Friday, March 20, 2015

Because Milking Cows and Goats are like treadmills. . .

How many people do you know who buy a treadmill sure they will run on that treadmill daily, but actually end up using that treadmill as a coat rack until they sell it for 1/10th of what they paid on craigslist a year later?



Yea. A Lot of folks.

Unfortunately for dairy animals, this proves true all too often, as well.

The most OVER Romanticized ideal of life on a farm is that of morning and evening milking of one's dairy cow or goat.



Those who have been on the milking road five, ten or more years, we can still remember back when we wondered about throwing the towel in, rallied and push on.

It can be THAT tough.

Winters. Mud, Tendinitis. Bottles. Endless jars, hoses, buckets to clean over and over and over. Milk Fever. Mastitis. Stuck kids. Dead calves. Cystic cows. Skinny cows. Too much milk. Kicking Cows. Pooping cows. Anemic goats. Bloat. First Fresheners with tiny teats. Those back TWO TEATS on a cow. Frozen fingers. Bulls. Bucks. Rut. Pee-Pee beards. Spilling 5 gallons of milk after all that work. Losing Electric before you use the milking machine. Rushing home to milk from a family event. Having people ask. . .Why, Why, Why? 

Wait, I am just getting started above. 

No, I am not kidding.

Vacations with the whole family? What are those, anyway? I haven't had one in 6 years. 

Sure, it is true that most new small farmers last a short time in the farming / homesteading world, but the number that start into the dairy world and find it is not for them is much higher still.

The majority of people who start with dairy goats will sell out of production animals in 3 years. My guess is dairy cows have a similar statistic.

There is nothing requiring more commitment, more labor and fortitude that I can think of in farming life.

Beyond that, if you do not LOVE it from the start of the day to day process, it isn't likely to grow into something you love as time goes on. You are far more apt to hate it more as days pass.

This will tied you down more than triplet newborn human children ever could. It is like 2 sets of triplet toddlers that never grow up. Ever.


Most Newbies (including me back then) start with young animals not trained to milk. They do not realize what may lay in store when they teach that animal to hop up or into a stanchion while a person fumbles around with their teats and udder, trying to figure out just what hand motions actually make the milk come out effectively.

All newbies start with arms unused to milking, even if they are smart enough to start with a well trained goat or cow tolerant of the dingbat trying to figure out how this milking process works. Your arms will hurt, Your arms will cramp, your back will hurt. You will cry. You may be there two hours later still trying to figure it out because regardless of how you feel, that animal has to be milked. That is that.

Shoot, 6 years later, I still wake up with numb arms and fingers. 

If you start with a milking machine, you will feel like you are handling a $1,500 50 lb Steel Mad Octopus sucking up manure, mud, your hair and everything else before you actually master how that hot mess works.

You will want to slap your own face for the crazy decision to have a family milk cow when said cow attempts to break your arm instead of allowing you to sit idyllically on a stool gently hand milking while you and she are most comfortable into a bucket where all the milk stays wonderfully clean that first time and all times after.




We forget True Dairy animals are very selectively bred creatures. They do not happen in nature. They are require substantially more management than meat breeds of livestock.

The strain on the body of a dairy animal is 2 to 10 times what a beef animal will endure while raising a calf. They need more of everything, not just more time . They need more water, food, more mineral, more intervention at all turns.

Generally, it would be fair to say the easiest keeping dairy cow is far more labor intensive than the hardest keeping beef cow.

You are going to be milking 9-12 months each year. You are likely going to be milking day and night, at least for awhile. Sure, with time, you learn ways to schedule breedings, milkings and finagle it with dam raising to make it more manageable. I know I have done all types of things to make it work, but I still milk far more days each year often than I do not.

When I'm sick with a stomach virus, vomiting with body aches and chills, when it is -5 degrees in the barn with a foot of snow. . . .  guess who is still milking?





"Tinia Creamer," you might think. . ."You, Missy, are just too harsh!"



But I'm not. I'm giving you the stark picture. The Truth of it.

I've stuck this out a decent amount of time now. 6 years. I loved it in the beginning, though it scared me too death. I love it now. I have loved it during the in between, but there were times then and there will be times ahead. . .where I have laid in the mud, cried and wondered where I might check in for a lobotomy, have no doubt.

My last name is Creamer. 

What can I say. How could I get away from it?

No matter how I fight it, this dairy deal seems like destiny. It seems to have that recipe everything in my life has to have to hold my interest:
A bit of tragedy 
An never ending Journey
Sprinkled over the top with numerous soul satisfying "epiphany" moments

So this path gives me what I need to feel I'm accomplishing something worth while.



Holding lovely new born goat kids and calves, cow kisses, pee-pee beards (I know), alien goat eyes, those sand-paper cow tongues, goats running to you when they see it is milking time, the joy of a quality food product in your fridge where you know each element of the production and not only the animal who gave the milk. . .but her dam and sire, the quiet moments where you can do the best of thinking milking your cow who decided to behave, working to improve the genetics you have in these animals, seeing others start and succeed with animals from your farm, those arms you can only get from hand milking and people asking you. . ."Wow, you must do Crossfit" when you answer "Cowfit, actually."

Sure, it is just a milk cow, a dairy goat. . .we are just making milk, the lot of us, together, and somehow, it makes the most wonderful Journey I've been on during my time in the farming world.

It Seemed so simple on the outside when you were first peaking in, didn't it? 








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.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Additional Raw Milk Facts from FTCLDF

File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 1 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Support Access to Raw Milk
Consumers are increasingly seeking out raw milk as a natural, unprocessed food. Unfortunately,
some people in the conventional dairy industry and medical fields are seeking to restrict people’s
informed choices through banning or unreasonable restrictions on the sale of raw milk. We urge you
to reject such efforts and support consumer choice.
The justification for bans or severe restrictions on raw milk is that it is supposedly dangerous, but this
is not supported by the data. It is important to recognize that any food can be the source of foodborne
illness under the wrong conditions. When thousands of people became sick from spinach, peanut
butter, and cantaloupes, no one urged that we ban these products or severely limit consumers’ access
to them. The issue isn’t whether some people have become sick from raw milk on occasion –
the issue is whether raw milk poses such an unusually high level of risk that it somehow
justifies the government interfering with people’s choices.
All of the data discussed below is from the CDC for the 13-year period from 1998 to 2010, based on
the online database at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks. Nationwide, in that 13-year period,
there were 1,414 illnesses, 80 hospitalizations, and no deaths attributed to raw milk.a
To put these numbers in context, there were 2301,076 illnesses, 10,317 hospitalizations, and 223
deaths reported to the CDC in that time period from all foods. [wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks]
Consider the illnesses attributed to a few other foods:
Fruit salad: 1,323 illnesses, 29 hospitalizations, and 1 death;
Tuna: 1,415 illnesses, 41 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths (not including raw tuna or sushi);
Pizza: 1,614 illnesses, 20 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths.
The numbers of illnesses attributed to fruit salad, tuna, and pizza are similar to those attributed to raw
milk during this time period with the exception that, unlike these foods, raw milk has not caused
any deaths. While more people may consume these foods occasionally, few people consume these
foods day-in and day-out, in contrast to raw milk.
Consumption rates:
How many people drink raw milk? According to a CDC survey, an average of 3% of the population
has drunk raw milk within the last 7 days. Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
Population Survey Atlas of Exposures (2006-2007), www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNet
ExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf. That translates to approximately 9.4 million raw milk consumers
nationwide. So, out of 9.4 million raw milk drinkers, approximately 110 allegedly become sick each
year from raw milk, or 0.001% annually.
a A few of the larger outbreaks during this time period are listed as having multiple causes, such as “1% milk,
unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified” or “butter ; goat cheese/chevre, unpasteurized; goat milk, unpasteurized; whole milk,
unpasteurized”, making it unclear whether it was raw milk or some processed product that was truly the causative agent.
We have erred on the side of including these outbreaks, thus overestimating the number of illnesses properly attributable
to raw milk.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 2 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Pasteurized milk also carries some risk of foodborne illness
What about the numbers for pasteurized milk? In the same time period (1998-2010), 2,227 people
became ill, 27 people were hospitalized, and 3 died from pasteurized milk. A large number of people
drink pasteurized milk, so the relative risk is not high. But no food is risk-free.
In fact, a massive foodborne illness outbreak was linked to pasteurized milk in the 1980s. In 1985,
there were over 16,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella infection that were traced back to pasteurized
milk from a single dairy. Two surveys estimated that the actual number of people who became ill in
that outbreak were over 168,000, “making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in
the United States.”
[Ryan, CA et al. Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized
milk. J. American Medical Assn. 258(22):3269-74 (1987),
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3316720?dopt=Abstract
Raw milk is a separate issue from fresh raw cheeses, which pose a higher risk
Some industry groups have presented higher numbers of illnesses allegedly due to raw milk,
including two deaths. But these numbers are not attributable to raw milk, but rather to all raw dairy
products. This is an important distinction because of the extensive problems reported from raw queso
fresco, often imported from Mexico or made under unsanitary conditions at home and therefore
nicknamed “bathtub cheese.” See Queso Fresco: Cheese with a reputation,
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/queso-fresco-cheese-with-a-reputation. Many of the
illnesses and all of the deaths that the industry attributes to raw milk were in fact linked to raw queso
fresco, which is an illegal product.
Conclusion
The data, as opposed to the rhetoric, shows that raw milk does not pose an unusually high risk of
foodborne illness.
There are multiple principles that support continued, reasonable access to raw milk:
Americans have a right to decide what they feed themselves and their families.
Direct sales of raw milk provide a reasonable income for small family farms, often making
the difference between being able to continue farming and going out of business.
Supporting family farms supports rural economies in general by promoting local businesses
and keeping money circulating locally.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 3 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 1: Scientific studies have documented benefits
from raw milk
The claim that raw milk has no benefits over pasteurized milk is, on its face, false. Does anyone
contend that cooked strawberries or spinach are no different than raw strawberries or spinach? It’s
well-accepted that heating foods not only changes the taste, but destroys enzymes and certain
nutrients.
In addition, there are published, peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health benefits from raw
milk.
Several recent studies in Europe have found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protects against
asthma and allergies. [See Riedler, J. et al. 2001. Exposure to farming in early life and
development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 358:1129-33. Perkin, M.R.
and D.P. Strachan. 2006. Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with
childhood allergy? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 117(6):1374-8. Waser, M. et al. 2006. Inverse
association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations
across Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:661-670. Perkin, M.R. 2007. Unpasteurized
milk: health of hazard? Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:627-630.]
Raw milk retains higher levels of Vitamins A, B, C, and D than pasteurized. [See Haug, A., A.T.
Hostmark, and O.M. Harstad. 2007. Bovine milk in human nutritiona review. Lipids Health
Disease 6:25 (“Proteins and peptides are heat sensitive, and their bioactivity may be reduced by
pasteurization of milk. Heating of milk may also result in the formation of potentially harmful new
products, i..e. when carbohydrates in milk react with proteins.”). Wong, D.W.S. and W.M.
Camirand. 1996. Structures and functionalities of milk proteins. Critical Rev Food Science Nutr.
36(8): 807-844. Runge, F.E. and R. Heger. 2000. Use of microcalorimetry in monitoring stability
studies. Example: Vitamin A Esters. J Agric Food Chem 48(1):47-55. Kilshaw, P.J., L.M. Heppell,
and J.E. Ford. 1982. Effects of heat treatment of cow's milk and whey on the nutritional quality and
antigenic properties. Arch Disease Childhood 57: 842-847 (heat treatment destroyed all of the
Vitamin B12, about 60% of the thiamin and Vitamin B6, 70% of the ascorbic acid, and about 30% of
the folate). Gregory, J.F. 1982. Denaturation of the folacin-binding protein in pasteurized milk
products. J Nutr. 112: 1329-1338. Effect of several heat treatments and frozen storage on thiamine,
riboflavin, and ascorbic acid content of milk. J Dairy Sci. 66: 1601-6. Rajakumar, K. 2001. Infantile
scurvy: a historical perspective. Pediatrics 108(4):E76. Hollis, B.W. et al. 1981. Vitamin D and its
metabolites in human and bovine milk. J Nutr. 111:1240-1248. See also Levieux, D. 1980. Heat
denaturation of whey proteins: comparative studies with physical and immunological methods. Ann
Rech Vet. 11(1): 89-97 (“Nutritionists believe that high losses of nutritive value occur in heated
proteins following cross-linking since high cross-linked proteins cannot be degraded by digestive
enzymes.”).]
Moreover, there are numerous testimonials about the benefits of drinking raw milk. See
http://www.realmilk.com. While these do not provide scientific evidence of benefits, it is clear that
individuals choose to expend significant time and money to drink raw milk because they see a
benefit.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 4 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 2: Improving legal access to raw milk will not
increase foodborne illness outbreaks
Some groups have argued against allowing or expanding legal access to raw milk on the grounds that
if you make it easier to get raw milk legally, more people will drink raw milk, and more people will
get sick. While that argument is intuitively appealing, it is contradicted by the CDC’s data.
The attached chart shows the consumption of raw milk in 10 states, the raw milk laws in each state,
and the incidence of foodborne illnesses.
First, note that in every state, the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk is a very small
percentage of the total number of foodborne illnesses.
Second, there is no pattern indicating that making raw milk legally accessible increases
consumption. Maryland (where raw milk sales are illegal) had the exact same percentage of people
who had drunk raw milk within the last 7 days as California (where raw milk can be sold in grocery
stores). And Georgia, where raw milk can only be sold as pet food, had the highest consumption
rates of all.
Third, there is also no pattern of increasing rates of consumption correlating to increasing
illnesses. The two states with the highest rates of consumption -- Tennessee and Georgia -- had
lower rates of raw milk illnesses than the three states with the lowest rates of consumption --
Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut.
How can this be true? The most likely reason is that the risk of foodborne illness from raw milk is
low enough that the outbreaks are sporadic and occasional. Because raw milk is not a high-risk food,
the incidences of illness are too low to show a pattern.
The data directly contradicts the assertion that increasing legal access to raw milk will increase the
number of people who get sick.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 5 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Chart of Raw Milk Consumption, Legal Status, and Illness Rates
State Percentage of
population
consuming
raw milkb
Legal state of
raw milk
# outbreaks
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010c
# illnesses
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010
Total # foodborne
illnesses, 1998-
2010, excluding
multi-state
outbreaksd
% of foodborne
illnesses
allegedly traced
to raw milke
Minnesota 2.3% Farm sales
legal
4 16 10,021 0.16%
Colorado 2.4% Herd shares
legal
5 143f 8,330 1.71%
Connecticut 2.7% Retail sales
legal
1 14 3,023 0.46%
Oregon 2.8% Farm sales
legal
1 0-18g 7,514 0 0.23%
California 3.0% Retail sales
legal
4 45h 35,313 0.12%
Maryland 3.0% No legal
salesi
0 0 7,883 0
New Mexico 3.4% Retail sales
legal
1 20j 1,017 1.96%
New York 3.5% Farm sales
legal
5 66k 14,802 0.44%
Tennessee 3.5% Herd shares
legal
2 7 6,464 0.1%
Georgia 3.8% Legal only as
pet food
1 8 8,515 0.09%
10 State total 3% 24 299-337 102,882 0.29 0.32%
b Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Population Survey Atlas of Exposures. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2006-2007 (identifying
the percentage of people who had consumed raw milk within the last 7 days)..
www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNetExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf
c Note: an "outbreak" according to the CDC can involve as few as 2 people.
wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/Default.aspx
d The total foodborne illnesses are actually higher than listed in this chart because all data attributed to multi-state
outbreaks was excluded for these purposes because the CDC table does not indicate how many illnesses were attributed to
each state.
e Because of the undercounting of the total number of foodborne illnesses (see note 2), the true % of illnesses allegedly
traced to raw milk is lower than indicated.
f In the same time period in Colorado, there was an outbreak linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 200 people
g Oregon was part of a multistate outbreak allegedly traced to raw milk in Nov. 2005. The total number of illnesses in
that outbreak were 18, but we cannot determine how many occurred in Oregon.
h In the same time period in California, there were two outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 1,744 people.
i Note that even though raw milk sales are illegal in Maryland, 3% of the Maryland residents surveyed stated that they
drank raw milk. Prohibition doesn’t work.
j The New Mexico illnesses are from a single outbreak listed as being from "1% milk, unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified"
in a restaurant.
k In the same time period in New York, there were two outbreaks involving pasteurized milk that sickened 18 people.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 6 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 3: Raw milk does not pose a threat to
conveFile: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 1 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Support Access to Raw Milk
Consumers are increasingly seeking out raw milk as a natural, unprocessed food. Unfortunately,
some people in the conventional dairy industry and medical fields are seeking to restrict people’s
informed choices through banning or unreasonable restrictions on the sale of raw milk. We urge you
to reject such efforts and support consumer choice.
The justification for bans or severe restrictions on raw milk is that it is supposedly dangerous, but this
is not supported by the data. It is important to recognize that any food can be the source of foodborne
illness under the wrong conditions. When thousands of people became sick from spinach, peanut
butter, and cantaloupes, no one urged that we ban these products or severely limit consumers’ access
to them. The issue isn’t whether some people have become sick from raw milk on occasion –
the issue is whether raw milk poses such an unusually high level of risk that it somehow
justifies the government interfering with people’s choices.
All of the data discussed below is from the CDC for the 13-year period from 1998 to 2010, based on
the online database at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks. Nationwide, in that 13-year period,
there were 1,414 illnesses, 80 hospitalizations, and no deaths attributed to raw milk.a
To put these numbers in context, there were 2301,076 illnesses, 10,317 hospitalizations, and 223
deaths reported to the CDC in that time period from all foods. [wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks]
Consider the illnesses attributed to a few other foods:
Fruit salad: 1,323 illnesses, 29 hospitalizations, and 1 death;
Tuna: 1,415 illnesses, 41 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths (not including raw tuna or sushi);
Pizza: 1,614 illnesses, 20 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths.
The numbers of illnesses attributed to fruit salad, tuna, and pizza are similar to those attributed to raw
milk during this time period with the exception that, unlike these foods, raw milk has not caused
any deaths. While more people may consume these foods occasionally, few people consume these
foods day-in and day-out, in contrast to raw milk.
Consumption rates:
How many people drink raw milk? According to a CDC survey, an average of 3% of the population
has drunk raw milk within the last 7 days. Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
Population Survey Atlas of Exposures (2006-2007), www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNet
ExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf. That translates to approximately 9.4 million raw milk consumers
nationwide. So, out of 9.4 million raw milk drinkers, approximately 110 allegedly become sick each
year from raw milk, or 0.001% annually.
a A few of the larger outbreaks during this time period are listed as having multiple causes, such as “1% milk,
unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified” or “butter ; goat cheese/chevre, unpasteurized; goat milk, unpasteurized; whole milk,
unpasteurized”, making it unclear whether it was raw milk or some processed product that was truly the causative agent.
We have erred on the side of including these outbreaks, thus overestimating the number of illnesses properly attributable
to raw milk.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 2 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Pasteurized milk also carries some risk of foodborne illness
What about the numbers for pasteurized milk? In the same time period (1998-2010), 2,227 people
became ill, 27 people were hospitalized, and 3 died from pasteurized milk. A large number of people
drink pasteurized milk, so the relative risk is not high. But no food is risk-free.
In fact, a massive foodborne illness outbreak was linked to pasteurized milk in the 1980s. In 1985,
there were over 16,000 confirmed cases of Salmonella infection that were traced back to pasteurized
milk from a single dairy. Two surveys estimated that the actual number of people who became ill in
that outbreak were over 168,000, “making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in
the United States.”
[Ryan, CA et al. Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized
milk. J. American Medical Assn. 258(22):3269-74 (1987),
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3316720?dopt=Abstract
Raw milk is a separate issue from fresh raw cheeses, which pose a higher risk
Some industry groups have presented higher numbers of illnesses allegedly due to raw milk,
including two deaths. But these numbers are not attributable to raw milk, but rather to all raw dairy
products. This is an important distinction because of the extensive problems reported from raw queso
fresco, often imported from Mexico or made under unsanitary conditions at home and therefore
nicknamed “bathtub cheese.” See Queso Fresco: Cheese with a reputation,
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/queso-fresco-cheese-with-a-reputation. Many of the
illnesses and all of the deaths that the industry attributes to raw milk were in fact linked to raw queso
fresco, which is an illegal product.
Conclusion
The data, as opposed to the rhetoric, shows that raw milk does not pose an unusually high risk of
foodborne illness.
There are multiple principles that support continued, reasonable access to raw milk:
Americans have a right to decide what they feed themselves and their families.
Direct sales of raw milk provide a reasonable income for small family farms, often making
the difference between being able to continue farming and going out of business.
Supporting family farms supports rural economies in general by promoting local businesses
and keeping money circulating locally.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 3 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 1: Scientific studies have documented benefits
from raw milk
The claim that raw milk has no benefits over pasteurized milk is, on its face, false. Does anyone
contend that cooked strawberries or spinach are no different than raw strawberries or spinach? It’s
well-accepted that heating foods not only changes the taste, but destroys enzymes and certain
nutrients.
In addition, there are published, peer-reviewed scientific studies showing health benefits from raw
milk.
Several recent studies in Europe have found that drinking “farm” (raw) milk protects against
asthma and allergies. [See Riedler, J. et al. 2001. Exposure to farming in early life and
development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 358:1129-33. Perkin, M.R.
and D.P. Strachan. 2006. Which aspects of the farming lifestyle explain the inverse association with
childhood allergy? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 117(6):1374-8. Waser, M. et al. 2006. Inverse
association of farm milk consumption with asthma and allergy in rural and suburban populations
across Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:661-670. Perkin, M.R. 2007. Unpasteurized
milk: health of hazard? Clinical and Experimental Allergy 37:627-630.]
Raw milk retains higher levels of Vitamins A, B, C, and D than pasteurized. [See Haug, A., A.T.
Hostmark, and O.M. Harstad. 2007. Bovine milk in human nutritiona review. Lipids Health
Disease 6:25 (“Proteins and peptides are heat sensitive, and their bioactivity may be reduced by
pasteurization of milk. Heating of milk may also result in the formation of potentially harmful new
products, i..e. when carbohydrates in milk react with proteins.”). Wong, D.W.S. and W.M.
Camirand. 1996. Structures and functionalities of milk proteins. Critical Rev Food Science Nutr.
36(8): 807-844. Runge, F.E. and R. Heger. 2000. Use of microcalorimetry in monitoring stability
studies. Example: Vitamin A Esters. J Agric Food Chem 48(1):47-55. Kilshaw, P.J., L.M. Heppell,
and J.E. Ford. 1982. Effects of heat treatment of cow's milk and whey on the nutritional quality and
antigenic properties. Arch Disease Childhood 57: 842-847 (heat treatment destroyed all of the
Vitamin B12, about 60% of the thiamin and Vitamin B6, 70% of the ascorbic acid, and about 30% of
the folate). Gregory, J.F. 1982. Denaturation of the folacin-binding protein in pasteurized milk
products. J Nutr. 112: 1329-1338. Effect of several heat treatments and frozen storage on thiamine,
riboflavin, and ascorbic acid content of milk. J Dairy Sci. 66: 1601-6. Rajakumar, K. 2001. Infantile
scurvy: a historical perspective. Pediatrics 108(4):E76. Hollis, B.W. et al. 1981. Vitamin D and its
metabolites in human and bovine milk. J Nutr. 111:1240-1248. See also Levieux, D. 1980. Heat
denaturation of whey proteins: comparative studies with physical and immunological methods. Ann
Rech Vet. 11(1): 89-97 (“Nutritionists believe that high losses of nutritive value occur in heated
proteins following cross-linking since high cross-linked proteins cannot be degraded by digestive
enzymes.”).]
Moreover, there are numerous testimonials about the benefits of drinking raw milk. See
http://www.realmilk.com. While these do not provide scientific evidence of benefits, it is clear that
individuals choose to expend significant time and money to drink raw milk because they see a
benefit.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 4 of 6
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Attachment 2: Improving legal access to raw milk will not
increase foodborne illness outbreaks
Some groups have argued against allowing or expanding legal access to raw milk on the grounds that
if you make it easier to get raw milk legally, more people will drink raw milk, and more people will
get sick. While that argument is intuitively appealing, it is contradicted by the CDC’s data.
The attached chart shows the consumption of raw milk in 10 states, the raw milk laws in each state,
and the incidence of foodborne illnesses.
First, note that in every state, the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk is a very small
percentage of the total number of foodborne illnesses.
Second, there is no pattern indicating that making raw milk legally accessible increases
consumption. Maryland (where raw milk sales are illegal) had the exact same percentage of people
who had drunk raw milk within the last 7 days as California (where raw milk can be sold in grocery
stores). And Georgia, where raw milk can only be sold as pet food, had the highest consumption
rates of all.
Third, there is also no pattern of increasing rates of consumption correlating to increasing
illnesses. The two states with the highest rates of consumption -- Tennessee and Georgia -- had
lower rates of raw milk illnesses than the three states with the lowest rates of consumption --
Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut.
How can this be true? The most likely reason is that the risk of foodborne illness from raw milk is
low enough that the outbreaks are sporadic and occasional. Because raw milk is not a high-risk food,
the incidences of illness are too low to show a pattern.
The data directly contradicts the assertion that increasing legal access to raw milk will increase the
number of people who get sick.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 5 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Chart of Raw Milk Consumption, Legal Status, and Illness Rates
State Percentage of
population
consuming
raw milkb
Legal state of
raw milk
# outbreaks
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010c
# illnesses
allegedly
traced to raw
milk, 1998-
2010
Total # foodborne
illnesses, 1998-
2010, excluding
multi-state
outbreaksd
% of foodborne
illnesses
allegedly traced
to raw milke
Minnesota 2.3% Farm sales
legal
4 16 10,021 0.16%
Colorado 2.4% Herd shares
legal
5 143f 8,330 1.71%
Connecticut 2.7% Retail sales
legal
1 14 3,023 0.46%
Oregon 2.8% Farm sales
legal
1 0-18g 7,514 0 0.23%
California 3.0% Retail sales
legal
4 45h 35,313 0.12%
Maryland 3.0% No legal
salesi
0 0 7,883 0
New Mexico 3.4% Retail sales
legal
1 20j 1,017 1.96%
New York 3.5% Farm sales
legal
5 66k 14,802 0.44%
Tennessee 3.5% Herd shares
legal
2 7 6,464 0.1%
Georgia 3.8% Legal only as
pet food
1 8 8,515 0.09%
10 State total 3% 24 299-337 102,882 0.29 0.32%
b Foodborne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Population Survey Atlas of Exposures. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2006-2007 (identifying
the percentage of people who had consumed raw milk within the last 7 days)..
www.cdc.gov/foodnet/surveys/FoodNetExposureAtlas0607_508.pdf
c Note: an "outbreak" according to the CDC can involve as few as 2 people.
wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/Default.aspx
d The total foodborne illnesses are actually higher than listed in this chart because all data attributed to multi-state
outbreaks was excluded for these purposes because the CDC table does not indicate how many illnesses were attributed to
each state.
e Because of the undercounting of the total number of foodborne illnesses (see note 2), the true % of illnesses allegedly
traced to raw milk is lower than indicated.
f In the same time period in Colorado, there was an outbreak linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 200 people
g Oregon was part of a multistate outbreak allegedly traced to raw milk in Nov. 2005. The total number of illnesses in
that outbreak were 18, but we cannot determine how many occurred in Oregon.
h In the same time period in California, there were two outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk that sickened 1,744 people.
i Note that even though raw milk sales are illegal in Maryland, 3% of the Maryland residents surveyed stated that they
drank raw milk. Prohibition doesn’t work.
j The New Mexico illnesses are from a single outbreak listed as being from "1% milk, unpasteurized; sauces, unspecified"
in a restaurant.
k In the same time period in New York, there were two outbreaks involving pasteurized milk that sickened 18 people.
File: RawMilk--Fact-sheet-state-issues.pdf Rev. 0405-2013 Page 6 of 6
For more information, contact Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund • 703-208-3276 • info@farmtoconsumer.org
Attachment 3: Raw milk does not pose a threat to
conventional dairy sales
Another unsupported assertion is that, if there were an outbreak of foodborne illness linked to raw
milk, consumers might avoid buying pasteurized milk, hurting conventional milk sales and retailers.
The example provided is the drop in spinach sales when a nationwide outbreak of E. coli was linked
to spinach in 2006.
The claim is wrong because it fails to recognize the difference between mass-distributed goods and
direct-to-consumer transactions. The spinach that caused the 2006 outbreak was being sold in the
grocery stores around the country under 34 different brand labels. See Safe at any scale?, Agric.
Hum. Values 25:301-317 (2008). There was no realistic way for consumers to know which spinach
was contaminated and which was not. Similar confusion was present in the outbreaks linked to
tomatoes/ jalapenos and peanut butter. In contrast, if there were to be illnesses linked to raw milk,
the source of the milk would be identified immediately. The transparent, accountable nature of
direct-to-consumer sales empowers both the State and consumers to know exactly who has caused the
problem and how to avoid it, without any repercussions for other products.
In addition, when there have been illnesses attributed to raw milk in other states, the health
departments have been very explicit (even repetitive) about the fact that the problem lay with raw
milk and not with pasteurized milk. As a result, even in states where raw milk is sold side-by-side
with pasteurized milk in the grocery stores, there has been no evidence that alleged raw milk illnesses
have had any impact at all on pasteurized milk sales.
Ten states allow the sale of raw milk in grocery stores, so that raw milk is sold side-by-side with
pasteurized and the potential for negative repercussions is greatest. We were able to find data on
milk sales and prices for four of these states: California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and
Washington.
An analysis of the data shows that there is no pattern of reduced sales/production or reduced
prices in conventional milk at the time of, or after, the alleged outbreaks. Consumers do not
avoid pasteurized milk in reaction to reports of outbreaks linked to raw milk.
A chart with the data is available on request.
Sources:
University of Wisconsin Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Program
Prices: http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/6?tab=prices
California sales: future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/2115?area=California&tab=sales&grid=true
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 1998-2002,
http://future.aae.wisc.edu/collection/MilkProduction/milk_cow_fin/milk_cow_final_estimates_1998_2002.pdf
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 2003-2007,
http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/SB988/sb1022.pdf

National dairy sales
Another unsupported assertion is that, if there were an outbreak of foodborne illness linked to raw
milk, consumers might avoid buying pasteurized milk, hurting conventional milk sales and retailers.
The example provided is the drop in spinach sales when a nationwide outbreak of E. coli was linked
to spinach in 2006.
The claim is wrong because it fails to recognize the difference between mass-distributed goods and
direct-to-consumer transactions. The spinach that caused the 2006 outbreak was being sold in the
grocery stores around the country under 34 different brand labels. See Safe at any scale?, Agric.
Hum. Values 25:301-317 (2008). There was no realistic way for consumers to know which spinach
was contaminated and which was not. Similar confusion was present in the outbreaks linked to
tomatoes/ jalapenos and peanut butter. In contrast, if there were to be illnesses linked to raw milk,
the source of the milk would be identified immediately. The transparent, accountable nature of
direct-to-consumer sales empowers both the State and consumers to know exactly who has caused the
problem and how to avoid it, without any repercussions for other products.
In addition, when there have been illnesses attributed to raw milk in other states, the health
departments have been very explicit (even repetitive) about the fact that the problem lay with raw
milk and not with pasteurized milk. As a result, even in states where raw milk is sold side-by-side
with pasteurized milk in the grocery stores, there has been no evidence that alleged raw milk illnesses
have had any impact at all on pasteurized milk sales.
Ten states allow the sale of raw milk in grocery stores, so that raw milk is sold side-by-side with
pasteurized and the potential for negative repercussions is greatest. We were able to find data on
milk sales and prices for four of these states: California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and
Washington.
An analysis of the data shows that there is no pattern of reduced sales/production or reduced
prices in conventional milk at the time of, or after, the alleged outbreaks. Consumers do not
avoid pasteurized milk in reaction to reports of outbreaks linked to raw milk.
A chart with the data is available on request.
Sources:
University of Wisconsin Dairy Marketing and Risk Management Program
Prices: http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/6?tab=prices
California sales: future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/2115?area=California&tab=sales&grid=true
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 1998-2002,
http://future.aae.wisc.edu/collection/MilkProduction/milk_cow_fin/milk_cow_final_estimates_1998_2002.pdf
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services, Milk Cows and Production Final Estimates 2003-2007,

http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/SB988/sb1022.pdf

Pages

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