Home The Issue and Events Federal and Provincial Legislation Why There Is a Demand for Natural Milk
Where Sale of Natural Milk Is Allowed Methods of Production

From: Jeff Farber<Jeff_Farber@hc-sc.gc.ca>
To: James McLaren
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 3:36 PM
Subject: Re: Contact with Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Thank you very much for your email.

As you are aware, the Food and Drug Regulationsrequire that all milk available for sale in Canada be pasteurized. We realize that it was your understanding that raw milk could be considered as a novel food. However, due to it's history of use in the food supply, raw milk would NOT be considered a novel food as defined under Division 28 of the Food and Drug Regulations. However, the criteria used to assess the safety of a novel food could be used to assist you in preparing a submission on the safety of raw milk, when requesting a letter of opinion from the Food Directorate. A letter of opinion is a document which provides an opinion and/or comments on the information which is provided in a submission.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods for further information on preparing an appropriate data package for raw milk

Please also note that a letter of opinion does not necessarily imply that any action will necessarily be undertaken by the government, and may not lead to a change in regulation.

Best regards.

Dr. Farber

From: James McLaren
To: Jeff Farber
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 6:28 PM
Subject: Contact with Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Thank you for our telephone conversation last Friday about an email I received from John Karn, Secretary to the Board of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario wherein he said, "DFO relies on health officials who have the expertise to decide whether or nor not drinking raw milk poses a health risk. DFO will not consider any raw milk marketing initiatives as long as there is provincial legislation in place that prevents its sale. Further, DFO does not have any intention to lobby to have health legislation changed because we do not have the expertise to say whether or not raw milk poses a health risk."

I need them to understand that the current legislative ban on the sale of raw milk in no way prevents them from making an application under "novel foods" for raw drinking milk. I requested to meet with the Board to explain this but the Board refused. I am therefore asking you to make this point clear to them.

John Karn's email is jkarn@milk.org and the DFO's phone number is 905-821-8970. In our correspondence, we also cc'd Bruce Saunders, Chair of DFO (email bsaunder@milk.org), Peter Gould, General Manager and CEO of DFO (email pgould@milk.org), and Dave Hope, Chair of Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (email dave.hope@ontario.ca phone 519-826-3406).

Thank you for taking the time to look into this matter and I look forward to hearing of your results.

Best regards,

James McLaren