I’ve always liked Thomas Dolby’s 1982 song “She Blinded Me With Science”, because it’s goofy and weird and has a catchy hook. I’m really not sure what the song is supposed to mean, but I’ve always liked the title.
The song came to mind again the other day when I read a report on the latest E.coli outbreak in Minnesota. This strain, E.Coli 0157:H7, is particularly nasty, and there is no doubt among scientists and epidemiologists in our neighbor state that it came from the Hartmann Dairy – which sells raw milk. It has a clear DNA marker. Quite a few kids got really sick from drinking the tainted milk, but so far nobody has died.
Predictably, the Hartmann Dairy Farm denied responsibility, and accused the Minnesota Health and Ag Departments of defaming them.
Now, where have we heard that story around here?
Our highly-paid full-time professional state legislature passed a bill a few months ago which would allow the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin. The bill essentially rejected decades of hard science, going all the way back to some guy named Louis Pasteur, a Frenchman who discovered a way, over a hundred years ago, to make milk safe.
Governor Doyle did the legislature a favor and vetoed the stupid bill, probably saving the core of our state heritage, that slogan we put on our license plates: America’s Dairyland.
One of the many clowns who now inhabit the legislature was full of fake outrage, vowing to drink nothing but raw milk for the rest of his life, to “prove it is safe”.
No matter what science says, there will always be luddites and deniers. Such is the raw milk gang. Same as the folks who are convinced childhood vaccines cause autism. Never mind that the vaccine/autism study and the bogus scientist who published it have been completely and utterly discredited. They believe what they believe, and nothing is going to change their belief.
“She blinded me with science; and failed me in biology” goes the song.
Go ahead and roll the dice with your own life, and drink all the raw milk you want. But please don’t ask others to ignore hard science, and don’t try to pass laws that could potentially bring ruin to the state’s signature industry.