Raw milk in CaliforniaIn eight weeks, unless something is done to revoke AB1735, dairies will no longer be able to sell raw milk in California.

On October 8, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB1735, an amendment to the food laws that requires that milk sold in California contain 10 or less coliform bacteria per milliliter — despite the fact that most coliform bacteria are not harmful and/or are beneficial. Strangely, it does not require that milk be tested for pathogens (disease-causing micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungus).

Based on precisely two incidents of illness (one in California), the selective-science tallying requirement of AB1735 is important because raw milk naturally contains far more than 10 coliform bacteria per milliliter — a requirement that, apparently, pasteurized milk can meet. Says Organic Pastures Dairy Company’s Mark McAfee:

That is just the nature of milk, a fact that is in USDA published peer reviewed journals show the value of good coliforms in food safety and surely this should be known by the CDFA in California.

Of course, if you pasteurize milk, it is no longer raw. Thus, this new amendment means that as of January 1, 2008, real raw milk cannot legally be sold in California. As Californians interested in organic food, we feel that this issue needs more exposure — and fast. This page will serve as a centralized area where we can do a bit of tallying of our own in the form of a list of related articles on websites, blogs and forums.

Lastly, we think this issue is doubly important because the same types of pressure are being brought to bear on organic farmers in other states. They could use some help too because as California goes, so may go other states. As consumers interested in health, we don’t want our only food choices to be conventionally processed foods and foods with all the nutrients pasteurized right out of them. This is about the health and well-being of all of us.

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6 Comments for "Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California"

  1. On our impending loss of Organic Pastures Dairy and organic raw milk in California

    […] simply fantastic that the CDHS (California Department of Health Services) put through the redefinition of milk standards to echo pasteurization nutritional standards (which are low) with AB1735, the anti-raw milk […]

  2. Dear Arnold … about AB 1735 and the raw milk

    […] listed a number of links at Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California — which includes a link to OrganicPastures.com's SAVE RAW MILK – Contact lawmakers […]

  3. Mark McAfee/Organic Pastures commentary on California AB1735

    […] Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California Pingback posted on 02/20/10 @ 5:29 am […]

  4. California Raw Milk – Temporary Restraining Order against AB1735

    […] Here's some of our earlier coverage: Raw Milk under Threat in California. […]

  5. California Raw Milk Hearing set for April 15, 2008

    […] does not easily conform — overlooking the fact that most coliform bacteria are beneficial (more coverage here) and that this "test" does not protect consumers from pathogens because it does not actually test […]

  6. California State agency refuses to participate in hearings into AB 1735

    […] Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California Pingback posted on 02/20/10 @ 5:40 am […]

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