(EnviroNews California) – The battle over the safety of raw milk has been heating up over the past several years, and Organic Pastures Dairy Co. has been at the forefront of this food safety war, a war that they, and countless other Americans say, is nothing more than a big Federal Government, FDA-driven which-hunt that seeks to destroy small family farms, and eliminate a perfectly wholesome and healthy product.
In August of 2011, and in the wake of several other raids on organic farms, Rawsome Foods of Los Angeles made headlines around the nation and the world, when they were made to be an example for the second time, by a large, multi-agency S.W.A.T. force that with guns drawn, raided and busted Rawesome, and incarcerated owner James Stewart, along with Sharon Ann Palmer and Eugenie Victoria Bloch of Healthy Family Farms, LCC, in a story that definitively put the raw milk issue on the media map, well at least the non-mainstream media that is.
The overwhelming majority with whom we have conducted interviews on the subject matter, and who grew up in rural areas with the opportunity to consume quantities of FRESH-outta’-the-cow raw milk, will tell you that it is virtually impossible to miss the contrast in flavor experienced between pasteurized and unpasteurized product, and that a person could almost never mistake one for the other in a tasting test. Where pasteurized milk, has a bit of a thin, bland, slightly putrid, and bad-breath-inducing quality, raw milk on the other hand, has a quite thick, creamy, rich and sweet flavor, that undoubtedly has the ability to bring the tips of ones milk mustache in an upward pointing direction.
In addition to possessing an absolutely scrumptious attribute on behalf of the taste buds, milk, in it’s unadulterated form is said to possess immune enhancing properties, as well as a plethora of medicinal effects that raw-foodists and other health experts say are just not present after the life and enzyme-annihilating process of pasteurization has taken place. Raw advocates all but preach to the notion that the health-promoting, and preventative-medicine-like benefits of these delicious and unadulterated substances far outweigh the risk, while professing that raw milk, unlike it’s lifeless counterpart, is actually beneficial against allergies, asthma, certain immune disorders, and more. It is also well known, that many people who are lactose intolerant and can not stomach pasteurized/homogenized milk products without gastrointestinal upset, can tolerate raw milk without ill effects.
But, make no mistake about it, raw milk, and countless other raw products for that matter, can potentially make a person very ill under an undesirable bacterial circumstances, but does that mean the solution is to wage a war-like, nuclear-mentality-based genocide, against all living things, in all living foods, so that everything we take into our bodies is utterly dead, and completely devoid of all immune-enhancing and beneficial microbiologicals upon arrival?
Certainly, living in a consumer-based society there must be some sort of REAL food safety oversight right? So just where do we draw the line, and where is the balance in this equation, especially considering the fact that we continue to experience the Presidential appointment of outright “foxes to gaurd the henhouse” in our Federal regulatory agencies? One of the most blatant and most pertinent examples of this, is the recent appointment of ex-Monsanto executive Mike Taylor as the head of the FDA. If that is not a screaming conflict of interest foul, then what would be?
In the old days and before the widespread advent of pasteurization, it wasn’t uncommon to see bacterial poisoning from bad raw milk or other raw foods, but on that same front they didn’t have advanced and readily available microscopic testing capabilities, nor even transportation or refrigeration technologies like we have today. One would think it feasible that with todays techniques and technologies, and with a common sense oversight devoid of political or monetary motivations, that raw food, and raw milk should be able to be produced and delivered to consumers safely. But, raw food proponents claim that it is the regulatory bodies themselves, and namely the FDA that are running a corrupt agenda that aims not only to seek out and destroy raw milk and raw food farmers, but also small and organic family farms, in the name of their bought and payed for, big AG, big Pharma, and big GMO-laden agenda.
Organic Pastures Dairy Co., is the largest raw milk dairy in the United States, generating somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million dollars in revenue annually, and they willingly and openly demonstrate that they go far above and beyond the safety requirements for even raw food standards with “RAMP” (Risk Analysis & Management Program) and other evaluation efforts, performing 6 tests per day, while maintaining both in-house, and 3rd party off-site testing, for each and every batch of milk headed for the marketplace. Additionally, in a full disclaimer on their website, Organic Pastures Dairy fully acknowledges the fact that contaminated raw milk can be dangerous and has the potential to cause severe acute illnesses.
McAfee explained to us that it’s not typically the milk that poses any threat, but cow dung (and any accompanying dung-dust or dung particulate), and according to the CEO and raw food spokesman, the safety and anti-contamination measures observed by Organic Pastures Dairy Co. go far beyond even the most stringent of requirements, and they passionately maintain that when “responsibly produced”, raw milk causes little to no danger.
McAfee also claims that there has never been a reported death from raw milk in the United States since comprehensive record keeping on the matter began in the early 70’s, while it’s pasteurized counterpart has been the culprit behind 77 known deaths. McAfee also points to a case in 2006 where over 1,600 situations of gastrointestinal illness were reported due to the campylobacter bacteria in pasteurized milk in California State prison workers and inmates. Also noteworthy is how the case was apparently hushed up and swept under the rug, even mysteriously dodging a CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) press release.
It must be stated in regards to Organic Pastures Dairy Co., that in our research, we have discovered that the majority of the negatively-spun online media regarding the actual cases (as well as several unsubstantiated accusations) of quarantines and recalls, was put forth by one “news publication” that turns out to be the brainchild of one man, and not just any man, but a man who holds a very unique distinction. Food Safety News, founded by high-powered, and currently-practicing foodborne illness and food policy lawyer William Marler of the legal firm Marler Clark, is an online publication, that claims the name of “news” while being funded by a powerful, and legendarily anti-raw food legal firm.
According to the “news” organization in it’s own words “Marler Clark, continues to support Food Safety News as it moves toward greater financial independence through advertising revenue.” William, a.k.a, Bill (when he is reporting his “news”) Marler is touted in his own law firm bio as “the most prominent foodborne illness attorney in America”, and according to the Marler Clark website has been responsible for over $600,000,000 in foodborne case-related winnings, in addition to being a “major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world”.
This blatant and stark conflict of interest within the REAL world of NEWS would be the hypothetical equivalency of something like a high powered oil and gas attorney, who is presently receiving massive financial benefit from defending oil and gas companies, founding a “news” agency with a name like “Energy Safety NEWS”. Although every American citizen has the right to exercise free speech and their 1st Amendment rights, there are certain ethical parameters that must be considered when determining what constitutes a valid “news” source, or a credible “news” publication or broadcast…well, at least there used to be.
These sleight-of-hand hand maneuvers are a compromise to the integrity and very essence and meaning of “news” and must be exposed by agencies devoted to actual investigative reporting, so quite frankly, people have the opportunity to NOT buy into the hype. Just how far would Food Safety News go? Would they appoint a retired FDA head as the chief of their editorial board? We certainly wouldn’t be surprised.
A statement that stood out in our interview with the healmsman of America’s largest raw milk dairy was this: “I don’t know a whole lot of people that like the FDA!”…and come to think about it, neither do we, but when we dug in a bit, we did actually find one man who apparently adores the FDA to no end. His name: Hank Camppbell, and once again we have another Founder of an online publication. This time around, the publication at least had the wherewithal to leave “news” out of their name, but nevertheless, Science 2.0 has it’s fair share of questionable and fully opinion-riddled “reporting”.
In an article entitled “Raw Milk Dairy Organic Pastures Sues FDA Over Ban On Selling Foodborne Illnesses Across State Lines”, Campbell repeatedly gives praise to the FDA even saying that it “warms his heart” that they are actually doing something to protect people. It seems Mr. Campbell in his warm and fuzzy notion of the FDA, has forgotten the countless hall-passes that they have handed out to Big Pharma allowing companies to peddle dangerous drugs that maim and kill countless thousands, all in the name of “science” of course. Or perhaps Mr. Campbell forgot about the FDA’s utter compliance with companies like Monsanto who in God-mimicking fashion breed pesticide-resistance, as well as animal genes into our foods without even having to tell us. Maybe Science 2.0 did not take into account the highly questionable clearance that the FDA has allotted, that allows for constituencies to MEDICATE their drinking water supplies with a highly carcinogenic, IQ impeding, rat poison called FLUORIDE.
In the article Campbell utilized slanderous and almost childish language in his “reporting” on Organic Pastures, and said things like “Organic Pastures, America’s largest raw milk dairy and cause of numerous recalls just in the last year, would like to be able to make children ill across state lines and so they have filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to force a change in the current law”, as to paint the picture as if Organic Pastures Dairy’s primary modus operandi is scheming up any way imaginable to make children across state lines as sick as possible. When we dug a little deeper into the site and found articles like “Organic Farming Practices Cause 200 Instances Of Serious Food Poisoning”, “Raw Milk Quarantine Lifted – You Still Shouldn’t Drink It”, and other Bill Marler referenced and inspired materials, the practices and motivations of this publication started to become quite clear.
On the flip side of the extraordinary media coverage surrounding the Organic Pastures Dairy cases of recorded and purported contamination and subsequent recalls, we saw coverage by Natural News where their header rang “California regulators frame Organic Pastures and force raw milk shut down over fabricated E. Coli scare”. Natural News, once considered to be an online news publication of high credibility regarding issues of health and alternative medicine, has come under criticism as of late for their “news” publications that blatantly advocate firearm propagation, coupled with their alignment and partnership with controversial talkshow host Alex Jones of Info Wars. However, this being noted, the raw milk issue is within the strongest traditional lines of reporting at Natural News, and several very good points were raised in their article including the point that the CDFA instantly targeted Organic Pastures in a “knee-jerk” reaction without a shred of evidence and put them under quarantine, in a totally guilty until proven innocent maneuver, that in the interim successfully accomplished the shut down and suspension of all Organic Pastures Dairy sales. When the test results finally came back, the samples taken from the Organic Pastures Dairy products tested negative for E. Coli, the quarantine was subsequently lifted, and after an injurious stint, the dairy was allowed to proceed with it’s business activities. Many have called this, and similar activities by the CDFA and the FDA nothing more than “which-hunts” that seek to totally and completely eradicate a product that cuts into big industry and political agendas.
Mr. McAfee says he pays little attention to the potential distractions posed by media publications from pseudo-news organizations or lobbyists, and maintains that it’s all about educating the people who are listening, and building a marketplace for what he furverently defends as a powerful illness-preventing, and wholesome food.
When you boil it all down, this issue bears a striking resemblance to the prohibition and subsequent “good squad”-riddled war against marijuana, wherein according to a long running, and respected annual poll by Gallop, for the first time in U.S. history we see a majority of American’s now favor full blown legalization of the plant with 50% polling for legalization, as opposed to 46% who oppose it. It has also been demonstrated in similar polls that nearly 80% of Americans favor licensed medical practitioners having the capacity to prescribe whatever they deem appropriate to their patients, even if that includes a little, green, peace-promotoing, therapeutic and medicinal herb named “Mary Jane” that has so far not been responsible for a single known death due to a toxic overdose in millennia of widespread use.
When the government had the arguably insane idea to go and throw it’s own citizens in the paddy-wagon, and subsequently, in cages like animals, for the private consumption and/or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, it was only a matter of time before around half of the Union’s states threw up the middle finger to the Feds, and in a nutshell said, “that’s not how it’s gonna be in our state!”. Eventually the Federal Government had little choice other than to fold up on it’s own prohibitory law against booze, and to fully legalize, tax, and regulate the dangerous, incapacitating, and potentially deadly substance.
Marijuana is currently legal in 2 states, and medically legal for doctors to prescribe in nearly 20, while raw milk is legal according to state law in 28 states across the country. Why is it that peaceful and often upstanding American’s continue to be transformed into criminals for marijuana, now far and away the largest cash crop in the country, by a full-blown, tax-payer-funded, men-in-black-driven war, when the majority of America’s citizens now want the substance fully legalized? In light of what is happening with people across the country taking back power at the state level, one is left to ask: Just when will the Feds be forced to cave in on the prohibition of raw milk?