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News for January 29, 2011

Setting Its Own Standards: The Family Cow Gets a Positive Campylobacter Reading, and Shuts Down Raw Milk Sales

A little over a year ago, I described Edwin Shank's conversion of The Family Cow from feedlot to the East's largest raw dairy. It took more than three years, and required extraordinary commitment to producing high-quality nutrient-dense food.

I've communicated with Shank on and off since then, seeing him most recently last November, when he was a sponsor at the Weston A. Price Foundation's annual conference near Philadelphia. By then, an expanding part of his quality commitment had come to include safety, extending beyond what is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in its regulation of raw milk.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Why Not Try to Learn from Tragedies Involving Raw Milk? Because That Would Involve True Scientific Inquiry

There is lots not to like about the new web site about raw milk from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It is nearly totally one-sided in painting raw milk as dangerous. It is intellectually dishonest in not acknowledging large-scale journal-published research that demonstrates raw milk's health benefits in reducing the incidence of asthma and allergies in children. It seems to have a connection with a product liability law firm that has been using its clients' involvement in the site for its own promotion. On top of all that, it is taxpayer funded.

Ironically, when I watched the obvious site marquee--three videos of individuals who had been sickened, or had relatives sickened, by raw milk--I realized there could be something positive in the site, a teachable moment, as they say. The videos are difficult to watch because they are so sad and terrifying. And obviously, the CDC operatives want people to walk away from those videos feeling both teary-eyed and afraid, determined never ever to go anywhere near raw dairy products.

READ MORE (Complete Patient) ]

Raw Milk Vending Machines in Europe – What a Great Idea!

Italian Farmers have set up a country-wide system of raw milk vending machines you can see here on: and one of my favorite countries, Slovenia, on the other side of the Alps is also starting to set up raw milk vendors. Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands have started to install machines too.

Here’s one in Ljubliana, Slovenia. Thanks to: Lifeinluxembourg looks like these vending machines may be quietly taking over several European countries slowly but surely without us even realizing it. What a great enterprise for farmers, as they can obviously obtain more money selling milk this way than to the supermarkets.

READ MORE (Constant State of Flux) ]

More Raw Milk Bans Challenged

People who stretch or break raw milk laws in the U.S. and Canada often are more likely to emerge as folk heroes rather than outlaws. The recent cases involving Armand Bechard in Springfield, MO and Michael Schmidt in Ontario are examples.

In April 2009, undercover inspectors from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department saw Bechard's 17-year old and 21-year old daughters selling raw milk in a parking lot.

READ MORE (Before It's News) ]

Minn. lawmakers want to ease limits on raw milk sales

Three Republican state senators are proposing legislation to legalize most sales of raw milk in Minnesota.

The bill would permit direct farm-to-consumer sales of unpasteurized milk, including sales at farmers markets and at private homes. Current law allows sales of the product only at the farm which produced the milk.


Pop The Gate For Raw Milk Sales

Massachusetts allows raw milk sales at the farm. And "our raw milk farmers have proven, with an exemplary safety record that they deserve access to markets for their products," says Winton Pitcoff, coordinator of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association/Massachusetts Raw Milk Network.

But the group hopes to improve market access with recently introduced state legislation to allow licensed raw milk dairies to deliver raw milk to their customers. Senators and Representatives have until Feb. 4 to sign on "An Act relative to the distribution of raw milk," House Docket #02523.

READ MORE (American Agriculturalist) ]

Freedom from pasteurization

Stephen Hume proclaims in the Vancouver Sun today that he wouldn’t touch raw milk “with a 10-foot straw.” Nor would he eat it as cheese, bathe in it or otherwise bring himself anywhere near the substance. That’s because, Hume argues, the invention of pasteurization was the best thing since sliced bread.

Some of what he says is true. It removes potential disease that can be transmitted by raw milk, such as brucellosis, which is widespread in countries of the world where pasteurization is uncommon. In North America, human brucellosis cases have fallen by 97 per cent since pasteurization became standard.

READ MORE (National Post) ]

USDA Approves Genetically Engineered Alfalfa—Now What?

Farmers, guard your crop fields — yet another Frankenfood is poised to take root.

Yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will fully deregulate genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. Barring any intervention from President Obama, farmers will likely start planting Monsanto's Roundup Ready, GE alfalfa seeds this spring.





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