Monday, May 05, 2008

Feds launch 'Gestapo raid' over raw milk

Milk does a body good. Then again what kind of milk? Is it processed milk or raw milk? Well it seems that it has been decided that your milk must be processed and that anyone attempted to sell raw milk will get raided and prosecuted.

I found the WND article via Newsalert though I would like to see if any other mainstream news sours has such an article available. I think I want to focus on the science aspect if you want to follow the legal and regulatory aspects go read the whole thing. Though I think I'll bring up a piece of the defendant's argument:
A rally has been set for tomorrow in front of the magistrate's office in Mt. Holly, Pa., in support of a Mennonite farmer who has brought the wrath of the government on himself for selling raw milk and other products – an act government prosecutors say violates a number of regulations.

That's when the next court hearing is scheduled for Mark Nolt, a Pennsylvania farmer who turned in his state permit to sell raw milk because it didn't allow for the sale of the other products he offered.

"They swooped in ... like a bunch of Vikings, handcuffed me and stole $30,000 worth of my milk, cheese and butter," he told the New York Daily News.

His case is just an example of what the government is trying to do to those who believe – based on medical results – that raw milk is better for them than the processed milk available in most grocery stores, according to Nolt's supporters.

Processed milk, many believe, leads to clogged arteries, strokes and heart attacks.

According to reports published by the Weston A. Price Foundation, results of a study by the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom revealed only one percent of the subjects in an ongoing lifestyle study of 5,000 men suffered heart attacks – if they drank full-fat milk and ate butter rather than margarine.

"We learned ... that [the] study collected data on 5,000 British men between the ages of 45 and 59 for a period of 10 years. Of those that drank at least a pint of whole milk a day, only one percent suffered heart attacks!" the foundation report said. "Some researchers are already claiming the difference is due to a healthier lifestyle on the part of the milk and butter consumers. Others, however, think that milk and butter may have some yet undiscovered benefits."

Another article in the British medical journal Lancet also noted that children who consumed "farm milk," that is, raw, whole, unprocessed milk, had lower levels of asthma and hay fever.

"Researchers examined the history of allergy, asthma and 'atopic sensitization' or skin problems in 812 children, 319 of whom had grown up with a 'regular exposure to a farming environment' including the consumption of 'farm milk,' that is, raw, whole, unprocessed milk. The remaining group of 493 non-farming children acted as a control. Frequency of asthma was reduced from 11 percent found in the control group to one percent among the farming-exposed children. Similarly, hay fever occurred in only three percent of the farming-exposed children, compared with 13 percent of the controls, and atopic sensitization occurred in 12 percent of the farming group and in 29 percent of the controls," the foundation reported.
Here's the legal defense that the defendent in question is attempting to use:
"Nolt contends that the regulations have not been approved by the legislature and shouldn't apply to him because he is selling directly to consumers, via private contracts that are outside the purview of the state, making a privilege out of a right he believes he has – the right to private contracts," the blogger wrote.
Why should any government regulator determine that raw milk is bad? I can understand that people do get sick from food, unfortunately this action especially since no one has come forward to indicate that they became ill after consuming these products is merely pre-emptive. Sometimes pre-emption isn't the best decision, just look at Iraq.

Still why should a government regulator determine that a business shouldn't sell directly to consumers raw milk? If this is what the customer is looking for and so long as this business is taking care that no one gets sick from his products then what's the problem. It's unfortunate that this man isn't able to serve the people who uses his products.

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