We have just send the following press release out on the wire services. Please feel free to send this announcement to local media, post it on internet lists and send it to California government officials. We will continue to keep you informed as events in California unfold.
Sally Fallon, President
The Weston A. Price Foundation
California Government Official Lies about Raw Milk
For immediate release. January 4, 2008
Raw milk proponents who have claimed that government officials often deceive the public about the safety of raw milk found clear evidence of this practice in a recent statement from the California Office of Constituent Affairs.
A letter signed by David Richey, Office of Constituent Affairs, sent to California consumers of raw milk, states that in September 2006, “the California Department of Public Health linked six cases of infection with the deadly E. coli O157:H7 to the consumption of raw milk.” The letter refers to the September 2006 outbreak of virulent E. coli now definitively tied to spinach grown in California.
Although officials of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) accused Organic Pastures Dairy, California’s main producer of raw milk, of selling tainted milk, thorough investigation of the milk, the cows and even the manure at Organic Pastures Dairy failed to find virulent E. coli or any other pathogen.
The state was forced to make a monetary settlement to compensate Organic Pastures Dairy for loss of business during the unnecessary two-week recall.
“The actions of California officials typify what we are seeing in many parts of the United States,” says Sally Fallon, president of The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education foundation that promotes the consumption of raw milk. “Raw milk is often the whipping boy for illness caused by other foods. Health officials publicize a ‘link’ between raw milk and illness on little or no proof and ignore much more likely vectors of illness, such as salads or deli meats. They can find a ‘link’ between raw milk and illness by asking victims about raw milk consumption and not about other foods they have consumed.”
Fallon notes that In September, 2003, the FDA, USDA and CDC jointly released a report comparing the risk of listeriosis carried by various foods. On a per-serving basis, this report estimated that deli meats are 10.8 times more dangerous than raw milk and that non-reheated hot dogs are 9.2 times more dangerous than raw milk. Since deli meats are so commonly consumed, on an absolute basis they carry 515 times as great a risk as raw milk.
Furthermore, two people recently died in Massachusetts from listeria in pasteurized milk. “Where are the government warnings to avoid deli meats, hot dogs and pasteurized milk?” asks Fallon. “Only raw milk is singled out as a menace.”
The letter from the Governor’s office also states that “raw milk sold for direct human consumption is illegal in all or part of 42 states.”
“Once again, the state of California is lying to the public,” say Fallon. “Raw milk may legally be sold in over 30 states and may be sold in stores in eight states. California citizens whose health depends on access to raw milk deserve fair and accurate statements from public servants, not lies and misinformation.”
The new standard passed by the Legislature in AB 1735, without hearings or debate, sets a maximum amount of beneficial probiotic coliform bacteria at no more than 10 bacteria per mL in milk sold raw to the consumer. If enforced, AB 1735 could make raw milk unavailable because coliform bacteria-which are harmless-multiply rapidly when milk is machine bottled.
Just before AB 1735 took effect, January 1, 2007, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in San Benito County. Part of that lawsuit requests an injunction which would legally protect raw milk producers against enforcement of AB 1735 standards. In addition, a new law will be introduced in January reversing AB 1735.
“AB 1735 unfairly targets raw milk and is not necessary for public safety,” says Taaron Meikle, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. “The two raw milk dairies in California have a superlative safety record.”
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) defends the sale of raw milk and other farm products directly to the public. In states where raw milk sales are illegal, FTCLDF helps farmers provide raw milk to consumers through cow-boarding and herd-sharing contractual agreements.
Sally Fallon, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation
202-962-0333, safallon (at) aol.com , www.westonaprice.org
Taaron Meikle, President, The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
(703) 964-7421, TGMeikle (at) aol.com , www.farmtoconsumer.org
Pete Kennedy, Esq., Vice President, The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
(941) 349-4984, glfcstmnrs (at) earthlink.net .