If I Didn’t Know Better, I’d Say All The Complexity Around Raw Milk, Raw Cheese, and Food Safety Rules Was Intentional

Now, this is pretty straightforward. (From Holistic Healthy Living on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthyholisticliving?ref=ts&fref=ts)This may sound like a silly question, but why does the assault on nutrient-dense foods need to be cloaked in so much complexity? Consider...

 

* I’m thinking, first, about that FDA-Health Canada study on soft raw milk cheeses (discussed in my previous post), which took many hours and a number of re-readings to make sense out of (because of the 189 pages of complex mathematical formulas and calculations to finally arrive at its conclusion that soft raw milk cheeses are up to 160 times more dangerous than pasteurized cheeses). 

 

* Now there’s the latest court action, in Canada, against dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and herdshare organizer Gordon Watson. That case, in British Columbia, over the operation of a single herdshare, is so involved and convoluted that the agencies involved--the local public health agency (Fraser Health Authority) and the national Health Canada--have been at odds over who permits what (the local public health officials want a ban of raw milk, while Health Canada allowed it as a “cosmetic,” with people free to use as preferred). 

 

Schmidt and Watson were charged with contempt of court (for allegedly continuing to encourage the herd share’s operation after the local public health officials ordered it shut down) and distributing a “hazardous” product. A Canadian blogger who sat through some of the six days of trial, had this to say about the case: "The matter is so confusing. I'm not even sure if the correct people are n court. As a disclaimer, due to the testimony and cross-examination, sometimes I'm just not sure what the facts are."

 

I had contact with both Schmidt and Watson as the trial wrapped up, and they were encouraged that the judge allowed the trial to go on for six days instead of the scheduled three days, and seemed genuinely interested in the freedom-of-speech and other aspects of the defense. The prosecution seemed unnerved by all the judge’s questions and his decisions to allow pretty much all evidence the defense wanted to introduce. Unfortunately, a decision isn’t expect for at least three months, the judge indicated. (Michael Schmidt has written a sadly humorous account of some of the Canadian court proceedings on The Bovine.)


* Activists monitoring the Food Safety Modernization Act are scrambling to get the FDA to extend the comment period for the proposed rules announced in January covering produce, because those rules are unbelievably complex. According to Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, “The sheer volume of rules - and the coming spring planting - make it very difficult to have enough time to properly analyze the rules and provide substantive comments to the FDA before the May 16, 2013 deadline.” Her organization is asking for a 120-day extension on the comment period “to ensure the new food safety rules do not undermine food safety by harming family farms and small-scale producers.” She offers a link so people can sign on to the extension (the deadline to sign on to the letter is Feb. 25). 

 

Is the complexity part of the assault? The government (whether in Canada or the U.S.) makes policy about raw milk and raw milk cheeses so difficult to fathom that people throw up their hands and move their attention on to something else. I’m sure that is part of the intent in all these situations--who in their right mind is going to spend hours and hours trying to unravel the technicalities and legalities? 

 

Sure, it is partly a sign of the overly legalistic and regulated times we live in. The ObamaCare legislation, for example, took 2,700 pages to spell out. Forbes.com figured that another 13,000 pages of regulations had been issued to explain things further by last month, and many more are expected as full implementation moves closer. 

 

But food? Food is so basic, so simple. At least, it was. 

Mary McGonigle-Martin's picture
David Gumpert's picture

Looks like an excellent piece of reporting about how the food corporations go about their business of building markets. It never fails to amaze me how huge the matter of taste is in getting people to eat foods everyone knows are destructive. I suppose I shouldn't be--taste is pretty fundamental. But when it comes to medications, for example, people will endure all kinds of foul tasting stuff if a doctor says it will relieve symptoms. But various foods that are known to improve health are discarded because they don't have an immediately pleasing taste.

Holy smokes - 14+ pages . . . it'll have to wait until tonight before I can read the whole thing, but the first page was interesting. Thanks for posting, Mary McGonigle.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

"Is the complexity part of the assault? "

It appears so. making things so confusing and drawn out will discourage some people. It also serves to further alienate the populace. Taking 189 pages to find that outcomes, shows that they need to return to school for basic math and science. But, again, making something so convoluted, confuses many and turns people away who are truly trying to understand and find facts.

I like the first comment from the link Mary posted:

" Carolyn Egeli
Valley Lee, Md.

In this whole very large article, there was not one word about genetically modified food, hybridized wheat or high fructose corn syrup and the science surrounding the addictive attributes of these substances. The science exists, but the media steadfastly refuses to follow up on it. Fat, sugar, salt, etc are not harmful. It is what has been done to our normal food, that has caused our illnesses. Cargill, Monsanto, Kraft, Pillsbury, etc, etc. are all participants in the industrial food system that has made a few generations of humans very sick. You can see a direct connection with the rise of our major modern diseases and the rise of gmo's, hybridized wheat and high fructose corn syrup. Irradiation, preservatives, and other modern methods of food processing, has sealed the coffin on the public's health, with our colons deprived of good bacteria and natural enzymes. It is no wonder our healthcare costs have skyrocketed and the pharms are making a kiling. "

It's standard bureaucratic practice. The goal is to obfuscate things so much that literally no one can get hold of any stable reference point or even simple fact, so that power not only insensibly expands and concentrates further, but becomes ever more discretionary and unaccountable.

Of course, legislation like the Food Control Act is intentionally written that way in the first place. But that's always just the start, since by now the legislative branch has little actual power, but is rather a propaganda wing of corporatism. It's meant to keep people deluded that there's such a thing as the "rule of law". But all the real power is among unaccountable bureaucrats operating mostly according to their own ideology, greed, and caprice. These are the real rulers - government and corporate bureaucrats.

Rule by bureaucracy is the essence of totalitarianism, toward which we move ever closer.

Meanwhile the courts are usually the last part of "accountable government" to completely collapse, but they always do in the end. We're already at the point where it's a pleasant surprise when a court seems to want to even pretend to act in the public interest, as the way this post is written demonstrates.

Dave Milano's picture

Well now I fell that we are getting somewhere.

Complexity is indeed the refuge of scoundrels, and all central-control systems depend upon it.

The first sign of a devil is his sincere explanation of complexities you never knew existed, and can never understand. This is how our food systems, banking systems, and all our various corporate and government machines fuel themselves.

Fortunately for us, simplicity is always available, and food production is a very good place to begin experimenting with it. It is happening more and more already as our systems begin to deliver the bills for their services, in the form of poverty, illness, pollution, and isolation.

Here's a perfect example: The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of codes that defines and categorizes diseases and treatments. The ICD system---itself controlled by an intricate web of government, pseudo-government, and business entities--- establishes the very definition of healthcare, and in so doing locks out alternatives, and perpetuates ignorance of disease prevention and the pouring of money into disease management. How does one keep this devil in power? By assuring that it becomes ever more complex. (The latest iteration, from ICD-9 to ICD-10, increases a mere 14,000 codes to 70,000.)

Systems however, no matter how big and powerful, are never able to completely shutter down simplicity. The wee small voice of common sense somehow always lives on to help keep humanity and nature alive. Thus the growing grassroots movement of people today who are just saying no, and are turning to far simpler, far better, far cheaper, and far more sensible means of staying healthy. Rooftop beekeeping in New York City, backyard chickens in the suburbs, pigs and goats and cows and truck-gardens in the countryside, and natural-food cooperatives everywhere, are bubbling up, and in their quiet way, working to save us. These are the true solutions---bottom-up, simple, natural, healthful, strength-creating, and of course very understandable.

Sylvia Gibson's picture

Was it WC Fields who said; “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

I didn't know the ICD9 increased so much. With the new DSM5 they can now diagnose grief as a mental disorder and RX drugs for that (not that they haven't already been doing that). We all know you should have your grief resolved by 2-3 months. If you listen to David J. Kupfer, MD Chair, DSM-5 Task Force speak, his words sound contradictoryThe DSM-5 is no different. Pathetic. here have a pill and I'll see you in 6 months to a year for a new RX. I had read somewhere that 80% of psych drugs were RXd by primary care physicians and also given no follow up with them or a shrink to assist the patient in resolving their issues...silly me, giving a pill is so much less time consuming and with DRGs time is money.

Here's one of those simplicity examples, and how morality and reason can sometimes prevail at the local level. Last night our local 4-H gave a presentation to the town council asking for a much better backyard chicken ordinance. It seemed to be well received, and this morning the news was that afterward all the council members had said they supported it, and put a new ordinance on the agenda for the next "workshop" meeting.

Huzzah, Michael! Continuing support for you and Gordon in this mess, as well as the sheep-napping mess.

The line in David's article which struck me as probably the most ludicrous on the part of the "actors" was WHY does it take three months for a judge to hand down a decision? That is insane. In three months time he won't remember detail one. In both Canada and the USa we should try to get our great siphoners at the CONgressional level to make a new law stating that a Judge has two days to make a decision. No more than that, because after two days so much gets lost in their minds, especially when they are handling a boatload of cases. THAT'S the criminal part of the "legal" system.

As well, ungrateful (not to mention homely) lawyers who relegate beautiful roses to a box because she's a juvenile herself.

Dave Milano's picture

Taste may be fundamental, but not in the way we generally think.

Scroll along to the 14 minute mark of this fine old documentary film (Nanook Of The North) to see children thoroughly enjoying the tastes of lard and castor oil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW6d6B_R2nM

Sylvia Gibson's picture

I am not amazed that they continue to push something they know to be ineffective.

http://news.yahoo.com/flu-shot-did-poor-job-against-worst-bug-170416843....

@ Gordon Watson: It was interesting to find your writings on bovinty. I haven't read the whole thing, but I skimmed it (about your letters to the BC gov't asking to have raw milk legalized) and got a good gist of the message. I'll read the rest over the weekend, but I wanted to say, in response to your statement about the BC gov't seemingly not knowing what you were talking about in your letters - you should have written them in crayon, printed the letters, and shortened it to about 2 paragraphs. They would still pretend not to understand - so how many judges would actually allow them to act so ignorant?

Then I switched over to your Immune Milk page and just happen to see the link to truthquest2 - which is written by an acquaintance of mine, Dianne Thompson! She did a LOT of work with seawater, and just recently I posted an article on my forum where another web site (Green Pastures maybe?) had profiled her exhaustive work. Interesting coincidence.

Keep up the good fight.

I forgot to say that Dianne also did a LOTTA LOTTA work on shaken baby syndrome and vaccines. It was interesting but I haven't followed it for a while so don't know where the whole thing ended up, although I've seen more and more mention of it all over the web. And that's a good thing.

Ron Paul takes on education in his new book, due out September of 2013. It will be an interesting read. I got this info in an email but no link, so I c&p'd it. The book can be pre-ordered through Amazon.com which you should do ASAP if you're interested in it, because it will probably sell out quickly. A lot of people are interested in homeschooling these days.

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Ron Paul’s New Book Takes on the Education Racket
By RonPaul.com on February 21, 2013

Ron Paul is writing a new book on education. In “New School Manifesto: A Libertarian Look at American Education“, which will be released on September 17, the retired Congressman expresses his strong support for home schooling and free market principles applied to education.

From the book description:

Dr. Ron Paul’s latest book, NEW SCHOOL MANIFESTO, will delve deeply into one of the most important issues facing us today: the state of education in America. The vast majority of Americans agree that our education system is broken and that action needs to be taken. This book will be a focused guide to Dr. Paul’s position, which centers on a strong support for home schooling and free market principles applied to education. He makes the case for individual freedoms as they pertain to educating our children, and nimbly dissects the most pressing issues that need to be addressed from the libertarian point of view.

Ron will also quickly discuss the history of education in this country, along with what has gone wrong, and how we can think about the facts differently. His devoted followers have been waiting for a book on this topic, as nobody yet has really captured education from a Libertarian perspective.

Ron Paul’s beliefs are always controversial, and even if you disagree with his principles, his arguments will make you think. Ron Paul’s ideas and his urgent appeal to all citizens and officials will tell us what we need to do fix America’s education system for future generations.

Official release date: September 17, 2013

The complexity is definitely intentional.

http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/02/notice-usda-keeps-organic-stakeholders...

If they aren't even going to be straight with us, why do we need them? The American people don't need more lies or liars. Dismantle the USDA and all of its counterparts, and start from the top not the bottom. Any suggestions on how we could actually do this? Voting doesn't work, talking to our pusillanimous CONgresscowards doesn't do a damn thing. If all of this nonsense were at the state level, rather than national, we all MIGHT be able to get a running start. I guess that answers the question as to why nothing much is done at the state level, right? I doubt very much that even most state officials know what goes on at the higher levels. Everything sheathed in secrecy until it's too late to do anything about it, and now they hold all the cards. Except that they're all criminals. On what level is that ok?

I think the only solution is to take what action we can at the community level, organize to do whatever we can for ourselves as communities, and to resist the depredations of the food police and other elements of the police state. Fortunately, unlike in many other sectors, providing our own food is something we really can do.

Then this Community Food movement can be the rock upon which we directly push economic and political relocalization, in replacement and defiance of central control, as far as we can. In the meantime we wait for the Tower of Babel to collapse of its own weight. In particular, industrial ag is doomed to collapse. Peak fossil fuels, peak phosphorus, fossil aquifer depletion, soil exhaustion, endemic crop collapse (GM crops are inherently weak, and the phenomenon of sudden death syndrome among GM soy is already documented), are among the possible proximate causes of this collapse.

So building the Community Food movement on an agroecological basis is not only the affirmative political aspiration, but a necessity for humanity's literal survival.

Here's what I've discovered about the area in which I reside. Too many snobs. In order to even get to a community level, we had to convince our very neighbors it was ok to have a garden for something other than flowers. THey're all for flowers, but try to grow a vegetable. It took me almost 10 years, but I think I finally have some of them coming around. We now have a small community garden in the canyon where I live but about four of us do all the work and during harvest everyone wants the produce. We always share, but with the stipulation they help the following summer. Meh, in one ear and straight out the other. Next year, same scenario.

Our uptown community gardens have had their share of "control" (read: poLiCe) issues in the past two years, too - before that no one ever bothered them at all. However, I think last year we gave the city enough flak during the council meetings that they may just leave people alone this year, we'll see. I don't actually participate in the downtown gardens, but I know a good fight for the cause when I see one, so I never miss an opportunity to show up and shout out at the meetings. One guy on the city council begged me never to run for a position. (; -> The thing is, I have well-thought arguments, I don't get nasty, I stay on task and don't get distracted (that's my Swedish one-track mind!) and I don't overrun my time. The council members are flummoxed by someone who actually follows the rules, but it doesn't help much because nothing much ever comes of it. They table things and the next year we're back with our same arguments. It doesn't matter how many letters we write during the year, it doesn't matter how many phone calls or personal contacts we make. If they don't wanna hear it, they simply nod their heads, smile and keep walking. It's pretty obvious what gives. But we remain like rubber bands and keep going back.

For now, it seems, that's about all we can do until they actually forbid the city gardens, which I have no doubt will happen in the next few years. We'll likely just expand the area in our canyon and people will have to come there to garden. Inconvenient? Yes, but sometimes the things worth having are worth a bit of inconvenience. We're far enough out of the main part of town that the city fathers don't really give a rat's rump - for now. But I fear the writing is on the wall.

Nothing basic or simple about food anymore. And the USDA is going to make sure it gets even worse. See here: http://www.anh-usa.org/court-to-farmers-you-dont-have-the-right-to-fight...

[excerpt from article]: "The Almond Rule isn’t just about almonds. The rule actually expands the USDA’s powers, allowing the agency to mandate how dairy, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and animals are processed—something they have never been able to do. The USDA is legally allowed to establish minimum standards for farm products based on grade, size, or quality; they can say, for example, that “Almonds must be free of salmonella.” But the Almond Rule changed all that, allowing USDA to claim it can mandate how that outcome is achieved (e.g., “Almonds must be made salmonella-free via one of the following pasteurization processes…”).

If this newly asserted authority is upheld, it could be the USDA’s latest weapon in the war against raw foods. Instead of saying that milk needs to be pasteurized, it can now dictate the way it is pasteurized. This sort of authority favors ideological zeal over real scientific evidence, as we saw with the CDC’s deeply flawed study on raw milk, or the more recent (but equally flawed) raw cheese study.

If the government is this enthusiastic about shielding consumers from the extremely small risk from raw almonds, why can’t they get excited about protecting us from untested GMOs or the larger, nearly annual salmonella outbreaks from ground beef? (USDA, take note: “more processed” doesn’t necessarily mean “safer”!)"
[end excerpt]

Here's the USDA's administrative assault on produce, parallel to that of the FDA stemming out of the legislature's Food Control Act.

What I'd like people to do who aren't yet convinced is this: Every time they sign a petition, make a "public comment" to the likes of the USDA, support a lawsuit vs. the FDA or Monsanto, advocate a law, or vote, ask themselves, "is this working? if I have to admit it doesn't work, does that mean I have to surrender? or do we need an aggressive, coordinated grassroots movement to build Community Food and defend Food Freedom in defiance of the corporate/government system?"

On the matter of the identity of government and corporate power, and the fact that "public vs. private" is a scam, the same site has this infrequent type of proposal:

http://www.anh-usa.org/mandated-flu-shots-in-connecticut/

I'd like to see what their constituency thinks of that. Are some ambivalent toward it, or even hostile, in a way they wouldn't feel about the government itself directly mandating vaccines? But it's the exact same thing - concentrated power wants to force vaccines upon the people.

I never sign any of their petitions, in fact, I never sign any online petitions. If I want to do something I go straight to the person in my town who can help me get it done at a higher level, if necessary. Or I directly contact my CONgresscritters. As if it matters, right?

That ANH site is often affiliated with, or should I say aligned with, the Mikey Adams/Natural News site. I rarely support anything from that site because I think Mikey is a sensationalist, sorta like Alex Jones. Not that their messages aren't sometimes worthy, but I dislike the way they convey their messages so I find the same information elsewhere if I can.

But since the article from ANH (this time) dealt with raw foods and raw milk, I thought I'd pass it on.

Thanks for passing it on, since with all the focus on the FDA's Food Control Act powers, I'd forgotten about the USDA's parallel threat to produce.