By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Julius Caesar was warned to take great care on the Ides of
March. On that day, Rome's illustrious emperor was stabbed
in the back by his best friend, Brutus. From that time
forward, the world's calendars became totally messed up. The
seventh month of the year, Sept-ember was replaced and named
after Caesar, and the seventh month then became the ninth
month, and the eighth month (0ct-ober) became the tenth, but
all that's history, so let's just talk about milk.

Today is the 15th day (the Ides) of June. Yesterday began a
major ongoing milk recall in California. Tests show that
every variety of milk sold under the names Berkeley Farms,
Dairy Dawn, Ralphs, Mountain Dairy, Sysco (Wholesome Farms),
Smart & Final, Albertsons, Good Day, and Best Yet may be
tainted with unsafe levels of powerful antibiotics.

Berkeley Farms is owned by Dean Foods, the largest dairy
processor in America, larger than even Kraft.

I spoke with Ray McCoy in the quality assurance department
at the parent company, Dean Foods (214-303-3400). McCoy
informed me that Berkeley Farms had performed screening
tests on milk samples and although he had no quantitative
numbers to offer, he did say that they detected indications
("betalactums") of antimicrobial contamination. McCoy
promised to get back to me with details. I left him my home
telephone number. He did not get back to me.

Why must cows be medicated? Is the antidote more dangerous
than the poison?


Mad Cow Disease stabbed Britain right in the gut, and cases
have been diagnosed throughout Europe, Asia, and even North
America (Canada). Nearly 100 young people have died in
England from this brain-wasting ailment that is passed from
cows to humans.

Hoof and Mouth Disease delivered a second thrust. Millions
of animals had to be slaughtered because of a plague that
spread like a wind-blown fire, a disease that rarely infects
humans. Two hundred thousand animals actually caught Hoof
and Mouth Disease in Britain.

The third wound was anthrax, delivered with a serrated blade
that terrified the United States. America's anthrax epidemic
became a non-story, as USDA magnificently placed their veil
upon truth so that Americans could eat their meat with peace
of mind. This terror was quarantined, and over one million
pounds of suspect beef was quietly recalled, just a few
weeks before the nightmare of 9/11.

The fourth knife wound required emergency USDA surgery, and
government bureaucrats again came to the rescue, keeping an
enormous story relatively quiet, so that most Americans are
not even aware of the quarantined cows with tuberculosis on
a California dairy farm.

Sixteen workers from that farm have tested positive for
tuberculosis. All drank milk directly from those cows, but
California health officials deny that they caught TB from
those animals. The owner of the farm is still being allowed
to ship milk from his diseased bovines, and that milk is
being sold for human consumption.

Now, comes a fifth stab wound.

Et tu, Brucellosis.

Brucellosis in cattle can be passed on to man in the form of
Mediterranean Disease or Undulant fever. This disease is
difficult to detect, and easily misdiagnosed. The symptoms
include chronic fatigue (syndrome), headaches, and arthritic
pain. Once infected with Brucellosis from cows, the disease
can hide in the human body, emerging many years after the
initial infection.

Brucellosis has been detected in a dairy herd in Idaho. Six
cows have tested positive.

The United States Department of Agriculture actually has a
Brucellosis program, and a set of standards. Under
government regulations, states are allowed to identify
infected herds, and retain their "Brucellosis Class Free
designations." Who is being protected?

Before taking your next bite of cheese, carefully read this
information from page 222 of Mad Cows and Milk Gate by
Virgil Hulse, M.D.:

"The following groups of pathogens can be involved in
manufacturing cheese made from raw milk: TB (mycobacterium
paratuber-culosis, Undulant fever (Brucella species),
Disease producing Strep (Pathogenic streptococci), staph
food poisoning (Coagulase positive sttaphylocci), staph
arrhea that may lead to death (Entero-pathogenic
Eschererichia coli), Salmonella, Rickettsia, Virus species,
Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium
botulinum (can be fatal and cause death)."

Et tu, Brucellosis. Beware the Ides of June. Is it any
wonder that Berkeley has issued a recall for antibiotics in
milk? If comedy can be found in tragedy, it exists in this
line from Berkeley's emergency press release:

"Antibiotics are sometimes used to treat dairy cows as part
of their health maintenance program."

Health maintenance?
You can call Berkeley Farms at 888-647-3326.

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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