Raw Milk

The deaths keep coming from pasteurized dairy products. In 2007, it was three deaths (and a miscarriage) from tainted pasteurized milk in Massachusetts. Last year, it was two deaths, one in Wisconsin and another in Delaware (along with at least one miscarriage), from bad pasteurized cheese.

I fought the law and the law won, I fought the law and the law won.”

As he reports in a comment following my previous  blog post,  Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. sent a letter to Pat Kennelly, food safety chief at the California Department of Public Health, expressing upset about the agency’s press release related to possible raw milk illnesses. According to the letter, “When Claravale was shut down two weeks ago, CA DPH published a Press Release that warned consumers against consumption of any raw milk.

Last week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that raw milk from Claravale Dairy had tested positive for campylobacter, forced a recall of all its milk, and quarantined the dairy. 

I had the good fortune to spend last week in the Florida sunshine, far from the igloo that is New England. It was an opportunity not just to luxuriate in the warmth of 80-degree sunshine, but also to do some catching up on recent food-related news developments. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has become something like those obnoxious relatives many of us have, and whom we don’t want around, not just on Thanksgiving, but any time.  

Last month, while visiting at a small ag and liberal arts school in upstate New York to give a talk, I got to tour its well-run conventional dairy of more than 300 cows (and a 5,000-gallon bulk tank—pictured at left).

Around the country, signs are mounting of a growing refusal by law enforcement officials to mount legal actions against small producers of raw milk.

It’s been more than a year since the FDA announced a year-long “pilot program” to examine 1600 samples from producers of raw milk cheese, to check for the presence of pathogens. 

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