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Livestock Conditions

“About 3 million pounds of antibiotics are given to humans each year, but a whopping 17.8 million pounds are fed to livestock.”  – Jonathan Safran Foer

 The Day Mrs. Frack Gave Me a Gaak Attack

In one breath, the dairy magazine food writer extolled the virtues of butter for her family, and in her second breath admitted that her son contracted leukemia, all the while ignoring evidence in past issues of that same magazine.

Today’s NOTMILK column:

The Day Mrs. Frack Gave Me a Gaak Attack

“We all feel like idiots at one time or
another. Even if we feel we’re cool 98 percent
of the time, that 2-percent doofus is poised
to take over our bodies without any warning.’
– Ellen DeGeneres
*     *     *     *
Frick and Frack were originally Swiss skaters
who emigrated to America to perform as a comedy
act in the Ice Follies four score and seven years ago.

After they became famous, their comic names became associated with comic duos. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were Frick and Frack. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Abbott and Costello. The Smothers Brothers. Rowen and Martin. Papa Bush and Dan Quayle. Frick and Frack are terms given to duos who act exactly how the phrase sounds. Ever spot a doofus and his lower-IQ twin shortly after they have been surgically separated at the corpus callosum? That’s Frick and Frack. Or Frack and Frick.

When they work for the dairy industry it makes me sick and to my groin, it’s like a kick.
Which brings me to the point of this all. I was reading my May 10, 2015 copy of Hoard’s Dairyman, the National Dairy Farm Magazine, but there was neither news nor editorial opinion to capture my attention and enthrall me, so I settled for the entertaining twice-monthly food columns, which often offer dairy-free veggie alternatives.
This month was different. Marilyn Hershey wrote about butter.

On and on I read until one-third of the way through her butter-based opinion piece, I experienced my major gaak moment for 2015. In one paragraph, Mrs. Hershey was relating how TIME magazine had placed butter on their cover and wrote about how delicious and nutritious butter was and then in the next paragraph I immediately stopped reading and had to check my pulse. Marilyn had given out Hershey’s Kiss of Death by writing:

“More than 20 years ago our son, Robert, was treated for leukemia. Through that experience, I found out that butter was also a good tool for teaching kids how to take a pill. Swallowing the pill is much easier when it is slathered in butter.”

Hoard’s Dairyman represented Frick. In just one moment, a food writer had morphed into Frack. I felt sincere and extreme sorrow for Mrs. Hershey’s ignorance. I wanted to ask her and every other mom so affected, “Got bovine leukemia virus?”

I remember another gaak attack moment from 2014. I had just read an article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in which Michigan State dairy researchers reported:”Few US dairy producers know the prevalence of BLV-infected cattle in their herds…” 

Thirteen years ago, the February 25, 2002 issue of Hoard’s Dairyman contained a painful secret admission. Ads are designed to promote products, and I suppose this one did. It advertised a test for BLV which appeared on page 150. The ad showed cows in a field, and challenged readers in a bolded statement:
“You Can’t Tell By Looking”

I recall highlights of Gertrude Buehring’s study in the December, 2003 issue of the Journal of AIDS Research and Human  Retroviruses in which 176 of 237 humans with Leukemia tested positive for bovine leukemia virus antibodies.  

In 2007, the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA)
tested bulk tanks of milk from 534 dairy farms and found:
“Results showed that 83.9 percent of U.S.
dairy operations were positive for BLV.”
Ask yourself two rhetorical questions:
1) There are 100 cows in the field. You are told that
84 have leukemia. Would you drink milk that has been
collected and pooled from these cows?
3) There are 10,000 dairy farms in your region. You learn that
8,390 of those herds have cows infected with leukemia. Would you eat one just spoonful of Chobani Greek Yogurt made from milk pooled from these herds?

Veterinarian Margo Roman, writes on her website:

“Bovine Leukemia Virus is a transmissible virus between cows and spread to calves through milk, blood, body fluids and insect vectors. It is found in  a large percentage of cattle in the USA . Bovine Leukemia  has been found in breast tissue in women.”

Breast cancers grow as a result of exposure to bovine leukemia virus (BLV). Buehner, et. al, determined:”We detected BLV proteins and DNA in human breast tissues
removed by surgery, which suggests these tissues were infected by BLV.”

I feel like crying after my gaak attack from Mrs. Frack. *     *     *     *

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step
to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
– William James

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Robert Cohen

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