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Organic Consumers Association

Whole Foods Discontinues Raw Milk Sales in At Least Four States

The flow of negative news for raw milk drinkers today continues with word that Whole Foods is pulling raw milk from all its retail stores nationwide, effective tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

When shoppers show up at any Whole Foods that has been carrying raw milk, they will be greeted with signage telling them the chain is no longer stocking the product. This includes stores in at least four states: California, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Whole Foods had just in the last couple months introduced raw milk in Pennsylvania, over the objections for anti-raw-milk advocates.

Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy Co., reports he was given four hours notice that all deliveries of raw milk to Whole Foods have been suspended. He says he was told the order came from Whole Foods' corporate based on difficulties the company had gaining insurance coverage. "The insurance will not cover any liability if they include raw milk," according to McAfee.

He says he was told he will be paid for all milk already delivered. He also says that losing Whole Foods as an outlet will cost him at least 6% of his sales; he expects to counter the loss with additional sales to existing health food retail outlets.

Expect lots of consumer resentment over the action. Indeed, you can see that the logo accompanying this posting looks like a shell of the real logo, and in that respect, it's symbolic of what Whole Foods has become. I, for one, have been a long time Whole Foods advocate. I defended the company on this blog when the Weston A. Price Foundation recently encouraged consumers to consider taking their business elsewhere because of the chain's strong vegan leanings. I saw Whole Foods as a defender of food rights overall. But this move to drop raw milk changes my view, and I think it will change the view of many other customers.


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