Tag Archives: Doug Powell

Pushback and rebuttal on “raw milk is a low-risk food” Wall Street Journal story

The recent Wall Street Journal story quoting the findings of Canadian researcher Nadine Ijaz to the effect that, contrary to current regulator attitudes, raw milk is in fact an inherently low risk food, has prompted some backlash, notably on Doug Powell’s Barblog:

Doug Powell’s Barfblog logo, David E. Gumpert, Nadine Ijaz

“The scientific fringe craves the credibility – the impateur — of the scientific mainstream. It fuels conspiracy theories, drains public health resources, and unnecessarily worries a lot of folks; it’s a recycled tactic often used in the politics of genetically engineered food, water fluoridation, and so on. Mainstream science can be wrong; but it’s better than astrology….” and so forth.

To reply to this critique about the science supporting the “raw milk is a low risk food” thesis, David E. Gumpert and Nadine Ijaz have each independently spoken to the issue in a new post on The Complete Patient blog:

David: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had no hesitancy about spending taxpayer dollars to promote its viewpoint that raw milk is a mortal  danger. A couple years back, I called the FDA on its practice, after it spent nearly $2,500 with a press release service to put out  single warning on a slow-news weekend about possible illnesses at a private food club from raw milk, long after any possible threat had passed. Continue reading

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Proposed B.C. law to forbid disclosure of farm based disease outbreaks

From Doug Powell, via Jim Romahn, on Agri 007:

“When someone asks, What’s wrong with Kansas, I reply with, What’s wrong with Canada?
My journalism friends have long complained that the flow of information about public health – public anything – is a tinkle in Canada compared to other places.

According to a report in The ProvinceBritish Columbia.’s Liberal government is poised to further choke off the flow of public information, this time with respect to disease outbreaks. Continue reading

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Dogma triumphs over data in Canada’s food safety public relations bubble

From Doug Powell at Barfblog:

Image via Barfblog.

“Canada has the best health care system in the world.

And really clean water.

And really safe food.

And a lot of delusional people who apparently think repetition rather than data makes something true.

This week was particularly strong for some food safety nosestretchers in the wake of comments make by supermarket mogul Galen Weston Jr. that food at farmer’s markets were going to kill someone someday.

First up, Sylvain Charlebois, acting dean and professor at the University of Guelph’s College of Management and Economics, who wrote in a widely circulated op-ed that,

“The 2003 mad cow crisis in Canada was really the first major food safety-related event our country had experienced.” Continue reading

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Pork product responsible for 23% of Salmonella positive results at USDA

From Doug Powell on Barfblog:

Was it the sauce? Photo via Barfblog.

“Pork barbecue with vinegar and pepper-based sauce is the source of 23 per cent of salmonella-positive samples the U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed from 2005 to 2010. The contamination has not caused any known illnesses.

Exactly what part of the dish is contaminating it with salmonella isn’t clear. FSIS notes that it “may have come from the addition of contaminated ingredients (such as the pepper) to the sauce, or from cross-contamination of the product or sauce in the post lethality processing environment.” Continue reading

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