By John Moody
Food Clubs & Co-ops
Last week, the Obama Administration gave its official response to the 6,078 signers of a petition on WhiteHouse.gov who requested federal-level legalization of all raw milk sales.
Written by Doug McKalip, the White House senior policy adviser for rural affairs, the response is full of typical government double speak and sleight of hand with facts and figures.
For instance, the response starts off by saying, “We appreciate consumer concerns on food issues and understand the importance of letting consumers make their own food choices.”
But is there any evidence to support either of these statements? Zero. The Obama Administration has continued the Bush Administration policy of fast tracking GMOs and other dangerous foods while mercilessly targeting small producers of healthful things like elderberry juice. They continue to oppose consumer choice by blocking GMO labeling.
The Obama FDA, with folks like former Monsanto executive Michael Taylor (who also served in both the FDA and USDA under Bush) at the helm of the “food safety division,” had the audacity to state that people have no inherent right to choose the food they eat or what they feed their children (see here and here).
Does this sound like understanding the importance of letting consumers make their own food choices? Of course, you are free to consume tainted cantaloupe, turkey, and ground beef from large, industrial farms in the FDA’s twisted universe. But don’t touch that fresh milk!
The claim that “This Administration believes that food safety policy should be based on science… In this case, we support pasteurization to protect the safety of the milk supply because the health risks associated with raw milk are well documented” is also spurious at best.
The CDC was recently forced to retract its long standing claim that two people have died from raw milk consumption (they, in fact, died from consuming “bathtub” cheese. (See here and here).
Many of the “raw-milk” outbreaks involve PMO (pasteurized milk ordinance) milk, not fit for human consumption, that either was improperly pasteurized or taken, as in a recent event in Wisconsin, without permission or the knowledge of the farmer or consumer and given raw.
Such milk isn’t real raw milk, milk produced by farms intending to provide it to the public as safe raw milk, often from small family farms that are grass or pasture-based and committed to good husbandry and sanitation practices.
PMO milk that merely missed the bulk tank truck or improperly handled raw milk turned into cheese in someone’s shower should not be counted among the raw milk outbreak statistics if the government was truly interested in either safety or science.
Ted Beals and numerous other scientists and individuals have shown that raw milk is far less dangerous than many other foods people consume on a weekly or daily basis, even when adjusted for estimated rates of consumption that are half of what is most likely happening each and every day across the US.
Even more mainstream groups can no longer deny it. In a recent Food Seminars International webinar, distinguished professor and researcher on food safety David Warriner conceded that raw milk is certainly no more dangerous than many other foods people are allowed to consume or activities they are allowed to engage in.
Just don’t try to tell this to the FDA or Obama Administration.
McKalip assertions that the nutritional and health benefits of raw milk have not been scientifically verified, along with the claim that the FDA is as a science-based regulatory agency, which “looks to the scientific literature” also lack credibility.
Two major European studies have shown that raw milk does indeed help with allergies, and even showed the various mechanisms as to how it accomplishes this amazing feat.
Also, why would anyone expect mainstream researchers, who have nothing to gain by showing the healthfulness of raw milk and benefits of real food, but so much to lose if such benefits were more widely publicized and believed, since by nature these foods cannot be patented, protected, and pilled for sale, to conduct useful or fair research on the subject?
McKalip goes on to say that the FDA’s position on raw milk is shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics — that raw milk is comparable in nutritional quality to pasteurized milk, while the health risks of raw milk “are clear.”
These folks also say and force farmers to say that all eggs are just the same, which numerous studies have now shown to be false, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot, and all beef is the same.
Isn’t it instead time to say to these folks, “Three strikes, you’re out!”
At the end of the day, this response is unsurprising from a government long bought out by and little more than a spokesperson for big ag, big pharma, and big government.
If people were healthy, health care deform, labeling laws, and so many other government power grabs wouldn’t have the appeal that they do now.
Little do most people know that these programs, like the now defunct USDA Food Pyramid (a fitting image, since the pyramids where made by destroying the lives and wellbeing of thousands of average and lower class and slave peoples) far from protecting our health and the health of our planet, are part of the master plan to destroy it.
Full response of the Obama Administration to raw milk petition:
Official White House Response to Legalize raw milk sales on a federal level
Food Safety and Raw Milk
By Doug McKalip
Thank you for signing a petition about legalizing raw milk and for participating in the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov. We appreciate consumer concerns on food issues and understand the importance of letting consumers make their own food choices.
This Administration believes that food safety policy should be based on science. In this case, we support pasteurization to protect the safety of the milk supply because the health risks associated with raw milk are well documented.
Pasteurization of milk was adopted decades ago as a basic public health measure to kill dangerous bacteria and largely eliminate the risk of getting sick from one of the most important staples of the American diet. In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a regulation prohibiting the interstate sale of raw milk to reduce the number of illnesses and outbreaks associated with its consumption.
In recent years, some Americans have rejected pasteurization in favor of raw (or unpasteurized) milk, citing a range of taste, nutritional, and health benefits they believe are associated with raw milk consumption, as well as a general preference for unprocessed food.
As a science-based regulatory agency, the FDA looks to the scientific literature for information on benefits and risks associated with raw milk. While the nutritional and health benefits of raw milk consumption have not been scientifically substantiated, the health risks are clear. Since 1987, there have been 143 reported outbreaks of illness – some involving miscarriages, still births, kidney failure and deaths – associated with consumption of raw milk and raw milk products that were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli. The FDA’s position on raw milk is in concert with the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatricians.
The FDA does not regulate intrastate raw milk sales, or selling raw milk within a state, which is left up to the individual states. Today, 20 states explicitly prohibit the intrastate sale of raw milk in some form and 30 allow it. FDA bans interstate raw milk sales, or selling raw milk across state lines. The FDA has never taken, nor does it intend to take, enforcement action against an individual who purchases and transports raw milk across state lines solely for his or her own personal consumption.
Thank you for participating in this important process. We appreciate your opinions and look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Doug McKalip is Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council
If you want the federal government out of our business then vote for Ron Paul! He is the only candidate who can change things for us.
I will never stop drinking raw milk and no one can make me. I know where my milk comes from. Can’t really say that about the produce they make us purchase at the grocery store.
Was this to create a new federal law allowing the sale of raw milk? Or was it to lift the FDA’s ban on selling interstate? I agree that the ban should be lifted, but raw milk consumption should be left up to the states, no?
Are they planning to ask lactating mothers to pasteurise their milk before they feed it to the babies? In India, almost everyone buys raw milk straight from the farmer. In large cities this milk is sold in half litre plastic packets. In villages, even today the milkman gets his cow/ buffalo to the customer’s door step. What is going on in the US of A is plain and simple loot by big corporations. You guys better take back your freedom before you end up like the people in the movie Wall-E. I guess you have seen this : http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-citizens-united-v-fec/
That might be next…formula for babies may be mandatory next; after all, who can make money off of healthy, breastfed babies?
Just another reason so-called freedom loving liberals need to wake up. All the liberals who shop at Whole Foods think the democrats are on their side. Small producers would have nothing if not for a few die-hard hold outs against corporatocracy such as Ron Paul and to a degree Rand Paul.
Obama is thee single worst prez we’ve had in terms of personal freedom & sustaining our health.
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