Testimony given to the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture Committee on Raw Milk, September 18, 2007
A Treatise on Milk, Rights and Nature
(Pennsylvania Constitution, under Article 1, Declaration of Rights, Section 1 states “All men are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and pursuing their own happiness.) [Bold print added]
“Raw milk cures many diseases.” “The method itself is so simple that it does not interst most doctors.” J.E. Crew, MD 1929, (One of the founders of the Mayo Foundation forerunner of the Mayo Clinic)
Thirty years ago I could buy raw milk at Hilde’s grocery store five blocks from my house in Philadelphia. Today I drive to Lancaster County and buy direct from the farmer. This extreme inconvenience is because over time our misguided legislators and corporate influenced regulators got it all wrong when it came to raw milk as well as many other products from nature. It appears they will not be satisfied until we have to go to the Swiss Alps for raw milk and raw milk products.
Government bureaucrats did not do their homework, nor did we, the public, or we would have never allowed the industrialization of our milk and other food atrocities to have taken place over the last 150 years.
The main farmers’ Right threatened is the inherent right to produce for a livelihood a natural product. With this right comes the responsibility to insure its cleanliness and safety for human consumption.
A great place to start understanding the issues for lawmakers and consumers is “The Untold Story of Milk” by a Naturopathic Doctor, Ron Schmid, ND. This easy to read paperback is well documented and can springboard your research, if you wish, into referenced websites, books, newspapers, magazines and medical journals for confirmation and additional informative materials.
Legislators and regulators have a history of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, usually out of ignorance, maybe disinterest, in some cases stupidity and sometimes due to industrialists’ influence — or a combination of any of the above. In this case the baby is raw milk, a natural product given to us by our Creator through the cow. The bath water is unsanitary practices of food handlers — small and gigantic.
Raw Milk has been documented as a staple food for over 5000 years. In all these years who can recall an epidemic triggeed by Raw Milk? Any problem or disease connected to raw milk has to do with sanitation, as is true of our entire food supply and delivery system. Cleanliness is critical. (Note, twentieth century milk allergies are to processed, pasteurized milk, not raw milk due to digestion issues.)
Nature put good bacteria and bad bacteria (good and “bad” defined by humans not Nature) side by side throughout our environment – in raw milk, meat, our intestines, the soil, etc. Bernard Jensen, DC, PhD teaches us our intestines should have about 85% good flora (bacteria, yeast, etc.) and 15% “bad” flora. We call them “bad” because we do not know their purpose and when they overgrow (greater than 15%) they create annoying symptoms that lead to diseases. We also get symptoms if the “bad” flora is reduced to zero. Balance is critical.
Nature also put a variety of enzymes, antioxidants, and many other phytonutrients in the soil, plants and animals in order to work with what we call good or “bad”flora (bacteria, yeast, nematodes, etc.).
Although raw milk is sterile, it gets contaminated by humans or machines.(*) When bad bacteria enters the milk, there are natural mechanisms that kick-in to keep the raw milk safe for calf or human consumption. These protective, natural mechanisms are destroyed by pasteurization leaving pasteurized milk defenseless.
Raw milk is a nourishing healthy food proven for over 5000 years and by cultures on every inhabited continent. Dr. Schmid goes into detail about raw milk’s nutritional benefits and how doctors for hundreds of years in America used it for medicinal purposes even though it was exposed to bad bacteria. Keep in mind, there was no pasteurization in the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries nor was there refirgeration.
Along comes pasteurization (heating above 160 degrees F) to kill all the so called “bad”bacteria. Problem is it also killed all the good bacteria put there by Nature. But, pasteurizing milk also destroys enzymes needed for digestion and utilization in the cells of our body, denatured much of the protein, damages the fat molecules (vitamin A and D), decreases vitamin C by 10 to 50%, changes the chemical state of calcium and other minerals needed for absorption and kills disease-fighting lactic-acid-producing bacteria. Are these enough reasons to question modern technology and commercialism? If nothing else I hope our legislators read and understand this part of Dr. Schmid’s book.
Pasteurization only traded acute infectious diseases (from careless sanitation) for chronic, insidious, metabolic diseases related to the pasteurization of milk. Scientifically speaking, the damage we inflict on raw milk through heating, processing and denaturing borders on criminal, but because it was bulldozed on big cities, at cheap prices, in the name of sanitation, health officials and the unsuspecting consumer accepted it. Given the problems of “distillery dairies” in the big cities a hundred years ago, and the problems of modern day”confinement dairies” with thousands of cows that rarely or never see direct sunlight or feel the earth or grass under their hoofs, the modern milk industry needs pasteurization for their assembly line processing of milk or they would have massive contamination problems similar to poorly designed refugee camps.
Sanitation is an issue for raw milk and pasteurized milk. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dec. 11, 1987, article titled “Massive Outbreak of Antimicrobial-Resistant Salmonellosis Traced to Pasteurized Milk” reported over 200,000 people affected, nearly 3,000 hospitalized and 16 deaths from a dairy that processed 1.5 million pounds of milk daily. A processing plant this size is an insult to the cows and an outright provocation to Nature.
August 3 at a legislatiors’ luncheon on a Lancaster County farm I heard a woman testify that since she has been taking raw milk she has been able to eliminate 4 of her 5 medications. Another testimony was from a grandfather whose grandchild came to spend a week with her grandparents. The child’s mother, their daughter, forgot to pack the child’s medicine. One week without medicine as well as drinking raw milk and eating raw milk products and other farm fresh products, the child’s symptoms went away. Hopefully, the mother will follow through and keep the child prescription drug free.
Acres USA, an Eco-Agriculture magazine, advertises a book and DVD, “Cancer, Nutrition and Healing” by Jerry Brunetti, a Pennsylvania farmer entrepreneur about his battle with cancer and using fresh foods including raw milk, and natural, holistic, herbal treatments, Dr. Schmid’s book can direct you to many more cases and an understanding of how raw milk has been used therapeutically through the ages. He even reports on how he used raw milk for his severe intestinal problems 30 years ago as well as more recently how raw milk was one of the keys to his personal Lyme disease treatment.
So, if raw milk is so wonderful why is it disappearing in America?
Because, I believe, our right to buy Natural products is being taken away from us by short term greedy industrialists abusing science, technology and Nature.
No doubt the industrial revolution was a double edged sword. Consumers must watch out for the back swing that can instantly or over time cut down or erode their rights to Natural healthy products.
My purpose here is to alert, educate and encourage action.
Our State Constitution calls you an me to “enjoy and to defend Life , Liberty and Happiness”. There is no doubt in my mind; one eroding factor to all three of these rights is poor nutrition. For starters, check out essential fatty acids that have been missing from the standard American Diet for the past 100 years compliments of the food refineries. More shelf life, Less Nutrition. (Enriched and fortified foods are a separate treatise in itself.)
“The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid, ND, “Mutrition and Phusical degeneration” by Weston A. Price MD and “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon are excellent places for novices or nutritional professionals to learn about health, disease and the importance of making lifestyle changes. With any one of these books you will be able to discern truth from facts, truth from egos and emotions, truth from misinformation (in advertising or science), and make the connection between nutrition and our right to life, liberty and happiness. But please don’t stop with just one book.
For over a hundred years, the food manufacturing industry, the dairy conglomerates, the unwieldy agri-industrialists have literally been shoving “refined, processed foods” down our throats and pressuring governments to removing whole, healthy natural foods from the market shelves. Nature’s quality will always outsell fractionated foods that need tasty addictive ingredients to lure the unsuspecting consumer. Is it any wonder taht the largest American tobacco company derives over 60% of its profits from the food corporations it owns? Sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, caffeine, nicotine have a lot in common. And life goes on in society as if these addictions were natural.
There is not a Wall Street Corporation, a Madison Avenue Slogan or a Pharmaceutical product that even comes close to the nourishing powers of Nature. Sanitary, Whole and Raw foods as found in Nature, (although not stated in our Constitution), are as inherent a Personal Right for you and me as life, liberty and happiness.
Benjamin Franklin told Mrs. Powel, in 1787, “You have a Republic if you can keep it.”
It has been said, “He who governs least, governs best”. One reason is because politicians and regulators can be influenced and controlled by special interest groups that do not have the welfarre of the people as a priority. gusiness newspapers report on these avuses regularly.
Pennsylvania regulators want small farmers to obtain a permit to sell raw milk and milk products. They further require a poster be prominently displayed in their retail area stating the dangers of drinking raw milk. this poster is a lie because minimal research will reveal taht raw milk is healthier ande safer than pasteurized milk and poor sanitation in handling is the risk.
This poster represents harassment of small farmers and their consumers. If it stated “unsanitary handling of raw and pasteurized milk poses a risk” and was required in every retail and restaurant estabvlishment selling milk i the State then it would be true, more fair but also ludicrous.
Such a fallacious statement on a poster is definitely abusive overregulation and creates distrust of government. Small farmers in Pennsylvania have their own associations that set standards of cleanliness, handling, trade, etc. and have been doing quite well selling raw milk, raw milk products and other healthy, natural, organic farm products safely. They police each other and know if they don’t keep everybody up to high standards they jeopardize their credibility and their personal markets and livelihoods.
If it isn’t broken, Please, don’t try to fix it. The raw milk industry in Pennsylvania doesn’t need fixing. Our right to purchase raw milk does need fixing, so people don’t have to travel dozens of miles to get a healthy product of Nature. Hopefully, the small farms, many of them Amish and Mennonite, will be able to make more of these products available to more and more consumers who desparately need to get educated on these issues and get healthier.
- Now that you are alerted, please get further educated about Nature, Health, Nourishment and about all of your Constitutional Rights. The above books are a start. These web sites will help: WestonAPrice.org, organicpastures.com, guidestonefarm.com, Center for Food Safety.org, 5aday.gov, acresusa.com cewtrendspublishing.com, organicconsumers.org, beatcancer.org
- When financially possible, join organizations that will help you keep up to date with critical Health Issues, such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, then incorporate what makes sense to you and share it with as many people as you can especially, when protective action is needed
- Write to your Pennsylvania State Senator and Representative your concerns about the consumer’s constitutional right to buy fresh, whole, minimally processed and uncontaminated products including raw milk and raw milk products. You may want to let them know you want to be kept up to date on the laws and regulations involved.
- Learn more about how to protect your health nutritionally and your rights.
- Tell them you want to know their specific opinion: 1) do they favor our right to buy raw, minimally processed and unprocessed food (including raw milk): 2) will they protect small Pennsylvania farmers’ right not to be harassed by government regulators?
- Ask them for a copy of the Pennsylvania Constitution plus any educational materials thay may have about our Constitution. If you do not know and “defend” your Constitutional rights they can go away like some of the Natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients that ae being destroyed by our food processors only to show up in synthetic form on drug store shelves.
- Read this treatise more than once. Share it with like minded intelligent consumers/citizens and other people who need to know.
When you consider othe food insults – irradiation, genetic modification, microwaving, biosynthetic hormones, medications genetically spliced into crops, plastic packaging contamination … we really can’t afford to loose access to any more raw, healthy foods.
If our government or gigantic corporate interests prevent us from buying fresh, healthy, raw foods of our choice in the market place, “How free are we”? How many more generations will it take until we self destruct? Who will be responsible – those who acted fraudulently or those who did not act?
(*) My mistake raw milk is “not sterile” but very much alive with lots of beneficial bacteria.
Prepared by: Frank Schaller, Jr.
Special Thanks to Ron Schmid, N.D. for writing The Untold Story of Milk: green pastures, contented cows and raw dairy foods.