Category Archives: Raw Milk

Help Save New Zealand Raw Milk

Help Save New Zealand Raw Milk

Support Litigation Fund for Dairy Farmers

In one of the more draconian enforcement actions ever taken against raw milk producers, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) brought criminal charges against the farmers of nine different raw milk dairies for violations of that country’s Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015 (the “2015 regulations”). Some of the defendants have also been charged with violations of the Animal Products Act (APA). The raw milk charges assert that by engaging in the supply of raw cow milk “a direct or indirect risk to human or animal health would be created.”

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is aware of specific charges against three of the farms (two of the three are operated by pensioners). Cedric Backhouse and his wife (WAPF chapter leader Susan Gales) of Alt Energy Farm are each being charged with 26 violations of the 2015 regulations and the APA related to the distribution of raw milk and meat through a herdshare agreement; the potential penalties for each defendant are up to 19 years in jail and $1.8 million (over $1.25 million in U.S. dollars) in fines.

Phillippa (Pip) Martin and John Martin of Manna Milk are each facing seven charges with penalties of up to 12 years in jail and $545,000 in fines (over $380,000 US) for alleged violations of the 2015 regulations and the APA related to the distribution of raw milk through a limited partnership agreement.

Paul and Christine Ashton of Lindsay Farms are each facing five charges with penalties up to eight years in jail and $320,000 in fines (over $225,000 US) for alleged violations of the 2015 regulations related to the distribution of raw milk through a limited partnership agreement.

A majority of the farmers charged were operating under a herdshare or a limited partnership business model as a matter of survival after MPI issued the 2015 regulations affecting raw milk production and sales (the regulations went into effect in March 2016). The ministry promulgated the regulations as a result of a 2014 foodborne illness outbreak associated (or blamed on) raw milk consumption where seven people became ill.

The number of dairies selling or distributing raw milk is a fraction of what it was before MPI imposed the new regulations. It is considerably more difficult for the remaining dairies to make a living than it was five years ago. MPI’s enforcement action against the farmers–in addition to putting the charged farms out of business–is designed to create a chilling effect on the remaining farms and on farmers thinking of starting up a raw milk business.

ACTION TO TAKE

WAPF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is accepting donations to help pay legal expenses for the charged farmers. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To donate, please use the link here (westonaprice.org/donate) and indicate the fund for ‘New Zealand raw milk’. (For those wanting to send a check, please specify that it is for “New Zealand raw milk”.)

MORE BACKGROUND

Before the 2015 regulations went into effect, it was estimated that as many as 200 farms were selling or distributing raw milk in New Zealand; today there could be less than 20% of that number still left.

A. Compliance Barriers

The cost to raw milk farms to comply with the 2015 regulations was in the range of $10,000-$20,000 per year for each farm regardless of what the farm’s production volume was—an expenditure that many farms could not afford. Beyond that, there were several ways that the new requirements significantly hurt the farmers’ ability to make a living.

1. Depot Permits and Burdens

Before 2016, farmers were able to deliver raw milk to a central distribution point (also known as a “depot”), a necessity given the distance between most farms and their customers plus the substantial amount of extra time it takes to deliver door-to-door. The new regulations required a permit for each depot the farmers were delivering to; otherwise, sales were limited to on-farm and to customer premises. Given the estimated cost of permitting each depot, out of the 26 raw milk farms that have registered with MPI (registration was also a requirement in the 2015 regulations), only one has obtained depot permits. Any customer wanting to pick up milk at the depot had to be registered with MPI as a transport operator. There are numerous recordkeeping requirements for a transport operator even when that individual is picking up milk for his or her own family.

2. Sell-by and Use-by Constraints

The most damaging provisions for farmers in the new regulations were sell-by and used-by requirements for raw milk. The regulation for a sell-by time states the following:

“The sell-by time for a lot of milk is the time that is the 30 hours after the commencement of milking for the oldest milk in that lot. (For example, if milking commenced at 7am on Monday 4 June, the sell-by time is 1pm on Tuesday 5 June, even if milk from a subsequent milking is added to that lot.).”

One of the registered farms estimated that this mandate cost them 30% of their business since the farm was unable to meet the time constraints in getting the milk to its more distant customers.

The requirement for the use-by date for raw milk “is 4 days after the commencement of milking for the oldest milk in the lot.”

3. Testing

Another onerous mandate for the farmers is on testing. Dairies are required to test for five different pathogens, coliforms, plate count, somatic cell counts, and “inhibitory substances” every 10 days. Estimates for the cost of testing are around $750 per month.

4. Records

Lastly, the regulations require that farmers not only keep customer names on file for MPI inspection but also every transaction with each customer as well.

B. Alternate Business Models

Many dairies, knowing they couldn’t afford the cost of compliance with the new regulations, went out of business before the new law took effect. Others–believing their only way to stay afloat was to not have to comply with the 2015 regulations–set up business models such as herdshare programs and limited partnership agreements, proceeding in good faith that giving their customers an ownership interest in their dairy livestock would exempt them from the new requirements.

C. MPI Raids

When fewer raw milk producers registered than MPI had anticipated, in 2019 the ministry launched “Operation Caravan”, an investigation of dairies that MPI suspected were not complying with the new regulations. The investigation included the extensive use of MPI undercover operatives. In December 2019 MPI obtained search warrants and raided eight raw milk farms and farmers’ homes around the country, seizing everything from customer lists to computer hard drives. Some of the raided farms shut down; others kept on going. After a year-long investigation, MPI filed criminal charges in December 2020. The Ashtons had registered Lindsay Farm with MPI months earlier, having been told by the ministry that any potential charges would go away if the farm was registered.

Backhouse and Galea are each charged with 17 counts of selling or offering to sell illegally home-killed meat; each count lists the amount allegedly sold as under $100 and one was for only $15.40. The potential fine for each of the 17 charges is up to $75,000. MPI has never accused Backhouse and Galea of making anyone sick with the milk or meat they produced.

An attorney representing one of the charged farmers has been unable to find evidence that any of the charged farmers made anyone ill with the milk they produced. Under the law, MPI can only prosecute those whose products pose a public health risk.

Arraignment for defendants is scheduled to take place in March.The accused farmers and the 250,000 New Zealand residents who consume raw milk need your support.

Please contribute to this effort to protect freedom of choice, strong local food systems, and the right of small farmers to make a living producing nutrient-dense food.

To donate, please use the link here (westonaprice.org/donate) and indicate the fund for ‘New Zealand raw milk’. (For those wanting to send a check, please specify that it is for “New Zealand raw milk”.)

Thanks for your generosity and your help in spreading the word.

READ MORE

LINK: https://www.westonaprice.org/help-save-new-zealand-raw-milk/

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Elderly dairy farming couple who received an early morning raid by 6 MPI staff in 4 cars said they were made to feel like drug dealers

The authorities need to go after the real criminals, the corporations that pack our food with sugar and chemicals, known to cause health issues. Instead they hound folk & make it increasingly more difficult for them to produce & sell a pure whole food that we have consumed since forever. As kids we would walk to the dairy with a billy can where they ladled it full from the big milk can. No probs. It was also fed free not so long ago to Kiwi school kids. It often sat for hours in the heat before being distributed at morning break. Funnily I don’t ever recall anybody either getting sick or dying from it yet we are being told, with no evidence, that many are getting sick from drinking it.

tui 2

Yeah right.  EWR


From the NZ Herald

An elderly Manakau couple have sought legal advice after a Government raid on their farm made them feel like drug dealers.

Their crime? Selling milk.

John and Phillippa Martin run a dairy farm in Manakau, south of Levin, that has been in the family for 103 years.

Two weeks ago four cars and six men swooped on their house during breakfast as part of a coordinated Ministry of Primary Industries raid on eight farms around New Zealand.

Their cowshed and house was searched. Investigators loaded all phones, electronic devices, files, financial records, delivery sheets and private agreements into plastic bags.

The men sifted through rubbish bins. Mr and Mrs Martin were required to hand over all their passwords. They were then read their rights.

“We wondered if we were farmers milking cows or gangs of drug dealers,” she said.

At 76, Martin said he’s farmed his entire life and has lived through massive changes to the dairy industry.

He, like many New Zealanders, had grown up drinking raw milk. He started in a wooden shed with 50 cows, milking six at a time. Now the herd numbers nearly 350.

“We started producing market milk and I can remember going down to the train station to load cream cans…tankers started collecting the milk in 1966,” he said.

They started selling raw milk 10 years ago in response to demand from people who wanted an authentic product, citing an increase in health and well-being from raw milk.

They set up a small bottling plant and formed MannaMilk, allowing them to distribute that milk to partners of the limited company.

Mrs Martin said less than 10 per cent of their daily production was distributed under partnership, or herd share, where essentially partners sourced milk from their own animals.

MannaMilk partners paid for the costs of animal husbandry and bottling the milk, with a majority living on the Kāpiti Coast, Wellington and Hutt Valley.

“People need and want real food – milk with its correct full cream, its protective bacteria, enzymes and high levels of vitamins and protein,” she said.

“What we should be raiding are soft drink vending machines and purveyors of high sugar energy drinks and fake foods loaded with chemicals.”

Many limited partnerships were formed after new regulations were introduced in 2015. She described the new rules as impossible, impractical, unreasonable, unrealistic and uneconomic.

“The guts of it is the MPI doesn’t want limited partnerships,” she said.

Mrs Martin had received massive support from partners and milk drinkers who emailed her in frustration at the shutdown. There were 215 emails on her inbox.

“We have had hundreds of emails from people who cannot tolerate shop-bought pasteurised milk telling us how disappointed, irate and angry they are,” she said.

An estimated 100,000 New Zealanders drank raw milk each week.

The Martin’s had received a notice last year detailing new rules around the distribution and had since engaged legal representation.

“Ideally we would place the bottles into the loving hands of the customer waiting at home by their doors, but that is totally unrealistic when people have jobs and lives,” she said.

Instead, they had chilled stations for shareholders to collect their milk. But the new rules amounted to hand-to-hand delivery.

Meanwhile, Manawatū farmer Cedric Backhouse had 25 cows he knew by name on an certified organic farm that solely provided raw milk for customers he also knew by name.

The raid effectively had shut down his business and source of income.

After 25 years, he had 300 partners. To hand deliver milk to them “would take all day and all night”, and the new testing and delivery regulations were over the top.

As his farm was certified organic he couldn’t have people turning up to the gate. It was a biosecurity risk.

Two weeks after the raid, he is still waiting for his phones to be returned.

He shuddered at the cost to taxpayers of the raid, which was a year in the planning. He believed MPI should work with raw milk providers to come up with workable solutions, rather than a raid their properties and shut down livelihoods.

Backhouse said the raid was “draconian” and worried it set a precedent.

“It was heavy-handed. It was beyond the pale,” he said.

“If they can do this to us every farmer in the country is vulnerable.”

He had sought a request under the Official Information Act for details around any illness related to raw milk consumption, as he suspected any complaints were “anecdotal, at best”.

“They should have said we would like to talk to you about it rather than a heavy hammer destroying your business and scaring you with prosecution,” he said.

He said if the raid was done a month or so earlier he could have raised calves with his herd to offset losses.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Primary Industries detailed reasons for the raid earlier this month.

MPI had directed unregistered milk suppliers across the country to stop selling their product until they complied the new rules.

MPI staff searched farms in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū, Horowhenua, Nelson, and Southland, following a year-long operation.

MPI’s manager of food compliance Melinda Sando said they wanted to gather evidence of and further investigate non-compliant sales.

“We believe that the suppliers we visited today are operating outside of the regulatory framework. By not adhering to the rules for selling raw drinking milk, they are putting consumer health at risk,” she said.

“There have been multiple instances in the past of people getting sick after drinking raw milk from some of these suppliers. We can’t let this continue.”

“Raw unpasteurised milk is a risky product as it hasn’t been heat-treated (pasteurised) to remove illness-causing bacteria including E. Coli, listeria and Campylobacter.”

“These types of bacteria most commonly cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, but occasionally some have been linked with more serious complications that include miscarriage, paralysis, meningitis and serious kidney problems in children. Raw milk may also be a source of tuberculosis (Tb).”

“We support consumer choice. We’re not saying people can’t drink raw unpasteurised milk.

“What we are saying is that when people do choose to drink raw unpasteurised milk, they’re able to make that choice with a degree of confidence that the milk they’re consuming is produced within the regulatory framework.”

“Purchasing from MPI-registered suppliers who are being audited regularly to ensure they are managing risks and testing regularly helps consumers reduce the risks if they choose to drink this product.”

“The suppliers need to stop selling unregulated product immediately and will only be able to resume selling once they have met all requirements to make them compliant.”

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/horowhenua-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503788&objectid=12292244&fbclid=IwAR3iWYASus1xNGvwU-bB0pjFjd0inBml4lmMPOwqFFHi_EbrEv-jn63wIo8

Photo: Pixabay.com

The NZ authorities that are fine with you drinking glyphosate, 1080 & chlorine have recently conducted raids on raw milk suppliers throughout the country

A number of raw milk suppliers NZ wide have just been raided by MPI. As a consumer of raw milk myself I’ve watched this with interest over more than a decade. The regulatory conditions have gradually tightened up over the years, so that suppliers I’ve spoken with have said it’s become more and more expensive to keep up, costing thousands of dollars, jumping through impossible hoops to remain registered with all boxes ticked. These raids will all of course have the effect of frightening people off supplying altogether, or simply price them out of business as has already happened with many.
(Note in the very apt meme below raw milk is not as yet banned in NZ but as I say, I’ve been watching the signs and it certainly looks to be headed that way).

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NOTE: it’s not banned in NZ …. yet

Such are the vagaries of the NZ corporation (aka government) that is happy to see the known carcinogen glyphosate in your breast milk & water, chlorine in your water (another carcinogen),1080 in your food chain, a myriad of other chemicals, hormones & antibiotics in your food supply, yet treat suppliers of a highly nutritious natural product as criminals. (Note also, ‘probable carcinogen’ is about as close as they’ll admit with glyphosate but hey, the grossly tumoured rats and the current law suits going on in the US right now are surely enough to make you want to stop using it?)

Note raw milk is been described in the articles as ‘dangerous’ for heaven’s sake. And it’s reported people have been sick from drinking it? Really? No details of exactly who and where though. Enough to rark up some suspicion & bias among us by mainstream media doing its job well as always. Humans have consumed raw cows milk for hundreds of years and not died. Whilst I am all for health compliance, let’s face it, the authorities are simply making it all non viable with their hefty costs. Enjoy it while you still can people … they won’t rest until it’s completely gone as has happened in other countries already.

Please do read this article on how raw milk completely healed a little girl of very pervasive eczema that literally controlled her life:

Hello Dolly, Farewell Eczema

And this one on the benefits of raw milk:

The Health Benefits of Raw Milk

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EWR

See links below for just three of the related articles on the milk raids … do a search there are many more :

MPI investigating unregistered raw milk suppliers in Southland

Non-compliant raw milk suppliers ordered to stop selling by MPI

Unregistered raw milk sellers are being called out for their dangerous practice

 

Raw milk gives a child relief and healing from chronic eczema

“Eight months ago, Shaylin Downs struggled to make it to school. Her chronic eczema saw her spend days in a wheelchair, travelling to Taranaki Base Hospital three times a week for treatment, unable to enjoy many of the opportunities her school friends did…”

This little girl spent some days wheelchair bound & up to three days a week getting hospital treatment for her eczema. Any parent knows the agony such a child goes through … the itching … unable to scratch and sleepless nights. Yet after a recommendation to try drinking raw milk she is now able to enjoy a normal life. What a wonderful story.

And there are other stories out there like this one. I know personally of kids who suffer eczema if drinking treated milk, but don’t with raw.

Raw milk can still be obtained in NZ, although in some countries it is banned because of health scares. The need to be super sterilized went to the other end of the spectrum and much of the goodness contained in raw is destroyed. Modern equipment and the production of organic raw however means the product’s quality is stringently controlled. Like any food item, you treat it with respect and heed all the requirements regarding cleanliness and refrigeration. I personally buy organic raw, have done for nearly ten years and I seldom ever drink the treated product now.

Read the Taranaki article HERE

Read about the general health benefits of raw milk HERE

Read (from one MD) about the controversy over raw versus treated HERE 

And from another MD on the benefits of raw HERE

Do your own research and make an informed decision. If you opt for raw, you can buy it here in the Rangitikei. There are outlets around, you need to ask locally for them. There was one in Marton (raw) now ceased sadly because of the increasing charges imposed by the authorities in meeting stringent standards. This matches the world wide trend to shut such sources down in favour of processed milk which again, contains little nutrients compared to the raw counterpart. Even organic supermarket milk is heated according to standards so again, the nutrients are diminished. Very sad all around. Our forbears drank milk straight from the cow as did I as a child before it suddenly became a health risk. Interestingly nobody I knew of back then ever got sick or died from drinking raw milk. Doctors even prescribed it for health. Gone are the days.

Watching our environment … our health … and corporations … exposing lies and corruption

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