Soon the Humboldt County Supervisors will be considering a request from Mark McAfee, Founder and CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy (one of two raw milk dairies in California), to allow raw milk sales in Humboldt County. I have not found Mr. McAfee’s petition, but I did find a fairly blistering response from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the United States Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS) requested by Humboldt County. (Download)
Perhaps on Organic Pastures Dairy’s link alone to an E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in 2006 (two kids suffered acute kidney failure) – See also, Video 1 and Video 2, a Campylobacter Outbreak in 2007, or prompted by a Listeria Recall in 2007 or Campylobacter Recall in 2008, Humboldt County Supervisors might think twice about raw milk generally or allowing Organic Pastures specifically across the County line.
However, the Supervisors only need to look North at the tragedy of raw milk consumer, Mari Tardiff, who was one of those sickened in the June 2008 outbreak of Campylobacter connected to raw milk in Del Norte County. As a result of her campylobacter infection, Mari developed Guillain Barré syndrome, or GBS, a potentially fatal inflammatory disorder. By the time she was hospitalized in mid June, Mari was essentially paralyzed. Mari was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. For weeks on end, Mari’s condition remained unchanged. She was heavily sedated, unable to move, and entirely dependent on mechanical ventilation for survival. In August, there were indications of slight improvement, and the very slow process of weaning Mari off mechanical ventilation began. At the outset, it was not clear that the process was successful. Through incredible effort on Mari’s part, she was fully weaned off mechanical ventilation by August, and discharged to a rehabilitation facility. She spent more than two months at the rehabilitation facility diligently attempting to re-acquire the ability to speak, breathe, and move her arms and legs on her own. She was discharged home in November, still in need of essentially 24-hour care. Since that time, she has worked every day toward achieving her goal, as yet unreached, of walking again. Medical expenses to date exceed $1,000,000. Here is her story in a short video: