'Killer Milk' news headlines

Latest Update:  read the Coroner's Report here.

Grant McArthur's article, Herald Sun front page 11 Dec 2014 Online article here.

ARMM statistics show that we have visitors from many countries like the USA and Canada on our Facebook Page and website, who may not know our history.  In light of this, here is some information and links about these articles that appeared in our mainstream media late last year and some of their consequences.

Raw cow’s milk sales have been banned in Australia for some time, however a flourishing market have co-existed as ‘bath milk’ for cosmetic purposes.  Attempts by farmers to legalise and regulate it was made through the years with no success. Demand kept growing, in various ways, with sales in many health food stores and farmers markets.  1 Year ago on 10 Dec 2014, the first ‘killer milk’ media report shocked Australia.  

Organic dairy farmer Vicki Jones of Mountain View Organic Dairy in Gippsland, Victoria, became the centre of an outrageous media witch-hunt.  This was over the unproven linkage of her farm's milk products to illness and indeed the tragic passing of a young child at the end of October.  Many hoped that this would be the beginning of a regulated industry.  Instead it was the start of what swiftly became a new ban on the sale of raw milk in Victoria, just after Christmas day, while people were holidaying and unable to make objection.  Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister, Jane Garrett, moved swiftly to introduce new regulation from 1 Jan 2015 to prevent human consumption, in what many called a knee-jerk reaction.  

Perfect timing?  Was this media campaign designed to disrupt the supply of unpasteurised milk to growing legions of consumers demanding healthier and more flavourful food, in such a way that it was near impossible to object to the new regulation?

Some facts about this new regulation:

  • All unpasteurised milk for sale (in Victoria) is now required to include a gag inducing bittering agent to discourage consumption.

  • Victorians selling or even providing raw milk to family members puts them at risk of a fine up to $60 000 under new regulation, unless the milk comes from your own cow.

  • Dairy farmers selling raw milk without the strong bittering agent risk losing their dairy license as consequence.


A statement from ARMM:

Illnesses and death linked to raw milk? In December 2014 Victoria’s Chief Health Officer made public statements linking raw milk consumption to five cases of gastroenteritis in children over the six months from May to October. One of the children died. A causal link between these illnesses and raw milk was implied, and amplified by the media. The Australian Raw Milk Movement notes the lack of evidence of any clusters of illness. The Coroner is yet to report.

The Australia Raw Milk Movement advocates for a regulated, certified raw milk industry like those seen in countries like New Zealand, many USA states, England and Wales.  The Australian government and its states refuse to create legislation for a regulated raw cow's milk industry and the 'bath milk' and black market continues.  Only three countries have a blanket ban on raw cow's milk sales:  Australia, Scotland and Canada. 

The rest of this blogpost contains some of the news articles by the media, coverage by alternative media and more sources of information.

These posters have been seen in Victorian country town community centres since the start of 2015, click on images for a larger view.

Grant McArthur's Herald Sun front page 12 Dec 2014, online article here. This image shows just how popular 'bath milk' was in some of the smaller stores. Click to enlarge.

A Herald Sun campaign


Video:  Victoria's chief health officer claims at least four other children have fallen ill after drinking a cosmetic product sold in health food stores as bath milk. Some say it's the drink that can turn deadly but for dairy farmers Jason and Stacey Clark, it's delicious. Farmer Vicki Jones (whose milk was blamed for the death of a toddler on the Mornington Peninsula) says she is not convinced it was the milk.

Video:  WA's top doctors want unpasteurised milk banned after a Victorian toddler died and others fell ill. But retailers say raw milk is hugely popular in Perth and have no plans to take it off the shelves. Peaches Fresh Food owner Frank Dituillio said: “it is very popular. We sell between 16 - 20 crates a week and there is nine in each crate, so yes it is popular." Raw milk consumer Alex said: “we drink raw milk. It is full of enzymes, it’s in its raw state, it’s much healthier. We’ve never had an issue and my child drinks it without issue.”


Video:   RAW MILK - WHAT REALLY HAPPENED PART 1 You might recall earlier this year when the media reported a child had fallen ill and tragically died after consuming raw milk. As a result, harsh legislations were put in place, authorities seized stock and farmers warned to stop raw milk from ever being consumed by the Australian public again. www.melbournepersonaltrainers.com Enterprise Fitness Insider Series...



According to the interview below, Vicki Jones said: 

"The Health Department had taken samples of our milk and all the milk has come back negative or not detected. It's a raw product. We, I mean we do tests, we test the milk or we test it every week for bacteria, E. Coli and Listeria and the milk always comes back negative."

Audio:  Victoria's Chief Health Officer Dr. Rosemary Lester, who quickly requested an ACCC investigation, and dairy farmer Vicki Jones are interviewed. 11 Dec 2014 Read the transcript here.

Audio:  This interview is with Rebecca Freer from the Australian Raw Milk Movement. Rebecca has been a campaigner and activist against the Raw Milk ban laws in Victoria which has affected many organic dairy farmers and consumers.

Audio:  Raw milk producer Mark Tyler was interviewed the day after the first 'killer milk' news report (source).

Videos in external links:

Article:   click on the picture above to view the video.

Article: click on the picture above to view the video.

Article:   click on the image above to watch the video

Article: click on the image above to watch the video

Minister Jane Garrett, Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs interviewed

Dr. Rosemary Lester, Victorian Chief Health Officer interviewed 11 Dec

Dr. Rosemary Lester, Victorian Chief Health Officer interviewed 11 Dec

Related Articles:

Killer milk: Health alert after children struck down 10 Dec

Video:  Deadly Milk. Child dies after drinking milk

Raw milk company Mountain View Farm defends product after 3yo's death 11 Dec

"My three kids all drink raw milk and they're fine': Farmer defends controversial product after death of child and says there is no reason for it to be banned. 11 Dec

Toddler dies, four children seriously ill after drinking raw cow's milk 11 Dec

Toddler death after drinking raw milk prompts call for review - 11 Dec

One toddler is dead and four fell seriously ill after drinking raw cow's milk sold in health stores 11 Dec

Calls to ban raw milk after death of Melbourne toddler 11 Dec

Demand for raw milk 11 Dec

Milk Warning WA video 11 Dec

Gippsland raw milk farm agrees to voluntarily recall product after death link 12 Dec

Killer Milk finally pulled from shelves 13 Dec

Push to lift ban on raw milk despite the death of a child linked to the product 20 Dec

New Controls on Raw Milk will protect consumers 29 Dec

Farmers allowed to drink their own raw cow's milk despite bans 7 Jan 2015

Australia Raw Milk Producers forced to 'spoil' own milk for sale 8 Jan 2015

Bittering agent added to raw milk sold in Victoria to deter consumption 31 Jan 2015

Raw milk: Victorians who sell or supply it for human consumption risk $60 000 fine 31 Jan

Raw milk devotees bitter over harsh additive 31 Jan 2015

Time lag in milk death 26 Feb 2015

Why I feed my kids raw milk 5 Mar 2015

Organic dairy farmers losing thousands of dollars under new Victorian raw milk laws 24 Mar 2015

Disease outbreaks from pasteurised milk