The good-cop-bad-cop routine is one of the oldest in law enforcement. Talk with me, goes the advice to the criminal suspect from the nice-guy cop, or I'll send in our junk yard dog, and you don't want to deal with him.
Sometimes I wonder if our expanding inclination to ban foods says something about our do-gooder nature, or our bullying nature.
Over nearly two decades of fighting for the right to access raw milk, Michael Schmidt has become legendary for his persistent promotion of dialog with reluctant regulators and politicians. He went on a hunger strike last fall that he ended after five weeks when his demand for a personal dialog with Ontario's premier, Dalton McGuinty, was granted.
Cryptosporidium, or "crypto," as it's commonly known, is a nasty parasite that causes diarrhea and other stomach upset. The U.S.
Two more Maine towns—Appleton and Livermore-- have passed food sovereignty ordinances in the last few days during the current town meeting season. This brings to eight the total number that have legally sanctioned private food sales by local farmers over the last year.
In the meantime, the state’s prosecution of Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown for selling raw milk under his town’s food sovereignty ordinance, passed last spring, continues apace, with depositions being taken of key participants. A trial is possible by late fall.
There’s a new strain of illness making the rounds of Canada’s rulers. Call it “Michael Schmidt Paralysis.”
You don’t wish health problems on your enemies, but news that a second British Columbia prosecutor has bowed out of a major raw milk hearing against dairy farmer Michael Schmidt because of illness—with no re-scheduling--has been greeted with at least a few knowing looks.
Even veteran farmers occasionally receive cruel unexpected reminders about the dangers of handling livestock. Ron Klein, a Michigan dairy farmer who comments here, barely survived repeated attacks by one of his bulls late last month. In fact, when you read the harrowing account on this blog from Olga Bonfiglio, you’ll wonder how he survived at all. It seems he could easily have been killed.
The latest tactic in impeding raw milk distribution--harassing farmers using drop sites--seems to be spreading from Minnesota to Missouri.
The pathetic case of the former senator and vice presidential candidate, John Edwards, is one most of us would just as soon forget about, preferring to file it away as just another sad episode in our political system's steady descent into tawdriness and corruption. That would be a mistake.
The John Edwards case--more particularly, the way it played out legally with a hung jury on most charges and acquittal on one-- actually teaches us at least two important, and related, lessons of immediate relevance in the food rights movement:
I was at a food safety conference a few years back that focused on raw milk, and one state public health official concluded his remarks by saying, to effect, “I personally don’t see why we spend all this time going after raw milk. If people are going to be stupid enough to drink it, then let them go ahead and kill themselves.”
Then, at a raw milk symposium a couple years after that, I heard a raw milk proponent give the other side of the same mind-set. “You know, things will change over the next few years, because the people who oppose us will die off from all the junk food they eat,” she said, referring to the public health regulators.