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Raw milk stopped

An organic foods business has stopped storing raw milk after health authorities launched a court action.

By Matthew Claxton, Langley Advance | Canada.com

A Port Kells-based business no longer has any controversial raw milk in its refrigerators. Ladybug Organics, an organic produce store founded by Langley residents, had acted as a sort of distribution hub for the Home on the Range raw dairy in Chilliwack.

Nigel Brownson of Ladybug said his firm never sold the milk, yogurt, cheese or other products for Home on the Range. They simply put aside space in their fridges for the milk. "People just come here and pick up their milk," said Brownson.

Brownson said money didn't change hands between Home on the Range and Ladybug Organics. Ladybug didn't sell the milk, because Home on the Range supplies its products to people who have bought shares in the dairy's 20 cows.

Ladybug liked the deal because it brought in potential customers who would often pick up a few other items while getting their milk. However, since a cease and desist order was issued by Fraser Health for alleged violations by Home on the Range of the Public Health Act, Ladybug has emptied its refrigerator.

Brownson said all the milk has been gone for some time now. On Tuesday, the provincial government announced that three locations in Vancouver and North Vancouver that had distributed Home on the Range products had been subjected to testing. Five samples were found to be contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Selling unpasteurized milk is illegal in Canada. The milk can contain harmful bacteria which can make people ill, including salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. Its advocates maintain unpasteurized milk has beneficial bacteria, as well as more vitamins and minerals.

Home on the Range is appealing the cease-and-desist order. Ladybug Organics was founded in the Windsong Cohousing development in Walnut Grove.

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