S Australia dairy farmers call for stricter regulations around raw-milk production in the wake of Victorian law changes

The South Australian Dairy farmers’ Association says local raw-milk producers need to be better regulated to protect consumers.

bath.milkThe Victorian Government now requires raw bath-milk producers to either pasteurise the product to make it safe to drink, or add a bittering-agent to make it unpalatable.

The South Australian Association’s President, David Basham, says he’s been watching Victoria’s response with interest.

“I am concerned by the loopholes, but we need to look to see what can be done in South Australia to actually protect the general public who are consuming this raw milk.

“I think it’s something we do need to move relatively quickly on.”

He says at the very least, consumers who want to buy raw milk should be protected, but making it unpalatable could be a step too far.

“At the moment, most of the people that are selling raw milk are operating outside the licensed dairy structure and therefore aren’t even regulated by the same structure we are in South Australia for pasteurised milk.

“Therefore the risk is even greater, and we need to make sure that we try and manage those risks.

“Raw milk at the moment is a very risky product to consume, so I would advise any member of the public not to do so.”

Whole Foods bragging about raw milk in Pennsylvania; this will be handy in the next lawsuit when someone gets sick

Whole Foods Market has terrible food safety advice, blames consumers for getting sick, sells raw milk in some stores, offers up fairytales about organic and natural foods, and their own CEO says they sell a bunch of junk.

This afternoon, the Whole Foods blog offers up, The Family Cow – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a heartwarming tale of nostalgic and scientific BS about the alleged virtues of raw milk.

“The Family Cow’s fresh raw milk is not processed in any way, making it truly a whole food, alive with natural enzymes, immunity building probiotic bacteria and bursting with full-bodied flavor.”

Check it out for yourself.

Mmmm, what’s that flavor, Campylobacter?


The Tomah Journal writes:

In most circumstances, the test of whether an activity should be illegal isn’t whether it creates harm, but whether the cost of eradicating the harm is exceeded by enforcement costs.

Many activities — drunk driving, manufacturing methamphetamine, hunting from the side of the road, dumping untreated sewage — are worth the cost of enforcement. But is selling raw milk? Two area lawmakers don’t think so, and they’re probably right.

State Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) and state Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) have introduced legislation that would legalize on-farm sales of raw milk in Wisconsin. Critics claim that raw milk is unsafe, and that’s true in the narrowest literal sense. According to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 39 raw milk-related bacterial outbreaks in the United States between 1998 and 2005 sickened 831 people, hospitalized 66 and killed one. In Wisconsin, bacterial outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk sickened 189 people and hospitalized three.

In the large scheme of things, however, those aren’t large numbers. Last year, 23 people died in Wisconsin snowmobile accidents, and nobody suggests banning snowmobiles.

The benefits of raw milk are economic. Raw milk has a passionate, if small, base of consumers who are willing to pay farmers top dollar. In a struggling economy when it’s difficult for dairy farmers to make ends meet, it’s an economic boost that can’t be easily dismissed.

Most Americans grew up with pasteurized milk, and in an easily grossed-out food culture like ours (how many of us eat beef tongue, sweetbreads or chicken gizzards?) the prospect of raw milk as a widely consumed commodity appears very slim. And there’s no doubt that if a consumer wants to follow a safety-first approach to food consumption, pasteurized milk is the logical option. But if consumers want to take a moderate risk and consume raw milk, it’s not worth the resources of the state to tell them they can’t. Wisconsin has bigger law enforcement problems than people who take their chances.

How many kids have to get sick and die from consuming unpasteurized milk? If the consumer wants to take the risk and consume such a product, fine, just don’t impose it on your kids and don’t say you weren’t informed.

            I remember quite fondly when I worked in the Provincial Lab in Alberta and was testing unpasteurized milk that had made a number people sick. I was shocked from the number of positive bacterial cultures, in particular, Campylobacter jejuni, a nasty foodborne pathogen.

Consumer alert: Autumn Valley Farm (NY) raw milk

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets this afternoon released a CONSUMER ALERT after Autumn Valley Farm announced possible Listeria contamination in its raw, unpasteurized milk.

Autumn Valley Farm, located at 1644 County Highway #39, Worcester, New York, 12197, holds a Department permit to legally sell raw milk at the farm.

While Autumn Valley Farm prides themselves on the cleanliness of their dairy operation and has been selling raw milk for the last 8 months without any previous violations, all raw milks sales have been voluntarily suspended pending further sampling.