Got Milk?   1 comment

America’s ruling class is certain it knows better how we should live our lives than we do. Examples abound. Take the raw milk fight.

There was a time before refrigeration was commonplace when raw milk could result in disease. In 1924, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), a branch of the Food and Drug Administration, developed the Standard Milk Ordinance (we call it the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance today). It was a model regulation for states and municipalities to use in developing effective programs to prevent milk-borne disease. It contained provisions governing the production, processing, packaging and sale of Grade A milk and milk products. It became the basic standard used in the Voluntary Cooperative State -USPHS/FDA Program for the Certification of Interstate Milk Shippers, a program all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U. S. Territories participate in.

Forty-six of the 50 have adopted most or all of the PMO for their own milk safety laws with those states not adopting it passing laws that are similar. California, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland have not adopted the PMO.

Section 9 of the PMO states in part that, “only Grade “A” pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized or aseptically processed milk and milk products shall be sold to the final consumer, to restaurants, soda fountains, grocery stores or similar establishments.”

I am not passionate on either side of this debate. I agree that raw milk (unpasteurized milk) tastes superior to pasteurized milk and I am told it makes better cheese and yoghurt, but I’m no expert. My grandparents raised six healthy children on raw milk in the absence of refrigeration. Several families I know locally own goats and do not pasteurize. If you happen to show up at some of their homes with your own pitcher and accidentally drop some money in a coffee can, you can take home some raw milk that will accidentally end up in your pitcher. I haven’t gotten sick and I don’t know anyone who has gotten sick. One of my friends who grew up on raw milk is intensively lactose intolerant when he drinks pasteurized milk and claims he can consume raw milk without problems. On the other hand, raw milk needs to be handled carefully and refrigerated to prevent the transmission of e-coli, salmonella and other milk-borne diseases that can make you very sick. But here’s the thing – so does pasteurized milk. It takes longer, but if you don’t treat it well, it will make you sick.

So, here I stand looking at my two hands and voting – why the heck does the government or anyone else have a right to tell me what I can eat or drink?

I’d be more passionate if the science were more certain, but it really isn’t. For every story of some British mother who contracted brucellosis (undulant aka moose fever) from eating raw goat cheese, there’s a study or two showing that exposure to raw milk reduces childhood asthma and dermatitis. Brucellosis is a rare complication of consuming raw milk easily treated with antibiotics, but “milk allergies” from consumption of pasteurized milk are wide spread and they don’t go away. Modern science makes it possible to have brucellosis-free herds, particularly if the standard is small herds on fertile pasture, housed in clean barns, using milking machines, stainless steel tanks and refrigerated trucks.

I am not opposed to food inspections, but I do object to the wholesale ban of a food product that appears to have health benefits because of long-ago problems that have been ameliorated by modern technology.

To decide for yourselves, here are a couple of websites for you to peruse and consider for yourselves – do we need the administrative state to make this decision for ourselves or can we handle this on our own?

I vote for handling it on my own and not arresting Amish farmers for selling American citizens a product they know could possibly make them sick. That would be consistent with our laws on alcohol – another product people like a lot that can make you sick if mishandled. I forget, didn’t we try to ban that once and it didn’t work out so well?

Bumper Sticker - Raw Milk

One response to “Got Milk?

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  1. Agreed, Aurora.
    We have more access to more information than at any time in history. People can find out everything they need to about risk, taste, danger, etc.,.. right in the palm of their hand.
    Yet more and more the Feds act like they need to save us from ourselves.
    Or maybe they simply enjoy exercising absolute control over the citizenry, like a 10-year-old with a new toy.

    Personally, I’m betting on the latter…

    Plus, this is going on at the time where narcotics are increasingly being argued as being harmless?
    Huh? So, we should be able to smoke/sell/grow pot, but we can’t have raw milk?

    Just another example of how the Federal Government makes a total hash of almost everything they touch.


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