Wild Swine, Raw Milk, the First Amendment, and the $1,000-a-Day Pill!

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raw-milkA roundup of breaking natural health news.

Victory for Michigan’s Family-owned Pork Farms!

As you may recall from our previous articles on the subject, in 2010, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued an Invasive Species Order (ISO), ostensibly to “help stop the spread of feral swine and the disease risk they pose to humans, domestic pigs, and wildlife as well as their potential for extensive agricultural and ecosystem damage.”

Sounds reasonable, right? It would be, if DNR’s definition of “feral” were dependent on whether a feral pig is actually running hog wild, instead of whether a pig’s tail is curly. Wild swine are an incredible pest for farmers because they completely destroy fields. Heritage swine, however, are being unreasonably lumped together with wild swine because the guidelines do not address ferality but use the shape of the pigs’ tails as the sole determinant. (Michigan residents, try not to think about how many of your tax dollars were spent on the creation of these highly technical but ultimately useless guidelines.)

The ISO shamelessly targets the heritage breeds favored by small and family farms, while protecting those favored by CAFOs. Under the ISO, possession of “undesirable” pigs carries up to a two-year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine for each pig. Moreover, the ISO allows the DNR to seize and destroy heritage breed of pigs raised by Michigan farmers on the spot—and without compensation.

After the ISO was issued, many small farmers—fearing felony charges—destroyed their own herds. However, Bakers’ Green Acres family farm resisted, suing the DNR for loss of livelihood. In a blatant attempt at intimidation, the DNR retaliated by asking the judge to fine the Bakers $700,000. But the Bakers, undaunted, continued to press their case. In early February, a court date to explore the constitutionality of the ISO was set.

Just days later, the DNR completely reversed its stance, with the attorney general’s representative claiming that, on further consideration, the Bakers’ pigs were actually completely legal, and now complied with the ISO. Given this, the judge was forced to dismiss the case without giving the Bakers their day in court.

What caused the DNR to retreat? Because the case was dismissed, the DNR won’t have to defend the legality of its ISO under oath, clarify its definition of a “feral pig,” or compensate the Bakers and other families who suffered from a loss of livelihood. The Bakers are currently exploring other options to remedy the damage done.

This isn’t just a win for the Bakers, but like Christine Anderson’s victory in our next story, a triumph for all small, family businesses, and individuals who stand up to the crony capitalists who would trample their constitutional rights.

Big Free Speech Win for Oregon’s Raw Dairy Farmers

What’s Oregon’s first rule if you are selling raw milk? Do not talk about it.

Christine Anderson is a small dairy farmer in McMinnville, Oregon. Under Oregon state law, she is permitted to sell raw milk on her farm. As we’ve reported previously, heat pasteurization destroys delicate proteins, enzymes, immune factors, vitamins, and inhibits mineral availability. Additionally, raw milk is easier to digest, and can help children overcome asthma and allergies.

For years, however, Anderson was legally forbidden from advertising her milk—she couldn’t post flyers in local stores, advertise via email or on her own website, or even display a roadside sign reading, “Raw Milk for Sale!” If she did, she’d be subject to $6,250 in fines, up to $10,000 in civil penalties, and even a year in jail.

How could advertising a perfectly legal product be illegal, and why didn’t the state government want Oregonians drinking raw milk? Could it have something to do with the Dairy Farmers of Oregon, an anti-raw milk industry group whose explicit mission is to “build demand” for conventional dairy? Or is it the Dairy PAC, which donates thousands of dollars to state representatives? Then again, it could be that Oregon was just another gullible victim in the CDC’s pro-CAFO campaign against raw milk and cheese.

Happily, Anderson didn’t meekly submit to this egregious (and nonsensical) violation of free speech. With the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit organization that conducts pro bono legal work to protect private property, economic liberty, and free speech, she sued Oregon’s Department of Agriculture for First Amendment violations. Just three months later, the department backed down, agreeing to cease enforcement of the advertising ban and to ask the state legislature formally to repeal it.

High Pressure Pasteurization: Does it Live Up to the Hype?

Natural health consumers know the benefits of raw milk over heat-pasteurized milk. But raw milk is still illegal at retail in most states, and even if legal may be impossible to get. Is high-pressure pasteurized milk (HPP) a viable alternative?

Yes and no. Although HPP was first utilized in 1895, it wasn’t commercialized until the early 1990s. Although an increasing number of raw juice and milk producers are utilizing HPP, and it seems to be an improvement over heat pasteurization, questions remain.

Traditional pasteurization raises the temperature of products to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, this heat also adversely affects taste and nutritional value, while increasing shelf life. HPP puts food products through high pressure treatments, while only slightly raising its temperature.

HPP does appear to destroy all bacteria in milk—harmful or helpful—by disrupting cell function. Some non-dairy producers who utilize HPP claim that not all good bacteria are eliminated by HPP, because in raw foods, “good” bacteria appear in higher concentrations than “bad” bacteria. This remains to be verified.

Small macromolecules are believed to be safe from HPP, so vitamins, minerals, amino acids, simple sugars, and flavor are generally unaffected. In comparison to traditional pasteurization, HPP milk better maintains its original texture and color, requires fewer chemical additives, and may have a longer shelf life.

Whether HPP inactivates healthful enzymes depends on the level of pressurization applied and the product being treated. For example, milk enzymes generally become inactive after 300 MPa (megapascals, a unit of pressure) to 400 MPa of pressure are applied, though alkaline phosphatase is resistant up to 800 MPa. Since milk must be treated at levels over 400 MPa to kill harmful bacteria, HPP would seem to inactivate most enzymes in commercialized milk. If juices are treated at levels that protect their unique enzymes, active enzymes may survive. Additional independent research on the impact of HPP on enzyme activity in milk and juice is needed.

The jury is still out, and the research is mixed, but it seems likely that HPP is not a replacement for raw milk or juice. The  “hierarchy” based on current research is organic/raw, then HPP-treated, then heat-treated.

We’ll keep you updated as more information on HPP becomes available.

Want Big Pharma to Save Your Life? Just Pay the Price!

Chronic hepatitis C affects 3 million Americans, is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants, and kills 15,000 a year.

Unfortunately, the traditional “cure” for chronic hep C—interferon drugs—is almost as brutal as the disease. Interferon injections commonly cause flulike symptoms, anxiety, depression (in 31% of patients), nausea (43% of patients), diarrhea (22% of patients), and insomnia (40%).

But according to Big Pharma firm Gilead Sciences, they now have a breakthrough hep C treatment—Sovalidi—that will increase cure rates and slash the amount of time patients need to be on interferon. This drug, they say, will “have a major impact on public health” and mark “a new era” in hepatitis C treatment.

That may be true—for the few who can afford it.

Sovalidi costs $1,000 a day—that is, $1,000 per pill—which is between $84,000 and $189,000 per treatment course. With this pricing, Sovaldi is expected to earn its producer $2 billion in 2015 and $9 billion by 2017, making it the biggest-selling drug of all time.

There are countless reasons why America boasts the world’s highest drug prices, including reverse payments (legal bribes that prevent generics from entering the market) and the government-protected pharmaceutical monopoly over natural solutions.

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  • Grover Syck

    The “catering” to big pharma and agribusiness must be stopped.
    The sale of raw milk and cheese should be make legal in all cases in all states.
    Also, the preferential treatment of chemical pharmaceuticals over natural cures should also be brought to an end as well.

    In both cases the raw food products and the use of natural medical products are far superior to the synthetic and processed.

    Contrary to the, often “doctored” data is misleading, and ofter out right lies.

  • Randie Walton

    I had Hep C that was killing me. Luckily, I was able to get in a Study that paid my entire bill. It was more than 11 months of sheer Hell. Thankfully I got on an Anti Depressant months before I started. I don’t support Big Pharma, but that is how I was cured and am extremely grateful. I would have found a way to pay if I wasn’t in a Study. I was and still am too young to die. I have to watch for liver cancer yearly.

  • eileen miller

    Allowing Bib Pharma to get bigger & powerful by permitting these outrageous prices is a viscous cycle because they can afford to ‘buy’ the legislation which, in turn, protects their profits, etc. But in all of this it is the public who pays in money and health. Do something.

  • fred

    Well, not for all heritage hog farms, just the Bakers, so far.

    But a big CONGRATS to the Baker family & farm for beating the DNR at their game of “chicken.”

  • Donald Vining

    What I’d like to know is to what degree public institutions may have played in developing these drugs that are worth so much to big pharma. I’ve been led to believe that big pharma does not necessarily do all the research. If that is true then the public should stop giving away all their rights at fire sale prices. The people must retain some control to prevent abuses like this. On the other hand, if all we know about this new drug is what is coming from big pharma marketing then it is probably just as well it costs so much!

  • mimi bennett

    Good work. Especially about raw milk. Little by little, the truth will be told.

  • Craig Moore

    Is there anything that a regular citizen can do to help in the fight against the major drug companies, and their draining of the lifeblood of America, for corporate profit. Why has the health insurance corporations let them charge so much? Why hasn’t the FDA done more about this? Oh I forgot, they can be legally bribed by payments from the drug corporations. Corporations that lobby for laws that benifit their monopoly over any competitor. They’ve got a good game going! Is this what America has become? This is a slippery slope that drug companies are walking. All and all I found this story very interesting, and I appreciate any information.

  • BK

    As quoted by Robert F. Cathcart M.D. from orthomed dot com

    “Since acute hepatitis A, B, C, etc., is easily cured with massive doses of ascorbate, intravenously and with follow-up with oral ascorbic acid, it is tragic that it is not properly utilized. Hepatitis C is a special problem because only about a quarter of cases present as acute (when it would be easily cured). Chronic hepatitis C is more of a problem; however with massive doses of ascorbic acid orally, a no-sugar diet, vitamin E, selenium, silymarin (an antioxidant from milk thistle), and alpha lipoic acid among other nutrients, I have never seen a case to go onto acute hepatic necrosis or cancer of the liver.”

  • Gary Jeffers

    As I read articles from your site and various others, one thought persists no matter which one I am visiting, “is our government so corrupted by corporate money as to be both irredeemable and forever non functional with regards to doing what is best for the American people?” My heart says no but my brain shouts YES!

    I can’t help but think we’ve already lost the fight to make government work for us. When they do pass legislation that on the surface is meant to curb excesses of this or that industry, they also attach riders that directly contradict what the bill is meant to stop leaving us right where we started. Or in some cases they actually give the industry more freedom to do whatever got them in the spotlight in the first place.

    Pessimistic? yes, and with good reason.

    • Georgia Dollman

      Gary Jeffers, what a great comment! I’d like to add that our corporations are also corrupted by government with regulations that favor the industry at taxpayer expense. Smaller government would repair both problems.

  • Nellie McConnell

    My daughter, 3 months, was very sick when she was fed formula. I put her on raw milk from our cows. She was keeping food down right away, no more stomach cramps, diarrhea. We were organic! She is very healthy 59 year old. We were organic before the government got involved.
    I live in South CA and the farmers here are now going organic. I can buy organic oranges from local ranch. The orange juice in stores cause me to have heartburn.
    Support our local farmers and citrus growers.

  • Mary Doino

    I wanted to share this article. The majority of “Prescription” drugs are manufactured overseas with no regulation, even the FDA is powerless against Big Pharma. I have experienced this personally I take gabapentin, and it stopped working, so I stopped taking it. I found out that it was produced in a plant in India, the Indian government shut it down, it was so bad. They found no discernible trace of the active ingredient in the capsules. This is also going on with Psych meds, causing extreme problems for people. I know of a woman who lost it and was hospitalized after her meds stopped working. She had been on that dosage for a while. Her Doctor refused to acknowledge it, and the Insurance company refused to pay for the brand name, they had switched her to the generic, which was not the same as the original!

    http://kos.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=rFNJzuySk2Xv0TZS5zmARGDoVziNeIuT

    This is from the “Daily Kos”. I have been aware of this problem for at least 5 years, yet it fails to make the news, and Doctors stay oblivious. This is dangerous and deadly!

  • Suzanne

    If not raw milk then second should be non homogenized. If more people listened to Weston A Price Foundation (or even knew about them), they’d be much healthier.

    • Most of the lies, opposition, and influence money comes from Milk processors ‘pasteurization’. Most milk producers Just want to sell milk. Although the best milk comes from breeds of non high producing cows, goats, and sheep.

  • Natural Nurture

    $1000. a pill…what a boondoggle!!!

    War and Patented Medicine are the two biggest profit centres of the globe…both are predicated on a Western Medical Model of Industrialized Birth.

    Not unlike the the medical profession shooting off your feet and then proffering you a set of prosthesic legs and you kiss their palms for SAVING YOUR LEGS and LIFE….

    98% birth in a HOSPITAL and 33% are butchered to deliver babies like so much pork roast…when nature provides a perfect system…but who wants healthy, happy people which natural birth supplies…happy and healthy people think…we don’t want thinkers…we want killers and consumers….

    The vital bond between mother and baby at birth is BUSTED by the time take to reupholster Mom while torturing baby and stealing blood to tag its DNA for a national database.

    37% of those born with high interventionist births end up in prison for violent crime and homicide…I suspect the rest are recruited for the military….somebody has to put their life down so we can drive HumVEEs, Escalades and burn oil.

    Time to reassess our priorites!!

    • Anju

      Absolutely on the mark.

  • Pete Houghton

    I’m not religious……..but, these are definitely the days when the robber barons shall control the Earth…………..

    • I am Trying to remember where I read this. Care or something.. But they said 95% of all the Pills we take in the USA are made in China. at about 10 pills for a penny.. They were concerned the person that wrote the article That is . What would happen if our Country had Relations with China .That Were in a .Turmoil .. and a Fllu or other virus hit America hard and China refused to send meds or that were Weak or a Placebo..???

  • Fernando Orige

    I hope Virginia passes the Bill “Food Freedom Act”. It is so mere to live with this Bill ! that others will do the same.

  • Nathan Knowles

    $1,000 dollar pile Hepted c soon to much. Like to thing saftey but seam more about porfort and be cheap.

  • Shouldn’t big pharma be about improving health with new breakthroughs? Shouldn’t this be the emphasis and not making big bucks? Something is very wrong when the industry uses its constructive ideas for capitol gain. This so wrong and cruel to those whose lives depend on this research! Is this how we move forward for the betterment of society? I think not and shame on them!

  • jan

    Pharmaceuticals are legal thieves and they are disgusting and sickening. May they all rot

  • jan

    sorry for the all caps, but Big Pharma deserves shouting–they are the most disgusting of all companies when they can help people only for a huge outrageous price tag.

  • Ruth-Ann Radcliff

    Sovalidi costs a $1000/day. This is just unbelievable. There is nothing worse, in my opinion, than Big Pharma except Big Pharma that makes billions off the suffering of those who have some kind of disease. Have they no shame or has greed just become that pervasive in the United States?

  • Barbara Talbert

    I am currently reading “Folk Medicine” by Dr. Jarvis. Many of these “back to the future” protocols would put a crimp in pharmaceutical monopoly profits. How very disgusting that Sovalidi costs $1,000.00 a day!
    I want to thank you for applying common sense to so many issues including GMO’s. If the companies that sell the seeds and weed-killers and human misery were so concerned with people’s welfare why do they charge so much. I think it is to counter all the lawsuits that they know are coming.

    • Tony Zitzelberger

      Stone breaker tea works very well, as can be read up on by this author.
      The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor.

    • Jane Roberts Maher

      My husband just started on Solvadi (the $1,000 per day pill). After 5 attempts at interfuron, which left him sicker than I’ve ever seen him, his blood count was so off they took him off it. He had to qualify for Medicaid along with his Medicare and a Supplement. It was like jumping through hoops with all of the paper work, spending down a (small to begin with!) retirement acct. and proving that we are indeed quite poor. In the 90’s we used to make over $115K, combined, but those days are long gone. We have joined the ranks of millions of Americans that can no longer work, or are working for low wages with no benefits. But, his meds are now “free”. So far he feels pretty good. It’s disgusting that drug companies charge insane amounts of money for pills that cost pennies to make. They claim it’s for research. No research scientist makes that much, but the CEO’s do… The reason that the Affordable Care Act is not working the way it really should is because Big Insurance and Big Pharma are still calling the shots, and paying off Congress.

      • Vitamin ‘C’ both prevents and cures all hepatitis. Prevention takes little ‘C’, five to 20 grams a day depending on age and health. Cure may take hundreds and a few days,
        See internet: ‘doctoryourself.com’ or ‘Dr levy hepatitis’.

  • Sherry

    Before the 1970s we got iodine in our breads, 1mg daily. All of your blood goes through your thyroid gland every 17 seconds, aka, Dr. Jarvis, Folk Medicine of Vermont published 1950. Iodine kills pathogens in the blood (hiv, hepatitis, pneumonia,etc.)

    What we need to do is supplement breads with iodine again (also magnesium and potassium), just like the good old days before our health epidemic started.

    I did iodine fulfillment therapy for low thyroid and my son did it to detox mercury and get rid of his asperger’s and tourettes. It also treats cancer better than chemo. The cost was $20 for a bottle of Lugol’s iodine.

  • Fred Patterson

    Thank you for the information provided here. If it was left to others, we would never know the truth about our food. Thank you, Very much!