Raw Milk Symposium 2015 - Mark McAfee video summary

This blogpost contains the link to the videos of this year's Raw Milk Symposium.  As part of ARMM's ongoing education about Raw Milk, here is a summary with time markers of Mark's video in particular.   We hope this breakdown inspires people to listen to the parts they are most interested in, as not everyone may want to watch the entire 61 minutes.  We also hope that this may assist those in positions of lawmaking, regulation, health, agriculture or the dairy industry in Australia to gain more understanding about the workings of a successful, regulated Raw Milk industry like the one California has. 

Behind the Scenes:  What's really happening with Raw Milk in the USA? by Mark McAfee

Click on the picture below to take you to the website containing the Raw Milk Symposium's videos:

A summary with time markers:


1:26  What’s happening with Raw Milk in the USA?

In the USA they have two sets of laws.  One for the pasteuriser and one for Raw Milk intended for human consumption.  In Australia we have only one set: for the pasteuriser.  There is a lot of work being done that is not necessary visible to the public.

4:31  CCDEH meeting 2015 (California Conference of the Directors of Environmental Health)

The Environmental Health Department wanted Mark to answer two questions: 

  1. “How do you make raw milk so no one dies from it?”  
  2. “Why do people want raw milk?”

Dr. Catharina Berge PhD, DVM and Dr. Steven Beam (Chief, Milk and Dairy Food safety, California Food and Agriculture Department) went with Mark and explained in 3 hours to the regulators why raw milk can be made safe.  And how raw milk for the pasteuriser and raw milk for the people are different.  "There is two different standards, two different expectations and two different sets of conditions for raw milk.  It is not all like the FDA said: it’s all raw so it all has to be pasteurised as one standard.  There is individual standards.”  

Mark explains that a line of people came up to him afterwards and said: “we just didn’t know” because the information that the CDC and FDA gives are very different.  Regulators are now more educated, instead of being against raw milk.

7:55  Raw butter across state lines

Organic Pastures dairy are battling an interstate ban on raw butter distribution and going to court to tear down the walls of separation. The likelihood of bacteria growing in butter is very low, especially if cultured and salted.  Raw butter is a very safe, low risk food.  It is an educational process.

13:09  More research is being performed on raw milk

International Milk Genomics Consortium Sydney Oct 2015.  There are researchers from the milk processing industry that try to find the good properties of raw milk, so they can put it into pasteurised milk, in order to make a medical claim or some kind of therapeutic value but it’s not working so far.  They are struggling to sell pasteurised milk and it is dying in the market place.

14:57  Faster, cheaper and more accurate testing technologies

17:00  The Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI) invite Australia to use their standards, as we have no production standards currently in place. 

17:40  More on CCDEH conference. 

"The people we are trying to educate are going through entire evolution in their own right, and maybe it is even a revolution, because they are in conflict with the things they’ve been told to do and the policies that have been so strict for so long.  And so we have to be empathetic as they go through a change that is very hard." 

19:00  More on Raw butter access across state lines

20:00  International Milk Genomics Consortium Oct 26 - 28, 2015 Sydney Australia

More research is being done than ever before on raw milk.  More on Micro-RNA’s, the beneficial part of raw milk for infant immune system which is destroyed by pasteurisation and the genomic origin of lactose intolerance.  

27:49   Fat cell protection

We need to get back to these fat cells that mother nature produces from whole milk for us to be able to thrive.  Infant formula contain very little butterfat, and do not protect against pathogens.

29:19  Peer review studies are being done across the globe (on RAWMI website)

RAW MILK has been identified as a dramatic reduction of asthma, ear infections and colds, drunk on the farm and in the city, same effect.

32:05  Testing technologies for pathogens

New BAX PCR tests:

Campylobacter results in 24 hours

E.coli O157:H7 Pathogens in 16 hours

These tests are accessible, sensitive and accurate.

34:20  Organic Pastures dairy triple tested, Test & Hold program

Mark speaks about the campylobacter mastitis incident they had just before flying to Australia in October 2015. He speaks of the benefits of having a community you can share and learn from.  Also of how important the experience and pool of knowledge with other RAWMI farmers can be.  The RAWMI food safety plan and standards are very quick and efficient at isolating the source of problems, to be able to recall only products with a certain date span and get new products back on the shelves in only a few days.  "It’s getting your science right, and getting your conditions right."

39:44  Raw Milk institute team & listed farmers

Mark speaks about the RAWMI team, the listed farmers that create an excellent track record, and how some of their listed producers have now gone into other areas than safety.  Like Charlotte Smith (Champoeg creamery) who have branched into raw milk as a business, consulting, advising and helping build small, micro dairy businesses that are successful. www.rawmilkpro.com The USA is loosing a lot of dairies because the processors are not buying their milk anymore. “Five generations of milking cows and nobody wants their milk, because there is no demand for it”.  So these people need to come up with a new business plan.  More info on the RAWMI team.

44:30  Raw Milk Institute listed farmers

53:35  Proven results from the Listed

Coliform counts and Standard Plate Counts of RAWMI listed dairies

56:33  Why choose to be listed with RAWMI?  And join a community of like minded producers.