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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


D. Smith's picture

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

Fear sells. Right or wrong, fear is the best tactic to get something accomplished. It's been a corporate tool for some time. The witnesses who testify at these hearings should appear there of their own accord, not as the "guest" of the corporate accusers. That should be part of the documented paperwork - "Paid witnesses" testified to this or that. The people who come to testify to the goodness of fresh raw milk certainly won't be "paid" to be there, and neither should they. You can pay someone to say anything. Money talks just about as loudly as fear.

mark mcafee's picture

Battle of the body bags!! Great one David.

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

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

I already dropped off the FDA citizens petition to Kinkos for copies. The two FDA Raw Milk CFR 1240.61 Citizens Petition copies will be 1000 pages thick when they are delivered to Congressman Tom McClintock's 434 Canon HOB offices next week. I already spoke to the staff that is responsible for this bill and they are very excited to recieve this much needed information about the FDA and their lack of action on this issue.

This is a worthy war...one that will expose the dogma and far worse. It will expose the true cost of conventional dairymans lives lost by commodity price systems and the 9 kids per day that die from Asthma. This will be PARSIFAL, PASTURE, GABRIELA verses FDA Sheehan Roulette. This will be low risk clean RAWMI LISTED dairy raw milk against dirty dead milk that has been identified as the most allergic food in America and non digestible by dollar voters with gas cramps.

Bring it on...baby.

I can not wait to buy my airline tickets for this hearing set. The raw milk truth is about to step in front of the FDA Tiananmen square tank. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/may/29/tiananmen-square-deaths-bei...

The wrath of the frustrated raw moms just needs a place to vent... a congressional hearing is just the place!!!

I still do not think that the FDA has the guts to show up. There is far to much to lose. What about ROOS cheeses and their three deaths...what about Craven brothers 3 deaths ( and the 7 month wait for the recall ????!!! ) what about Whittier brothers 3 deaths and the 4 month wait for the recall and shut down( all pasteurized dairy products ). Some guarantee of safety??
Show me one death from any USA raw milk since 1972....show me just one body bag that was confirmed to be from raw milk..just one. There are none according to the CDC. Not one.
This is good ugly. Can not wait to show up, stand up and speak up!

Raw milk sales will rage after all of this good ugly.

David Gumpert's picture

Mark, if this House committee is serious about its work here, it can force FDA people to show up. Congress has subpoena power of the executive branch--that's why you see the secretary of state, head of the Federal Reserve, and other such power types testifying before Congress. This committee can subpoena not just John Sheehan, but Margaret Hamburg (head of the FDA) or even Kathleen Sebelius (head of Health and Human Services, which controls FDA) and ask them why the FDA has come down so forcefully against raw milk, how it influences states like Wisconsin, Illinois, and South Dakota to work against any loosening of raw milk availability, and other such questions many of us have long wondered about. 

It all depends on if the committee decides to consider the "Milk Freedom" legislation seriously. The FDA has lots of friends in high places on these committees, and the dairy industry has even more such friends. 

D. Smith's picture

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

Products can rarely be totally eliminated from the market. To Wit: the war on guns or drugs. There are always members of the corporate and political *classes* ready to conflate and then vilify a product, try to restrict the freedom to have it, all the while planning to profit from it themselves - somehow.

David Gumpert's picture

D, I don't think they will be spinning the same old numbers. They'll have a few moms up there telling very sad stories, partly intended to avoid dealing with the numbers. You see, a few very sad stories pull at the heartstrings and distract people who aren't very informed from the facts--in this case, the fact is that raw milk doesn't present anything approaching a public health problem justifying restricting its availability.  Fearmongering doesn't depend on statistics, it depends on hyperbole (including taking data out of context) and skillful use of scary stories. However, fearmongering can be countered, and I am encouraging raw milk proponents to develop ways to counter the fear....in a proactive way rather than a reactive way.  Unfortunately, too many raw milk advocates don't want to confront this reality. I'm not sure if the sad stories scare them or make them so uncomfortable that they'd rather avoid them, hoping they will go away. They won't go away, so long as they are working for the opposition. 

D. Smith's picture

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

I don't really think raw milk drinkers are scared or uncomfortable about the issue of raw milk advocacy, but in the face of the court system I think they worry they'll be tricked into saying something which will be twisted into something entirely different, i.e., as you say "taking data out of context". Most people, in truth, are not very comfortable in court, even as a spectator. But you and I, for instance, we're raw milk drinkers who wouldn't hestitate to get up and say our piece in a bold manner because we know exactly how we feel and have no qualms about rah-rahing for raw milk. And, as Mark often says, just get a few young Mom's together with their brimmingly healthy kids and have some judge tell them that pasteurized milk is the only choice they have . . .

David Gumpert's picture

I don't mean to suggest that raw milk moms (and others) shouldn't tell their stories about how raw milk helped heal. They definitely should, and the more the merrier. Those stories definitely help in the education process, and help counter the fear mongering. I think we need more than that, however. Part of what we need is a rational interpretation of the CDC studies and statistics, to tease out the real data, on a comparative basis, from the propagandizing that has gone on. Another part of what we need is convincing evidence that all foods present a risk of making both kids and adults very sick, and that this includes everything from pasteurized milk to cantaloupe to peanut butter to hamburgers. 

Ora Moose's picture

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


Oh wait, what day is today??

mark mcafee's picture

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

So this may be a pure "food freedom act" and not a true joust to the torso of the core of the FDA food safety regulators. I will speak with the staff at McClintocks office and find out if they want a real battle for change or just a little political distraction or dramatic media skirmish. If they want real change, they will call for hearings and demand the appearance of key players....

We at RAWMI have not been contacted....that is a sign that this is about food freedom and not a true battle of standards or data about safety. The number of people near the top of the raw milk food safety community are few. We will see if this battle can make that turn and evolve into a real fight. The hard data, emerging markets, pasteurized milk dangers, and soilid raw milk standards is where we win!!

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

ingvar's picture

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

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

mark mcafee's picture

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

D. Smith's picture

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

Probably only those people who had a compelling reason and actually sifted through the records/data provided by the CDC even know about those deaths and illnesses. You can be sure it's not common knowledge on the street like the scare tactics used against raw milk. That's because there IS no raw milk cartel with oodles of money to pay people to speak up in favor of raw milk and to talk about its goodness and health properties.

True, D Smith ... "money doesn't talk, it swears" ... and practitioners of the black arts in the Cult of the Black Robe, are masters of its persuasive power. The most insulting illustration of their double-minded-ness being = the Keeper of the One-Trick Pony, whose rants you'll see on this forum, relentlessly merchandising her tale of woe, now 8 years (?) later from the incident.
... Supposedly the deal she made with Organic Pastures Dairy as to its liability for harms suffered by her son - never proven, mind you - required her to keep her mouth shut. But the minute the cheque cleared the bank, she reneged on that agreement ... going coast-to-coast bad-mouthing REAL MILK wherever she could find a listening ear ... all on the Dairy Cartel's credit cards, of course.

ingvar's picture

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

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

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

Well documented and useful abstracts from Journal American Medical Association:

Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized milk

C. A. Ryan et al., JAMA. Vol. 258 No. 22, December 11, 1987
Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.
Two waves of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella typhimurium infections in Illinois totaling over 16 000 culture-confirmed cases were traced to two brands of pasteurized 2% milk produced by a single dairy plant. Salmonellosis was associated with taking antimicrobials before onset of illness. Two surveys to determine the number of persons who were actually affected yielded estimates of 168,791 and 197,581 persons, making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in the United States. The epidemic strain was easily identified because it had a rare antimicrobial resistance pattern and a highly unusual plasmid profile; study of stored isolates showed it had caused clusters of salmonellosis during the previous ten months that may have been related to the same plant, suggesting that the strain had persisted in the plant and repeatedly contaminated milk after pasteurization.

Outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes Infections Associated with Pasteurized Milk from a Local Dairy – Massachusetts, 2007
From CDC's MMWR:
On November 27, 2007, a local health officer in central Massachusetts contacted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to report listeriosis in a man aged 87 years. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) performed on the patient's Listeria monocytogenes isolate produced a pattern indistinguishable from that of isolates from three other cases identified in residents of central Massachusetts in June, October, and early November 2007. MDPH, in collaboration with local public health officials, conducted an investigation, which implicated pasteurized, flavored and nonflavored, fluid milk produced by a local dairy (dairy A) as the source of the outbreak. This report summarizes the results of that investigation. In all, five cases were identified, and three deaths occurred. This outbreak illustrates the potential for contamination of fluid milk products after pasteurization and the difficulty in detecting outbreaks of L. monocytogenes infections.


Sylvia Gibson's picture

California Farm Bureau oppose AB 2505

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

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

Sylvia Gibson's picture

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

Ken Conrad's picture

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

Indeed, “knowing the difference is an essential challenge of 21st century medicine”.
The greater challenge however, would be in acquiring a humble respect for those differences. Unfortunately, due to tptb’s narrow obsession with control there is a tendency to flip-flop from one “prejudice” to the next.

It has been said that rarely does the medical/drug industry discontinue using a dangerous drug unless it has another unproven and potentially dangerous one to replace it. So it is with prejudice in the psyche of those obsessed with control, for rarely is an established prejudice abandoned unless an equally narrow, and self-serving one is advanced to replace it.


"The brain directs all microbes. The immune system, traditionally imagined as a sort of army in the body fighting malignant cancerous cells and malignant microbes in a great battle, does not exist in this sense. Following instructions from the brain, the pathogenic microbes become benign apathogenic microbes and retreat into a part of the organism where they are no bother. They can be recalled only in the pcl phase and sent to and reactivated only in the specific organs. Possessed of our anti-bacteria, hygienic thinking, we have tried to stamp out these part-time workers of our organism. We have pushed TB back, but at the cost of preventing breast and intestinal tumours from being caseated by the little souring rods in the pcl phase, thus precluding the consequent tumour destruction. It has helped surgery and oncology, but is wrong biologically and medically."


The pcl phase of a disease is when the bacteria are actively repairing our organs. What is seen as an "infection" is actually the process of rebuilding organs . Symptoms of disease associated with an "infection" are actually the result of the elimination of extra or damaged cells. It is a housecleaning rather than an infection.

"The Ontogenetic System of Microbes

Dr. Hamer states that the biology of humans or animals is neither senseless nor without a system; there are no meaningless or random cancerous growths and no senseless or randomly occurring microbes. His research uncovered the following natural laws:

1. The division of microbes: fungi - bacteria - viruses - correspond to their phylogenetic age: the oldest are the fungi, then the bacteria and the phylogenetically youngest are the viruses.
2. The division of microbes conforms to the germ-layer-correspondence of the organs in which they function:

a) fungi and myco-bacteria work in the brain stem directed endodermal organs
b) the myco-bacteria and bacteria work in the mesodermal, cerebellar directed organs, and the bacteria work in the cerebral medullar directed mesodermal organs
* c) viruses work exclusively in the ectodermal organs directed by the cerebral cortex.

3. All microbes without exception become active exclusively in the second phase, the healing phase, starting with the conflicto-lysis (conflict resolution) and ending with the completion of the healing phase; they work neither before nor after. Before, they existed as a-pathogenic germs. During the healing phase, they can be considered virulent, and after the healing phase, as a-pathogenic germs again.

4. All microbes are more or less specialized, not only in view of the organs they work on, but also in the way and style in which they work.

a) Fungi and myco-bacteria are a destruction crew, i.e. they destroy brain stem directed tumours (adeno-carcinomas) and mesodermal, cerebellar directed tumours (adenoid-carcinomas); more precisely: they caseate tumours controlled by the old-brain starting at the moment of the conflicto-lysis (conflict resolution), if it happens.

During the normotonia, the conflict-active sympathicotonic phase and in the renewed normotonia (at the end of the healing phase), they are apathogenic, therefore harmless. In the same way, they are harmless for all other organs!

b) Bacteria function as clean-up workers for organs directed by the cerebellar-mesoderm and for mesodermal organs directed by the cerebral-medulla, i.e. they work on the entire mesodermal organ domain, but with differentiable function. They destroy the adenoidal tumours of the cerebellar mesoderm but they rebuild the cerebral-mesoderm (medulla) directed cellular melt down of organs such as necroses (osteolyses, etc. - suppurating-granulating-scarring). Their work also begins with conflicto-lysis (conflict resolution) and ends at the end of the healing phase, specifically with the beginning of the renewed normotonia.
c) Viruses are simply construction or reconstruction workers. They bring about significant swelling and re-fill the ulcers and cellular substance losses of organs directed by the cerebral cortex. Like the other microbes, they are only active during the healing phase. In the case of squamous epithelium ulcers, cures are brought about by viruses, as in tubular organs (i.e., bronchia, coronary arteries or coronary veins, branchial arch ducts of the neck, the milk ducts or intra-hepatic bile-ducts) and they become temporarily blocked by swelling. In principle, the same occurs, but less drastically without virus such as non-viral hepatitis.

5. Microbes, our helpers and companions, are directed by the brain. Microbes have worked for us, not against us, as faithful servants over umpteen billions of years of evolution."

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

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

These manifestations are in accordance with the rules of laterality. To be more precise, a right handed woman will respond with the left breast if she has a mother-child conflict or a daughter-mother conflict and will respond with the right breast if she has a partner conflict. Her partners include her life’s partner as in husband, a friend, her brother, sister, her father, or even her business partner. The opposite breast will be affected in a left handed woman.

We do not develop either intra-ductal or breast gland cancer without reason. The specific nature or feeling behind the conflict will determine precisely what brain location will receive the impact of the conflict-shock (DHS) and whether it will be the duct or the gland affected.

Breast gland cancer has to do with the woman’s nest in the sense that she has a "worry", "quarrel or argument" going on in her nest. The worry could be over a health concern of a loved one, or even being thrown out of the nest by her mother! The overall issue concerned however is really a separation from a loved one.

Milk duct cancer has quite specifically to do with the conflict of, "my child, mother, or partner has been torn from my breast!" Again it is a separation conflict and the rules of laterality also apply here."

If we separate the calf immediately after birth are we causing a conflict for the cow that will eventually result in an udder "infection" ? The udder "infection" would be in the healing phase after the conflict was resolved somehow. And what are the curds that we milk out of the udder during this healing phase? They must be extra or damaged mammary gland cells encased in milk protein .

Dr Hamer’s view of breast cancer is especially interesting to those of us now involved in the Campaign for REAL MILK, after having put in a stint on the front-lines of the ( so-called) “Pro-Life” thing. When we were vilified / brutalized / gaoled for warning + informing Ham-merica about the harms and sequelae of artificial abortion. Geerd Hamer, too, has been imprisoned for telling the Truth to a society in denial
The meta-alalysis by Joel Brind in 2000 proved everything necessary for understanding that the increase in breast cancer perfectly parallels availability of abortion-on-demand. Not only are our wives + sisters + daughters suffering for our national sin, the cattle in our fields are blighted by it.
... The genius, Geerd Hamer, explains why the mechanism of ripping unborn children out of their mother’s wombs [ by artificial abortion ] has the same result for mammary glands as taking calves away from their mothers immediately upon birth … one of the basic practices of CAFO dairying.
…But that’s not the end of the story … a diagnosis of breast cancer is not a death sentence. Dr Hamer explains what can be done about it