A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.
The product in question: unpasteurized milk.
It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.
But this line from the story jumped out the most:
“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.
What????? Raw milk should never be consumed? Kind of makes you wonder how the human race survived, drinking that toxic "udder brew," for so many millennia. In fact, I poured about a cup and a half of that poison onto my cereal this morning. I'm surprised I feel so healthy and vibrant, and that I haven't collapsed under E. coli-induced convulsions. Even more remarkably, I've been poisoning myself in this way for weeks now --- ever since our goats freshened --- and in fact feel healthier than ever. No doubt the other ten million raw milk drinkers in this country (and the countless other millions around the world) would agree.
To paraphrase something Ronald Reagan once said about his political opponents: The trouble with our friends at the FDA is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.
And, I would add, that they have so much power to prosecute and crush the small farmers who dare supply a healthy product to the willing consumers who seek it.