News for November 12, 2010
Edmonton farmers scramble to fix unpasteurized dairy business
Edmonton area farmers are scrambling to restructure an unpasteurized dairy business after a prominent raw milk advocate withdrew support this week.
On Monday, Ontarian farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt was in front of Alberta legislature, championing unpasteurized milk -- which is currently illegal in Canada -- as safe and healthier than pasteurized milk products sold in grocery stores.
[ READ MORE (Edmonton Journal) ]
CDC finds E coli outbreak strain in cheese
Lab studies have found Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Gouda cheese implicated in a five-state outbreak that has sickened eight more people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday.
E coli matching the outbreak strain was found in samples from two opened packages from two different patients' homes, and preliminary tests from an unopened package from a Costco store were positive for E coli O157:H7, the CDC said. Also, tests on samples from opened packages from two more patients revealed E coli O157:H7, and more tests are under way to confirm the findings.
[ READ MORE (CIDRAP) ]
Are Raw-Milk Cheeses Safe?
Are raw-milk cheeses healthful? Recent findings of Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes Listeria, in cheeses from Montesano, Washington's Estrella Family Creamery in Missouri's Morningland Dairy unequivocally suggest the contrary. Both dairies, which were inspected by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) officials within the past few months, are going to have a particularly hard time defending their raw-milk cheeses, especially since it's just the latest raw-milk scare. Just last week, health officials found 25 E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to Bravo Farms' raw-milk Gouda being sold at Costco stores in Colorado.
When it comes to raw-milk, the conflict between cheesemakers and the FDA is not new. Many cheesemakers view the FDA as an organization of government officials with little or no experience on dairies. Sunday, the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project released a series of cheesemakers' reactions to the recent recalls of raw-milk cheese. One of them states, anonymously, of course, "I am concerned about any potential surprise investigations, because the investigators usually don't have any experience with farms at all," the cheesemaker told the Cheese Project. "The ones who recently visited here had never even been on a farm before; not a good thing in my opinion." Apart from revealing the incompetence of the FDA, their anonymous responses indicate that the health risks do not involve raw-milk, on its own.
[ READ MORE (Slash Food) ]
Coalition Pushes for Amendment to Controversial Senate Food Safety Bill
Over 125 national, state, and grassroots organizations are notifying members of the United States Senate that an amendment proposed by Sen. Jon Tester (MT) and Sen. Kay Hagan (NC), is critical to ensuring that the food safety bill being considered by the Senate does not injure the livelihoods of family-scale farmers and undercut consumers' opportunity to find fresh, local farm produce and locally artisan food products, like jams and jellies.
"Consumers are voting in rapidly increasing numbers to opt-out of the industrial food system by patronizing farmers markets, CSAs, food cooperatives and other portals for local, sustainable and organic food in their communities," said Mark A. Kastel, senior farm policy analyst for the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute.
[ READ MORE (Common Dreams) ]
FDA Caught Hiding The Truth About GMO Salmon
The Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently revealed a document that proves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration knowingly withheld vital information during recent hearings regarding the approval of GMO salmon.
The Biological Opinon, created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2003, provides conclusive evidence that genetically modified (GMO) salmon pose a serious threat to endangered Atlantic salmon if accidentally released into the wild.
[ READ MORE (Care2) ]