I did some research on this subject in 1989 for both the Municipal Govt.
of this city and the Secretariat of Health at the district level (30
counties), in preparation for drafting an Inter - Institutional Zoonosis
Control Program based on the then current Federal and State legislation
(this too was entrusted to my care) . I began with an overview of what
different countries had done. In the U.S. at that time for example, 32
states did permit the sale of CERTIFIED rain milk for human consumption.
Certification meant that government health inspectors were present EVERY
DAY in those stables selling raw milk, as opposed to approximately once
a month in stables pasteurizing their milk.
The principal problem with selling raw milk stems from the possibility
of transmitted diseases infectious to humans (zoonosis) through it. The
principal & most serious zoonosis transmitted through raw milk or raw
milk products are brucellosis & above all, tuberculosis, although
salmonella & leptospirosis can pose a lesser problem (cholera hasn't
been traced to milk here but is potentially possible). However, these
problems are remediated through proper (and observable) sanitation and
handling procedures. The most serious problems then are from infected
cows (if bovine) and the problem is internal, whereas contagion with
the other disease organisms mentioned can be attended through external
Judging from the results of experiments based on two groups calves, fed
raw (group A) and pasteurized (group B) milk, raw milk is more
nutritious. Therefore, the important issue is to assure that the cattle
involved are free from disease. Also, most people familiar with both
consider raw milk & raw milk derivatives to be better tasting.
The obvious conclusion: What's required in order to safely distribute
raw milk for human consumption are 1).- an infrastructure adequate for
safe handling, and 2).- a set of health laws in place that mandate an
effective Zoonosis Control Program which in turn must contemplate a
secure methodology for protecting the public's health.
A particularly effective one was implemented in New Zealand which of
course like England is an island, which greatly facilitates implementing
an effective adequate control program, but I can't recall the stand
taken there regarding the sale of raw milk. The New Zealand Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) was very helpful (I suggest contacting
the New Zealand embassy), as was the U.S. National Research Council and
particularly Mr. Charles Benbrook, (then Executive Director of the NRC's
Board on Agriculture) who provided the most extensive and comprehensive
set of materials we received, followed by New Zealand's MAF, Canada's
Agriculture Canada, Spain's Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, Direccion
General de Salud Alimentaria y Protección de los Consumidores; the World
Health Organization (Geneva) and the Pan-American Health Organization,
all contributed valuable information.
In short, raw milk & raw milk products are better tasting and healthier
when free of disease, but an adequate zoonosis control program must be
in place to assure that this is so. The mad cow disease scare will make
it harder to demonstrate that to legislators sensitive to public
opinion, so you've have to present well documented evidence to the
contrary, in order to counter balance that. I'd begin by contacting
your own health, agriculture and trade authorities to ask them for
copies of all current legislation relevant to the areas of health,
agriculture and commerce. (You may discover a basic difference in
orientation between agriculture authorities primarily concerned with
production issues and health authorities, whose responsibility lies
first and foremost with the public).
If you discover that a deficiency exists, I'd try New Zealand (since
their eradication program was particularly effective), but if raw milk
isn't legal there, most states in the U.S. provide a legal precedent
that may help you to win this battle - if you're really committed.
Lastly, if you have any difficulty accessing the materials you need in
order to construct your case, let me know.
> The same programme went on to interview an American gentleman who was proud
> to announce that by use of special foodstuffs his company was producing
> specially low cholesterol/low fat eggs and that his next step was to produce
> eggs which contained medications (such as 'flu vaccination) so by eating the
> eggs you get all the preventative medication you need
This implies a lack of choice for the consumer and will never be
permitted to totally replace the natural product.
> Has the world gone mad....? I know which product I want banned...
Before being banned it would have to be introduced, and before that it
would have to be demonstrated that it was safe.
> Charles Barber
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, dhinds@.ucol.mx
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