Attack on raw milk, attack on dairying

Here’s an excerpt from a recent story on Kimberly Hartke’s blog, written by Robert Burns, who is a Connecticut farmer and Chair of the New London County Farm Bureau. The story is subtitled “An attack on raw milk producers is an attack on all dairy farmers“.

“For many hundreds of years raw milk has been a wonderful food source. From mothers breast, we go to mares milk, to goat milk, and most popular of all the milk is from cows. So what is causing the dynamic of our troubled dairy industry today?

I believe it is recent attacks against raw milk retail sales. Raw milk demand in our state is intense. Once raw milk goes on store shelves, it is gone in a day.

Investors are backing Connecticut raw dairy farms, because the margin of profit on raw milk is 60% higher than on processed milk.

All milk as it originates from the cow is raw. Many small dairy farmers, who market their milk for pasteurization, keep some of their raw milk for their families. The rest is taken away by the tanker truck for pasteurization. They know raw means more enzymes, and untreated milk’s nutrition benefits the body fully.

Pasteurized milk, because of enzyme loss, does not give these farm families the same dynamic benefits of raw milk. This is a well known practice, and has been going on since the introduction of pasteurization.

I know most of the dairy farmers in my state.  I would say 90% of them feed their families their raw milk. This is  a known fact amongst dairy farmers. This is insider information I am giving you, because this is a little known fact to the general public….”

“…Today, State Agriculture Departments around the country, in an alliance with State Health Departments are waging a war against raw milk. Health officials in Canada, are also running a raw milk offensive against farmers like Michael Schmidt. This ends up being an attack on the entire milk industry.

Here in the State of Connecticut, the Nutmeg State, where rumor mongering can sometimes crest to gigantic proportions, in the Fall of 2008, our Agricultural Commissioner was suddenly motivated to attack the dairy industry under the guise of attacking raw milk. The commissioner took it so far as to publish an anti-raw milk blog on the Connecticut Department of Agriculture web page.

The basis for this blog, were his false allegations that the source of a recent Ecoli 0157H7 outbreak came from raw milk from a farm called Town Farm. His argument was never substantiated (and subsequently thrown out by the State Environment Committee). It was based on testimony of a woman, whose son allegedly contracted Ecoli 0157H7, from playing with a neighbor’s son.  Her child ended up on dialysis, while the child who drank raw milk contracted no illness, whatsoever.

The cow at Town Farm that was suspected of having Ecoli 0157H7 was dry at the time of this incident, and not being milked. It was rumored the ecoli 0157H7 came from the manure,which somehow found it’s way into the dairy product. Pretty far fetched?

In cases like this, a more likely source of Ecoli 0157H7 is from rare beef. This virulent bacteria comes from cows that are confined, standing in stalls where their blood stagnates from lack of movement. The pathogens end up in their manure. If meat from these cows is not fully cooked, the remaining pathogens may cause illness.

Furthermore, the State of Connecticut has staff of biological geneticists, who could have genetically fingerprinted the source of the Ecoli, if the commissioner wanted scientific proof.  This free, in house capability was available to him and would have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that raw milk was the source. Why did he neglect to do this to prove his point?

Whenever raw milk is maligned, raw milk proponents rightly waste no time in trotting out all the incidents where pasteurized milk caused food borne illness.  It is known to cause more illness on a per capita basis than raw milk.

For instance, at a hearing before the Environmental Committee about the Farm Town case, two women testified having miscarriages from drinking PASTEURIZED MILK IN MASSACHUSETTS,where over 16,000 consumers were impacted by food-borne disease from a bad batch of PASTEURIZED MILK….. Thus the attack on raw milk becomes an attack on the ENTIRE INDUSTRY, for when the dialogue of RAW  vs. PASTEURIZED   surfaces the result is…JUST DON’T DRINK MILK…….”

Get the whole story here on Kimberly Hartke’s blog.

1 Comment

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One response to “Attack on raw milk, attack on dairying

  1. Kalee

    You have several factual errors in your article you might want to know about (or not.. since they don’t support your argument). The Simsbury raw milk was CONCLUSIVELY LINKED to the 14 cases of Ecoli 0157:NM that happened in the summer of 2008. Nothing has been thrown out, and there HAVE been genetic fingerprints matched on the milk and the victims. I know this because I AM one of the victims and I almost DIED from TTP/HUS. I don’t know what the nonsense was about “Her child ended up on dialysis, while the child who drank raw milk contracted no illness, whatsoever.” But if you are refering to Evan Piccoli, you are wrong again. The child’s family recently filed a lawsuit because he DID get ill, VERY ILL and was hospitalized with HUS. His little sister also got E.coli, though avoided HUS. AND the “neighbor” was the family watching the little sister while the family was by Evan’s bedside… there son contracted the e.coli from Evan’s little sister and also ended up with HUS. You can read all about it in THIS ARTICLE:,0,4010557.story And you can see more about my illness here:

    If you want to drink raw milk, that is YOUR business, and I am NOT for 100% illegalizing it. But it is people like you who pretend that it is 100% safe and that all these “alleged illnesses” are unproveable and in people’s heads that are making the product even MORE dangerous. And making it even more necessary that this product carry all sorts of warning labels and be more difficult to obtain, sending consumers straight to the farm.

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