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Patrick Stone

FDA Compliance

FDA Protects Us from Terror of Unpasteurized Milk

SWAT-style inspectors descend on small dairy farms and co-ops

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 11:11

I don’t know about you, but I sleep easier now knowing that our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared war on unpasteurized milk in the United States [Editors note: also see Fox News, NaturalNews.com]. It’s not enough that the U.S. government is fighting the war on terror (an oxymoron) in dozens of countries, as well as the war on drugs, and the war on cyber-crime. It’s now fighting the war on unpasteurized milk. Yes, our tax dollars are hard at work, ladies and gentlemen.

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

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

As a former inspector for the FDA, I understand and did my duty when individuals knowingly 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 milk or blending raw eggs into a protein drink. About 9 million individuals choose to drink raw milk each year with low ill effect. The raw milk consumption figure is based on a FoodNet survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows about 3 percent of the population drank raw milk in 2007.
[Editors note: CDC data on raw milk illness and death can be found here.]

The CDC is a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and tied to the FDA. Why are they on opposite sides of the table on this issue? This is waste and politics at work when numerous other health-related issues are causing death and disease and waiting for the FDA’s attention. What is the real problem? The milk lobby?

I don’t 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 unpasteurized milk depends 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 achieve food-regulation compliance.

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

This article first appeared on the AssurxBlog.

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About The Author

Patrick Stone’s picture

Patrick Stone

Patrick Stone works toward a future where disease cures and prevention are the main goal of all new test articles. Stone is president and lead consultant at TradeStone QA LLC, which serves the global public by protecting the supply and quality of healthcare products before entering the market place. Stone specializes in Institutional Review Board (IRB) compliance and quality assurance audits; computer system validation and 21 CFR Part 11 compliance; LIMS/data management system compliance; and 21 CFR, GCP, cGMP, and ICH compliance. Stone is the author of Bubble Gum Badge—An FDA His-Story (Xlibris Corp., 2011). You can follow Stone on Twitter.

Comments

I'm certain the German's

I'm certain the German's feel the same way about organic sprouts.

Unpasturized Milk Article

Patrick,


I am a quality systems professional supporting manufacutirng industries. Normally I would skip by a post, like yours, but I grew up on a dairy farm, and your topic hit home with me.


I grew up on a steady diet of raw milk, and so did all of my family, and many friends and relatives, and we are all just fine.


Even back in the 60's and 70's, we knew (and I was personally aware as a farm boy) on an almost daily basis what the bacteria count was for our raw milk. (based on the milk plant sampling & testing procedures) Our raw milk was consistently below the bacteria count (lower is better) defined as safe for pasturized milk. We followed good procedures for cleanliness, and most importantly immediate and rapid cooling, after milking was completed. No heroics, just good consistent procedures.


So to your point, it is a rediculous waste of tax payer money, and a gross misuse of enforcement resources to apply the tactics you've cited in your post. Thanks for raising the awareness of this issue, we need to raise awareness for misapplied resources at all levels of government, and do all we can to support corrective actions.


Donald Jasurda

FDA Protects Us From Terror of Unpasteurized Milk

This article seems to be one sided and misleading.  Without knowing more about the battle between public health officials and the raw milk producers, one cannot make a full assessment as to the impact of the FDA milk inspection program on raw / unpasteurized milk industry.  Here is a link to a Wall Street article that my help the reader understand what is really going on.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304370304575151663770115120.html


In addition, I am sorry, I do not like it when editorial articles try to compare the real War on Terror with Government agencies enforcing Federal rules and regulations. 

Patrick Stone responds

Patrick Stone responds [posted by Quality Digest]

 

I worked for FDA on the front lines, my record speaks for itself. (google Patrick Stone, FDA.) Raw milk is the least of our national worries and the tax dollars spent on this project in advertisements and manpower are in the millions. Public health is the goal and if CDC says 12 individuals became ill from raw milk in a calendar year with one hospitalization, I can point out food and medical health products that hospitalize 12 Americans a month and the FDA does not go in with the cavalry. FDA has labeled this campaign by their action and public statements. I am 100% for public health every day of the year and, yes, educate the public on "risky" eating habits, but this is still America. You miss the point: its about big government waste, not raw milk.  We just had a major turkey meat recall with antibiotic resistant bacteria infecting our country across the nation. Did FDA go to that manufacturer with the cavalry. We now have super strain bug contamination from imported food that is now a part of our lives because the bacteria has been introduced and is here to stay. The only one-sided story here is from FDA.


The Times article you posted states "Although the FDA bans interstate sale of raw milk for human consumption, its sale is legal in 28 states, where statutes govern how it is processed and may require warning labels about its risks. Bills to legalize it are pending in Georgia and Wisconsin, and advocates are lobbying for similar measures in other states."


If States do not deem this a critical, top-of-the-list health problem, then the issue is tabled.  FDA has mountains of real health protection work to attend in the Import division and domestic health product field (medical devices, drugs, and biologics). Americans are being hospitalized by medical device failures, serious adverse-event drug interactions, and imported food-borne illnesses daily. This was one of the first SWAT style raids in FDA history and it's for raw milk. There are gun toting criminals manufacturing fake blood pressure medications that kill thousands of Americans. FDA is welcome to go in with SWAT for those perpetrators. Do you want to keep counterfeit pharmaceutical medications on the street? We need to look at the big picture here.