the bacteria on the farm. (Cobbold and Desmarchelier, 2000; Stanford et al., 2005)
Some cattle may be 'super-shedders' of the bacterium. Super-shedders may be excreting >1000 to 10,000 bacteria/gram feces. Super-shedders have been found to constitute a small proportion of the cattle in a feedlot (<10%) but they may account for >90% of all E. coli O157:H7 excreted. Although super-shedders may account for a high level of infection, there is no such simple solution as if that cow walks away, every bacteria is gone. Low level shedding can be very intermittent, and therefore a negative sample does not mean that the bacteria is no longer there. (Robinson et al., 2004)

As I Always repeat to our listed farmers when I talk about diagnostic or screening samples, there is a simple rule: A negative sample does not necessarily mean that the bacteria is not there!! Just remember this sentence and this will help you understand a lot about sampling and detecting bacteria.

Kind regards,
Cat. Berge, BoD Raw Milk Institute.

References

Cobbold, R., Desmarchelier, P., 2000. A longitudinal study of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) prevalence in three Australian diary herds. Vet. Microbiol. 71, 125-137.
Edrington, T.S., Hume, M.E., Looper, M.L., Schultz, C.L., Fitzgerald, A.C., Callaway, T.R., Genovese, K.J., Bischoff, K.M., McReynolds, J.L., Anderson, R.C., Nisbet, D.J., 2004. Variation in the faecal shedding of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in lactating dairy cattle and examination of Salmonella genotypes using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 38, 366-372.
Robinson, S.E., Wright, E.J., Hart, C.A., Bennett, M., French, N.P., 2004. Intermittent and persistent shedding of Escherichia coli O157 in cohorts of naturally infected calves. J. Appl. Microbiol. 97, 1045-1053.
Shere, J.A., Bartlett, K.J., Kaspar, C.W., 1998. Longitudinal study of Escherichia coli O157:H7 dissemination on four dairy farms in Wisconsin. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64, 1390-1399.
Shere, J.A., Kaspar, C.W., Bartlett, K.J., Linden, S.E., Norell, B., Francey, S., Schaefer, D.M., 2002. Shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy cattle housed in a confined environment following waterborne inoculation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68, 1947-1954.
Stanford, K., Croy, D., Bach, S.J., Wallins, G.L., Zahiroddini, H., McAllister, T.A., 2005. Ecology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in commercial dairies in southern Alberta. J. Dairy Sci. 88, 4441-4451.

David Gumpert's picture

Cat, thanks for this great information. It sounds on reading this as if E.coli O157:H7 is nearly unavoidable on a dairy farm. Certainly lots of dairies around the country are regularly producing raw milk, without people becoming ill from E.coli O157:H7. So, my question to you: What are a few suggestions you can offer for raw dairy farmers like Marcie McBee to reduce the chances of milk contamination from E.coli O157:H7? And assuming it is going to be present to some minimal extent, what precautions can farmers take, which they might not be ordinarily aware of, to reduce risks?  

DrCatBerge's picture

Key question and one that necessitates answering. I welcome all raw milk producers to join in on the RAWMI webinars where we give you the keys to keeping these hazards out of raw milk. A key is of course keep feces out of milk.. and in January we are going to hold a webinar on milk hygiene and you will get the expert tips from the one with ultimate experience, Mark McAfee. Since feces is always going to be around cows a key is to minimize the introduction of hazardous bacteria onto the farm and the spread within the farm. This is covered by Biosecurity measures. The key is to keep movement of animals onto a farm and of the farm to a minimum, and be aware of all ways that the bacteria can hitch a ride around the farm. I can not cover it all right now (sorry, a bit busy right now), but all interested are welcome to join our webinars on biosecurity as well as other topics. This coming spring we are specifically going to cover campylobacter, VTEC E. coli and Listeria. Salmonella was covered in the autumn, but we may repeat that one. This is not about scaring producers and consumers, simply 'knowing your enemy' and how to prevent the enemy from harming you.
Kind regards,
Cat.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Dr. Berge, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for posting on this blog. Your bacteria knowledge base is so needed in the raw milk movement. People like to refer to me as a fear monger because I think it is of utmost importance for raw milk producers and consumers to intimately know the pathogens that can find their way into raw milk and the illnesses they can produce. These pathogens need to be respected and you can't do that if you don't know about them and how they behave.

In the raw milk world when an outbreak happens, the producer and consumers should not be shocked that this was a possibility and when a child is in the hospital fighting for his/her life, the parents should be able to say, "I read all the literature the farmer provided me and I knew HUS was a possibility when I began giving raw milk to my children." Not, "I had no idea raw milk could make you this ill."

An informed decision about producing/consuming raw milk can only occur if the person is educated about both the pro's and con's of raw milk.

Thank you for sharing your time and expertise.

churchlanefarm's picture

Cat

Referring to selected microbes that are merely responding to our invasive and toxic acts of aggression, (chemical warfare), as the “enemy” is fundamentally flawed. This is where we go our separate ways.

How can one, as Mary put it, “intimately” know a chameleon like organism such as e colie that is in a perpetual state of mutation in order to survive the circumstances of its environment man made or otherwise? Please consider the bacteria, phage, shiga toxin relationship I referred to earlier on.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110609/full/news.2011.360.html

“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."

One thing does appear clear however; these microorganisms have no desire to intimately know us. Nor do they need to.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Ken, prior to living in a toxic world, pathogenic bacteria killed us. It is nothing new. Pathogenic bacteria may not want to intimately know us, but for people making the choice to give raw milk to their children, it is only wise to know the bacteria that could kill your child.

rawmilkmike's picture

DrCatBerge, “I am a veterinary epidemiologist and Board of Director of the Raw Milk Institute.” Talk about 'knowing your enemy'.

churchlanefarm's picture

I agree with you Mary but are we any further ahead using our current approach? I don’t think we are.

There definitely appears to be a trend with respect to, “difficult to treat” infections and overall compromised immunity… Its getting worse!

The following conservative statistics provided by the CDC discuss the growing problem of antibiotic resistant infections. These problems however, are merely a drop in the bucket with respect to the all inclusive negative effect of antibiotic/antibacterial use either for treatment or prevention. How many people are left with chronic kidney problems or die as a result of kidney failure because of the toxic effects of an antibiotic used to “prevent” a possible infection?

http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/

“Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat those infections. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections. Many more die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic- resistant infection.
In addition, almost 250,000 people each year require hospital care for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections. In most of these infections, the use of antibiotics was a major contributing factor.”

For those who consider this to be a battle against an “enemy”; a so-called enemy that you clearly fail to completely comprehend, then let me paraphrase John Steinbeck, All war is a symptom of mans insecurity and “failure as a thinking animal”.

Ken

rawmilkmike's picture

Thanks Ken.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Ken, I get the big picture. Here is an article I think you and Dave M. will enjoy reading. https://medium.com/editors-picks/892b57499e77

Everyone always like to go big into other topics of illness and death when the topic of raw milk is discussed. Here is the deal Ken. Since 2005, there have been 27 children who have developed HUS from drinking raw milk. Parents are choosing raw milk because they believe it is a healthier option.

What do you tell these parents? Oops we forgot to mention there is this pathogen in our food supply, that wasn't there when Weston A. Price was alive. If it gets in the raw milk, your child could experience kidney failure. But don't worry, no child has died yet from drinking raw milk, so the benefits outweigh the risks.

As people are looking for healthier food to feed their children, they are being led to raw milk. All the literature the down plays risk and only focuses on the benefits is so misleading. I have talked to many parents whose children have developed HUS after drinking raw milk. Not one parent had any clue that this horror was a risk they were choosing for their children when they bought raw milk. That is the crime.

D. Smith's picture

@ Mary: Well then, we need to create a label for the raw milk containers which say something to the effect "this product can contain life-threatening e-coli bacteria. So can public drinking fountains, swimming pools, pasteurized milks/cheeses/products, raw produce of all kinds, raw fish, oysters, roe, raw meat" . . .

churchlanefarm's picture

Mary

This is a very good article.

Doctors and the system are driven by the fear that a patient will acquire an infection especially one that they cannot treat. I’ve come face to face with this scenario on several occasions. One of the excuses doctors use in order to convince someone to take an antibiotic to prevent an infection is that if you fail to do so, “you will acquire an infection that will require even stronger antibiotics”. I look at them and tell them that, you are more apt to develop a much more serious infection if you do take them as prophylactic.

When I cut of the end of my finger off and I refused to take their antibiotic despite their concerns, this is the excuse I was given by the physician in emergency.

Again on four separate occasions when I needed surgery for kidney stones, (the first two being somewhat pressing because I had bilateral occlusions and my kidneys were failing), the only antibiotic I received was during the first surgery while I was under anesthetic. When I came too and they wanted to give me more I refused. I also refused to allow them to give me antibiotics with the following three surgeries as well. I did develop an infection following my fourth surgery. I had a fever, the chills, and I was sweating profusely. I refused to see a doctor and dealt with it in my own way by taking showers and drinking lots of fluids with D- mannose along with a homeopathic. The fever eventually broke after 48 hours and I was fine after that.

I dealt with these kidney stone for almost seven years. I passed stones as large as half an inch and in the first three years I had accumulated over three hundred stones in a small bottle, at which point I quit keeping track of them.

Getting back to the subject however, using antibiotics as a prophylactic was and still is a huge mistake. They should only be used to treat an established infection that overwhelms an individual who is unable to deal with the infection on their own.

As far as dosing is concerned in order to explain the onset of antibiotic resistant microbes; it is impossible to know what is or what isn’t a sufficient dose and therefore an acquired resistance would indeed be inevitable.
In fact the amount of antibiotic required for a complete kill would probably kill the patient.

Blaming doctors for improperly prescribing an antibiotic or the patient for failing to follow through with a course of treatment is unjustified and not constructive.

It’s a difficult and precarious balancing act we find ourselves in.

Ken

Ora Moose's picture

Mary, even though I suspect you just ignore my comments, take this since it's from my wife:

"I do not mean to be mean but, enough is enough. Just go away. We'll eat and drink whatever we want and it's none of your business."

Unless you work for a lawyer.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, there are 10 million raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Are you saying that they only experienced 27 cases of HUS over a 7 year period? You do realize that the national average for HUS is 1/6 x 5 to 10% per year. An average group of 10 million people experiences between 583,333 and 1,166,666 cases of HUS over that length of time. If what you say is true epidemiologically speaking raw milk would have prevented between 583,306 and 1,166,639 cases of HUS in the U.S. sense 2005.
…...............................................
[(The number of raw milk drinkers in the U.S. Divided by 6) times 7 yrs] times 10% divided by 2.
…................................................
[(10,000,000 / 6)x 7yrs] x 10% = 1,166,666 and 1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333
….................................................
10,000,000 / 6 = 1,666,666
1,666,666 x 7yrs = 11,666,666
11,666,666 x 10% = 1,166,666
1,166,666 / 2 = 583,333

@Marcie McBee,

I would definitely continue to buy milk from you, if I were in your area. You are very humble, forthcoming, and truly concerned about your product and customers. I've no doubt your business will recover quickly from this setback.
All the best!

Shawna Barr's picture

Marcie,
I appreciate the proactive mindset that you guys are taking on your farm to learn about risks and how to improve processes. It is really great, and will serve your whole community well.

Regarding the fecal testing of e coli 0157, if I may offer a bit of feedback, I would suggest that you seek additional input on the implications of this kind of testing from a qualified veterinarian perspective, as well as just public health. I'm concerned that the information you received from public health is incomplete.

Mark McAfee may be able to put you in touch will some excellent veterinarians who have extensive experience in this area, and who are not "anti-raw milk." We have personally benefited greatly from this kind of input on our own farm.
Best to you, Shawna

McBee's picture

Dr. As David said if you have info on how to reduce this risk I would much apriciate it. I will change my wording in future post to reflect the fact it may be impossible to eradicate 157:h7 but If the health department has positive samples in a manure test (I have asked for their test but have not seen them yet) and that is what contaminated milk to make kids sick then that would reason to say it Is in a cow not the wild animals or pets. From my understanding different cows will shed each month but you will have at least one persistent shedder cow that will shed all the time. She would be the "sick cow" once removed the others will shed it and then have to pick it up from somewhere else (as you say threw other animals or water). Maybe this does not eradicate it off the farm but it should show it to now be in the cows. The pecistant shedder cow will test positive every time. (Making this strain easier to find in stool rather than in milk ?)

DrCatBerge's picture

Dear McBee. I wish it was that simple. But bacteria are not proprietary to an animal. They can be seen as passengers on a bus, they come and go. Some are regulars, some are sporadic. Some use other methods of transportation. Some hang out in pools... that is their favorite Residence, other camp out in manure, feed or take a ride on a car wheel or your hands. The key is to realize that you can not just test and when you have all negative results, that you are somehow safe and free. The supershedders are a problem, but the ecology of the bacteria is not simply explained by the existence of a supershedder.
Kind regards,
Cat.

Shawna Barr's picture

Dr. Cat, if a super-shedder were identified, does that warrant culling that animal? And, if a cow is a super-shedder, would she present in other visible ways, such as poor body condition, etc?

McBee, I asked Dr. Cat a similar question some months back, hoping to eliminate or greatly reduce our risk of ecoli 0157 contamination by screening my herd (which is very small). I was disappointed with her answer, but am still very glad to understand the science better.

The RAMP plan as recommended by RAWMI is a holistic plan. It doesn't address just one thing. Rather, its starts by assessing the various potential risks on YOUR specific farm, and then building your management plan around those issues. It is highly individualize. Before you can do that though, you need to understand some basic bacteriology, so you are definitely asking the right questions!

If you want to talk a look as how the various RAWMI producers have assessed and minimized their risks, take a look at the rawmilkinstitute.net website. Under listed farms, each farm's plan is available for public view.

As Mark said in another post, this is a process in which we never stop learning. Especially when you consider that producing low-risk raw milk is only ONE of our goals. (Albeit an importatn one..) We are also concerned about animal welfare, land stewardship, ethics, producing nutritious milk, caring well for our communities, relocalizing our food supply, and all of that. I love the challenge, and find it extremely satisfying. We too have had and will have again...challenges. That is part of the journey. So just keep on Marcie! We are with you, and learning right beside you. And thank you Dr. Cat. You are the best.

rawmilkmike's picture

"We are also concerned about animal welfare, land stewardship, ethics, producing nutritious milk, caring well for our communities, relocalizing our food supply, and all of that." Right on Shawna

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary McGonigle-Sun, 11/24/2013, Renal impairment may be acute or chronic - both of which can result in problems with medications. Did you know diarrhea was a listed side-effects on many vaccines? Actually it was called acute renal failure(ARF), now it's called acute kidney injury(AKI).
http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/drug-prescribing-in-renal-impairment

Considering all the procedures a child with HUS can be subjected to it is quite possible that some form of antibiotic could become necessary at some point. But that doesn't make them safe, even while the child is on 24 hour dialysis and dialysis is only required in 50% of HUS cases. Antibiotics are not safe as long as the E coli is still active.
…...............................................................
Dehydration in sick children is often a combination of refusing to eat or drink anything and losing fluid from vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Infants and children are more likely to become dehydrated than adults because they weigh less and their bodies turn over water and electrolytes more quickly.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001977/

Just because a child is hospitalized doesn't mean the child has HUS.
Children with a typical presentation of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting should be hospitalized. This can expedite evaluation, and maintenance of intravascular volume, and thus possibly decrease the risk of complications and the risk of transmission.
https://online.epocrates.com/u/2941470/Hemolytic+uremic+syndrome/Treatme...

Some medications are nephrotoxic, which means that they have an elevated risk for harming the kidneys. In the worst case, the drug causes kidney failure, while in other cases, the kidneys are damaged, but don't fail. The most common nephrotoxic drugs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), some antibiotics, some painkillers, and radiocontrast dye used for some imaging procedures. 
Most forms of penicilllin as well as all antibiotics that are cephalosporins may be harmful to the kidneys. In addition, if the kidneys are already weak, some antibiotics can harm them further, such as nitrofurantoin.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/122346-medicines-can-cause-kidney-damage/
http://doctorsumeet.blogspot.com/2010/09/antibiotics-and-kidney-disease....
http://www.stepbystep.com/how-to-prevent-kidney-damage-from-antibiotics-...
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Common+antibiotic+linked+kidney+damag...

HUS, a disease that destroys red blood cells, is the most common cause of sudden, short-term-acute-kidney failure in children. Although HUS can cause serious complications and can even be life threatening, most children who develop HUS recover without permanent damage to their health.
http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/hemolyti...

The evaluation of kidney failure is challenging, despite many advances in diagnosis and treatment over the past decade. ...Thus, the best strategy for the combined use of these indices remains unclear. It has been suggested that the so-called kidney failure index (KFI) (urine sodium divided by the urinetoplasma creatinine ratio) be used to differentiate the four categories of ARF...
http://pednephrology.stanford.edu/documents/2%20Kidney%20Failure%20Peds%...

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

I'm a little bit at a loss Mike. Are you trying to educate me about HUS and the kidneys?

rawmilkmike's picture

Yes

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Let me get this straight. I spent two months in the hospital with my son who suffered from HUS and you are going to look stuff up on the computer and educate me about HUS?

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Mike, how many doctors do you think treated Chris while he was hospitalized? How many were on the team?

rawmilkmike's picture

Car dealers have many salesmen on their teem. Caveat Emptor [Latin, Let the buyer beware.] A warning that notifies a buyer that the goods he or she is buying are "as is," or subject to all defects.
Specific treatment for HUS will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
3. Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
4. Expectations for the course of the condition
5. Your opinion or preference
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90...

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

Well Mike, when one of your children is in the hospital suffering from HUS, since you are an expert now on the subject, you can tell the doctors not to use any antibiotics even if his/her body is filled with lines (high infection rate) or needs surgeries (even higher infection rate). We wouldn't want any used car dealer doctors messing with your expert knowledge base.

And when it comes time for a blood transfusion you can reject the offer also and see how fast your son or daughter dies.

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture

If you are going to quote articles, you should quote the whole thing.

How can hemolytic uremic syndrome be prevented?

Completely cooking all foods that may contain hamburger meat can prevent HUS that is caused by E. coli. Other possible sources of E. coli include unpasteurized juices or milk.

D. Smith's picture

E-coli is present in a lot of places, but another possible place children might get it is from swimming pools. Encourage your children NOT to swallow the water in a pool. This can happen in public pools or those little plastic pools in your own backyard. Bacteria are not very picky. The scientific truth on bacteria like e-coli isn't final now and probably never will be, because it's constantly evolving. I think the system lets us down by narrowing the field & constantly targeting raw milk. Mike is right about one thing - doctors hear "raw milk" and they automatically stop their search right there. Talk about biased!

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, Just think about it. There is no proof that “Completely cooking all foods ” will prevent HUS. This is pure speculation and it doesn't have to be. If they really wanted to know if “Completely cooking all foods ” would really prevent HUS they would have done a study. And we'd all know about it.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, even a salesman tells the truth sometimes.

"Completely cooking all foods that may contain hamburger meat can prevent HUS that is caused by E.Coli. Other possible sources of E.Coli include unpasteurized juices or milk".

And raw spinach, green onions (or was that Salmonella?), lettuce, and numerous other foods.
Basically, we need to cook everything we consume, which kills many of the nutrients and renders certain vegetables very unpalatable.
Years ago, when I was still ignorant about industrial ag, my reaction to a child dying from eating (industrial) contaminated raw spinach was "Why didn't the parent cook it? Why would someone feed raw spinach to a small child?" DUH.

Happily, I've become a little more intelligent! Unfortunately, it appears that many other people haven't yet moved past that stage.

It's very interesting reading all this information about E.Coli, and I'm getting the impression that some of these illnesses may stem from our increasingly bacterially-deprived immune systems.

rawmilkmike's picture

Mary, We don't blame you for trusting your doctor. Most of us have done it at some time or other. But once you chose to vaccinate your child and take them to the doctor when they get diarrhea and then allow doctors to fill them with lines, the question of antibiotics and blood transfusions really becomes moot.

rawmilkmike's picture

As lousy as internet information can be, it is still better than the information you get from the dealership. You can't ask Ronald McDonald if a whopper is better than a big mac.

rawmilkmike's picture

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 48 million illnesses,
128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually due to foodborne illness in the US (Scallan et al,
2011). Approximately 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year.
http://www.pma.com/system/files/Epidemiology%20-%20Part%201.pdf
At that rate any group of 900 people should have 12.5 cases of “foodborne illness” each month just to be average. And since 10% of all STEC cases in the U.S. progress to HUS any group of 900 people should have 1.25 cases of HUS each and every month!!!
….............................................
That means if any cow share with 900 people has less than 1.25 cases of HUS each month, their raw milk is preventing HUS not causing it. Someone please check my math.

rawmilkmike's picture

Is there any cow share with a safety record that bad? Isn't this “Epidemiological”evidence that it is unsafe to “not” drink raw milk regardless of the raw milk's quality?