According to WPXI, James Orchard, a 67-year-old man from Mars, Pa., is on life support at UPMC Presbyterian because of the raw milk he consumed more than a month ago. James Orchard was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Except for minimal head and eye movement, Orchard is totally paralyzed. Several days before the onset of his illness, Orchard and other members of his family, consumed raw milk purchased at the McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Store. The raw milk was produced by Dean Farms doing business as Pasture Maid, LLC, a creamery located in New Castle. Here is the kicker:

Milk from the bottles produced by Dean Farms purchased at the McGinnis Sisters store tested positive for Campylobacter bacteria. Many people who develop Guillain-Barré syndrome first had a Campylobacter infection. Since the positive tests, Dean Farms has since had its license pulled and is no longer allowed to sell raw milk.

However, according to the Kalamazoo Press, James McCurtis, public information officer for the state health department said milk sampled from the households where people fell ill did not test positive for the campylobacter bacteria found in the patients.

But the lack of a positive test result does not sway the health department’s conclusion that the raw milk was the source of the infections, he said. Trace amounts of bacteria such as campylobacter can cause illness in people, but because the bacteria are not evenly dispersed in foods, they may not show up in sampled portions, food scientists say.

Yet, Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation has the gall to tell the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Contaminated water could turn out to be the cause of a sickness cluster initially attributed to raw milk, said Sally Fallon Morell, president of The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington that focuses on nutrition education. Raw milk is so "nutritionally dense" that it boosts immunity, improves behavior in children and wards off allergies and asthma, said Fallon Morrell. She said she knew about James Orchard’s case and cautioned that all the facts aren’t known.

Sally, it is time to face facts. Raw Milk caused Mr. Orchard’s illness and has caused illnesses across the United States for years. Denying it does not alter reality. Ms. Fallon Morrell, have you no shame?

  • That is rich, Marler. A lecture on shame coming from a parasite that chases ambulances for a living.
    By the way…ben boning up on the constitution lately? You definitely need the refresher course.

  • bill,
    Campylobacter was not even classed as a human pathogen prior to was simply travelers diarrhea.
    Campylobacter is the Canary in the Mineshaft of the ever more depressed immune status of the the average American citizen.
    Once you are exposed to campy you are immune.
    People deserve the right to have good immune systems and take full responsibility for their bodies. Immunity is something that is earned and it takes time and being exposed to biodiversity to get the job done….an ever more sterile food supply takes us all to a dead end street….literally.
    The most dangerous thing you can be in America is immune depressed with all of those superbugs being created by all those CAFO systems making them everyday.
    Where is you risk assessment and balance in all of this???

  • Sam Grubb

    I’m not sure how a reading of the constitution would eliminate the problem of dairies that poison their customers.
    Mr Hayles, I can only assume you work for the meat or dairy industry. When people like you pull their heads out of the sand, maybe we can work towards a truly effective food safety system.
    Shame on YOU for boldly exhibiting pride in ignorance!

  • Mr Grubb…it is you showing ignorance…ignorance of the constitution. I’ll give you the same challange I gave Mr Marler (which he has not to this date been able to meet):
    Show me in the constitution where the government has the power to make people’s nutritional choices for them.
    You see…even if I agreed with Marler on the risks associated with raw dairy, I’d still maintain that the choice to consume it or not is an individual’s choice under the constitution, not the government’s. Hell, stupid people who want to consume Big Macs are just that…stupid…but they have the right to make their own choices. Same with raw dairy.

  • Sam Grubb

    Mr. Hayles,
    Your point is valid only so far. The government doesn’t tell individuals that they can’t own cows, and drink the milk produced. What the government CAN do is prevent businesses from “introducing adulterated goods into commerce”.
    I agree that one should be able to consume whatever one desires, but I also believe that food businesses have a duty to provide safe, wholesome, and unadulterated products. The government does not regulate personal dietary habits or choices. It does regulate business practices to ensure the general public good.
    Please accept my apology for casting aspersions on your intelligence; that was over the line and I should not have added that last sentence!

  • Sam…apology accepted.
    Here is what the constitution says the federal government CAN do. It is article 1, section 8 (the powers of congress):
    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To provide and maintain a Navy;
    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
    And here is the 10th amendment which reserves ALL other powers to the states or to the people, but specifically NOT to the federal government:
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    Now, within the powers granted in article 1, and within the limits specified in the 10th amendment, where does the government get the power to tell you that you cannot sell me a gallon of raw milk, a Big Mac, or any other choice I make for my own nutrition?
    Bob Hayles

  • tg

    Hey Grubb,
    Do you really believe that small family owned farms would intentionally send out a tainted product. Not to mention the cause of Gullain Barre is unknown. It can be caused by vaccines and surgeries. I’ve been drinking milk from Pastue Maid for four years and never had a problem. I also buy directly from the farm and have seen the cleanliness of their business. Never have I met a harder working family with the best interest of their customers at the top of their priorities. The type of people that America used to be full of!!

  • Raechel

    All the facts are not in on Mr. Orchard’s case and last time I checked someone is innocent until proven guilty.
    I would like to know if Mr. Orchard recently had any vaccines or surgery before the onset of his illness as this could of caused his GBS.
    For the record Dean Farms is a clean well run farm as my family has purchased our milk from them for 4 years.
    my hope is that Mr. Orchard has a speedy recovery and that Dean Farm can continue to do business as there are people who want to purchase there products.
    Has there been any other cases of illness linked to Dean Farms as I haven’t heard of any nor did my family get sick.

  • Mr. Marler, I respect what you do, particularly on beef safety, but to come out and say: “Raw Milk caused Mr. Orchard√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s illness” is out of line.
    My understanding, based on information collected by members of PASA, is that the dairy’s own independent testing came back negative for the bacteria, and that the state’s test was not a clear positive.
    By all reports, this dairy is extremely focused on quality and ensuring the safety of its raw-milk products (disclaimer: I’ve purchased raw-milk cheese from this dairy, but am not a regular customer). Personally, I don’t believe the evidence exists to support the health-related claims of raw milk, and I’m in favor of well-designed regulations that put the proper level of regulation on an entity relative to the size of its operation and its corresponding level of risk (e.g., huge beef packing houses need to be far more heavily regulated than tiny operations), but to come out and say that you know definitively that this man was made sick by this raw milk is, on its face, highly irresponsible and, IMO, is what gives trial attorneys such a bad reputation.

  • Ian

    In addition to the comments directly above which I 100% agree with and couldn’t say better myself (fillippelli the eater), I would like to add that you claimed that Sally Fallon lied. That was a very harsh and bold statement (especially for you article’s title). But after reading the quote of hers, one realizes she didn’t. And all you ended up doing was smearing her for pointing out the facts. That is, the facts that there isn’t clear evidence that raw milk was itslef at fault.
    I know you’re a food poisoning lawyer, and you obviously care about your clients’ health deeply as well as the health of others who have become ill, but sinking down to evidence-lacking accusations is not helping anyone figure out the true cause of your clients’ abrupt illnesses. We should continue to look hard, and not base things on unscientific surveys that merely ask “Have you drinken raw milk or eaten undercooked ground beef?” as their sole question and sole intent.
    You should also consider having your clients stay away from hospitals if possible. It’s obviously medical treatment with antibiotics that triggers the HUS, not the illness itself. And also they should each try consuming edible clay to curb illnesses. Clay has been used for millenia to treat poisonings, parasites, and bacterial infections (think TerraMin clay for instance). Your clients should also try garlic, lime, and other natural antimicrobial agents before things turn for the worse, since these items could halt the progression of infections of bacterial nature.

  • John Gear

    Hmmm, last thing I saw from the Weston A. Price Foundation was a bizarre psuedo-science hit piece on flouride ( that almost hits every single point made in the book on the Fluoride Wars ( I would take anything from WAPF with a truckload of salt after that . . .

  • Carrie

    I would like to point something out in Marler’s update on the man from Mars PA above. It includes a statement from James Curtis, public information office, and insinuates that he is a public information officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is involved in this case. However, on closer inspection, Mr. Curtis is actually a representative of the Michigan Department of Health and his statements are completely unrelated to the events in PA.

  • mam

    i think, sadly, that the weston a. price organization while trying to promote raw milk, aids in tarnishing its name. they are such a radical group that they are far too overbearing. however, that bacteria could have come from anywhere, tainted water actually being more likely than raw milk. refrigerated raw milk does not support the growth of campy bacteria well.
    also, i have to agree that it is my choice to consume raw milk, big macs, cigarettes, alcohol, spinach, green onions, etc…and if i have health issues from *any* of them, it is only myself i have to blame.
    i’ve not seen any other instances of this GBS syndrome from people that consumed PMC’s raw milk…seems that perhaps something else was wrong with this older man that may have caused it.