Source: The Family Cow Newsletter
by Edwin Shank
February 19, 2019
Source of Infective Brucella RB51
Good morning folks!
Recently, you have seen scary headlines something like this.
“People in 19 states exposed to Brucella from drinking raw milk.”
You probably saw these headlines on your own… but if you didn’t, I’m guessing that some concerned family member or friend has made sure you heard about it. And they may have even rubbed it in like, “See… we told you that raw milk is terribly dangerous!”
So what is the truth? Is your family at risk? Are you at risk? Is Family Cow raw milk a risk? Where did this Brucella infection suddenly come from?
Well, we all know that truth is stranger than fiction. But this truth is SO strange that you might not believe me even if I tell you. Let’s try you out!
Here’s the TRUTH:
The RB51 strain of Brucella is an antibiotic resistant, modified live strain of Brucella that veterinarians give to cows as a vaccination.
Yes… RB51 is a direct transfer of unintended consequences of a brucellosis vaccination. It does not exist in nature. RB51 is a mutant, rifampicin-resistant bovine Brucella vaccine strain developed in a laboratory specifically for vaccination. That is why it is so traceable. It is unique. There is nothing else like it out there in nature. [Source]
Still Don’t Believe Me?
I understand. That’s why I’m linking the official letter which PA Department of Agriculture sent out to all PA raw milk farmers when it first became apparent that this RB51 vaccine had jumped species lines. Notice: toward the bottom of the letter, the state actually goes on official record advising raw milk farmers against using this Brucella vaccine. Here are their exact words: “PDA recommends that producers who sell raw milk stop immunizing their cattle for Brucella.”
Family Cow Raw Milk is NOT at risk.
Why? Well, one reason is that we do not vaccinate our cows for Brucella. And that decision was in place a long time before the PDA issued their warning. In fact, we have not vaccinated for Brucella on our farm since my father’s day, which, next year, will be 30 years. The second reason is that we have been testing our Family Cow herd every year for over 11 years specifically for Brucella. We have never had a positive. And we really do not expect to since Pennsylvania has been classified as a brucellosis free state since April 1, 1983.
4 Crucial Points to Understand this Brucella Story
1st: ALL cows in PDA approved raw milk herds are annually blood tested by a licensed veterinarian specifically for Brucellosis. The test is mandatory. There is a zero tolerance. As I stated above, we’ve tested our Family Cow herd every year for over 11 years. We have never had a positive.
2nd: The farm in this brucellosis case was not licensed or permitted by PDA for raw milk sales. Therefore, prior to this incident, these cows were not required to be blood tested for brucellosis. I do not take the position that all farms must be permitted and licensed. There is a place for private clubs and herd shares… but… folks who choose to source their food from private arrangements such as these will need to be responsible to ask more of their own questions about testing (or the lack thereof) and make their source selection accordingly.
3rd: We never endorse selling raw milk from untested herds. And neither does RAWMI, the high integrity raw milk farmer group that we support and are a part of. Even if a herd is not going to be state permitted because they sell via a private co-op… annual blood testing of every cow, and regular lab testing of the milk is, in my conviction, an absolute must. You all know where we stand on this.
4th: It is important to read the news very carefully. Even though we do not advocate untested raw milk herds… even in this case we are still disappointed at the way the news media is misrepresenting this.
There is one person from NY ill that is linked to Miller’s Biodiversity farm. The milk was sold to customers in 19 states but people are not sickened in 19 states. The sneaky word here is ‘exposed.’ “People in 19 states were exposed” just sounds so bad. Yet in most industrial food contamination events which happen all the time, often the whole nation and even other countries are exposed! Most folks hear “19 states exposed” and understandably are led to believe there is a huge, scary, imminent, apocalypse of epic proportions.
And if that is not bad enough… some media have actually twisted it further to announce headlines like this: “People in 19 states infected with brucellosis after drinking raw milk.” This is totally irresponsibly false! There is one ill person with a link to the farm in question.
And how often is the word ‘outbreak’ used? Is that for max fear effect too? It certainly works that way. Something big and bad has broken out and it’s coming our way! With only one ill person, this case does not even fit the CDC definition of an outbreak. To call an incident of any illness an outbreak, long accepted epidemiology standards require there be at least two links to the suspected source.
It’s almost enough to make a person wonder… Do you think it’s possible that the media in conjunction with the CDC maybe even want to make raw milk look bad? Hmm…
To be continued…
All the best of food and blessings…
Your Farmer ~ Edwin Shank and Family,
and the whole Family Cow Team
God Designed it. We Respect it. That Explains it!
NOTE: These newsletters are crucial to our family mission of spreading truth and transparency in food, farming and faith. If you have friends and family whose “truth source” is the mainstream media, (and therefore think you’ve lost your marbles) forward this email to them. Maybe, just maybe they’ll wake up and sign up and catch up with the rest of you. 🙂
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The Family Cow is a certified organic, grass based, PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) permitted, raw milk dairy.
The farm is situated on 122 acres of certified organic pastures. The farm’s 75 Jersey milk cows are rotationally grazed 8 months out of the year. An additional 300 acres of organic land is farmed to assure an abundance or high quality organic stored grasses to grass-feed the cows during the winter.
The dairy is owned and operated by Edwin and Dawn Shank and their 6 children and has been continuously owned and farmed by the family for 5 generations and close to 100 years.
“We each have a special vision and talent to nurture healing foods from God’s good earth. We specialize in high-integrity, nutrient-dense, raw, traditional, organic foods from earth, grass and livestock – livestock that are treated with full respect to their design and the plan of their Creator.
Partnering is the beauty of Your Family Farmer’s plan. Our sustainable farmer community works together. We need each other. They benefit from our unique strengths and we from theirs. In fact, we call this community of farmers a ‘sustainable farmer incubator.’ ”
See The Cornucopia Institute’s rating of this farm: https://www.cornucopia.org/scorecard/dairy/the-family-cow/