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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Humboldt County keeps raw milk sales ban

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.26.18 PM.pngDonna Tam of Times-Standard reported today on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors decision to unanimously maintain the status quo of Humboldt’s ban on raw milk sales. According to documents presented by the Department of Health and Human Services, 10 raw dairy outbreaks with 138 illnesses and one pasteurized dairy outbreak with 23 illnesses were reported in 2010 (See, Outbreaks, illnesses and recalls linked to raw (unpasteurized) and pasteurized dairy products, United States, 2010 – through December 18, 2010). Even though raw milk accounts for less than one-half of 1 percent of all fluid milk sales in the United States, it causes two to 10 times as many outbreaks as pasteurized products, the documents said. In essence the Supervisors appear to have felt that the Cons for raw milk outweighed the Pros:


* Advocates say raw milk is good for addressing many ailments, including allergies, asthma, eczema, autism, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, lactose intolerance, tooth decay and gastrointestinal problems

* Raw milk is rich in nutritional value


* Many regulatory agencies say raw milk contains bacteria, parasites and viruses that are usually killed by pasteurization

* There are inadequate studies to support some of the benefits touted by advocates – See also this document from the FDA that was presented to the Board late, RAW MILK MISCONEPTIONS AND THE DANGER OF RAW MILK CONSUMPTION.  See meeting video by following this link.  The meeting starts 1:55:04 in and goes to 3:26:00.  Perhaps the Board also read my blog post of a few days ago at Marler Blog.  Perhaps the Board will ban sprouts next?

  • Bill Anderson

    You really do just hate us, don’t you Bill?
    God forbid people have access to unprocessed whole foods produced outside of the industrial big-ag system. It would be the end of civilization as we know it…

  • Young Bill, what you saw in Humboldt County was just Democracy in action. You may not like it, but it is what it is.

  • For me, i think the reason is valid that raw milk contains bacteria, parasites and viruses. They just want to save the individual from preventing acquiring the disease. But i recommend a further investigation and research about these matter.

  • Doc Mudd

    It was not only “Democracy in action”, but credible science being understood & respected and good common sense being exercised.

  • Bill Anderson:
    I don’t recall Bill Marler ever advocating that food shouldn’t be produced outside of the industrial big-ag system. But he has advocated, for equal treatment of food producers regardless of size, in the event of an illness, and has said that he didn’t think that the world could be fed by farmers markets. Sounds like reasonable thinking to me.
    Here’s my position Bill, what I’ve noticed is a lot of whining coming from small scale producers that they can’t do this or that to meet standards necessary under regulation, I say BS. I as a small producer have as much opportunity to meet these standards as a big company, and we do. It’s a matter of scale of operation and management. I would ask you to quit you’re ridiculous ranting, it makes small scale agriculture look stupid. You are not helping. What the small ag industry needs to do is be as professional as the big companies, but at a smaller scale.