Raw milk seems to be a popular topic on many blogs, even those not overtly focused on health and food issues. Here’s an example from a blog about Global Warming. Just out of the blue, it seems, this author was moved to devote a post to speaking up in favour of raw milk as a food choice. Here’s a sampling from that post:
“The consumer has been brainwashed for fifty years to avoid raw milk or alternately to trust only pasteurized milk. I grew up with this even though I drank fresh milk my entire childhood. The truth is that every farmer is fastidious over healthy cows and clean milking equipment. The consumer would be astonished to see the care maintained as a matter of course.
The problem begins with the need to blend product in tankage and to transport it to a processing facility. Obviously a blended product hugely increases risk and pasteurization is designed to remove the risk. One cannot disagree with that protocol. In fact I personally want nothing to do with milk that must be days old at least by the time it arrives in my home, if it is not pasteurized. Recall that it is stored at the producer at least a couple of days even before shipping.
Fresh milk directly from the producer will be from a known healthy herd with the personal guarantee of the owner and likely hours old simply because that will be the easiest way to sell it.
The quality of the product will be hugely superior to anything you can imagine. In fact the best thing commercial milk has going for it is no one has ever tasted fresh milk….”
The blog author goes on to quote a story by Canadian Press writer Ciara Byrne reporting on farmer Michael Schmidt’s recent victory in the courts. Here’s a bit from that story:
“NEWMARKET, Ont. – Clutching a glass of raw milk, an emotional Michael Schmidt toasted what he called a victory for the local food movement Thursday after the Ontario dairy farmer was found not guilty of 19 charges related to selling unpasteurized milk.
“People need to learn how to stand up even when it seems it’s impossible to achieve change in our interpretation of the law,” said Schmidt, who was often depicted by supporters as the small farmer fighting for consumer food rights against an established milk industry….”
“…..Under Schmidt’s cow-share program each member of his co-operative owns a part of the cow. By owning the cow members were drinking milk from their own animal, he says.
On Thursday, justice of the peace Paul Kowarsky ruled that Schmidt’s method of distribution made the group exempt from the legislation. He also found the operation did not violate the province’s milk-marketing or public-health regulations.
Kowarsky said the Crown could not prove that Schmidt had tried to market the milk. It was made clear on signs at the farm and at the blue bus where Schmidt set up shop at a Vaughan, Ont., market that only members could purchase products made from raw milk, he added.
“The undisputed evidence of the defendant is that there is no advertising or selling,” said Kowarsky.
The legislation was originally created to protect the vulnerable, but the cow-share members were not vulnerable and were cognizant of all concerns associated with drinking unpasteurized milk, he added.
“They consume the milk at their own risk,” said Kowarsky, adding the product had been thoroughly tested and was shown not to be contaminated.
At trial, food scientists and health experts testified that mandatory pasteurization laws are needed to protect public health.
Schmidt argued that government officials and food scientists could not guarantee the safety of any food, and suggested informed consumers should be able to buy raw milk if they want.
At the culmination of the detailed verdict, Kowarsky said the cow-share program was a “legitimate and lawful” enterprise and called the case part of a “search for contemporary justice.”…”