Raw milk debate

You’ll have to forgive me: I’m a little tired after a weekend of great eating (highlights = Stradbally Country Market quiche and coleslaw, Dave’s Woodfired sourdough pizza and calzone, Rathmullan House crab linguine and Dux & Co meatballs), top music (highlights = Arcade Fire, Public Enemy, Squiggle Soundsystem, Trenchtown, The Unthanks, The Family Stone, Bob Geldof and Pulp) and a little bit of drinking (well, I was hosting a ‘Guinea Pig Club’ readers’ wine tasting for FOOD&WINE Magazine with The Wine Buff, and we didn’t think to bring spittoons).

So, rather than write up a post explaining why you should think about coming along to the debate I’m chairing tomorrow night at The Sugar Club, organised by the Raw Milk Campaign, I’m gonna just post their press release, and some links to some recent articles on the topic.

If you’ve been invited on Facebook and are gonna come, please RSVP to help spread the word. Or if you think you know anyone who might be interested, send them this link.

Doors open at 7pm and the debate will kick off at 7.30pm sharp. Hope to see you there.

PRESS RELEASE BEGINS:

A RAW ISSUE: THE RAW MILK DEBATE

Tasty, Nutritious Drink or Threat to Irish Dairy Industry and the Nation’s Health?

Panel Discussion on Proposed Banning of RAW MILK Sales in Ireland to take place at the Sugar Club, Dublin on Tuesday 6 September at 7.30pm.

On Tuesday 6 September in The Sugar Club, Dublin, a panel will debate the merits of the proposed ban on sales of Raw Milk in Ireland. The debate has been organised by the Campaign for Raw Milk, a group representing food businesses and organisations who believe people have the right to choose. Panellists in the debate will present the various arguments for and against the ban.

Raw (unpasteurised and unhomogenised) milk is believed by many to have superior taste and nutritional qualities to pasteurised and homogenised commercially available milk. It is thought to boost immunity and is linked with protection against a variety of health conditions. Sales of raw milk are allowed in many EU countries as well as 28 states of the US. Demand for the product is growing and it commands a much higher price than commercially processed milk. As such Raw Milk sales are seen as an important opportunity for small-scale dairy farmers.

However, others argue that the risks related to unpasteurised milk, specifically the high level of pathogens it can contain, are too high and that it poses a threat to health. The Department of Agriculture say that regulating the sector would be too costly and that any outbreak of food borne illness related to Raw Milk would also pose a serious threat to Irish dairy exports.

Chaired by journalist and food writer Aoife Carrigy, the panel will include journalist and broadcaster Ella McSweeney, who will share her research from both sides of the argument; dairy farmer David Tiernan, retailer Kevin Sheridan of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers; Ben Pratt, founder of www.Naturalfoodfinder.co.uk and author of Nutrition’s Playground; Tim Camon, Agricultural Officer, FSAI; Dr Mary Flynn, Chief Specialist in Public Health Nutrition FSAI; and Dr Kieran Jordan of Teagasc Food Research Centre. Representation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry was invited but declined. Relevant stakeholders have also been invited to attend.

Each panellist will be given an opportunity to briefly present their views, after which a debate by the panel will take place, followed by a Q&A session. Audience participation will be welcome. The event is open to industry and to the public.

EVENT DETAILS

TITLE: A RAW ISSUE: SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BAN SALES OF RAW MILK IN IRELAND?

DATE: Tuesday 6 September 2011

VENUE: The Sugar Club, Leeson St, Dublin 2

Time: Doors open 7pm. Event starts 7.30pm sharp!

BOOKINGS: No need to book, however we would be delighted to receive advance confirmation of your attendance to Elisabeth Ryan: irishrawmilk@gmail.com

€5 admission charge to cover the cost of venue: any monies raised above this will be donated to charity

More Info: The government intends to ban the sale of raw milk for direct human consumption before the end of 2011. The Campaign for Raw Milk believes that consumers should have a choice and wants regulations instead of an outright ban. The government, advised by the FSAI, believes that the risks associated with drinking raw milk are unacceptable. At this debate we will examine this issues from both sides and see why the government intends to ban it as well as hearing arguments from those who believe it is beneficial and farmers who believe they should have the right to produce it for sale.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT CURRENT CONSUMPTION OF RAW MILK IN IRELAND & MILK PRICES, BACKGROUND ON THE IRISH LEGAL SITUATION, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON RAW MILK AND MORE PLEASE VISIT www.rawmilkireland.com

The CAMPAIGN FOR RAW MILK includes: ICSA, CAIS, Slow Food Ireland, Ireland Guide, Bridgestone Guides, Good Food Ireland, Euro-toques Ireland, Irish Food Writer’s Guild, Sheridans Cheesemongers, A. Cavistons

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

There’s been quite a lot written on the topic in recent weeks: click here to link through to my piece in the Sunday Business Post which looked at the impending ban in the context of a broader tendency towards over-regulation of the Irish food industry. Or see the Press and Further Reading sections of  www.rawmilkireland.com.

This entry was posted in Listings of Events, Raw milk and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://foodblog.stefanovozza.com Stef

    How did this go? Couldn’t make it myself.