Cow-Share Programs Under Scrutiny in Australia

The May 2013 raid of a dairy farm in Willunga Hill, Australia is another battle in the war between consumer choice and public health that is taking place all over the world.

In Australia, the sales of raw milk and raw milk cheeses for human consumption are illegal. Officers of the Biosecurity SA and the Dairy Authority of South Australia raided Mark Tyler’s dairy farm in May because they want him to register his cow-share program, which provides raw milk to share owners. Tyler refuses to do so, claiming that his operation is a legal way for shareholders to acquire raw milk as farmers and other cow owners are legally permitted to consume the milk that their cows produce.

Tyler’s “My Cow” cow-share program allows consumers to purchase a 1% share of a cow for $27.50, in addition to a monthly boarding fee. Each share yields 6.5 liters of raw milk every month. The program has been in operation for six years.

This raid and pressure from authorities has, once again, raised the issue of whether cow-share programs should be considered a means of selling raw milk to the general public – and whether raw milk sales should be illegal at all. Raw milk sales are legal in many countries, including New Zealand.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is investigating the processing and consumption of raw milk products, and there is strong opinion in support of consumer choice. Should raw milk sales be allowed, cow-share programs like Tyler’s would be subject to official quality standards which, to many, seems like a good compromise between those who believe in consumer freedom and those who act in the interest of public safety.

Read more about the issue here:

http://www.altlj.org/news-and-views/downunderallover/duao-vol-38-3/605-raw-milk-raid-at-willunga-hill-enforcing-food-safetyhttp://www.altlj.org/news-and-views/downunderallover/duao-vol-38-3/605-raw-milk-raid-at-willunga-hill-enforcing-food-safety

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  http://www.westonaprice.org/lab

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