According to the CDC, there have been “1,505 reported illnesses” including “185 hospitalizations and
2 deaths” from raw milk since 1993. I don’t mean to sound callous, but 2 deaths in 20 years? This is cause for nationwide panic?
11-11-11 UPDATE: It appears the CDC
lied misled us about those two deaths. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
For perspective, consider the following:
- According to the CPSC, drowning in backyard pools is the 2nd leading cause of death for children under five: 350 children die annually, 2,600 are treated in E.R.s, many left with brain damage.
- Merck’s Vioxx killed 27,000 people. Merck paid a relatively small amount in damages, went on to make new drugs similar to the big V. It’s been convicted of lying about drug safety, among other things, yet still in business.
- The CDC reports 18,650 U.S. deaths in 2005 from MRSA: a preventable staph infection picked up in a hospital. The cost of nesocomial (hospital-borne) infections is $6.5B annually.
- At last count, there were over 9,500 deaths/year due to medication errors. By 2006, overdoses of prescribed opioids (pain relievers, including morphine and methadone) were causing more deaths than overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined. More here.
- In 2009, over 30,000 U.S. citizens died in a car wreck. Motor vehicle–related injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1–34. Crashes cost $99 billion in 2005. One third of all auto deaths are alcohol related.
- To top it off, RawMilk.com couldn’t find the evidence backing that CDC report.
Yet, we don’t ban backyard pools, punish Merck or any other pharmaceutical company, close hospitals where MRSA is found, punish doctors who prescribe medication without having to pass an exam on the pros/cons of a drug beforehand. We don’t ban cars nor prohibit alcohol. Keeping people from drinking and driving has proven impossible. Mainstream medicine kills more people than almost anything else, yet it marches on unburdened by consequence.
Meanwhile, the FDA, DHS, DEA and ATF (or whatever it’s called now) are sending SWAT to terrorize farmers and their customers, pouring milk on the ground, forcing farmers to destroy raw milk products, putting farmers out of business because raw milk might, what, give you a stomach ache? Clearly, the inmates are in charge of the asylum.
The inmates being the Milk Lobby. Here’s a Washington Post article on how the Milk Lobby spent millions of dollars over three years — three years — crushing a dairy farmer who wouldn’t tow the lobby-line. Just to get you started down this rabbit hole.
I wouldn’t drink pasteurized milk out of the carton on a bet. Why would anyone? Our family no longer consumes any pasteurized milk products, unless it is impossible to avoid. We buy raw cow’s and goat’s milk products locally whenever we can.
And we Boycott Organic Valley. Here’s why:
Thanks to the traitorous Organic Valley corporation, currently the largest organic farmer co-op in the U.S., raw milk products are less available this year than last. I read O.V.’s press release to the Weston A. Price Foundation explaining their position (thank you, Cheeseslave, for bringing this to my attention). I responded thusly:
Dear Organic Valley,
Because of your refusal to allow your farmers to sell raw milk, making them choose between your organization and income, I am boycotting your products. And I am letting my local Whole Foods store, the local and politically active Good Foods Co-op, and every health food store and farmer’s market I frequent know why.
Raw milk is only illegal because of the industrialized milk lobby. You are in effect supporting that lobby. Criminal.
You say “The Cooperative cannot condone the sale of raw milk in states where it is illegal.” By that logic, Rosa Parks should have moved to the back of the bus. Shame on you.
They wrote me back: a long boring letter with more of the same whining-disguised-as-rationale as the first letter. I angrily whipped off a response, but didn’t send it, thinking surely I would calm down. That was a month ago and I have not. So I sent this:
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I understand your decision was not made in an afternoon. However, to deny that raw milk is only illegal for political reasons is disingenuous. Its being illegal has nothing to do with safety or health.
Your hope for a “national harmonized standard” for raw milk smacks of CODEX. The federal government and the U.N. have no business or right meddling in our food. More to the point, since the FDA and leaders like Michael Taylor have taken the reins, our nation is fatter and sicker than ever before. Following their guidelines is literally suicide.
If it weren’t for the industrial milk lobby and Big Agri/Pharm/Chem, raw milk would be available nationwide in Piggly Wiggly instead of in back alleys where we have to look over our shoulders for SWAT.
I was informed last night by my cowshare farm that the federales have decided to make it even harder for us to get milk from cows we own. (A ridiculous loophole through which we must jump in order to get FOOD.) Because the local peace officers have nothing else to do — I guess there are no real criminals around — they’ve decided to “crack down” on raw milk criminals.
Statistically, we are more in danger of physical harm from arrest and incarceration than from drinking raw milk. The farmer from whom I bought my cowshare has already suffered a violent arrest — perpetrated in front of my fellow cowshare owners — and imprisonment for LEGALLY providing raw milk to consenting adults.
This is unacceptable.
In the United States, we are losing our food freedoms. It is a critical moment for those of us who would like to eat free of government intervention. Your letter states that OVC is sympathetic to our “plight”. Indeed, your corporation could join with WAPF, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, among others, and make a difference. Yet you’ve essentially turned your backs on us in the name of profit. There is no other explanation.
Today, I am going to drive an hour and a half to the farm to get a gallon of fresh, whole, raw milk produced by my cow. A drive I now must make every week. Your position will see that I am forced to do this for awhile longer. Thanks.
If you are not an active part of the solution, you are an active part of the problem. I see your position as one of cowardice and I will not support it. Our progeny demand that we take an active role in fighting injustice, particularly where we live.
Cheers! [Now raising my virtual glass to you, in the hopes you are enjoying food freedom in your home.]
LINKS for more info:
- My two favorite raw milk sites: Real Milk.com and Complete Patient.com.
- Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a great list of links for info on raw milk and healthy choices
- Harke Is Online has a great list of raw milk links as well!
- A book on the topic: The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights
Kentucky specific links:
- My almost-raw milk when I can’t get the real (raw) thing — thank you, JD Country milk! Hormone-free, antibiotic free, grass-fed. Yummy!
- Great post on Kentucky and raw milk on Savoring Kentucky (my new favorite KY food blog!)