FDA Protects Us From Terror of Unpasteurized Milk

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Patrick Stone, President, TradeStone QA

I don’t know about you, but I sleep easier now knowing that our FDA has declared war on unpasteurized milk in America! It is not enough the US Government is fighting the war on terror (oxymoron) in dozens of countries, the war on drugs, the war on cybercrime, and now the war on unpasteurized milk. Yes, our tax dollars are hard at work, ladies and gentlemen.

For those just joining us, the results so far of these wars is economic collapse. Small business is the only hope for America now otherwise we might as well sign our souls to whomever owns our debt.

I am not sure that unarmed Amish & Quakers or any milk guild selling unpasteurized milk & cheese should be “taken down” with automatic weapons at the ready.  These are Americans trying to make a living.  FDA should educate food producers or show proof positive that adverse events/deaths have occurred from their dairy farm’s product — then go in without the guns blazing. Check the Constitution: innocent until proven guilty still applies.

Raw MilkAs a former inspector, I understand and did my duty when individuals knowingly caused harm or by acute negligence caused harm to another human.  But I feel ashamed to be associated with the FDA with this brand of overkill.

The burden of proof is on the government to show willful harm to the public.  I have not seen the “bodies stacking” up from individuals drinking unpasteurized or blending raw eggs into a protein drink.  An estimated 9 million individuals choose to drink raw milk each year with low ill effect (estimate by CDC, May 2011).

The CDC is a branch of HHS and tied to FDA; why are they on opposite sides of the table on this issue?  This is waste and politics at work with numerous health related issues causing death and disease waiting for FDA’s attention.  What is the real problem (Milk lobby)?

I do not condone “risky” behavior, however this is America and we can choose to live on the edge for freedom of choice.   How about making the consumer sign a waiver noting that they’ve been informed about the possible dangers and let them choose?

The possible dangers associated with consuming milk that is unpasteurized depend on the age of the consumer.  Vulnerable populations are susceptible to bacteria and viruses found in unpasteurized milk.  How do we know these individuals purchasing the “bad milk” are not heating or cooking this milk before consuming it.  The market sells many raw foods meant for cooking and there are many ways to get food regulation compliance.

Work with the market FDA, it’s your duty.

Patrick Stone is the author of Bubble Gum Badge – An FDA His-Story. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Showing 5 comments
  • Reply

    Hi Patrick,

    I was under the impression that FDA had almost no enforcement power on its own; e.g, needs law enforcement (CBP, ATF, etc.) to actually prevent a product from being distributed. I don’t know the details here but can the FDA affect a raid on a company without due process through the courts. In which case, the dairy company would have had notice of prior non-conformance. Could this be an instance where law enforcement’s execution of the entry went over the top?

  • Reply

    Ken thank you for your comment. FDA now with FSMA has the authority to conduct raids on regulated companies and business. FDA had authority to take samples and develop a case against the milk guild. FDA may not have had authority to clear the shelves of all milk products. FDA has an Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) and they carry firearms to go after criminals that pose a threat. We are all waiting for the discovery and legal briefs that come out of this incident. A coop or milk guild is not one entity and is a group of separate entities. These milk Coops have to be treated as individual produces not a one lump sum corporation. This may turn out to be over the top enforcement is an under-statement.

    • Reply

      Patrick – I looked on the FDA’s website to find any prior violations of this company, and I found nothing. Wouldn’t it be normal practice for FDA to issue warnings, or something ahead of time?

      • Reply

        Tamar FDA was at the milk guild to simply take samples but went in with the cavalry. No this is not normal. FDA would first establish a pattern of non-compliance first issue a warning letter then go in with an injunction, notice of destruction, or consent decree which are all legal instruments of the court system. FDA must first support evidence to show that the public was in imminent danger of hospitalization or death. The FDA has new authority with FSMA but the burden of proof still applies. The FDA can not just swoop in and smash and grab, that is the gangster lawless way. FDA may come out and say the amount of product from each producer was just at the sample size needed to conduct the appropriate microbiological sample but they would have to pay for every sample taken by law. If the milk guild signed a 484 receipt for samples stating no payment, the milk products are gone forever without payment. This does not appear normal for FDA or the rule of law.

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