Apparently today all charges were dismissed against Vernon Hershberger of Loganville, Wisconsin, who leases his cows to a “food buyers club,” and had been charged with operating a retail food establishment without a license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a holding order of his dairy products issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).  Mr. Hershberger was facing apparent contempt of court, which might have included jail.  The news that the charges have been dropped came via a tweet from David Gumpert writer at the Complete Patient.  I am sure more detailed news will follow.

Yesterday, I received a copy of a recent article from Food Protection Trends “Motivation for Unpasteurized Milk Consumption in Michigan, 2011.”  As someone who has been following the controversy surrounding the consumption of raw milk, and has assisted in funding, I found the survey by Ms. Katafiasz and Mr. Bartlett interesting.  Here is some details about who is drinking raw milk, how much and for how long:

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Here is the detail on peoples thoughts on the benefits and risks associated with consuming raw milk.  There is an interesting inverse relationship between the belief that raw milk is safe and if the government is trustworthly in advising people on what is or is not safe to consume.

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Other findings, although not based upon empirical data, indicated that participants preferred raw milk because of their belief that it was more healthful and easily digested than pasteurized milk, and because they believed that their dairy animals were being handled and raised humanely on their cow or goat share farm. Respondents volunteered other motivations for preferring raw milk, which included beliefs that raw milk was beneficial for heart disease, neurologic disease, acne, and cancer. One respondent claimed that raw milk helped prevent death in infants when fed as formula. Six respondents, in particular, mentioned lactose intolerance, as a reason for preferring raw milk. Eleven individuals claimed that they experienced symptoms of lactose intolerance when drinking processed milks but had no ill side effects from drinking raw milk. Six respondents indicated that they prefer raw milk for making homemade milk products such as cheese and yogurt. In the open-ended questions, twelve respondents indicated they believe that raising cows on fresh, open pasture can minimize the risk of contamination with pathogens by boosting the natural immunity of the animals.

And the issues continue.