Daily Archives: January 12, 2010

Standard milk-testing protocol on Fraser-Valley dairy farms in B.C.

Gordon Watson has passed along this letter he received from someone who’s experienced first-hand the standard milk-testing protocol that’s followed with regular commercial dairy farms in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia — which is where Home on the Range cowshare is located.

Milk trucker takes a sample for testing and stores it on ice until he can get it to the lab. Lego photo.

This letter is significant in view of the controversy over non-standard testing practices that seem to have been used by health officials to evaluate milk from “Home on the Range” cowshare. Here’s what he says:

“I  can tell you what my experience has been  with high bacterial count. First of all when I was herdsman for (name removed) farms. We were in the top three herds in B.C for low somatic milk count. Regarding the testing on milk pick up day (every two days) the milk truck driver would take a sample and immediately put it in a cooler with ice. Continue reading

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Mark McAfee (of Organic Pastures in California) on the controversy in British Columbia over raw milk test methods

It’s always interesting to see how Canadian raw milk stories come across to our friends in the U.S. of A. The following is from a comment Mark McAfee posted recently on The Complete Patient blog:

California raw milk farmer and"statesman" Mark McAfee with a small sampling of his (surprisingly healthy) raw-milk drinking fans at a California hearing about raw milk. Photo from Cheeseslave blog.

“…I got a call from the Canadian Broadcast [CBC] people in BC last week for a story on raw milk in BC Vancouver. Today I got a call from the cow share owner with 400 members. Wow!! They got a tiger by the tail and they are making serious progress in Canada.

The Canadian Radio investigor sent me the bacteria results and tests from seized embargoed raw milk for my opinion. I was impressed. Not bad stuff. Including no pathogens. Continue reading

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David E. Gumpert asks: “Is the Obama administration about to eat the foodies’ lunch?”

This article by David E. Gumpert, from  from Grist.org, is the most accessible introduction we’ve yet seen to the issues raised by the current U.S. food safety legislation (S-510 etc.). Here’s an excerpt:

Foodies are a growing demographic. See pic credit at bottom

“These are heady times for foodies—you know, the people who love farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSAs), and hate Big Ag. They’ve turned the documentary movies “Food Inc.” and “Fresh!” into big hits. And they’ve turned “Slow food” into a generic term (there actually is an organization by that name that boasts more than 100,000 members in 132 countries).

A seeming army of foodie bloggers (of which I am one) sees the hand of Big Ag’s pesticides and feedlot practices (Monsanto, Con Ag, Tyson, etc.) in the explosive growth of chronic disease, and genetically modified food. It’s a neat good-guy/bad-guy scenario, with only one wild card: Is the U.S. government with or against the foodies? Continue reading

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Countdown to January 21st, 2010 — nine days to go — until we have a verdict in the Michael Schmidt raw milk trial

The video below, by Marianne Else, shows the curious architecture of “The Tannery” in Newmarket, where the trial was held last January (in upstairs office space) and where the decision will be announced on Thurs., Jan. 21st.

For details on a rally, book signing and talks to begin across the road from the Tannery starting at 12 noon, see the Events page on this blog. This video is from a year ago. And it was shot on Day 1 of Michael Schmidt’s raw milk trial. Thanks again to Marianne for shooting it and posting the result!

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B.C. health officials calling Home on the Range raw milk “highly contaminated”

This is from a story published yesterday on the Surrey Leader.com:

Alice Jongerden milking Home on the Range cows. Jenna Hauck / Black Press

“A second batch of tests has confirmed raw milk from Chilliwack-based Home On The Range cow-sharing co-op has dangerously high levels of bacteria, provincial health officials say.

Raw milk can be contaminated by fecal matter and U.S. states that permit unpasteurized milk sales require its bacterial count not exceed 10 coliform units per millilitre.

“We were getting numbers ranging from 570 in one sample of raw milk to 950,000 in another sample,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall. Continue reading

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