Latest Update: read the Coroner's Report 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 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.
- 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 so far refuse to create legislation for a regulated raw cow's milk industry and the 'bath milk' and black market continues. Only two countries have a blanket ban on raw cow's milk sales: Australia and Canada. Scotland prohibit the production of raw milk for human consumption too but the Scottish buy raw milk for human consumption from England.
The rest of this blogpost contains some of the news articles by the media, coverage by alternative media and more sources of information.
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.