Is the FDA Quietly Beginning a Campaign Against Raw Milk Cheese?

Maybe it is because it is considered “artisanal” or maybe because it is camouflaged in grocers’ coolers among other cheeses but, for whatever reason, unpasteurized cheeses have never produced quite the same uproar as has raw milk. That might change in the future – David Gumpert is watching the FDA and, on his blog The Complete Patient, he suggests that the FDA is quietly gathering information to begin a campaign against raw milk cheese.

Gumpert noticed that the FDA recently posted a notice on its website that it is seeking input to help it “minimize the impact of harmful bacteria in cheeses made from unpasteurized milk” and is particularly interested in “learning more about the standards and practices in use by…the growing artisanal cheese manufacturing community.”

While this might seem to be an innocent start of an ongoing dialogue between the FDA and the cheese community, Gumpert points out that the FDA does not currently have any evidence of illnesses caused by raw milk cheeses. Gumpert suspects that the FDA appears to be looking for data that will allow it to ultimately try to ban raw milk cheeses.

Read more here.

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Is the FDA Falling Behind Other Countries in Raw Milk Run?

In July 2014, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency released a report on raw milk that took into account the opinions of over 100 raw milk consumers. Their findings concluded that both consumers and producers “…hold a strong view…that there should be wider accessibility to raw drinking milk but this should still be managed and controlled.”

In exploring how they could take a more lenient approach to raw milk consumption in the United Kingdom, the FSA said it was open to allowing the sales of raw milk through vending machines – which would increase sales within a controlled environment.

David Gumpert, author of The Complete Patient blog, points out that this new report, in addition to New Zealand’s recent consideration of more lenient raw milk regulations, means that the FDA could quickly be becoming internationally isolated on the issue of raw milk.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, attend one of the upcoming Wise Traditions conferences.

Popular Wisconsin Raw Cheese Producer Stops Production

In August, Wisconsin-based Rush Creek Reserve announced it would stop making its popular raw milk cheese, due to uncertainty over pending FDA regulations related to raw cheese.

“Food safety officials have been unpredictable, at best, in their recent treatment of soft, raw-milk cheeses, and until our industry is given clear and consistent guidance, we are forced to stop making these cheeses,” said co-owner Andy Hatch.

He added that he hoped the halt in production would be temporary, but loyal customers have already taken to Twitter to express their outrage: @cheesegeek wrote, “The premature death of Rush Creek Reserve is the canary in the coal mine for all American raw milk cheeses.”

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, attend one of the upcoming Wise Traditions conferences.

FDA bans French cheeses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently moved to prohibit the sale of cheeses people have happily made and consumed for millennia.  The agency claims these cheeses full of healthful bacteria are too risky. They issued a ban on imports of French cheeses that exceed “FDA approved” bacteria counts.

The artisan cheese making process involves inoculating milk with select bacteria and encouraging their proliferation to make a safe and delicious product. The FDA’s move means that even such probiotic bacteria now falls under suspicion.

The rule is not new; it has been in place since 2010 but it is only now being enforced leading to the confiscation and removal of highly coveted fine French cheeses.

David Gumpert gives an excellent update and analysis on the situation on his blog.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C. To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, attend one of the upcoming Wise Traditions conferences.

Milk Is the Most Reported Undeclared Allergen in the Third Annual Reportable Food Registry Report

In May 2013, the FDA released its third annual Reportable Food Registry Report, for the twelve months ending September 27, 2012. The FDA requires food companies to inform the agency about any foods that have been manufactured and released for sale that have a reasonable probability of being hazardous to human health (“reportable foods”). Once identified, the FDA works with growers and manufacturers to reduce the risk of harm. The Reportable Food Registry is an invaluable tool for maintaining a safe food supply. Continue reading

Got Diet Milk? Dairy Industry Petition to FDA Sparks Consumer Outrage

Aspartame-FDA-Labeling-PetitionThe International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to drop its requirement that dairy products containing artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, are prominently labeled for consumers.

Aspartame is a main ingredient in reduced-calorie foods like diet soda and sugar-free chewing gum. Although manufacturers of aspartame continue to assure the public that the ingredient is safe and aids in weight loss, several independent studies link the ingredient to an alarming number of scary side effects, including weight gain and increased blood sugar, headaches, degeneration of nerve cells and cancer.

The dairy industry wants to add aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to flavored milks and other products without labeling the bottle in an attempt to lure children to selecting those drinks at school. If this petition passes, it would mean that any time you reach for a jug labeled “milk,” that milk could include dangerous artificial sweeteners but you wouldn’t know for sure until you read the ingredient list in depth. This isn’t just an inconvenience for adult shoppers, but an irresponsible and dangerous decision that would directly affect underprivileged children, who depend on school lunches for the bulk of their nutrition.

The FDA has opened the topic up to public discussion, and is accepting comments online until May 21, 2013. Submit your opinion to the FDA here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm347194.htm

Listen to an in-depth podcast on this controversial issue here: http://hartkeisonline.com/2013/04/10/got-disgust-aspartame-in-dairy-products-with-no-warning-label/