An uproar has spread like wild fire through the blogosphere regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on interstate transport of raw milk. The FDA — the same agency unable to protect consumers from salmonella, E. coli, toxic residues, genetically modified foods, pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals like copper, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and a host of other food toxins — in its infinite wisdom, believes consumers have no inherent right to choose the food they eat.
In February, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, an organization that defends the rights and freedoms of family farms and consumers, challenged the FDA’s ruling on behalf of raw milk consumers in half a dozen states. Their suit maintains that the FDA’s actions are unconstitutional.
Since laws regarding raw milk vary from state to state, raw milk buying clubs have formed in a populous effort to buy from states where raw milk sales are permitted to out-of-state consumers, or in states where it’s illegal to sell raw milk at the supermarket.
Buyers clubs enable members to make bulk pickups and deliveries while saving time and gas. In Massachusetts, for example, raw milk can only be sold on the farms where it’s produced.
In its 30-page rebuttal to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s suit, among the litany of madness Orwellian FDA lawyers pronounced in their brief was that “There is no generalized right to bodily and physical health…There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to food of all kinds…[and] There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular kind of food.”
You may recall that also in February, the FDA sent a Warning Letter to the president and CEO of Diamond Foods claiming the company’s walnuts were drug products in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA came to this conclusion because the company suggested walnuts are beneficial to human health.
Difference Between Raw Milk and Pasteurized Milk
Pasteurization sterilizes foods at a temperature (for milk of 161 degrees Fahrenheit) that destroys harmful microorganisms. The process was first used in the United States in the 1890s. In the 1920s, the U.S. Government mandated pasteurization because of the perceived impossibility of harvesting milk free of bacteria. Although raw milk can become contaminated, many claim the dangers of raw milk are exaggerated.
Since pasteurizing milk is a sterilization process that kills bacteria, key vitamins and minerals are also destroyed via the same process. Pasteurized milk modifies fragile milk proteins, kills beneficial bacteria, and has been linked to lactose intolerance, allergies, asthma, gastro-Intestinal problems, diabetes, auto-Immune disease, and attention deficit disorder.
Considering that raw milk from an array of animals has been consumed for thousands of years, if drinking raw milk was deadly, “all those dairy-loving primitive cultures would have died out long ago.”
In her article “More About Raw Milk”, Sally Fallon, V.P. of the Weston-Price Foundation says, “All outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades — and there have been many — have occurred in pasteurized milk.” Fallen adds that even the 1985 Illinois outbreak affecting 14,316 people, contained a salmonella strain in pasteurized milk that was genetically resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline.
Grass Roots Revolt Brewing Against Raw Milk Laws
As Mike Adams with Natural News points out, “The real reason why the FDA opposes raw milk is because Big Dairy opposes raw milk. Just like Big Pharma, Big Dairy has worked very hard behind the scenes to steer FDA policy in its favor. And according to some recent reports, Big Dairy is one of the primary forces trying to eliminate raw milk because it threatens the commercial milk business.”
Adams claims that Scott Soares, a Massachusetts legislator who is friends with the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Commissioner, held a preliminary meeting in advance of a May 10th proposal hearing to discuss cease-and-desist letters sent to four Massachusetts raw milk buying clubs. Fifteen consumers and farmers of raw milk showed up to challenge Soares, who revealed to them that large dairy producers had contacted him to push for raw milk restrictions.
But activists are fighting back. Winton Pitcoff, coordinator of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Raw Milk Network, told South Coast Today, “No regulatory agency should have any authority over the milk anymore once it leaves the farm because it belongs to me. If I want to pick it up myself and bring it home, that’s fine. If I want to ask someone to pick it up for me, that should be allowed as well. That is allowed under contract law.”
And because of pressure from organizations like Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts and the national Organic Consumers Association, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources announced on its website that it was striking the new language specifically barring people from selling or distributing raw milk off a farm, in advance of a hearing on all of the proposed changes.
FDA Serve as Corporate Henchmen
While the FDA engages in its fear campaign against raw milk on behalf of Big Dairy, the agency looks the other way by allowing milk from Monsant’s (rBGH/rBST) recombinant bovine growth hormone in cows not to be labeled as such, despite research showing levels of “insulin-like growth factor-1″ (IFG-1) are elevated in dairy products produced from cows treated with rBGH. Numerous studies now demonstrate that IGF-1 is an important factor in the growth of cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. It’s safe to drink carcinogenic milk, but not raw milk.
So what we have here, says Adams with Natural News, is a classic case of a large and powerful industry pushing government regulators to outlaw competing products so that it can monopolize the dairy market. It’s the same thing that Big Pharma does in getting the FDA to destroy nutritional supplement companies. But now it’s happening with raw milk, too.
The FDA merely serves as a hired hand employed by corporate thugs to proclaim raw milk contraband and prohibit its transport across state lines, as if a natural product from cows was moonshine.
What You Can Do
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has introduced HR 778, a bill that would end all federal restrictions on interstate traffic of raw milk. You can read the entire bill here.
Additionally, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) has a petition page where you can contact your Congressmen and urge support for HR 778. You can even ask your Senators to cosponsor it. Please support this effort by signing this online petition.