Congress should re-examine 'raw' milk legislation

Editor:

We are contacting the newspaper today to urge readers to research and consider urging their Congressman to support H.R. 778 regarding the sale of "raw" milk.

For beginning references and information, we suggest www.realmilk.com as a source for preliminary information on the "other" side of this seemingly open-and-shut, everybody-knows-pasteurization-is-necessary (flat-earth) issue.

Researching the data with an open mind, remember, the "choice" of pasteurized milk for families would not be lost by any means, nor would it be "forced" upon commodities programs to schools or social service food distributions, as exclusively pasteurized milk and milk products are "forced" currently. That option would remain.

All this bill would do is expand choices, produce jobs and markets in farming communities, support greener and sustainable farming, and diversify production methods.

The reasons we request re-examination of this issue are as follows:

1. The old law is based upon old science and earlier technology, and needs to be re-examined.

2. Big business style agribusiness is not good economics and stifles small, local, sustainable business (and hence some measure of consumer control and choice).

3. Big business style "agribusiness" is not good for human health and the dissemination of unbiased information regarding nutritional health because of the huge commercial interests involved and their lobbying and advertising power.

4. Current agribusiness practices tied in to other huge commercial concerns in pharmaceuticals, food service and production, even "education" and "social services" through social lunch programs and food distribution, etc., lead to poor practices in animal care and end products. For example, insufficient oversight of the human health end results of genetic modifications of animals, and drug residues in milk and meat through the use of genetic altering and pharmaceutical hormones for increased milk production combined with the resulting heavy antibiotic use to counter the resulting mastitis and infections (drug traces in milk), and shortened lifespans of animals due to cancer (which diseased and drug-saturated meat that enters the market for human consumption -- possible link to the increased occurrence of new "drug-resistent" infections and certain cancers; especially human female cancers and rising rates of infertility).

5. All of the above, compound the reinforcement of poor production and marketing practices based on incomplete, old science and technology by creating and reinforcing political power centers that stifle good change and more complete science with conflicting tax incentives that favor and promote certain outdated practices of production.

6. Citizens deserve the right to make individual and independent decisions involving their health and the health of their families, plus the right to make informed decisions based on the ethics they hold regarding animal and land stewardship.

God bless you as you exercise your God-given capacity to think, choose and act for yourself based on real evidence and science. Thank you.

Ken and Denise Porter

Newcomerstown