(NaturalNews) Food freedom is under attack in the state of Oregon, where powerful industry lobbying groups are pushing for more restrictions, and maybe even a complete ban, on all raw milk sales. OregonLive.com reports that an isolated E. coli O157:H7 outbreak potentially linked to raw milk has spurred the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association (ODFA) to schedule meetings with legislators, large milk producers, and state agriculture officials -- but not raw milk producers or consumers -- to discuss potential "crackdowns" on raw milk sales.
Back in April, a dozen-or-so people reportedly became ill with E. coli linked to raw milk produced at a family farm in Wilsonville, Ore., which distributed milk as part of a private cow share program. Since some of the milk from the Wilsonville farm allegedly tested positive for the same strain of E. coli detected in several people that had drunk raw milk from the same farm at some point, state officials almost immediately declared the milk to be culprit.
Even though the milk in question is not even sold at the retail level -- individuals that purchase cow shares from the Wilsonville farm technically own a portion of the cows raised there, as well as the milk they produce -- ODFA is seizing the opportunity to demonize raw milk and call into question Oregon's laws concerning the sale of raw milk. These laws currently allow raw goat's and sheep's milk to be sold on the farm or in retail stores under certain conditions, and raw cow's milk to be sold on the farm or through cow share programs.
ODFA, Oregon state officials target raw milk while ignoring other farm more common sources of foodborne illness
According to a recent hit-piece editorial written by unnamed individuals at OregonLive.com, ODFA "intends to corral legislators and (conventional dairy) producers to force the discussion of tightening Oregon's raw milk laws" in response to the outbreak. The piece goes on to scare readers into believing there is an "urgent public health dilemma that needs addressing," insinuating that raw milk should be immediately banned for the safety of the children.
Meanwhile, thousands of Oregonians continue to be sickened every year by conventional meat products, factory-farmed produce and yes, even processed dairy products, which is far more than the number allegedly sickened by raw milk products in the state every year. Yet ODFA and Oregon health officials have not so much as batted an eye about the truly horrific dangers posed by these other foods.
It is only when a handful of people allegedly get sick from raw dairy products that the big guns come out in an irrational blaze of tyranny to demand that all raw milk sales be prohibited. And with the help of the lapdog media, which in this case clearly includes OregonLive.com, these anti-raw milk fanatics are capable of generating enough needless hysteria to initiate ridiculous witch hunts against raw milk, rather than address the issue of actually helping to improve raw milk safety.
Twelve states, including South Carolina, Idaho, California and Washington, all currently allow for the retail sale of raw milk produced in accordance with proper regulatory and safety guidelines. Each of these states understands that raw milk produced on small-scale farms that are regularly inspected and tested for harmful pathogens are capable of producing raw dairy products that are safe and nutritious.
But apparently Oregon wants to take a reactionary, oppressive approach, and restrict all Oregonians from buying and selling a highly-nutritious product that has been consumed safely by humanity since the beginning of time.