The “B.C. Fresh Milk” (BCFM) Project

Canadian governments ban raw milk on the assumption that it is invariably “dangerous.”  They base policy decisions on expert opinions such as one stating that 4% of raw milk contains pathogens. But is this true?  For example, this 4% figure is based on a 1997 study of commercial bulk tank milk, but is raw milk produced by factory farms for pasteurization the same as fresh milk produced by artisan, grass-fed, micro-dairy herdshares and RAWMI-trained agisters?

Governments want evidence that legalization won’t result in more food-borne disease outbreaks.   As mentioned in our newsletter, we have been gathering milk sample test results to  show how raw milk can be safely produced, as well as:

  • How do different milking procedures (e.g. udder preparation, milk cooling, equipment cleaning) and on-farm food safety systems such as RAWMI training  affect milk quality?
  • How can legalization be done such that it’s affordable for  herdshare of all sizes?    Onerous laws mandating expensive requirements which farms can’t afford will drive them out of business or underground.

We invite all herdshares farms in B.C. to participate in this project.  Mentoring from RAWMI-trained agisters is available to all participants.  Test results are posted below with each farm given a 3-digit code in order to provide confidentiality.

See also the complete data-set (Google spreadsheet) and original individual test result PDFs from the lab.  For more information about the project, see :  http://tinyurl.com/bcfm-project

Donate to help fund this project (details coming soon)


Current active participants:   4  farms (3 cowshares, 1 goatshare)
Milk samples tested so far:  109
Milk samples testing positive for pathogens:  0

The Data