By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Your state may be in violation of a federal
ordinance by allowing too many pus cells in
milk sold at your supermarkets. One cup of
wholesome milk cannot contain more than 50
million pus cells. That's 200 million pus
cells per quart (liter). At the end of this
column you will find a chart comparing the
average number of pus cells in milk sold in
your state to other American states.

Pus in milk? A dairy cow filters ten-thousand
quarts of blood through her udder each day and
uses dead white blood cells (somatic cells) to
manufacture her milk. These dead cells are pus
cells. Dairy scientists are aware that when
one quart of milk is tainted with 400 million
or more pus cells, some 35% of the milking
cows in the herd are infected with mastitis.
Udders bleed, discharges, including bacteria
and blood drip into the milk.

The United States Department of Health and
Human Services, along with the Public Health
Service and Food and Drug Administration, has
established a 280 page set of protocols that
is collectively referred to as:

The Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (P.M.O.)

The foreword of this all-inclusive set of
rules and regulations governing every quart
of milk sold in Ameirca says:

  "Occasional milkborne outbreaks still occur,
   emphasizing the need for continued vigilance
   at every stage of production, processing,
   pasteurization and distribution of milk and
   milk products."

It is a breath of fresh air to read an occasional
governmental truism regarding milk:

  "Milk has the potential to serve as a vehicle
   of disease and has, in the past, been associated
   with disease outbreaks of major proportions."

This document is more than a guideline for milk
producers. It's the law. In the preface, the purpose
of the P.M.O. is summarized:

  "The Grade 'A' Pasteurized Milk Ordinance is
   incorporated by reference in Federal specifications
   for procurement of milk and milk products; is used
   as the sanitary regulation for milk and milk products
   served on interstate carriers; and is recognized
   by the public health agencies, the milk industry,
   and many others as a national standard for milk

Many dairy producers have challenged the laws contained
within the all-powerful P.M.O. Courts have clearly
maintained the integrity of these sets of laws when asked
to do so. On page vi of the preface, the P.M.O. states:

  "The Ordinance has been widely adopted for many years
   and has been upheld by court actions. One of the most
   comprehensive decisions upholding the various
   provisions of the Ordinance was that of the District
   Court, Reno County, Kansas, in the case of Billings et
   al v. City of Hutchinson et al., decided May 1, 1934.
   In this action, the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought
   to enjoin the enforcement of the Hutchinson ordinance
   on the grounds that it was unreasonable..."

The courts have repeatedly upheld the sanctity of this
set of laws.

The dairy industry continues to ignore the spirit of
the laws so enacted.

To date, no individual or group has challenged
national enforcement of these statutes. There is a
first time for all things.

The table of contents (page vii of the preface) lists the
standards for Grade A milk, and defines "Abnormal Milk"
on page 20.

The standards for Grade "A" raw milk for pasteurization
define abnormal milk this way:

  "Lactating animals which show evidence of the
   secretion of abnormal milk in one or more
   quarters (the udder is divided into four quarters),
   based upon bacteriological, chemical, or physical
   examination, shall be milked last or with separate
   equipment and the milk shall be discarded."

The above is further explained ("Public Health Reason"):

  "The health of lactating animals is a very important
   consideration because a number of diseases of
   lactating animals, including salmonellosis,
   staphloccal infection and streptococcal infection,
   may be transmitted to man through the medium of
   milk.  The organisms of most of these diseases
   may get into the milk either directly from the
   udder or indirectly through infected body discharges
   which may drop, splash, or be blown into the milk."

What is "abnormal milk?"

The April 25, 2002 issue of Hoard's Dairyman, the dairy
farmer's magazine, addresses that question. Veterinarian
Dave Linn testifies on page 341:

  "According to the PMO, all milk from cows producing
   'abnormal' milk should be dumped."

Linn compares "wholesome" milk to "abnormal" milk,
and reveals insider industry standards shared by
the National Mastitis Council, United States Department
of Agriculture, and Food and Drug Administration.
If cows are infected, milk is abnormal. This is a dirty
secret that government agencies conspire to keep from
the dairy-eating public. Dr. Linn writes:

  "Research has shown that, with a herd cell count of
   200,000, there may be as many as 15 percent of the
   cows infected. In herds with a 300,000 count, this
   figure may be as high as 25%."

("Cell count" refers to the number of somatic cells,
dead white blood cells per milliter of milk).

So, if 25% of the cows in your state are sick and
producing abnormal milk which should be dumped,
and that milk is not dumped, something is seriously
wrong with the system. It is clear that some states
in violation of these rigorous milk standards.

Is your state in violation?

If the cell count is over 200,000 in your state,
please send a formal complaint to your Department
of Agriculture. Start with a phone call. The number
should be in your telephone book.

How do you learn the average cell count of milk sold in
your state? That's easy. The April 25, 2002 issue of
Hoard's Dairyman lists every state in America on page

ADVICE: If the count is over 200,000 in your state,
the milk is unfit to drink (by THEIR standards!).
File a complaint today.

Average Cell Count Per State (48 continental) in 2001:

(The following list contains the number of pus cells
expressed per milliliter of milk... about the size of a
thimbleful. To obtain the number of pus cells per LITER of
milk [about one quart] please add three zeros to the
following numbers)

AL - 444,000
AZ - 360,000
AR - 486,000
CA - 298,000
CO - 312,000
CT - 310,000
DE - 386,000
FL - 548,000
GA - 407,000
ID - 320,000
IL - 322,000
IN - 343,000
IA - 333,000
KS - 476,000
KY - 413,000
LA - 479,000
ME - 290,000
MD - 351,000
MA - 308,000
MI - 287,000
MN - 420,000
MS - 442,000
MO - 437,000
MT - 248,000
NE - 443,000
NV - 330,000
NH - 299,000
NJ - 339,000
NM - 311,000
NY - 280,000
NC - 364,000
ND - 344,000
OH - 327,000
OK - 483,000
OR - 286,000
PA - 317,000
RI - 206,000
SC - 404,000
SD - 459,000
TN - 413,000
TX - 342,000
UT - 284,000
VT - 302,000
VA - 333,000
WA - 275,000
WV - 422,000
WI - 297,000
WY - 341,000

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

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