A tale of two raw milk symposiums

Two Raw Milk Symposiums with a clear Difference, by Michael Schmidt

Dr. Ted Beals, Dr. Ron Hull, farmer Michael Schmidt and author Pam Killeen

Dr. Ted Beals, Dr. Ron Hull, farmer Michael Schmidt and author Pam Killeen at International Raw Milk Symposium in Toronto, January 31, 2009, the first of two raw milk symposiums in N. America.

It was no surprise for me to see a ripple effect from the first international Raw Milk Symposium in Toronto. In Arlington not far from Washington DC  (you could see the Capitol and the Pentagon), the International Food Safety Association called rather desperately so called experts from across the continent on Raw Milk together in order to look at the issue of the “new emerging health threat of Raw Milk”.

At the first International Raw Milk Symposium in Toronto we tried to inform those, who have questions and wanted to gain more understanding of the whole issue. We tried to bring the entire scope of the Raw Milk issue into a broad perspective without engaging in the political game of using fear tactics.

At the follow up Raw Milk Symposium in Washington we entered into a scripted arena of those who apparently feel obligated to protect the public and the dairy industry.

When I found out about this hastily organized Anti Raw Milk Symposium, I decided without hesitation to go and hear how political accepted scientists and experts bending over backwards to unleash a horror show on Raw Milk.

Dr. Ron Hull from Australia and farmer Michael Schmidt at the Symposium in Toronto in January.

Dr. Ron Hull from Australia and farmer Michael Schmidt at the Symposium in Toronto in January.

Yes they artfully used “official” statistics to paint a grim picture of the emerging public health threat of Raw Milk. At the end I was so confused about their number of deaths and “insured” inflicted by Raw Milk, that I thought they must have mixed up the war in Iraq with the war on Raw Milk. 

No they did not, they simply created numbers based on three decades, many other countries and sophisticated number games and statistics, which as we know can be easily used to proof their point.

In a professional manner this conference opened with a statement and assurance that the purpose is to explore both sides. 

Independent from me the Weston A. Price Foundation was represented by three members, one of them Sally Fallon the most outspoken and committed advocate of Raw Milk in North America. David Gumpert the person behind the ever interesting blog “The Complete Patient” also attended to my great amusement. So here we were, five committed defenders of Raw Milk in a pool of about 30 health safety experts from across North America.

David Gumpert already mentioned in his blog the unexpected non appearance of about 15 FDA (Food and Drug Administration) officials, which left the organizers struggling to find some credible voices but clearly failed with the attempt to impress. 

How do you prevent that people who are concerned about their own health can take part in such a Symposium and voice their concern or enter into a dialogue?

Make the 6 hour Symposium very expensive 450.- Dollars

Organize on short notice and do not inform the press and the public.

I am sure that our presence at the Symposium prevented the future posting of a major position paper all over North America announcing the grand conclusion of this Expert Conference “that Raw Milk is a major Health threat and must be banned for ever”.

As in our Raw Milk trial at this Symposium in Washington none of these experts on public health and raw milk had conducted or knew of any research on the safety and benefits of raw milk for human consumption. 

Who was there?

Farmer Michael Schmidt

Farmer Michael Schmidt

Look below at the list of participants and come to your own conclusion why this conference was put on. The unwillingness to enter into constructive dialogue speaks volumes. Sally Fallon’s plea at the end of the conference to start listening to those, who actually have experience with real Raw Milk is most likely ignored again and again.

Does that mean we are without remedy?

No- we have the courts we can use as a constructive tool to force those, who spread the wrong information to testify under oath. At the trial in January I realized that in fact the court is the right place to challenge those who try to spread misinformation.

Cheers Michael


List of attendees at IAFP raw milk Symposium in Arlington.

List of attendees at IAFP raw milk Symposium in Arlington.


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