Mercury News Raw Cream Article (3/6/08)

The OPDC Response

Raw Cream is Living Food!

Fresh raw milk products offer Americans a future of Hope and Change. Hope that their future health will change for the better. Change that their current immune depression will be eliminated and replaced with a strong and robust health that resists disease. Fresh milk offers this real Hope and this real Change. Change that is realized within weeks of consuming living unprocessed fresh milk.

In America today, foods are processed to death. They are dead! The living foods of our grandparents are now processed into enzyme depleted and bacterially inert, long shelf life, sterilized stuff that looks  like food  and is sold as food but gives no nourishment. 

The Thursday San Jose Mercury News article was not a message of Hope or Change but  instead a message of dread, dogma, bacterial paranoia, ignorance and CDFA protection of the dead food industry.

The article starts out asking the wrong question: Should raw milk meet the same safety standards as pasteurized milk?  Safety is measured by testing pathogens not coliforms. Did you know that pasteurized milk is never tested for pathogens? Pathogens are found in pasteurized milk routinely. These include Para TB,  viruses, bacteria and spores that survive pasteurization. This is something that the dairy industry and CDFA will not share with you. These bacteria do not exist in raw milk for human consumption. They are eliminated by specialized testing of raw milk cows and by other sanitary methods not used on conventional dairies.

Raw milk that is sold raw for human consumption in CA is tested thousands of times per year. No pathogen has ever been found in thousands of raw milk tests performed in the many years of testing at OPDC and Claravale.  Safety is our very highest priority. There is no higher priority. Dead milk offers no hope or change from our current paradigm of immune depression and ever worsening illness. Pasteurized milk triggers asthma when raw milk heals it. Pasteurized milk aggravates ulcers and raw milk heals it. Pasteurized milk creates lactose intolerance and raw milk does not cause it. Raw milk is filled with nutritional hope and great change and this scares the hell out of CDFA and big dairy interests.

CDFA is not interested in anything other than protecting the establishment and its dead products.

On a point by point basis we have addressed the Mercury News article:

  • "In one cream sample taken from Organic Pastures on February 6th the overall bacteria count was 250,000 per gram, with coliform bacteria numbering 1500."

This CDFA test was illegal, the temperatures for lab test samples was higher than allowed by law at 44 degrees. All samples must be less than 41 degrees or else they are rejected by the lab. Instead CDFA released this data to the public. This is highly inflammatory, biased and illegal. Yet is it part of the case and the article. Furthermore, none of these bacteria are any different than what would be found in yogurt.

  • "The agriculture department spokesman, said previous tests at both dairies last year suggested that the standard is attainable."

The testing performed by CDFA in 2007 which serves as a basis for this statement was raw milk tested from the farm bulk tank and not finished products. Raw cream is a further processed product. We have found that raw milk that tests as less than 1 coliform in the bulk tank will test as 35 coliforms in the resulting raw cream. The act of spinning and separation concentrates the coliform bacteria in the raw cream. These facts are evident in the scientific literature. CDFA is now acting to ban raw cream based on arbitrary standards that have nothing to do with safety…but they say that it is related to safety. Out here on the farm we call that….bold faced lying.  Coliforms are not a safety issue. Pathogens are a safety issue. Any other statement is false. CDFA can not find bad bacteria in raw milk so they are now seeking to eliminate raw milk by eliminating the good bacteria in raw milk. They want raw milk to be like pasteurized milk. They want it to fit their dead food paradigm…it will not fit. It can not fit. It is like trying to perform an autopsy on a live person. Dead is dead and living is living.

  • "Organic Pastures in particular has been beset by potentially harmful bacteria in its raw milk in recent years, in 2006 five children were infected wih ecoli bacteria linked to OPDC."

This is absolutely incorrect. No pathogens have ever been found in OPDC raw milk. Not one ever. CDFA and the Mercury  News infer that pathogens have been found in OPDC milk. This is a bold faced misstatement of the facts. The children that became sick in 2006 all had consumed spinach and their illnesses had an onset at the very peak of the spinach crisis. Not all of the kids drank raw milk. Some had drank raw colostrum that was not even from OPDC. Not all of the children shared the same pathogen. None  of the OPDC raw products that the kids drank tested positive for a pathogen. There was no connection and even Steve Lyles of CDFA said this in his quote on the front page of the Fresno Bee in September 2006. The CDFA settled a damages claim with OPDC and signed a release of liability waiver so that they would not be blamed for the false recall of OPDC products. OPDC has not been beset by harmful bacteria ever. This statement is false and highly inflammatory. It is a lie.

  • "Reports of a campylobacter bacterial outbreak that sickened five people who drank OPDC raw milk."

This is news to us. We have never been told or notified of any such outbreak or association with campylobacter. Yes it is true that the state tests our products for campylobacter, and they do this every month. They did not find campylobacter in any products. We have been told that these five consumers had several different strains of campylobacter and did not have a common strain among them. So how could a single source be the cause. No report has been given to us about any of this. This all appears to be more of the same biased sterilized food dogma. The same old fear based ideology.  Keep consumers fearing real living food and that way they will keep consuming dead food.

  • Dr. Gil Chavez: "Our message still is that consuming raw milk carries a risk."

We are not able yet to determine the risk, because we have not yet to been able to find a pathogen. Right now it is about 85 million servings of raw milk and no pathogens detected in eight years of testing. There may be a risk but it is extremely small. Certainly the benefit to healing asthma is much greater. Asthma kills 5400 people per year but yet  raw milk heals asthma. So Dr. Chavez needs to look at the much bigger picture.

All foods carry a risk. Pasteurized milk killed three people in MA last year because of listeria. So do not believe for one minute that dead foods means zero risk. Raw milk is one of the safest foods available. There have been no deaths associated with raw milk intended for human consumption in the last 30 years. The CDC data that is quoted includes pasteurization failures and raw cheeses. This is not data related to raw milk tested and labeled and regulated for human consumption. Raw milk is tested and then retested again and again for pathogens. We can not even get pathogens to grow in raw milk in lab conditions. They die off rapidly. Pathogens love to thrive and live in pasteurized milk. This is because pasteurized milk has no enzymes or beneficial bacteria to control pathogens that can enter pasteurized dead milk after processing. Raw milk is alive with good bacteria that kill bad bacteria and the environmental conditions that prevail in a raw milk creamery have been shown to be free of the harmful bacteria found in sterilized pasteurization creameries. In one study, it was shown that 60% of the creameries that pasteurize milk in Australia had listeria found in their environmental tests. No pathogens have ever been found in a creamery environmental study at OPDC in eight years of intensive testing. Not one pathogen ever.

It is part of nutritional change and our hope that in the future living foods will be accepted into the mainstream. Until that time, we must all accept that OPDC and Claravale will disrupt that mainstream. That disruption will look and sound just like the Mercury News Article.  These are the sounds of progress as things change and power is pulled away from old dogma.

The grass roots know better. Our sales grow even faster when hope  turns to change in your personal health. We will expect even more of this as we go forward. Consider it reactive back wash from a dead paradigm that has no hope and can not change.  Raw milk on factory farms has pathogens when tested. So they can not serve this emerging market. That is a threat to CDFA, they will do anything to protect its dead GOT MILK products.

We expect to have raw cream back on the shelves soon. Until then we are making butter from the raw cream. A legal restraining order is being sought on Wednesday  March 12th . Hopefully this restraining order stops CDFA from further coliform testing until the law can be changed.

Assemblyperson Nicole Parra, Senator Dean Florez and Assemblyman Tom Berryhill have all committed to introducing bills that protect raw milk during this session of congress.

You are the change when you drink raw milk. If sales are any determinant of progress, we are winning. People love living fresh food and that means raw milk. So we  must all  put up with the harassment in our briar patch. But it's our briar patch and our future could not be brighter.

All the best,

Mark McAfee
Founder Organic Pastures Dairy Co.