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News for February 27, 2011

How Dangerous Is Raw Milk vs Common Pharmaceuticals, Obesity, Auto Travel? Judge Gets New Perspective on Dairy

Our politicians and policy makers are amazingly adept at creating scapegoats so as to avoid dealing with real problems that might affect entrenched interests.

The ongoing Wisconsin protests are a case in point. The governor, Scott Walker, has made public workers the scapegoats in the state's budget crisis, and is using them as an excuse to eliminate key union bargaining rights. The real problem in Wisconsin is much the same as the national debt challenge: we have become addicted to spending more than we take in, and aren't willing to accept the idea that we need broad sacrifices across the board to even begin to think about getting back on track. The entrenched interests, be they governors who hand out patronage jobs or corporations benefiting from regulatory favoritism, aren't willing to make sacrifices.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Vermont's Raw Dairy Farmers Are Doing a Booming Business, and We Don't Even Know Half the Story

It's kind of amazing, when you think about it, that we're still debating--as Milky Way and Ken Conrad were, following my previous post--whether milk comes through a cow's udder sterile or having picked up certain beneficial bacteria.

Our government and public health research establishment are so committed to eliminating raw dairy from the public consciousness that they wouldn't consider exploring raw milk's probiotic nature and dynamics. They wouldn't, after all, want to find positive news.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

The Power of Numbers in the War Over Raw Dairy--How the CDC Came to Admit a Death Wasn't Categorized Correctly

In this age of the Internet, it's amazing how quickly certain statistics can catch on.

Take the statistic I came up with in my Feb. 11 post, after having assessed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control--that there have been on average 39 illnesses from raw milk cheese between 2000 and 2008. It's the first time I'm aware of that anyone has presented the data that way.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Dairy producers gather for lobby day

About 65 dairy producers and industry representatives made their way to St. Paul Feb. 15 for the 10th annual Minnesota Milk lobby day.

The dairy producers met with more than 50 lawmakers from both urban and rural parts of the state.

READ MORE (AgriNews) ]

Raw milk debate simmers as states, FDA mull rules

Clifford Hatch cares for about 20 cows at his family-run farm, producing fresh raw milk that is at the center of controversy over its sale and safety.

Hatch sells raw, or unpasteurized, milk products from a retail shop at his dairy farm, which state regulations allow him to do because the business is located on the same property where his Ayrshire cattle are milked.

READ MORE (Reuters) ]

My View: Raw milk is good for us

My favorite desert as a child was rich, thick, lumpy yellow cream, on top of chocolate cake. Nothing was better. Years later, I learned that I was actually eating colostrum.

My family drank raw milk, until I went to college. We never missed school due to illness. Two of my brothers had perfect attendance records. Due to a work accident, I missed one half day. I saw, firsthand, the benefits of raw milk. I also learned that you don’t drink sour milk. That’s the only litmus I need, to determine if milk is bad.

READ MORE (Free Press) ]

New State Raw Milk Association Formed

Supporters of the recent effort to legalize the sales of unpasteurized milk in Wisconsin have formed a new group to help advance their cause. The Wisconsin Raw Milk Association is made up of consumers, dairy producers and other farmers committed to changing the current raw milk laws in the Dairy State.

Organizers say the purpose of the organization is to work with lawmakers to pass new rules to allow the sale of raw milk and raw milk products. Current law only allows the on-farm sale of raw milk on an incidental basis.

READ MORE (WI Ag Connection) ]

FDA uses flawed analysis to target raw milk cheese

A recent raw cheese study put out by product liability firm Marler Clark has generated a stir in the mainstream media. According to the report, documented cases of foodborne illness due to raw cheese consumption have risen in recent years, which has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider altering guidelines for raw cheese production. But what the report fails to explain is that illness cases from pasteurized cheeses are nearly the same as they are for raw cheeses throughout the past several decades, and that the supposed "rise" in illness cases from raw cheese is really more of a statistical manipulation than actual fact.

A recent Grist report on the matter explains that, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the 26 years between 1973 and 1999, there was not a single reported case of illness from either raw milk or pasteurized milk cheeses. Only in the last decade has there been an increase in both cases, with raw cheese illness cases slightly surpassing pasteurized cheese illness cases.

READ MORE (Natural News) ]

Inspectors won't pursue raw milk farm during court battle

Health inspectors won't launch any new crackdown of a controversial Chilliwack dairy farm while its founder pursues a court challenge that aims to legalize consumption of raw milk.

Alice Jongerden appeared in B.C. Supreme Court Feb. 18 to try to overturn a March 2010 court order that barred her from producing and packaging unpasteurized dairy products.

READ MORE (Cloverdale Reporter) ]

Michael Schmidt: A Modern Day Canadian Hero (Our Raw Milk and Food Freedom Advocate)

Slow Food Edmonton hosted an Evening with Michael Schmidt at the downtown Edmonton Public Library last night and this is an accounting of that evening. Dear readers, you are aware that while I have been known to write lengthy posts, they are not politically charged. This one is. Please read every word.

Where ever you are in the world, what you eat and your right to eat it is critical to the quality of your life.

READ MORE (Acadian Foodie) ]

From Food Crisis to Food Sovereignty: The Challenge of Social Movements

The current global food crisis—decades in the making—is a crushing indictment against capitalist agriculture and the corporate monopolies that dominate the world’s food systems. The role of the industrial agrifood complex in creating the crisis (through the monopolization of input industries, industrial farming, processing, and retailing) and the self-serving neoliberal solutions proposed by the world’s multilateral institutions and leading industrial countries are being met with skepticism, disillusion, and indifference by a general public more concerned with the global economic downturn than with the food crisis. Neoliberal retrenchment has met growing resistance by those most affected by the crisis—the world’s smallholder farmers.

Solutions to the food crisis advanced by the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and mega-philanthropy, propose accelerating the spread of biotechnology, reviving the Green Revolution, reintroducing the conditional lending of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and recentralizing the now fragmented power of the World Trade Organization (WTO) by concluding the Doha “Development Round” of trade negotiations. These institutions have a mandate from capital to mitigate hunger, defuse social unrest, and reduce the overall numbers of peasant producers worldwide—without introducing any substantive changes to the structure of the world’s food systems. Their neoliberal strategies are in stark contrast to the proposals for ecological approaches to agriculture (agroecology) and food sovereignty advanced by farmer federations and civil society organizations worldwide that instead seek to transform food systems. Clashes and declarations of protest at recent summits in Rome, Hokkaido, and Madrid, the growing public resistance to the industrial agrifood complex, and the rise, spread, and political convergence of movements for agroecology, land reform, food justice, and food sovereignty, all indicate that the food crisis has become the focal point in a class struggle over the future of our food systems.

READ MORE (AlterNet) ]

USDA Approved Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Warnings of New Pathogen Discovered in Genetically Engineered Crops

Just two weeks before the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) fully deregulated Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa, a senior soil scientist alerted the department about a newly discovered, microscopic pathogen found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready corn and soy that researchers believe could be causing infertility in livestock and diseases in crops that could threaten the entire domestic food supply.

Dr. Don Huber, a plant pathologist and retired Purdue University professor, wrote in a letter to the USDA that the pathogen is new to science and appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals and probably humans.

READ MORE (TruthOut) ]

Monsanto Shifts ALL Liability to Farmers

Farmers like genetically modified (GM) crops because they can plant them, spray them with herbicide and then there is very little maintenance until harvest. Farmers who plant Monsanto's GM crops probably don't realize what they bargain for when they sign the Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement contract. One farmer reportedly 'went crazy' when he discovered the scope of the contract because it transfers ALL liability to the farmer or grower.

Here is the paragraph that defines Monsanto's limit of liability that shifts it to the farmer:

READ MORE (TruthOut) ]

Is Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide Causing Miscarriages in Animals?

As if the list of reasons to be wary of genetically engineered (GE) seeds wasn't long enough, preliminary research links Monsanto's Roundup herbicide to serious reproductive issues in animals.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds are genetically engineered to withstand a heavy dousing of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. But does anyone believe that all that extra Roundup use is a good idea? The chemical in Roundup is called glyphosate, and Don M. Huber, a plant pathologist who deals with protection against biological warfare, thinks there may be a link between glyphosate in feed and a new self-replicating, micro-fungal, virus-sized organism. The organism may be causing spontaneous abortions and infertility in livestock. In addition, it may be linked to plant disease.





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