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Monday, March 06, 2006

Raw Milk under Attack in Ohio

A couple of days ago I received an email with horror stories of what the ODA (Ohio Dept. of Agriculture) is doing to farms selling raw milk via "Cow Shares". Basically the ODA is aggressively seeking them out and shutting them down often using bogus reasoning.

Than last night right before bed I see a story on the local FOX newz station (I do not trust FOX national news but they are the only news on at 10pm that we can get and we watch it for the weather) about how the State is cracking down on raw milk sales and with the strong implication that raw milk is very bad for our health and that we will be better off consuming pasteurized milk from confined cows fed GMO grains and a steady diet of therapeutic antibiotics and bovine growth hormone (FYI the USA is the ONLY county in the world not to ban rBGH, likely because its' creator, Monsanto, has a lot of pull with both the FDA and the USDA). This report put me in a bad mood and made it hard to get to sleep.

So I got up early this morning and went to the want milk website to see what they had to say about this bad press. To my amazement they were positive because they have an ace in the hole. Here's what Warren Byle has to say about this

The press is beginning to pick up the story of the Raw Milk Prohibition in Ohio. The timing couldn't be better! Here's some recent news.

The ODA continues to move boldly to prosecute an Amish farmer for giving away a gallon of milk to an undercover agent last fall. They are also pursuing actions against other family farms in Ohio.

I attended the Ohio Milk Sanitation Board meeting on Wednesday to request that the ODA work with us toward a resolution to allow raw milk sales in Ohio. While I did have some beneficial discussions with members of the board and ODA staff after the meeting, I received no response to my offer.

Legislation should be introduced soon by Representative Arlene Setzer to legalize raw milk in Ohio.

Thank you to all who have contacted the ODA and/or your legislators to make them aware of the need to resolve this issue.

I don't know if I share his optimism but I was compelled to email my state Rep and Senator about this issue and asked them to co-sponsor Ms Setzer's bill when she introduces it in the near future.

Here is what I wrote this morning and sent off to my state politicians:

To the Honorable ,

I am writing to you today to ask you to support Rep. Arlene Setzer' bill that would decriminalize raw milk sales in Ohio. I am a consumer of raw milk products and it makes me angry that our state has outlawed a healthful food product. raw milk is not the same as pasteurized milk and many people who are allergic to pasteurized milk can drink raw milk.

There has been news about raw milk poisoning people lately. Two people in the Miami Valley who were known users of raw milk products from a farm in Versailles, OH got infected with campybolactor. Now the farm is being sued by the state because the ODA is blaming them for the contamination despite the fact that not one of their milk samples tested positive for campybolactor (or e-coli 157h7, for that matter). Considering campybolactor commonly comes from chicken that has been raised in confinement and rarely ever comes up in milk raw or pasteurized I would want to see further research in this matter before jumping to conclusions and closing down a person's business. To me this is dishonest on the part of the ODA. It seems more like a fishing expedition and they found what they wanted to find, even if what they found is not really reality.

Yes because raw milk has not been pasteurized it can, if handled in an illegal manner, cause sickness but let us not forget that pasteurized and homogenized milk is not without problems and badly handled pasteurized milk can also contain pathogens such as e-coli157, campybolactor, etc.. So can badly handled meat. But we do not hear about big milk processors or packing plants being shut down forever because they made several hundred people sick because of contamination. Seems to be a double standard, the big corps can get a way with murder, sometimes literally but not the independent farmer who will be shut down if even one person comes up sick.

So today I am asking you to research the benefits of raw milk ( and to become a sponsor of Rep. Arlene Setzer's bill when she introduces it to the Ohio House. To support this bill will mean you are supporting Ohio's small farmer's and Ohio people who simply wish to have a choice as to what kind of milk they drink.

Thank you for your time on this very important issue. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this and to see your name as a sponsor on this upcoming Raw Milk Bill.

If you are an Ohio resident and want to do something to make sure those who want to purchase and consume raw milk than feel free to copy this letter and send it off to your State Rep and Senator.

I guess what upsets me the most is it seems as soon as I find a place to purchase raw milk it gets threatened. I used to use Young's Jersey Dairy over by Yellow Springs, OH but they got their raw milk business closed down several years ago and since than I have been looking for another source with little success until this past month when I signed myself up for a cow share and got my first 3 gallons of milk. And it was good milk too. I have been suffering from heart burn/acid reflux and after a day of drinking raw milk from hormone, GMO and antibiotic free pastured cows the heartburn went away completely. Only to return about 1/2 hour after ingesting factory farmed pasteurized milk. I hope this farm is not forced to cease its cow share program because I don't think I am ready quite to buy a couple of cows of my own in order to get raw milk, butter, cheese, etc.. That and this place is very clean and sanitary, especially compared to another farm I used over a year ago in EC Indiana that was selling raw milk in used containers. Now that was a recipe for disaster and it is farms like that that give the rest a really bad name.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Hey Lucy,
Sucks about the milk-- I would rather go without milk entirely than drink that cooked pus from the grocery store--it gave me 18 years of near-constant sinus infections. Spring break starts Thursday for me and Im sticking around here, so if you guys have a project coming up that you need some help with I'd be happy to volunteer for a day...
ok off to the market council meeting!