“The fear is so deep-rooted that it goes beyond milk powder—food rumors about things such as plastic seaweed and seedless grapes cultivated with birth control medicines frequently send consumers into a tailspin.
There are at least three reasons for the failure to restore people’s confidence in domestic food, notes Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global health at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York.
“It’s very hard to have a strong sense of optimism.”
One is the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers in the 1980s (pdf, p.3), which has contaminated farmland, and could be transferred to cows that eat that grass. The government has only just started to tackle the problem, Huang said in an interview with Quartz. China also has a top-down regulatory method, which makes it hard for the public to engage with the process, particularly given the lack of press freedom, he says. There is also a general perception of a “moral decline” in China, where people try to make money by whatever means it takes, Huang adds, noting that sometimes even farmers themselves don’t eat what they grow (link in Chinese) for the market….”
Get the full story on Quartz (qz.com).
From the Modern Farmer:
“In a 2012 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1 percent of Americans drink raw milk, although that number may be a bit higher — a FoodNet survey in 2007 found that 3 percent of the U.S. population, or about 9.4 million people, regularly consumes raw milk.
Whether or not to consume milk in its unaltered state is a highly emotional issue, and for good reason. Should anyone — and particularly someone like a child or elderly person with an immature or compromised immune system — ingest milk that harbors the deadly bacteria E.coli O157:H7, they could risk losing a kidney. Continue reading
From Jeffrey Carter, in The Western Producer:
“GUELPH, Ont. — The door may be opening to lawful raw milk sales in Canada, according to a senior official with Health Canada.
“We see possible venues in the future of producing a safe product,” said Jeff Farber, director of the bureau of microbial hazards.
It could involve a regulatory approach at the provincial and/or federal level, he added.
However, Health Canada’s official position maintains that the risk of drinking milk that has not been pasteurized outweighs possible benefits.
Raw milk sales were prohibited in Canada in 1991, but there’s no restriction on drinking it. In fact, statistics show that it is consumed by families on close to 90 percent of Canada’s dairy farms. Continue reading
From Glencolton Farms’ farmshare member Gary Wilson:
Steve Paikin’s The Agenda is a TVO public affairs program which recently dealt with raw milk.
I sent the following as an email to Sandra Gionas, the producer of “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” in response to the program ” Arthur Hill: Getting to a Raw Milk Deal”:
Although I was unable to watch this program at the time it was broadcast live, I was able to watch it later on your website. I was interested in watching this program because, since the year 2000, I have been drinking unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk from the Glencolton Farm. You may be surprised to learn that, after watching the program, I am largely in agreement with everthing Arthur Hill said. In particular, I am against the legalization of the sale of raw milk in Ontario without clear restrictions and guidelines. Continue reading
The Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph will be hosting a one-day symposium on science and policy questions around raw milk on Tuesday April 22, 2014. Academics, industry and government representatives are expected to attend.
According to the event web page: “The goal of the conference will be to engage in discussions on the need for a structured and transparent process, to ensure that scientific research and knowledge are used to enable effective policy decisions. We are engaging a wide spectrum of global experts, who will use current policies relating to raw and pasteurized milk as the exploratory case study.”
Among the nine presenters will be Durham area farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt. Here’s Michael’s bio from the presenter page: Continue reading
From R. Shore at the Vancouver Sun:
Raw milk is a rich and nutritious product, but it also provides an excellent medium for the growth of bacteria, both good and bad. Photograph by: Ward Perrin Ward Perrin , PROVINCE. Click image to go to original story.
“The milk we buy in stores is heat pasteurized, a process that destroys some vitamins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Raw unpasteurized milk contains all of the above. We don’t need to argue about that. The question you really need to consider is: Do the perceived benefits of drinking raw cow’s milk outweigh the potential dangers?
The raw milk debate is raging in newspapers, on the web and in courtrooms across the land. Raw milk advocates don’t want the government telling them what they can and cannot eat. I totally understand that. They have websites full of testimonials from self-appointed experts and apocryphal tales of raw milk curing everything from scurvy to psoriasis and tuberculosis. Continue reading
Video below from Rachel Simone James. Story from Pacific Network TV.
“Amid the rhetoric and sharply drawn battle lines in the controversy over raw milk, it can be difficult to parse out the facts without getting mired in scientific jargon. Used as a cure for a myriad of ailments around the turn of the century, only to disappear with the advent of pasteurization, raw milk is back in fashion, the result of growing interest in whole foods, sustainability and homesteading. It is also extremely difficult to obtain, with sales restricted or illegal in most states. In fact, in most of the United States, it’s easier to buy a gun than raw milk. Continue reading