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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Raw Milk Wars in California – Perhaps Humboldt County should just look north to Del Norte County

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)

OrganicPastures.jpgPerhaps 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:

Raw Milk Risks: Mari Tardiff Campylobacter Illness from Marlerclark on Vimeo.

 

Also, keep current on real facts about raw milk at www.realrawmilkfacts.com.  And, here is the most current, although hard to keep up on, raw milk outbreaks in 2010.

  • Doc Mudd

    The linked 18 page document is a worthwhile read; alternately amusing and troubling.
    Why, Mark McAfee, do you persist in attempting to foist your nonsensical beliefs in the imaginary benefits of ‘raw milk’ upon intelligent, rational-thinking folks? Why do you waste our time so frivolously? Do you honestly believe that reciting, over and over and over and over, the ridiculous notions you espouse will somehow magically bring them to real fruition? Are you really so deluded as to think your stubborn obtuse dismissal, over and over and over and over, of the well-documented hazards of unpasteurized dairy products will somehow magically render them safe? Do you truly think we are that stupid, that we are that easily taken in? What sort of scam are you really running, Mr. McAfee?
    The answer seems obvious: Mr. McAfee clearly intends to profit from the sale of unsafe and potentially faulty merchandise, and he appears desirous of accomplishing this through generic product promotion laced with fraudulent medical claims. Disingenuous cries for consumer ‘freedom to purchase’ dangerous, ill-advised product are a wily distortion of what’s really being demanded by Mr. McAfee and producers like him: the business liberty to needlessly place the public health at risk by SELLING and PROFITING FROM THE SALE of dangerous and medically ill-advised product to consumers. This brazen assault on the public health is precisely why we staff and empower regional health departments like CDPH and federal agencies like FDA.
    Let’s trust the County of Humboldt in California will render transparent Mr. McAfee’s rather unartful deception and decline his request. It’s truly a shame so many competent people’s time must be wasted reviewing Mr. McAfee’s submission.

  • Tim Lukens

    Doc,
    It might be more cost effective to direct your questions to Marks willing accomplice
    the Weston Price Foundation members.

  • Doc Mudd

    Point taken, Tim.
    I sort of consider the WAPF to be the marketing wind beneath the wings of salesmen like Mark McAfee.
    Clever operators like McAfee avoid being busted for false advertising and fraudulent medical claims by never publishing incriminating advertisements of their own, but simply keeping WAPF’s generic propaganda always in front of potential customers. McAfee profits, WAPF profits, trusting consumer gets properly fleeced, FDA can go pound salt – hey, it’s all good!
    You’re absolutely right, Tim, they couldn’t do it without WAPF.