I’ve been so totally captivated by what’s happening in Egypt these past few days that I haven’t been thinking quite so much about doulas, midwives, or moms, but I did just see this article in today’s NYTimes. I’m a raw-milk drinker and have a tough time digesting pasteurized dairy, and I definitely support small scale, cow-friendly farms that produce delicious and healthy raw milk. One of the reasons why I don’t like pasteurized dairy is that pasteurization makes it possible for the various problems inherent in industrial dairy (particularly disease, which is managed using antibiotics) to be covered up by killing the milk. I prefer safe, clean milk filled with useful enzymes and bacteria.
Each year, federal inspectors find illegal levels of antibiotics in hundreds of older dairy cows bound for the slaughterhouse. Concerned that those antibiotics might also be contaminating the milk Americans drink, the Food and Drug Administration intended to begin tests this month on the milk from farms that had repeatedly sold cows tainted by drug residue.
But the testing plan met with fierce protest from the dairy industry, which said that it could force farmers to needlessly dump millions of gallons of milk while they waited for test results. Industry officials and state regulators said the testing program was poorly conceived and could lead to costly recalls that could be avoided with a better plan for testing.
In response, the F.D.A. postponed the testing, and now the two sides are sparring over how much danger the antibiotics pose and the best way to ensure that the drugs do not end up in the milk supply.