Here’s another excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s excellent and insightful The Complete Patient blog:
“….It’s funny how you often see things the second time around that didn’t stand out so sharply on a first viewing. For me, the political nature of the entire struggle for raw milk now stood out, as follows:
1. The fact that the raid on Michael Schmidt’s dairy occurred in 2006, and was the first regulatory action against him since 1994. We now know, in retrospect, that the latest war against raw milk in the U.S. was launched in 2006 as well—with raids, stings, and legal actions against Gary Oakes and Carol Schmitmeyer in Ohio, Richard Hebron in Michigan, and Mark McAfee in California. Of course, it has continued with legal actions against other producers of raw dairy products as well, in New York, Pennsylvania, and California. Now I find myself wondering: was the launch of the war on raw milk a matter of international cooperation between allies U.S. and Canada?
2. Canadian regulators and dairy industry officials are totally unyielding. I know when I first saw the documentary, I thought they sounded more unyielding than American regulators. The one comment that summed it up for me was this: “We solved that problem sixty years ago.” In other words, pasteurization seems to work, so don’t bother us with new facts. But when you think about it, American regulators by-and-large won’t engage in any kind of public discussion on the issue. The Canadians’ willingness to speak out is in contrast with that of American regulators, led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s John Sheehan, who cower in dark corners, letting their regulatory whips do their talking.
3. It all seems to come down to rights. You watch the documentary, and see the protest gatherings, fundraising events, legislative debates, Michael’s 28-day fast, and you know this isn’t a health issue. The reason: no one is becoming ill! The only example of anyone in the documentary who is sick is a man who became ill from pasteurized cheese. Michael has never had a customer become sick. In the U.S., we know, of course, that very few people become ill from consuming raw milk, but any time someone does, the matter gets played up by regulators and their supporters…..”