USDA sponsors study to learn how consumers judge raw milk safety

Here’s an excerpt from the report in Health X-Pert.org:

Why do raw milk drinkers keep on drinking it -- in spite of "expert" warnings to the contrary -- enquiring minds at the USDA want to know. Home on the Range photo.

“Despite mounting evidence of the health risks in unpasteurized milk, raw milk advocates continue to tout its alleged benefits, dismissing warnings about bacterial contaminants that can sicken or even kill adults and children, as I write in the Informed Patient column today.

The situation bedevils public-health officials and food-safety experts. “We know raw milk is hazardous, but we don’t know what it is that drives people to consume it anyway,” says Jeffrey LeJeune, a microbiologist and researcher at the Food Animal Health Research Program at Ohio State University.

Dr. LeJeune is conducting a study with funding from the USDA to learn more about how consumers make judgments about milk safety. “There are tacit webs of belief that drive behavior, and everyone acts in what they believe to be a rational way,” Dr. LeJeune says.

“We need to learn more about where they seek information, and how they decide to reject or accept it.” One problem, he says, is that physicians often have gaps in their knowledge and therefore don’t warn patients about the risks. Farmers who sell raw milk also may not be aware of the scientific data about risks.

And for consumers who decide to research the issue online, typing “raw milk” into Google returns mostly links to sites run by raw milk advocates. Such sites attempt to debunk scientific evidence presented by the CDC and the FDA, offering up reams of data allegedly showing the benefits of raw milk.

Some raw milk advocates also claim that pasteurization is harmful and destroys milk’s vitamins and minerals (false, according to Dr. LeJeune, the CDC and FDA) and that raw milk contains natural enzymes that kill bacteria on their own (also false, according to the experts)….”

Read it all on Health X-Pert.org

Some pertinent background from an essay titled “The Information Arms Race” by Douglas Rushkoff*

“After World War II, Air Force Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale emerged as the preeminent “counterinsurgency” strategist for the CIA. Over a period of three decades, he developed a wide range of intelligence and propaganda theories that were employed and refined in the field. His principle strategy was to first engage in qualitative anthropological research to discover a target audience’s underlying belief systems, and then exploit these beliefs mercilessly in pursuit of military gains.

For example, in the 1950s as part of his counterinsurgency campaign against the Huk rebels of the Philipines, Lansdale began by conducting research into local superstitions. He learned that the Huk battleground was believed to be inhabited by an “asuang” or vampire figure. To capitalize on this mythology, his psywar units would follow Huk patrols and then quietly ambush the last man on the trail. They would kill the soldier by means of two punctures on the neck, drain him of his blood, and then leave him to be found the next morning. On encountering the victim, the Huks in the area would retreat for fear of further vampire attacks….”

Rushkoff goes on to compare this strategy with that used by “target marketers” against consumers today.

*from the book: “You are being lied to — the Disinformation guide to media distortion, historical whitewashes and cultural myths”

More on “Psy-ops”

Photo from this gallery at Home on the Range cowshare in Chilliwack B.C.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “USDA sponsors study to learn how consumers judge raw milk safety

  1. Rick

    The false profits and “So-called-expert” classes in modern society have so badly screwed up the entire system of food, food production and food safety, that the CDC, FDA and an alphabet soup of others lofty pronouncements are seen as bunkum, bought by the highest bidder that they are largely listened to with a healthy dose of skepticism as no more valid then a Twinkies munching teen holed up in his bedroom might be, because at least the kid knows his scribbles are what they are while the others pretend to be on higher moral ground. And protecting the mindless consumer from their own ignorance.

    • Walter's Dad

      One could also say that the WAPF (Sally Fallon) and its minions have employed similar strategies for “target marketing”. Difficult for the average person to separate the cookbook-selling propaganda from the real truth.

  2. Milkmen USA

    This article is great and so is the photo of the little girl with a cow. Why? Because most of us are older now and realize that it is our children and the children of the world who can be helped and who can help make a difference in this world. They are Gods’ children. Most of us have children and many of us have seen them on farms or around nature and animals. We realize how important it is for us to do what is natural for them and this is why we seek the truth. Our government should be by the people and for the people. Let us see how interested they are to do what is for the people. we are open minded and have hope but we are all skeptical of their real intentions. Are the government’s intentions self-serving? Are they interested to protect their paychecks or will they be interested to do what is right for the people. For now, the crusaders, the intellectuals, the real farmers who are interested in sustainable agriculture, and the people have to step forward and move ahead. Never let down this movement. It now has great momentum that is difficult if not impossible to start. Sooner or later dictatorships or corrupt monarchies fall. collapse. Our Constitution, our democracy, and our freedom, your raw milk and purer food supply should not fall or collapse in spite of what has happened to it. This is what Michael Pollan is saying. This is what David Gumpert is saying. And so, Carlo Petrini of the Slow Food Movement. These men are real crusaders who were not afraid, who are not afraid to tell the truth.

    We look forward to seeing you all at the Raw Milk Symposium. Children, yourselves, and the Raw Milk Revolution is leading the way.

    Thank you.

    The Milkmen USA

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