By MNHLRP | May 19, 2011 at 06:47 PM EDT | 7 comments
It has been a week or more since the Raw Milk Access Bill Informational Hearing in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The intermittent urge to be a member of the Minnesota Legislature rears its head again after sitting through a hearing such as this.
Why wasn't the opposition asked more difficult questions? We have educated the members of the committee. But there is always something that comes up that is unexpected or for which we can't plan.
Let me set up the situation for you before I tell you what MY question would be.
Representative Sarah Anderson, the author of the bill in the House, requested that her constituent testify. Carol Frisk, a mom of three, testified how her young daughter was suffering from failure to thrive. She could not gain weight. Doctors had exhausted their options. One day, a friend suggested she try giving her daughter raw milk. Why not? What did she have to lose? Miraculously (although it was just an everyday miracle for raw milk drinkers), her daughter began to gain weight. She was thriving after the doctors had given up on her. The problem with the current law in MN, which requires that the raw milk purchase be made at the farm, becomes evident in the Frisk Family situation. Carol Frisk has a disability which makes it nearly impossible for her to drive. Metro Mobility, the bus system and light rail don't go to the farm. How is she supposed to keep her daughter healthy if she has to go to the farm to get her raw milk?
After the presentation of the bill and testimony by supporters, including Carol Frisk, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, showed a corny, dreadful video which contained less than complete information on the supposed serious illness which an 11 year old boy from California contracted, allegedly from drinking raw milk. He suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, since the medical world is so fond of acronyms. There are many sources of HUS, with raw meat being the most common, but Dr. Ehlinger chose to angrily (at least in my opinion) claim that raw milk was the source of this boy's troubles.
Lets suppose that everything he says is the whole and complete truth. (We know it is not, but play along with me here.)
Here is my question to Dr. Ehlinger:
Who gets to decide who is the sacrificial lamb? Is the child from California any more important than the child from Minnesota? Isn't the health of both children equally important? Isn't it also important to REALLY get to the bottom of the situation in California?
There are so many others, related to the dangers of drugs and the numbers of people who die and why is that okay, when the CDC has no evidence of anyone dying from raw milk consumption?
Please comment and put your questions on line. What would you ask if you were on the Ag Committee?
Kathryn Z. Berg