Goodbye Raw Milk in California Hello Governor Schwarzenegger. You don’t know me; I’m just another Californian — but one of many who drink raw milk. You’d be surprised at how many of us there are. I know I was — and that number includes many of my friends who never expressed an interest in organic food or raw milk until I started this blog.

About that AB 1735, which forces a cap on the number of coliform bacteria that may be available in commercially-sold raw milk: I’m not sure what you were told about coliform bacteria. I’m guessing that it was only that coliforms could include E. Coli, and so a coliform cap meant less chance that the milk could contain E. Coli.

Wow. This is silly science, selective at best, and I’m wondering whether your people explained that to you. It’s like saying that the less you drive, the less chance you have of taking a wrong turn — so take the bus.

First of all, many coliforms are quite beneficial, and the higher number of beneficial coliforms (as found naturally in raw milk) means a better chance of fighting off bad bacteria.

Secondly, if the target was "no pathogens", why not test directly for pathogens? Why rely on a "test" for pathogens that omits pathogen testing entirely?

Frankly, AB 1735 skips blithely over that scenario, promising freedom from pathogens by means of a test that omits pathogen testing — but effectively means that raw milk with its naturally higher coliform count will no longer be able to be sold in California.

Interesting logic. Why, you’d think that these people don’t care about pathogens at all and are just trying to get rid of raw milk. I mean, they’ve picked the one thing that singles out raw milk without actually providing the protection that ostensibly is the reason for AB 1735 in the first place.

That means that those of us who have found health benefits in raw milk over the years (due to the increased nutrition not found in pasteurized milk) will no longer be able to enjoy these benefits. And it means that small raw milk dairy farmers will very likely go out of business. And we’ll all get to watch it happen.

By the way, pasteurized milk is not the answer. Not only does pasteurization not guarantee that there will be no E. Coli but, if I can quote from Reba in the Local Harvest forums:

There are many enzymes in milk that get destroyed, including the enzymes needed to digest the calcium. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, yet after pasteurization, your body gets to use very little of it (hence the rise in the number of cases of osteoporosis).

Cholesterol is another issue. Not only does the pasteurization kill the enzymes needed to digest the cholesterol in the milk, but the heating of the milk breaks the cholesterol molecules into such fine particles that instead of simply passing through your body as the calcium will, these particles can simply enter the bloodstream undigested, and then stick to your arteries causing arteriosclerosis (clogged arteries).

Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it? It doesn’t to me.

So, who benefits from this? I’m guessing they want us to drink pasteurized milk. Anyway, this ridiculous AB 1735 will certainly push raw milk providers out of business. And we’ll all get to watch it happen. <Again. Ask them about Alta Dena. And Mark McAfee.>

Lastly, I totally agree about the E. Coli. That stuff is nasty. There needs to be a test, and this test should be applied to all milk, not just raw milk. Don’t let them run that one past you, Arnold. If I may be so bold, the appearance of impropriety and the double-standard applied to raw milk just doesn’t give us a warm and fuzzy feeling out here.

And AB 1735?

C’mon. Terminate it already.

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4 Comments for "Dear Arnold … about AB 1735 and the raw milk"

  1. Barb D'Angelo

    I’m shocked these guys are trying to take away our ability to consume raw dairy products. Where can I sign a petition?

  2. Diane Vigil

    Hi, Barb. Yes, it is shocking, isn’t it.

    We’ve listed a number of links at Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California — which includes a link to’s SAVE RAW MILK – Contact lawmakers today about Ag. Bill 1735.

    This concerns all of us, and that will help.

    There’s also a donation page at for the As I recall, they’re collecting donations for a legal fight against AB1735.

    Lastly, often carries current information, since Mark McAfee/Organic Pastures Dairy Company are leading the fight.

  3. Deadline 2008: raw milk under threat in California

    […] Dear Arnold … about AB 1735 and the raw milk […]

  4. Raw Milk: AB 1604 passes unanimously in the California Agriculture Committee

    […] 1604 is a new proposed milk bill that is a compromise to the overly-strict AB 1735, which essentially would have put raw organic milk companies out of business in California by […]

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