I could write a really long post about Victoria’s current raw milk
debate debacle, but I’m going to keep this short and to the point.
The facts of the case are that there has been a tragic death of a child some months ago from Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which can potentially be caused by a strain ofÂ e coli that can sometimes be found in raw milk amongst other sources, such as undercooked beef mince or from contact with farm animals. Three or four (media reports have varied) other children also became ill but recovered. Some reports claimed all had consumed the same farm’s raw milk, others have claimed there were multiple brands.
What the media has not made at all clear is that these families all drank raw milk but there is no conclusion yet that raw milk caused their illness. And while that is still a possibility, the trial by media without a coroner’s report has been appalling.
Raw milk is legal and regulated in most countries in the world, including 30 states in the US and New Zealand, who are even regulated by the same body as Australia (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) but who have a different rule on raw milk. It’s sold in vending machines in Europe (and I recently heard in NZ as well?). As of 1 January 2015, Victoria requires the addition of a bittering agent (something used in anti-freeze?) to make so-called ‘bath milk’ (that people have been drinking for years here) too unpalatable to drink.
There are producers who are now unsure whether they can even sell their product – I can’t imagine the financial straits this Government’s rash decision may have put many into. I think it’s unconscionable for a government to make a decision that affects people’s livelihoods without public consultation or even waiting for evidence.
Here’s what I wrote to Jane Garrett, the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs. If you would like to write to Minister Garrett about your concerns regarding the new requirement, you can do so on email@example.com
Dear Minister Garrett,
I am a free-range pig and cattle farmer at Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths in central Victoria. It is in this private and business owner capacity that I write to you. As farmers with an on-farm retail butcher’s shop, we are regulated by our local council, FSANZ, and PrimeSafe as well as DEPI and of course the Department of Health.
4 thoughts on “Raw Milk in Victoria: A Letter to Minister Jane Garrett”
Were you on ABC Australia All Over this morning? If so you mentioned a website that listed ethical farmers/ butcheries. I have googled but can’t find it. Could you help?
Thanks Suzi Cabarita Beach NSW.
Hello Tammi –
Thank you for your eloquent and explanatory letter to Minister Garrett in Victoria on the issue of the supply and sale of raw milk.
I continue to be fascinated there are so many accepted toxic products freely available on supermarket shelves which young children can purchase and quite quickly make themselves extremely ill.
One example is a ten-year old can purchase three-four packets of paracetamol / codeine and a 2L bottle of Diet Coke (with aspartame and sodium cyclamates as the artificial sweeteners), consume them and potentially die within a couple of hours.
Vested interests are behind the closure of raw milk suppliers due to the increasing consumer demands for clean, unadulterated pure foods – not white water from which most of the nutritive value has been extracted for separate sales to pharmaceutical companies then multiple ingredients added to make it look like ‘milk’.
My support for you is constant and thanks for all you do,
Thanks for your letter. I can’t say I agree with the response from the Minister, but it is a shame this enthusiasm isn’t extended to foods that may not be as acute in their impacts but contribute significantly to obesity, diabetes and inevitably a loss of quality of life and early death. Namely the junk that is passing for food/drink these days that is loaded with sugar and manufactured ingredients.
Hi Suzi – sorry I missed this comment! The site I mentioned is FlavourCrusader – maintained by Sharon Lee. Hope it helps!