B.C. officials issue raw milk warning

The Globe and Mail’s Karen Moxley reports on alleged raw-milk related health hazards in B.C.:

“The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning British Columbians to discard raw milk from a Chilliwack dairy after some products tested positive for fecal contamination.

An investigation by Public Health officials found some of the Home on the Range Dairy’s unpasteurized products were tainted, likely by germs from the bowels of either animals or humans.

Dairy owner Alice Jongerden believes her raw milk is safe, but did say that contamination might have occurred at the beginning of December when she changed her cows’ bedding from sand to a product called straw-dust.

“We didn’t have enough bedding for about a week’s time,” said Mrs. Jongerden. “The cows were a little bit dirtier.”

Mrs. Jonderden received an e-mail from a milk customer about two weeks ago, stating that the milk tasted slightly off. Mrs. Jongerden then tested her cows, and found one animal with high somatic cell counts. That cow was removed from the farm.

Mrs. Jongerden said this is the first health-related incident for the farm, which has been operating for three years.

“Raw milk is safe to drink when it’s dealt with properly. But nobody wants to help make this a safe product…they want to ban it completely, so we have do everything on our own,” said Mrs. Jongerden.

It is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in Canada. However, raw dairy farmers avoid this obstacle by selling customers shares in their herds. Part-owners then consume the raw milk from the dairy.

At Home on the Range, shareholders pay a one-time fee of $125, and a weekly maintenance and boarding fee of $17.50. This guarantees the customer one gallon of milk per week.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall said officials from Fraser Health began testing Home on the Range milk products after a child, who regularly consumed raw milk products from the dairy, fell ill with a gastro-intestinal illness. The child tested positive for bacteria commonly found in raw milk, although her sickness cannot directly be connected to unpasteurized milk….”

Read the whole story here.

There are five comments on the story so far — most of them suppportive of raw milk rights. Why not add yours?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “B.C. officials issue raw milk warning

  1. Bernie Bailey

    To home on the range

    A little advice from the person who owned the last small dairy in Western Ontario

    Never let the public health be the only lab that tests samples from your product, you need to find a private lab or two to sample your products this way you can compare then protect yourself.

    In my own case the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission was so intent on getting rid of my small dairy that their secretary sent a letter to all my new found business in Toronto telling them that the milk was sub standard , this letter was delivered to the customers by my competitors sales staff who worked for Sealtest Ontario’s biggest dairy. I lost most of my calls but eventually a customer gave a copy of the letter to me and I gave Richard Bird the Director for dairy inspection a copy . Richard got back to me with this information— no samples were from government labs only one from my competitor which the Ontario Farm Product Marketing Commission acted upon and his department that was responsible for quality control in Ontario had nothing to do with the sting operation.

    I believe that secretary is the Ontario Dairy Specialist now

    Good luck in your endeavors
    Bernie

  2. Michael

    This is exactly what I expected. They now come with accusations and a smear campaign, because they try to sway the public back into their realm of fear mongering.
    This usually will help our cause more than we think.
    People are not that stupid.
    Take it with stride. They need to boost their position, so that in any case they can justify their actions after the court comes down with a raw milk decision on January 21. here in Ontario.
    Stay strong and focused.
    Build a quick response team with a phone tree..
    Always have video cameras ready. Gather physical presence as quick as possible. Please remember always be friendly and firm.
    They are our public servants, they will be accountable to us. Create escorts to make sure the milk can keep flowing.
    Stay strong and positive.
    Michael

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