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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Families sue raw milk producer, Organic Pastures, over E. coli outbreak

The Associated Press reports that the families of two children sickened by the E. coli bacteria are suing a Fresno dairy.  The lawsuits filed Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court accuse Organic Pastures Dairy Co. of shipping raw milk tainted with the bacteria to stores in September 2006. That’s when at least five children fell ill after consuming the dairy’s products.  Testing at Organic Pastures did not detect the strain of E. coli that sickened some of the children, but a government report last February said the dairy was likely responsible.  Organic Pastures has also had problems with listeria according to the FDA and it is rumored to be under investigation by the State of California for a campylobacter problem as well.

Eleven-year-old Lauren Herzog (complaint) and 9-year-old Chris Martin (complaint) both consumed raw milk produced by Organic Pastures in early September of 2006. Lauren became ill with symptoms of E. coli infection on September 6. Her illness subsequently developed into HUS, a life-threatening complication of E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure and central nervous system impairment, and she was hospitalized on September 8. Lauren suffered acute renal failure and required approximately two weeks of daily kidney dialysis. She remained hospitalized until October 18, 2006, when she was discharged with over $250,000 in medical bills.

Chris became ill with symptoms of E. coli infection on September 5, 2006 and he was hospitalized on September 7. Like Lauren, Chris suffered HUS. His condition worsened and he was transported by helicopter to a Children’s hospital and was placed in pediatric intensive care. Chris’ kidneys failed and he required weeks of daily dialysis, as well as multiple blood transfusions. He was placed on a ventilator as a result of impending congestive heart failure, and remained on the ventilator for five days, was briefly taken off the ventilator, and later returned for several more days. Chris suffered a number of seizures as a result of his HUS. He also developed high blood pressure and pancreatitis. Chris was discharged from the hospital on November 2, 2006, nearly two months after he was admitted, with over $450,000 in medical bills.

Mark McAfee, the founder of Organic Pastures Dairy Company was quoted in the Rutger’s Daily Targum yesterday in an article entitled – “Dairy farmers get ‘raw’ deal:”

"It is a tragedy that the idea that germs make you sick took off, and to this day, it’s all about killing bacteria and there is little cause to promote good bacteria," McAfee said. "We are symbiotically living with bacteria. We are literally bacterio-sapiens."
He noted that the human environment and the environment in which milk is grown that often causes the presence of sickness causing pathogens. His dairy company has open, grassy fields where dairy cows can roam freely and be bathed in sunlight, all while retaining their health.

"Raw milk has the things we crave," McAfee said, adding that it is enzyme rich and has a diversity of beneficial bacteria, as well as good raw saturated animal fats from grass grazing cows.

"Two hundred and forty seven people a day are being killed by antibiotic resistant superbugs," McAfee said. "That’s like a jumbo jet crashing daily. Nobody wants to prevent disease, because disease makes money. You are saturated everyday by television advertisements that tell you if you have a problem, see a doctor because we have a cure. In western medicine, you turn off the symptoms while the underlying disease is killing you."

He reinforced his belief of raw milk and its ability to build the immune system, which can help fight off and prevent disease.

"You have a living immune system in raw milk, yet we can’t speak of this because we are undoing what is settled science," he said. "Mother nature got it right, and it’s been right for a long time."

Here is a bit of video on Mark, "the raw milk ninja." 

It is good to see my friends at The Complete Patient are paying attention – see David’s last two posts – 1 and 2.  I can not wait to get some input from Dr. Mercola, the Weston Price Foundation and Ron Paul.

  • Dr. David Hopton

    Mr. Marler, would you please post on your blog a copy of the complaint you filed on behalf of Lauren Herzog and Chris Martin against the Organic Pastures Dairy Company?

  • keith kuhn

    Sounds like a crock of SHIT. This is nothing more than either a money hungry attempt to gain money or a dirty trick(most likley by BIG DAIRY) against honest hard working people who make an excellent product. I consume their product as well as other raw milk products from numerous producer and my yound children have consumed these products for years with excellent results(they are both very intelligent and very tall and slim for their age). I am outraged that we even have such a litigous society as this! A perfect way for dirty tricks to take place in and WHAT a dirty rotten trick this is. I can see right thru this veneer!

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  • iceman

    just another example of an attorney who brings a case where the evidence is against him yet he nonetheless brings the action in an attempt to extort money. i hope that mcafee brings a frivolous counter claim against you marler.
    here’s the evidence:
    1. the e. coli strain in the kids was differnt than the e. coli strain in the samples taken at the mcafee farm.
    2. the cdfa paid mcafee money money because they wrongfully accused him of causing an outbreak.
    3. consumers assume the risk of the food they consume, especially when it comes to raw milk.
    4. the kids also ate other foods, i.e. spinach, that was the source of pathogens.
    5. how you gonna prove your case marler?
    it’s attorneys like you that give attorneys a bad name.

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    The first paragraph of the North County Times article says it all: “A Murrieta couple says it was raw milk tainted with a strain of E. coli that nearly killed their son. The owner of Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno,…

  • stacey

    ICEMAN,
    WERE YOU PERSONALLY INVOLVED IN THESE CASES? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT ALL SIX OF THOSE KIDS ATE SPINACH? I READ THAT THE CHILDRENS PFGE PATTERN OF ECOLI DID NOT MATCH THE ONE OF THE SPINACH OUTBREAK. THEIR PATTERNS MATCHED EACH OTHER AND THE ONLY COMMON THING THEY HAD WAS OP MILK.
    EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE ASSUME A RISK WHEN THEY CONSUME A PRODUCT, IT DOESNT MEAN THE PRODUCT SHOULD HAVE ECOLI IN IT!
    YOUR FIVE POINTS OF EVIDENCE DONT REALLY SAY ANYTHING THAT SHOWS IT WAS SPINACH OR SOMETHING ELSE. SOUNDS LIKE WISHFUL THINKING TO ME.

  • ErawPaliaro

    Hello
    G’night

  • toigundinny

    It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of
    work to do.
    — Jerome Klapka Jerome
    —————————————————————————————————-
    http://johnathonwhitleyda.easyjournal.com

  • Trial Court Backs Standards For Raw Milk

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  • Ryan LaRoe

    Convienently for the parents over 200 people were diagonsed with E. Coli at the exact same time period from spinich that once again convienently was grown in… oh wait California. (FDA News March 23, 2007) Then when testing was done on the milk from organic pastures (over 61 different batches tested) and still no E. Coli was found the CDC said since it had high levels of coliform (a bacteria in milk) that it was “indicitive of contamination”. (MMWR June 13, 2008) Basically they couldn’t find any real problem with the milk but since the CDC/FDA are both biased against all things healthy, i.e. raw milk they made up a story that ignorant americans (and face it most of americans are ignorant) would believe. Did the strain match the spinich, I don’t know, but I do know that it couldn’t have matched the milk since the milk had no E. Coli in it. I also know that Marc (organic pastures owner) voluntarily recalled the milk, cheese, kefir, ect. Also if you look in the CDC’s report in the MMWR that I cited earlier they even say that 5 of the 6 cases blamed on milk consumed it… how on earth can you get E. Coli from something you didn’t even consume? I guess it’s that new strain of airborne E. Coli. That enough FACTS for you Stacy, if you look up the information it’s pretty obvious it didn’t come from raw milk. I’m not saying it came from spinich (although I believe it did), but I am saying there is absolutely no way it came from organic pastures.

  • Jason M

    The ‘outbreak’ has never been traced back to Organic Pastures. There was no E-coli in the milk, and there is so much misinformation.
    I find it interesting that you like to extract money in settlements before court, rather than risk going to court. I have met and seen Mark McAfee talk in person. He does not seem like a man who backs down. He is no dog that will sit down for you.