Australian state hammers raw milk huckster

Sydney’s Bondi Beach is a lovely, groovy place.

But not so groovy for raw milk hucksters, as a man was found guilty of 43 charges relating to breaches of the Food Act and fined $53,000 for various offences relating to the sale of unpasteurised milk and unpasteurised dairy products.

The products were manufactured at the defendant’s Bondi Junction residence and sold over the Internet and at an organic food market in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

Additional offences include the sale of other goods including chocolate, pumpkin seeds and cranberries that were labelled with health claims in contravention of the Food Standards Code.

Primary Industries minister Steve Whan said the court found that the defendant "in a display of deceptive and deceitful conduct, sold unpasteurised dairy products that were deliberately mislabelled and camouflaged as cosmetic products when the intention was they be used for human consumption."

"There is sound scientific evidence pointing to the risks associated with consuming raw milk. To ensure that cow’s milk and cow’s milk products sold in New South Wales are safe they go through the NSW Food Authority’s stringent food safety management programs, which includes pasteurisation."

Mr Whan said the issue of the sale of unpasteurised milk products in NSW was a divisive one amongst the some sectors of the dairy industry and advocate groups, but the NSW Government “made no apologies for giving paramount consideration to the public interest and the need to protect public health.”

In sentencing, Chief Industrial Magistrate GJT Hart said the evidence provided suggested the defendant had no scientific, medical or other qualification or expertise in the field.

"The Defendant appears to have a propensity for adopting, and then advocating with vigour, the teachings of the unqualified, whilst preferring to ignore the available literature produced by people with relevant scientific qualifications.”