A Fight for Raw Milk

A fight for Raw Milk

The future of Raw Milk in California in jeopardy

The governor of California and his henchmen have just legislated away our right to drink raw milk. Of course they didn’t ban it outright: that would have been noticed by the citizens of the state of California and protested against. No, they chose to pull a sneaking maneuver and inserted eight little words that will have the same effect.

These eight words will prevent California dairies from selling raw milk:

"or more than ten coliform bacteria per milliliter"

Those eight words were added to dairy legislation in California on October 8, 2007.

Assembly Bill #1735 (AB 1735) was signed by the Governor and becomes law on January 1st, 2008. Contained in this law are new standards for raw milk. These new standards require 10 coliform bacteria per ml or less. This standard does not increase the safety of raw milk and it will make the production of organic raw milk in California nearly impossible. Under the tried and true old standards that have been in existence for forty years or more, coliforms could be 50 or 500. It did not matter.

A press conference was held at the Fresno Farmer’s Market in Fresno on Saturday, October 27 at 11 a.m. in protest of the new law. This post will be updated as more details become available.

You might be thinking, "I don’t drink raw milk. Why should I care?" While many of us who grew up drinking raw milk and extol the benefits of drinking a healthy natural beverage. This isn’t merely about the availability of milk. This issue extends far beyond the obvious in that our government is supposed to be transparent. Ours is supposed to function as a government for and by the people. When our public officials use underhanded, sneaky and unethical tactics to achieve their goals, we all pay the price.

The EPA reports that even testing for fecal coliforms (a subset of coliform bacteria) is a "a poor indicator of the risk of digestive system illness." The EPA goes on to advise that the only way to determine whether food is actually sanitary is to test for those specific coliforms that can be a sign of something harmful such as E. coli and enterococci. Neglecting to test for those specific harmful coliforms, but banning all coliforms outright is equivalent to forcing Ford to recall every vehicle they ever made when only a single model year of one product is found to have a flaw. Even then, the previous law set the limit of coliforms at 750 coliforms per mL. A legal reduction of over 98% over the course of less than 3 months cannot be interpreted as anything other than a direct attack on raw milk providers, particularly when far more than 90% of coliform bacteria are not harmful.

This is not the first-time I’ve personally witnessed the blatant disregard for public opinion and openness required for our government to function properly by those in Sacramento. For instance, it’s not an uncommon practice for a legislator to reuse a bill number that is no longer active – after the date legally prescribed under California law. There is a reason legislation isn’t allowed to be introduced after a certain date, but that doesn’t stop our legislative branch from manipulating the rules to their advantage.

How long will Californians stand by and allow our elected officials to skirt the laws that guarantee the rest of us a spot at the table? If you are sick and tired of being railroaded and regulated to death, now is your opportunity to let your voice be heard in Sacramento. Contact your legislators and let them know what you think about the way they are conducting our business.

More Information:

Benefits of Milk?

Raw Milk and Raw Eggs – – Can You Safely Eat Them?

The dairy association seems bent of getting out their message that everyone needs milk. The number of commercials extolling the benefits of milk are seemingly endless. After contemplating the growing number of choices available in dairy case at my local grocer, it appears the message is being heard loud and clear.

The choices seem limitless; from organic milk, low-fat milk, kefir milk, soymilk, goats milk and more. How’s a mother to choose?

Growing up near Shelby, Ohio I remember getting our milk fresh from the farm, in glass gallon jars, and skimming off the cream to make our own butter. I never gave a second thought in those days wondering where my milk came from.

Since my son came into the world, it’s been a different story. I’m constantly considering where our food and drink comes from in an attempt to provide him with healthy choices. Parents have a great deal to worry and the list gets longer each day. The more I learn, the more I come to realize just how little I know.

In fact, just last year I stumbled across information on raw milk. Never having heard the term, of course I was interested and took the time to investigate it. Little did I know that I had grown up drinking what is now referred to as “raw milk”. We certainly didn’t call it that when I was young; it was simply “milk”.

After learning more about raw milk many things became clear to me. For instance, when our family moved to Citrus Heights, I became painfully aware of the effects of asthma. Since no one in my family had a history of asthma, I had to learn how to live with it. I discovered that a growing percentage of people especially children develop asthma, who live in the California Valley.

The treatment for asthma starts with inhalers and normally graduates to breathing treatments. In most cases the use of inhalers becomes a lifelong ordeal. Knowing I did not want to end up tied to an inhaler my entire life; I avoided using it as much as possible and moved out of the valley as soon as we could. Of course, I kept reading.

After moving to the mountains fortunately my asthma cleared right up all on it’s own. I haven’t used an inhaler in about five years. I’m thankful I didn’t become dependent on an inhaler.

Many parents don’t have the option of moving their children to the mountains and out of the valley. But there is an alternative.

In his article entitled, “Keeping Your House Clean Puts Asthma Sufferers at Risk,” Dr. Mercola had this recommendation:

Replacing commercial milk with raw milk from grass-fed cows is also usually well tolerated and highly health promoting. There is simply no reason to ever drink or consume regular pasteurized milk products. They almost invariably will cause the asthma to worsen. The only acceptable milk products would be raw unpasteurized milk. That may seem impossible to get but there are two ways one can obtain it.

In another article titled, “Why You Don’t Want to Drink Pasteurized Milk,” Dr. Mercola had this to say:

There is no substitute for clean, raw milk as a food, so far as children are concerned. Science has not yet succeeded in providing, in the pasteurized variety, those essential qualities that are the only real foundation for a healthy child.

Unfortunately, many grossly distorted statements are current regarding our milk supply. If we are to believe the protagonists of the Pasteurization-of-all-milk-at-all costs Party, raw milk is as good, or rather as bad, as rat poison–although as the Minister of Agriculture recently stated, “the human race existed long before Pasteur was heard of.”

On Organic Pastures (where I get my milk) website I found…

Natural organic raw milk has in it vitally important living things. These include the following: beneficial bacteria, enzymes (including lipase, protease, and other), lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen-killing systems. The common practice of pasteurization inactivates or dramatically reduces the effects of these important active (living) elements. As a result, you may be lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, but not lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk. That is why we say; “only living milk brings life.”

They go on answer an all-important question…

What happens to bacteria in pasteurized milk after pasteurization?

After pasteurization, bacteria found naturally in milk are killed. During the high temperature heating process, cell bodies of these bacteria are ruptured and their contents are spilled, releasing histamines. This causes many milk drinkers to suffer allergic reactions. Almost all of these same consumers can drink raw milk and not have allergies. The high levels of bacteria permitted in milk intended for pasteurization are still found in pasteurized milk; they are just dead and not removed by the process.

You will find a great deal of information and some very good reasons to provide only raw milk products for your family to drink on the Organic Pastures website.

If you haven’t heard of drinking raw milk or if someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, lactose intolerance, you owe it to your family members to get more information on the benefits of raw milk.

My husband and I who both suffer from lactose intolerance have both discovered that we don’t have any problem drinking raw milk and it tastes so much better than that fake stuff they are peddling on television.

Try some raw milk, then drop me a note and let me know what you think.

Additional Information: