Friday, March 6, 2015

Intended to be the "Fact" Speech for the WV House Health Committee Today

These were notes from when I spoke before the WV House Health Committee during session,

Ultimately, the House went onto pass the Herdshare bill by a landslide, though the bill was vetoed by the Governor.


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My Daddy owned a general store in Lincoln county until he died at nearly 90. I was born in the 80's, and his example taught me that not everything that comes with progress is right or reasonable. He sold raw milk from a local elderly woman. Inspectors would come, make him remove it. He put it back out. This income allowed her to survive. Safe? It seemed half that county showed up to buy it. No one ever came up sick. They all missed my daddy, the old lady and that cow when they were gone, though.

I have statistics for you all, but I also have some common sense reasoning.

Say you see a mother walk up to her son of 35 years old and take a steak cooked rare out of his plate? Is that reasonable? What if a father removed a plate of cantaloupe, the cause of one of the last major food borne illness outbreaks, from his 20 year old daughter's hand?

You all know how this sounds. Ridiculous, and yet, here I am. A reasonable American living in a state that Claims Mountaineers are Always Free arguing for my right to co-own a cow and use the milk as I see fit. Does that leave me, a daughter of a World War II veteran, a Wife of an Operation Enduring Freedom Marine veteran acting or feeling much like a Free person?

Hardly.

I believe the United States Constitution assures me the right to enter into a business contract, and that is what we are discussing here. Can you imagine the looks the Founders of this County would give if they could hear Free Citizens asking for the ability to drink milk in it's natural form or co-own dairy cows without cooking it first?

Like I said, NOT everything that comes with progress is right or reasonable.

We talk about Science, yet we should remember, we miss something when we espouse to Science over Liberty, Science over Faith, Science over Conscience. And remember the science of today will not always echo in the science of tomorrow, still Liberty, Faith and Conscience remain remarkably steadfast.

The reason behind Government opposition to Raw Milk boils down to a protection of the monopoly a few massive Corporations have on this 140 Billion Dollar industry. Easy way to keep Small farmers out. Say the products in it's real form is dangerous. It has worked, clearly. Some of you buy that tale, too.

Statistics?

60,000-65,000 residents drink raw milk in West Virginia today based on statistics accepted across the USA with an estimate of 10 Million Nationally or 3.0-3.5% of the population. That is likely a very low estimate, but let us go with that number.

When we realize how many are consuming real milk in our state, we must evaluate how safe this food has proven to be year after year. Our State’s own health statistics confirm it without question, as do national figures, it is not a dangerous food.

One in 6 people become sick each year from food borne illness. All foods can become contaminated and all foods carry risk. Life is a bit of a risk, folks. We ski, we drive, we hunt, we swim, we eat sushi from Kroger. Risky. Especially Sushi from Kroger.

The CDC estimates 48 million food borne illnesses yearly, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Of those numbers, 0.0005 of the reported illnesses are related to raw milk. That breaks down to 42 illnesses a year. We have seen decades pass without a death being confirmed from raw milk consumption in. The 1985 report often attributed to raw milk, according to the Chicago Tribune's investigation at the time, was from a pasteurized dairy and from contaminated pasteurized milk.

Many truly dangerous products that remain legal in our state: high addictive prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs, chemicals and antibiotics in our foods, artificial food like products parading around like real food, toxic sweeteners and tobacco – many you can freely consume while pregnant, around children or give to children leaving giving them a host of lifelong illness over and over. All legal.

All products Free Citizens here can take part in here with wild abandon.

But Not Real Milk. It has to go through a corporation first and be cooked to someone's liking. Milk? That is what needs heavy regulation here in this state?

The Top Ten most dangerous foods according to a statement released by the FDA recently are: Leafy Greens, Eggs, Tuna, Oysters, Potatoes, Pasteurized Cheese and Ice Cream, Tomatoes, Sprouts and Berries. These are all sold, largely, without being pre-cooked. All sold in West Virginia. Farmers can sell greens, potatoes, berries, tomatoes, sprouts and Eggs dare I say with. . .little to no regulation.

All the while, potatoes and greens are killing people?

In 2015, Candied Apples hospitalized 334 people and killed 7; In 2014, Soy sprouts killed 2 people; In 2013, Chicken, berries, cilantro, Salad, Cucumbers and Mexican food made up the entire top ten largest outbreaks of illness according to the CDC.

No raw milk to be found in the top ten list there.

Though at least 10 million people consume raw milk a year, the deadliest food illness outbreak in over a decade comes from Cantaloupe. Yet,

Cantaloupe is not illegal and is not regulated to be sold only “pre-cooked” in our state.

I'm not asking for the impossible, folks. I'll be honest and say it shames me to even ask, as a free person, for access for food, for co-ownership of livestock, so instead I ask folks to simply to use reason, if they have it within themselves.

A Data sheet with links to credible sources for the statistics used today, mostly using this government's own data is here if you would like it.


http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/cspi_top_10_fda.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html

http://www2.leg.state.vt.us/CommitteeDocs/2014/House%20Agriculture/Bills/S.70/Witness%20Testimony/S.70~David%20Gumpert~Testimony%20of%20David%20Gumpert~4-10-2014.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/caramel-apples-12-14/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_States_listeriosis_outbreak

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/statistics.html
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRD3247515

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-12-11/news/8704020074_1_hillfarm-dairy-salmonella-antibiotics

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/12/the-10-biggest-u-s-outbreaks-of-2013/#.VPadPvnF98E

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/worst-foodborne-illness-outbreaks#5

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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington