Regulated Ice Cream Kills but Raw Milk Is Banned

At least three people have died from ice cream, a product that the FDA heavily regulates.

ice scream skull

Back in January of 2012, Dr. Mercola published the headline, “No Deaths in 38 Years From This Raw Milk – So Why is it Condemned?

There have been no deaths reported since then, so we can now calculate that it has been more than a generation (as the Bible counts such a period of time) and no one has died from raw milk.

[See also, “Left-Right Coalition Is Trying to Legalize Milk.”]

However, recently the NBC affiliate in Chicago reported fatalities from another dairy source: “FDA: 3 People Die From Foodborne Illness Linked to Ice Cream.”

Officials say three people have died after developing a foodborne illness linked to Blue Bell ice cream products.

That prompted the first product recall in the Texas creamery’s 108-year history.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says five people in all developed listeriosis in Kansas after eating products from one production line at the Blue Bell creamery in Brenham, Texas.

The FDA says listeria bacteria were found in samples of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars.

(Note: The story is accompanied by a picture of Blue Bell half-gallon containers of ice cream. But those were found to be untainted along with many other products.)

So notice the way the public mentality works. No one is going to claim that all Ice Cream should be banned or that no one should eat it anymore. Nor is anyone going to really blame the US Food & Drug Administration. The FDA will probably claim that they can prevent this from happening again by imposing new regulations, but the authority and prestige of the FDA will remain intact.

How could a fatal disease get into the food supply?

One possibility that defenders of raw milk will point to is that the FDA currently allows the use of cows in unhealthy and unsanitary environments to be used as a milk source. Dr. Mercola writes,

Today, the milk from grain-fed cows raised in large confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), sometimes referred to as factory farms, is rendered safe by heating, while the milk from grass-fed cows raised on smaller, clean farms can be safely consumed without being pasteurized. A difference in safety between the two types of milk is due to the cow’s diet and the conditions under which they are raised.

If this is true, then the FDA professed role as the protector of the public might be questioned. Perhaps it is really a system designed to rationalize the preferred arrangements of big dairy companies who want to be able to produce a great deal of milk. The public doesn’t worry about where its milk is coming from, or question why pasteurization is so important (and sometimes is not enough). They assume that the FDA is keeping them safe.

Which brings us back to the question: When people get killed by FDA-regulated food shouldn’t we question the FDA’s value to society and its institutional judgment in telling us what is safe and not safe to eat?

This mentality also affects other areas of government expansion. Pretending that Obamacare is a good idea requires us to ignore its flaws and the harm it inflicts on people and, instead, focus on a few success stories. No doubt we will see the same selective evaluation for the FCC’s takeover of the internet.