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Freedom Milk

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To be sure, milk has been the topic of many conversations in Washington, DC, over the past week. Yesterday, passers-by on the Hill were treated to the sight of a cow grazing in Upper Senate Park, across the street from the Senate. They watched it being milked by hand on site, and got to enjoy a sample of the warm liquid right there and then, if they were so willing. “Those who wrote the Constitution drank raw milk,” read a sign.

Charming as it may have been, the unusual, bucolic scene was a protest organized by the Grassfed on the Hill Buying Club in the name of a serious cause: the perceived persecution of Daniel Allgyer, a Pennsylvania Amish dairy farmer, at the hands of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After 18 months of harassment, including a sting operation, the agency recently filed a civil suit against him for introducing into interstate commerce raw milk intended for human consumption, and gave him notice of a pending request for permanent injunction. It should be noted that no health incident was ever identified in connection with Rainbow Acres Farmís raw milk. The farmer’s crime was to sell milk to residents of Maryland, Virginia and D.C.: transporting uncured milk across state lines is illegal, according to the Justice Department. In response, Grassfed on the Hill has sued the FDA, challenging the agency’s jurisdiction on ALL private clubs providing raw dairy.

“Despite the fact that there is no actual proof that anyone has ever been injured by milk from Dan’s cows, he is being treated as if he were a drug lord by our federal government,” said Jonathan Emord, a D.C.-based lawyer and author of “The Rise of Tyranny” and “Global Censorship of Health Information.” “He is being treated as if what he sells is contraband that will cause injury to anyone who gets near the substance. And this is fresh milk.”

Jonathan Emord was among several speakers invited to support the Food and Farm Freedom Rally. Other speakers included Sally Fallon Morell of Weston A. Price Foundation, author David Gumpert, and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Dairy.

The event was given national momentum by the introduction, last week in Congress, of a bill (H.R.1830) designed to “allow the shipment and distribution of unpasteurized milk and milk products for human consumption across state lines.”

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.

44 comments

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10:51PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

I had no idea raw milk was illegal in some states...that is so absolutely ridiculous! I can make a quick trip to the store to buy all the raw organic milk I please. I've tried it, and raw butter too, yum!

8:47PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

thanks for your article but, no cow milk for me, soy or rice milk taste better and nobody cries!

12:23AM PDT on May 24, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

2:40PM PDT on May 22, 2011

Thank you

2:16AM PDT on May 21, 2011

milk consist of many vitamins
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webdesign

12:49PM PDT on May 20, 2011

Thank you, Nicole.

James, have you ever been to a diary farm that provides raw milk? Have you ever been to a daily farm that doesn't? If no, how would you know?
Even without all of that, consider this: 65 years ago (prior to pasteurization being a law in the US), people drank raw milk every day. They didn't have the allergies that we suffer from now. They didn't have to deal with "superbugs" that are resistant to heat and antibacterials that we have now. Could that be because we've sterilized everything so much that we are no longer subject to regular disease, but "supersize" diseases? We need to get back to introducing the good bugs into our systems so that we can fight off these things. Raw milk, from cows that have been fed species appropriate food and not given high doses of antibacterials, has lots of good bugs that actually help us fight off the bad bugs. I prefer to be healthy enough to be able to fight off viruses and bad bacteria than to just hide and avoid it all. I want to have that choice.

9:28AM PDT on May 20, 2011

James, can you please explain how raw milk gives people TB? It is my understanding that Turberculosis primarily infects people through inhalation of the bacteria. Most cows raised properly for raw milk production have a very low incidence of harmful bacteria and farmers test their milk and cows regularly for illness and bacterial infection.

Pasturization of milk only became an issue when factory farms stopped caring about the health of their cows and allowed them and their milk to become infected as well as allowing contamination with feces and puss.

12:45PM PDT on May 19, 2011

Good Grief ! Raw milk is Illegal, because YOU and I can get
Tuberculosis from Raw Milk. It's A Good Law, and just because TB is not an issue anymore, doesn't mean that we
can forget about it. The only way we can Keep TB Away Forever Is To Never Allow Raw Milk Anymore. Period.

12:15PM PDT on May 19, 2011

i agree with other comments on how the government allows for all sorts of harmful substances to be sprayed on foods and yet something as harmless as raw milk is declared illegal...its a joke, really. people should have the choice to drink/eat whatever they want. there are a lot more dangerous/unhealthy foods or food additives that the government should be putting their focus on, instead of something so harmless as raw milk.
HOWEVER i myself am not a huge milk drinker (it makes be bloated!), the only dairy i eat is cheese occasionally...but maybe raw milk would be better...who knows!!

10:29AM PDT on May 19, 2011

In response to the question posed by Vasu M.
"Nicole D. concludes:

"And while I'm not a proponant of milk I don't think this is the right place to voice your opinions against it. This is a story about people's right to choose what they eat. Whether you agree with it or not."

Does this mean cannibalism is okay?"

I think you're taking this WAY WAY WAY out of context. I do think a government of humans for humans should dictate that one human cannot kill another human (I am against capital punishment if you'd like to stretch the conversation in that direction). I do not think our government should limit what we put into our mouths. You can eat plastic and and elephant dung for all I care and the government has no business to tell you you can't. Heck, eat horses and squirrels if that suites you too. Now it gets shady in the area of endangered animals. I think for the sake of keeping biodiversity the government needs to control the killing and eating an endangered species (i.e. not allow it) though honestly that's off topic too.

My original statement comes down to this: If people want to drink milk, be it pasturized or unpasturized, cow, goat, elephant, or human, that's they're choice. The government can regulate it but they shouldn't ban it all together.
And I support your right to try to convince them not to drink milk at all.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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