Here’s an excerpt from an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Sun by columnist Connie Woodcock, which very much echoes a recent story in the Globe and Mail on a similar pro-pasteurization theme:
“….Louis Pasteur must be rolling in his grave.
He thought his pasteurization process would save the world from disease.
Turns out it was just another way for government to oppress us. Or at least, that’s the peculiar message rogue dairy farmer Michael Schmidt has been trying to sell.
Schmidt is the Durham-area farmer whose trial on 20 charges of selling raw milk wrapped up recently in Newmarket. He’s spent years trying to get around the law against the sale of unpasteurized milk and came up with a tricky way to subvert it by selling shares in his cows.
Schmidt, who likes to paint himself as a simple hayseed and a martyr to personal freedom, spent his trial arguing the raw milk law is unconstitutional because it interferes with people’s “freedom” to make their own choices. His side of the case was heavily reported. What was underreported was the truckload of scientific evidence the Crown introduced to prove the dangers of raw milk.
A decision isn’t expected for four months.
Apparently, there are all kinds of people who put their personal freedoms ahead of public safety. Only last month, a conference in Toronto gathered about 100 people to sing the praises of raw milk and its alleged health-giving qualities. Harper’s magazine in the U.S. did a semi-supportive story on him last year.
But that doesn’t make him right. For all those who think they ought to be allowed to make their own decisions on drinking raw milk, I have one word: Listeriosis.
You’d think last summer’s huge meat recall — and the deaths and illnesses that accompanied it — would have taught us food safety is hard to guarantee and you don’t miss it until it’s gone.
Or here’s another word: Salmonella. The recent massive recall of peanut products and the deaths and illnesses should also get the message across.
There are lots of other diseases cows are susceptible to and that can be passed on to humans in milk — such as tuberculosis and E. coli. Raw milk fans argue pasteurization takes out valuable nutrients. Everyone from Health Canada to your local health unit will tell you that’s simply not true.
POTENTIAL FOR DISEASE
Schmidt claims his herd is clean. Ever been in a dairy barn? Even the cleanest is an open sewer. The potential for disease is massive, which is why we have pasteurization.
And he’s wrong on a couple of other counts. First, we aren’t free to consume what we like in this society. You can’t buy drugs without a prescription because they’re dangerous as well as helpful. You can’t buy heroin just because you want to. You wouldn’t feed your children cat food or eat a hunk of raw chicken, so why would you drink raw milk?…..”
Read the ending and all the comments here. Add a comment of your own if they’re still taking comments. Comments seems to be running 12 in favour of raw milk vs 2 opposed. So I guess the propaganda isn’t working yet, at least not on commenters. It’s an admittedly small sample, but those results do corroborate with the findings of a radio poll on Toronto’s AM640 a month ago (reported in the Bovine) with 83% of respondents in favor of freedom to choose raw milk.