News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Consumers getting a raw deal about raw milk


Consumers getting a raw deal about raw milk


"Repeated misinformation about the safety of raw milk and the fact it is limited to farm gate sales, which gives limited access to city dwellers, is giving the consumer a raw deal" says Debbie Swanwick Spokesperson for Soil & Health - Organic NZ.

The sale of raw milk has been permitted in New Zealand for several decades. Section 11a of the Food Act 1981 allows for people to purchase 5 litres daily of raw milk who intend to consume it themselves or provide it to their families.

"Raw milk is harvested under an approved Risk Management Programme under the Animal Products Act 1999 and NZ herds are TB tested. Sales would be totally prohibited if there any were issues around its safety" says Swanwick.

Some city dwellers have overcome access to raw milk by developing 'raw milk clubs' which are on the increase, but despite consumer demand, the latest reforms propose that they will be shut down.

A new initiative could ease issues of access to raw milk for this demographic. Mark and Phillipa Houston imported an automatic milk dispenser from Italy and have begun selling raw milk from their farm in Clifton. In Italy, unlike New Zealand, it is legal to sell raw milk to city dwellers. Their story is detailed in this month’s issue of Organic NZ. The Houstons used to supply Fonterra from their farm in South Canterbury before downsizing.

Despite recurring dialogue from government agencies about the safety of raw milk The Health Research Council (a government agency) funded a $1.2 million, three year study last year to ascertain if unpasteurised milk helps the body develop an immune response. Prior studies of farmers children who drink raw milk has proven that there is an increased protection against asthma and other allergies. One in four New Zealand children have asthma.

Histamines are a by-product of the process of pasteurisation which kills bacteria. They are not found in raw milk. Many asthmatics find that when raw milk is drunk regularly, they have no or few asthma attacks.

In October 2011 a consultation document on raw milk reforms, produced by the Ministry of Primary Industries, received 1670 submissions from stakeholders. "Unfortunately the fact that city dwellers don't have access to raw milk and there is a limited number of raw milk consumers stifles a healthy debate on the issue from a good cross-section of the country" says Swanwick.

New Zealand supermarkets sell more than 1.7 billion litres of pasteurized and homogenized milk every year.

"By regulating raw milk sales government seems to be choosing to protect the interests of corporate profits rather than enabling consumer choice. City dwellers in 'raw milk clubs' recognize the value of raw milk both with additional health benefits and also with the cost (typically half that of commercially sold milk) which is why they go to great lengths to purchase it" says Swanwick.

MPI is still undertaking a detailed analysis of all submissions and the policy options, and is formulating advice for the Minister for Food Safety.

Soil & Health - Organic NZ promote GE free, organic, fresh and healthy food.Oranga Nuku, Oranga Kai Oranga Tangata.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland