Raw Milk Intolerance Continues Unabated in Ontario
A couple of weeks ago, the newspaper in Owen Sound, Ontario ran an op/ed piece entitled "Society has said no to raw milk" which was a lame regurgitation of the central dairy party line. Below is Michael Schmidt's reply: "Society has said yes to raw milk".
Editor: With great interest I read your column for the Sun Times by Bill Mitchell on July 18.
Mitchell, as you must know, is a spokesperson for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. He worked for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario 15 years ago when I had my first encounter with the dairy establishment regarding the legalization of raw milk in Ontario.
In 1995, six months after the first milk battle ended, with a two-year probation for me, I approached the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Health to study jointly with us and our cow share members the safety and benefit of raw milk for human consumption. After they all refused the offer of co-operation, I publicly announced that I would do the research myself. Even though they knew that I was continuing, it took 12 years for the government to return to our farm in bio-security suits to prevent the "killing of Canadians," according to Dr. Murray McQuigge, former Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health. However, no surprise, there were no dead bodies.
They took many samples of our raw milk and never introduced the results at the trial in January. The evidence suggested there was no danger at all. That's also why none of the officials in 1994 and 2006 contacted our cow share members immediately about the supposed dangers of drinking our raw milk.
Bill Mitchell speaks for a group of farmers which I always considered intelligent until I read his column. If the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) in fact approved his "intelligent and scientific" based column, then being a farmer becomes an insult.
Sorry Bill, society and the educated media have said yes to raw milk. There have been countless polls and thousands of letters to the media and politicians demanding common sense. All of them in fact showed that over 80% voted in favour of either drinking raw milk or having the choice to drink raw milk.
According to a source close to Bruce Saunders the former chair of the DFO, he is drinking his own raw milk. By the letter of the law he appears to be breaking the law every day by transporting it off the farm to his house. Most dairy farmers drink their own milk, including the retired generation of farmers who moved off the farm to live "up the road'."
In respect to the listeriosis outbreak at Maple Leaf as mentioned by Bill Mitchell as a reason to ban raw milk, it is important to note the following:
* The meat plant was licensed by the government.
* The meat plant was inspected by licensed inspectors.
* The incident killed 22 people.
* Michael McCain was never charged.
Despite repeated recalls, even after the listeriosis outbreak, deli meats are still readily available and Maple Leaf continues undisturbed. The new regulations as a result of the Maple Leaf disaster will push even more small butcher shops out of business.
On the contrary, I have been charged 22 times for providing a product which has not killed anyone or made anyone ill and has been proven to be safe according to many tests performed by government and nongovernment agencies.
During the trial the crown witnesses admitted to major outbreaks associated with pasteurized milk and also admitted that no one can guarantee that any food is safe.
For over 25 years our farm has been providing local food. If the government was really serious about promoting local food then they would be using our farm as an example and model rather than trying to shut it down. One of the latest examples of this contradiction is where we and other nearby farmers post our local goods on a local food website and find to our dismay that the supply management government officials then utilize these local marketing tools to target small farmers to comply to registration laws and other paper pushing, money grabbing regulations that are irrelevant in a true local food setting.
Is it even worth entering into a debate when one side is refusing to jointly seek a solution, conduct research and find a common ground?
We need to learn to resist when we have to deal with such a narrow focused interest.
Let's look at the facts: The DFO finances the head of the dairy research department at the University of Guelph who just so happened to be called as an expert witness on behalf of the government at our milk trial.
Neither the DFO nor the Government of Ontario as of today has done any research in regards to the production of raw milk for human consumption.
Canada is the only G8 country which has a prohibition on raw milk.
The DFO has the monopoly over all the milk produced in Ontario.
The DFO has a lot of lobbying power at any level of government.
For the last 15 years my attempts to initiate a dialogue with the DFO and various ministries has been railroaded again and again. Bill Murdoch's attempt in Parliament was shamefully defeated.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food in fact danced for everybody to see in front of the DFO delegation. Yes everybody gets scared to question and investigate the holy cow DFO.
It seems that the only road for those who oppose freedom of choice in respect to raw milk is to slander others and misinform the public with very unscientific "expertise" and wrong facts.
The DFO, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture all had the opportunity since 1994 to take my offer serious to jointly study the safety of raw milk produced for human consumption right here on our farm.
The refusal to do so takes away their credibility and only raises more and more suspicion as to what the real motives are behind these actions. By now I bet this case has cost the taxpayer over $2 million without having produced any results to solve this dilemma.
We all need to learn to lose our fear and constructively confront those who think they are in power to control every aspect of our lives.
Two people apparently died between 1998 and 2005 from drinking raw milk.
During the same time over 1 million died from smoking, over 900,000 died from doctor prescribed and government approved drugs and hundreds died from industrialized foods contaminated with pathogens. (These numbers are readily available on government websites.)
Hopefully the judge will come down with a ruling this fall.
Hold your breath if, in fact he will side with the anti-raw milk lobby.
This might be only the beginning of a major uprising to regain fundamental rights.
My thanks go out to MPP Bill Murdoch and MP Larry Miller, both of them fearlessly express their support for the issue. I guess both have not been spoiled by supply management.
by Michael Schmidt, Durham, Ontario at http://www.glencoltonfarms.com
more on this topic at: http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/video-live-from-the-michael-sc...
Thanks so much for sending this in Gordon Watson - updates on BC raw milk and Gordon's hard work at: http://www.freewebs.com/bovinity/
more raw milk related articles at:
UPDATES ~ Prosecution of Raw Milk Farmer in BC - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1364
Raw Milk Supply - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/159
National Raw Dairy Association? / On the Legal Front / Business Under Siege / Sharon Palmer / Aajonus Vonderplanitz - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1299
RAW MILK - Michael Schmidt Wins in Ontario; in BC the Fight Has Just Begun - Update - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1212
Drugged Milk is Dangerous - Corporate Manipulation - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/999
U~moo's classes in Vermont & Beyond Milk Politics: Raw Dairy "Pet Food" - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/942
Raw Milk Stories - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/930
Raw Milk Intolerance Continues Unabated in Ontario - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/906
Raw Milk Cow-ops Still Under the Gun - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/897
RAW versus PASTEURIZED MILK - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/158
A Raw Milk Story With an Almost Happy Ending - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1211
You may also want to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uah8LBUbfc
Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent ac-tion, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.
Filmmaker Kristin Canty's quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family-operated farms selling fresh foods to their communities. Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems — most often the industrial food chain — policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals' rights to access food of their choice and farmers' rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasona-bly burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.