By Sally Fallon Morell
Intrepid WAPF secretary Geoffrey Morell attended the 100th year meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 31 through August 4. Twenty-five hundred people from across the world—from the U.S., China, Europe and Australia—attended the five-day event. IAFP was founded one hundred years ago with a focus on “making milk safe,” and later morphed into an organization dedicated to making all foods safe. The conference theme of “Good Safe Food” possibly reflected criticism voiced by Geoffrey at last year’s conference that complete “safety” results in food that is actually dangerous for our health.
Geoffrey attended a workshop on milk safety held on the first day. Only one speaker made any mention of the farmer’s role in producing clean, high quality milk from well tended cows. Virtually the entire focus was on treatment at the processing plant, but several admitted that these pasteurization plants are often filthy. One report showed that there were more bugs in the milk after pasteurization than before, due to contamination from the pasteurization machinery. Yet attendees appeared to speak in one voice in support of some kind of treatment of milk—if not pasteurization, then treatment with new technologies like ultra violet light—rather than providing good clean milk raw.
Likewise, for other foods, the emphasis was on some kind of treatment to make foods safe, with no one discussing how to build healthy immune systems. Instead the focus is on pasteurization, irradiation, sterilization, chemicalization and other treatments that so deaden the food as to render it an assault on the immune system.
There was a huge collection of exhibitors, some with very elaborate displays, and poster presentations, including one by food safety attorney Bill Marler to advertise his website realrawmilkfacts.com. It was clear from the displays that there is an enormous investment in food safety treatments, which translates into strong lobbying in government circles. An exhibit booth advertising sanitary wipes for the handles of supermarket carts epitomized the prevailing attitude—not children drinking raw milk and playing in the sand box to build up their immunity, but belief in a hostile world full of dangerous germs that must be sterilized and sanitized.