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Article posted Mar 18 2007, 2:45 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: JBS Print

Got Milk? You're Under Arrest

By Alan Scholl

In many states, you can possess it, but the law prohibits its sale. It is a violation of federal law to transport the substance across state lines with the intent to sell it. In many states, undercover investigators are at work trying to uncover the furtive networks that produce and distribute the stuff. Dealers have been pulled over and spectacular quantities of the contraband substance have been seized by triumphant investigators. Is this a tale from the War on Drugs?

Not exactly. But it is a tale from the war many states are conducting on those who sell raw milk.

That's right, there is a dangerous underground of dairy devotees who prefer to drink their milk straight from the cow, sans pasteurization and homogenization and government is increasingly out to stop them. Some states, in fact, equate the sale of raw milk with the sale of drugs. Consider this from Washington Post reporter Thomas Bartlett:

The issue of selling raw milk is, legally speaking, dicey. To determine exactly how dicey, I call Ted Elkin, deputy director of the Office of Food Protection and Consumer Health Services at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Elkin is in charge of making sure the state's dairy laws are enforced.

"So," I begin carefully, "Maryland's position on raw milk is . . .?"

"Raw milk is illegal for sale," Elkin says. "Period."

"Huh," I reply.

To help drive this point home, he compares selling raw milk to selling pot.

"Interesting," I say. At that moment, I am standing in my kitchen with the fridge door open, staring at my gallon of possible contraband.

This seems positively surreal, like some parody of the war on drugs aired on Saturday Night Live.

Proof that the war on contraband milk is taken all too seriously by some state officials, Bartlett's conversation with Elkin next turned frighteningly serious. Noting that Maryland lacks the resources to track down all users of raw milk, Elkin suggested that the state might eventually catch them. "Using an analogy, Elkin explains that a small-time heroin dealer in Baltimore might be able to elude the authorities for quite a while," Bartlett wrote of his interview with Elkin. "So, during our conversation, raw milk was compared to marijuana and heroin. What's more, Hitler's secret police were mentioned in passing, sure, but still."

Just like the War on Drugs, the War on Raw Milk is serious business. Just ask farmer Richard Hebron. According to Time magazine, in October of last year the Michigan man was pulled over by police near Ann Arbor. According to Time, when police pulled him over, they "ordered him to put his hands on the hood of his mud-splattered truck and seized its contents: 453 gal. of milk." Hebron had already been the subject of a large sting operation conducted by state Ag officials.

As Time reported, "An undercover agricultural investigator had infiltrated the co-op as part of a sting operation that resulted in the seizure of $7,000 worth of fresh-food items, including 35 lbs. of raw butter, 29 qt. of cream and all those gallons of the suspicious white liquid. Although Hebron's home office was searched and his computer seized, no charges have been filed. 'When they tested the milk, they couldn't find any problems with it,' says Hebron. 'It seems like they're just looking for some way to shut us down.'" Similar sting operations have been conducted in other states, including in Wisconsin, America's erstwhile "Dairy State," where one might expect officials to have a slightly more generous attitude toward the state's beleaguered dairy farmers.

Why the fuss over raw milk? Before the advent of pasteurization, raw milk was widely consumed and was implicated in disease outbreaks in during the 19th century that caused many deaths in American cities. But that milk, according to some, was often contaminated in ways that would be inconceivable today.

"Milk was commonly mixed with additives to gain profit," wrote author Laurie Winn Carlson in her book Cattle, a history of the cow. "Then, to make it look whole, additives were mixed in, such as carbonized carrots, grilled onions, caramel, marigold petals, chalk, plaster, white clay and starch. To replace the cream that had been removed, emulsions of almonds and animal brains were dissolved in the liquid to thicken it."

Today, raw milk supporters say, the product is safe. In California where the sale of raw milk is legal, Organic Pastures Dairy says it has sold more than 40 million servings of raw milk without complaint. Moreover, raw milk advocates say the product is part of a healthy diet. Pasteurization, they say, destroys important enzymes and beneficial bacteria that exist in milk. Drink raw milk, they say, and your arthritis pain will cease, your asthma will go away and you'll lose weight. Give it to young children and they will be less likely to get sick and suffer from allergies.

Are all such claims true? Who knows. But one thing is true: Selling raw milk should not be illegal.

"There are 65,000 child-porn websites," Nancy Sanders, a raw milk supporter, mother and pediatric nurse told Time. "Why doesn't the government go after those?"

With dangerous criminals like dairy farmer Richard Hebron on the loose peddling such dangerous stuff, those state governments don't have time.

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Mar 18 2007, 3:21 PM

2417 I am a raw milk advocate, and have been obtaining it "under the table" for some time now. If I owned my own cow I could drink raw milk legally, but since I rent, I can't keep a cow in the front yard (the landlord would complain).

For those who want to try raw milk, I want to make sure they have the information needed to obtain SAFE raw milk. Cows need to eat mostly grass (which includes grass hay), not grain, corn, orange peels, brewery sludge, or agricultural by-products, in order to be healthy. Unhealthy cows will produce unhealthy milk. Cows kept confined in CAFO's (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), without access to grass (and hay in the off-season), are not healthy. Most large dairies are CAFO's (imagine trying to lead a thousand cows into a barn twice a day for milking), so their milk does indeed need to be pasteurized to be safe. If you want to get raw milk, go to the farm! Look at their cows and see if they get to graze on pastures. Visit the milking parlor. Machine milking tends to be cleaner than hand milking, unless you've got time to wash each udder individually (as my friends do), because the machines are self-contained. Make sure you feel comfortable that the cows are happy and healthy, and that the operation is reasonably clean (not sterile, mind you--these are farm animals after all!)

Raw milk, from healthy cows, is pretty amazing stuff. It has the capacity to actually kill off pathogens, as the enzymes and beneficial bacteria take over in short order. (For more on this, you can read Dr. Ron Schmid's book, The Untold Story of Milk, or contact Mark McAffee at Organic Pastures Dairy in California, who organized the lab tests which demonstrated this property in his raw milk.) Thus dairying has survived from prehistoric times, largely in what we would call "unsanitary" conditions, without sickening the many tribes and peoples (including most Europeans, Middle-Easterners, West Asians, and a good many Africans) who have depended on raw milk for sustenance for millinea. Raw milk first made a lot of people sick in America, in the early 1900's, when dairymen took their cows off grass and started feeding them distillary swill. Pasteurization was a "band-aid" solution for the problem; the real solution is to get the cows back into the pasture!

Thank you for pointing out the absurdity of outlawing food.

Posted: Mar 18 2007, 10:39 PM

2430 My family drank raw, pasture-fed cow's milk all the time I was growing up. Great taste, and no one ever got ill. Try it sometime and you'll notice what I feel to be a vastly improved taste.

Posted: Mar 19 2007, 9:38 AM

124 In 1957, at the age of 3, I was fed raw milk at the recommendation of the family doctor, to help with low body weight. Unfortunately the cow giving the milk had Tuberculosis (unknown to the owners) and I contracted TB of the lymphatic and skeletal systems. This had a 5% survival rate at the time.

I was one of the 5% who survived. I still have health problems from this and have been told I probably have less than 10 years to live.

I'm not saying don't drink the milk. My Dad and his 9 siblings were raised on raw milk and had no problems. I'm just advising that you make SURE the cows have been tested and you are aware of the risks. I don't want to share my afflictions with anyone!

Posted: Mar 19 2007, 11:20 PM

88198 The real story behind this is control of the food supply.
They pretty-much already have a handle on it now. Find out what the food distribution point for your area is and what it services. In my area (Austin,TX)
almost all food is distributed out of San Antonio, which services the entire area.
This milk story is just a small manifestation of the attempt to keep complete and
total monopolistic control over the food supply.
In addition to this, we've got a guy (Chertoff) whose family is one in the same of the group of people who killed millions in the Ukraine by cutting off the food supply. They may do it again here in the USA as a contingency to revolt when people don't accept their plans for our future.

Posted: Mar 31 2007, 2:38 AM

67162 Its interesting, big chunks of your article are word for word identical to a washington post article from october 2006.

Seeing as the authors are different, I'm assuming this was just pilfered from their site. Pretty weak stuff guys...
Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Page 1 of 1

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