Michael Schmidt “Upbeat” As He Readies Himself for Appeals Court Date over Raw Milk in Canada

Michael Schmidt enjoys a winter interlude with his family at his Glencolton Farm this past weekend.Canadian raw dairy farmer Michael Schmidt has been in legal limbo for about twenty years now. It’s difficult to even make that statement without wondering, first, about the system that allows such ongoing official pressures on one farmer, and second, about what it is like to live with such a situation. 


All you have to do is know Schmidt even casually to appreciate you are dealing with someone who has deep strength, to possess the determination to stand up for his principals, and deep spiritual reservoirs, to do so without rancor or hatred. 

 

But now, at long last, one part of his legal journey appears to be heading into the home stretch, into a period where the end may at long last be within sight, and with it, the realization that this dairy farmer, committed to biodynamic farming principles, could actually win, or lose, and that private raw milk availability in Canada could win or lose in the process. 

 

“I hope for the best, but expect the worst,” he told me during a conversation on Saturday, about his date this Wednesday with the Court of Appeal for Ontario. This could be the last stop, or the next-to-last stop, on this particular leg of the legal journey—one which saw him win a court trial allowing his raw milk herdshare in 2010, and then lose on appeal in 2011…and the next year earn a rare appeal opportunity that has led to Wednesday's court date. The next stop would probably be the last, the Supreme Court of Canada, and likely whichever side loses will appeal to that final arbiter. 

 

The legal journey actually began way before the 2009 decision, with raids and legal charges related to his herdshare arrangement for distributing raw milk that nearly destroyed his farm, and his family, in the 1990s. Sally Fallon chronicled some of that original history and drama in an article for the Weston A. Price Foundation’s publication back in 2002; it is now posted on the Realmilk site. 

 

On Wednesday, the two sides in the Schmidt case will make their arguments at the Court of Appeal in Toronto. Schmidt’s lawyers, from the Canadian Constitution Foundation, will get two hours, and the government’s lawyers will get an hour. As part of Schmidt’s oral arguments, he expects to take twenty minutes to make a personal appeal, apart from what his lawyers argue. 

 

“For me, there is this hypocrisy" that sees undue official attention given to raw milk. Moreover, he argues, “People have the right to opt out of the protection of the state.” That is what they do when they enter into a private contractual arrangement to obtain his milk, he says, and what the trial judge in 2009 ruled in acquitting him of multiple charges associated with violating Ontario milk laws. 

 

A decision in the case almost certainly won’t come on Wednesday—the three appeals judges will take the case under advisement, with a decision coming weeks or months later. But the tenor and substance of their questions to lawyers may provide some indication as to their inclinations. It is difficult to predict their decision, Schmidt points out, because no other food-rights case has moved this far through the Canadian legal system. "Most farmers give up much earlier in the process." 

 

Schmidt’s lawyers are basing the case on fundamental freedoms accorded under Canadian law for private contracts and freedom of association. They are also arguing that regulators used entrapment tactics back in 2006 when they allegedly caught him selling a small amount of cheese to two public health inspectors who weren’t members of his food club, in Toronto. 

 

Ironically, as Schmidt’s legal case involving raw milk seems to lurch toward a conclusion, his other case, that involving a group accused of illegally removing Shropshire sheep from Ontario farmer Montana Jones’ farm in 2012, is just getting started.  Though Schmidt, Montana Jones, and others were charged in late 2012, “There has been no preliminary hearing, and no trial date set,” Schmidt told me. The main issue being debated in court is a government effort to remove Schmidt’s lawyer, whom he says is highly competent and whom he wants to keep.

 

Definitely seems like a delaying tactic, to keep Schmidt tied up in another years-long legal saga. He did win a minor legal victory in the sheep case when his lawyer complained to a judge that the delay was being used to punish Schmidt by denying him travel privileges. The government relented, and now Schmidt is allowed to travel within Canada and internationally if he seeks approval in advance. 


The twists and turns in Schmidt’s legal saga boggle the mind. They are nearly impossible to keep straight any more, even by those most closely involved. They speak to the economic threat raw milk poses to large dairy entities, and the importance both the Canadian and American governments have given over to establishing precedents to restrict food availability. 

mark mcafee's picture

Every great leader gives deeply of himself so that others will benefit.

Michael has given like Mandela & Ghandi....his work will endure for the coming future healthy Canadian children. Bless you Michael. All the Karma is on your side!

Mark

Ora Moose's picture

Mark, if there's one truth you've uncovered a truth that goes beyond raw milk and into life in general, is that martyrs are necessary for change. Be well Michael, you are in a very small distinguished group that others can only shame themselves to oppress. I bow

mark mcafee's picture

During our weekly RAWMI conference call today, the subject of this blog came up. It was shared by one of our board members that productive dialogue is not possible when toxic personalities canabalize the conversation.

I suppose the reason that there is toxic conversation is because the future of raw milk and the vision of raw milk is not shared by all. Instead, there is a us verses them attitude or worse. Many voices that post here would rather roll over in their grave than to sit down with universities, government agencies, researchers and regulators and discuss data and navigate a better future for raw milk.

Lets just say, that RAWMI has been approached by the best researchers, the best universities, and a consortium of regulators to do just this. That is right....braking news. Constructive dialogue to look at RAWMI data, perhaps RMAC data and other sources and look at what works best and provide assistance to farmers to improve raw milk safety.

This news is a dream come true to me. Finally a break from us verses them....now it is we working for all of us. Most of all it is an acknowledgement that raw milk is emerging and here to stay. It is an acknowledgement that there can be best and better practices for human consumption raw milk. It is an acknowledgement of so many things that have been actively denied for many years.

I would ask that the tone and content of the contributors at this blog become part of the constructive dialogue for the future and evolve. Remember that everyone looks at this blog. Garbage spoken here gets passed around. Lets take the high ground work for what we share in common. After my years of posting here, I can say with confidence that most of us will agree that raw milk is a very special food. Most of us agree that all people's deserve access to raw milk if they want it.

How it is accessed and what safety means are obviously points of contention. We are entering a new age for raw milk. If what we say is going to be taken seriously by those that read our comments, we should stay kind, considerste ,intellectual and think about our tone.

Ora Moose's picture

For Mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q-S4YNJFc4

Can you tell I like music, and obtuse truths that require? Raw milk comes in there somewhere.

Multiple choice, everyone join in! Question: Who's the "toxic personality"?

1. Guy who writes passive-aggressive comments using terms like "toxic" and "garbage" to describe unnamed people, and who has also attacked and slandered small farmers several times in the past.

2. "Professional" type who lies on behalf of Big Ag, for example saying it "naturally evolved", and that therefore we need to adapt ourselves to it.

3. Hardcore racist who constantly insists that raw milk and racism go hand in hand.

4. Critic of corporatism who frequently points out the history of appeasement attempts and the record of those who insist upon appeasement.

@Russ,

The description of commenters as "toxic personalities" strikes me as an insidious attempt at censorship.
You're not "toxic", though sometimes you come across as a little abrasive. But you're obviously intelligent, thoughtful, and have done intensive research on your subjects. I've read your blog posts, and find a lot of interesting, complex stuff on there.
I won't describe anyone as toxic, with the exception of Gordon Watson who appears to want to be viewed as such.
But I find that #1) appears to be more self-interested than principled, and seems eager to ally himself with elitists who view the general population as stupid and incompetent, needing oversight by their "betters". These "betters" then become irate when the lowly people dare to tell them to mind their own business, and seek to shut them up.
Mr McAfee, I hope you don't think the health agency thugs who stopped an 11-year-old girl from selling cupcakes (by offering her the choice between building an industrial kitchen or closing up shop) were merely in need of education. Their steadfast response was "We're just doing our job, we're protecting the public". Nobody had been sickened by her merchandise. She just made the mistake of participating in a newspaper article.
#2) Is indubitably ignorant, but not in search of truth and knowledge. This person is the epitome of "Arrogance of Ignorance", which I would certainly consider more toxic than anything #4) has said.

It's always best to be polite when discussing or debating, but if it's a choice between speaking the truth or maintaining good manners, civility must be ready to take a back seat

David Gumpert's picture

Thanks, Mama. To the extent Mark McAfee was pushing some type of censorship, I would agree with you. I'm not sure that is where he was going. I think he was, above all, seeking to reduce the personalization of the comments, the personal criticism and questioning of motives that sometimes accompanies comments. I prefer to focus more on his conclusion: "How (raw milk) is accessed and what safety means are obviously points of contention." Mark has never been reluctant to say what he thinks, including, as Russ points out, even criticizing other farmers. 

Anyway, I think this subject of how we debate and discuss the subject of raw milk is extremely important, and very challenging. I agree with you about politeness and the importance of "speaking the truth." Maybe part of  the challenge has to do with the frustration that prompts a lack of civility. I'm trying to write a post speaking to the frustration and it is.....challenging. 

Ora Moose's picture

Hopefully my feeble attempts at humor, and occasional musical links aren't seen as semi toxic but since I don't have the power profile of some others here, I tend to try to keep it light and let others argue about the various heavy stuff and implications. So sue me if you think I overdo it.

Mark,
It is no surprise that universities, government agencies, researchers and regulators share the RAWMI vision for the future. These are the same groups that came up with the pasteurized milk ordinance. The purpose of the PMO was always to create a wall between producers and consumers that allowed those not involved in production or consumption of milk to profit from the control that pasteurization gave them. Your "vision for the future of raw milk" is one that puts another wall between consumers and producers.
Because the standards of RAWMI appear to be all about making sure there are very few bacteria in milk,someone is going to be in charge of saying when there are too many,or when the "wrong" type of bacteria are too numerous. The CDC owns this territory. The database and the testing methods belong to them. So your vision for the future seems to put the CDC in the role of the "wall" rather than pasteurization. Either way the producers and consumers will have to produce and consume a product that is designed by universities, government agencies, researchers and regulators ,giving those groups tremendous power to profit from the "wall". The pasteurization wall has already crumbled,let's see what no wall at all is like before we hurry to throw up another one.

David Gumpert's picture

Miguel, what about a dual system, milk available publicly via RAWMI-certified dairies, and milk available privately, via herdshares and food clubs? These latter entities decide if they want to be part of the RAWMI standards or not, but operate based on private contracts. It shouldn't be an either-or matter, though I appreciate this is where the rub might come. 

Shawna Barr's picture

David, I like the idea of a dual system, and in fact we do have such as system except it is not clearly or officially defined.

I believe that there should be an opt-out choice for consumers, and private clearly defined as private. Such is the herdshare. Although those who co-own a private herd and who desire complete hands-off from all food safety regulations must assume full responsibility for themselves. When it looks like there might be an outbreak...in other words, you and your family get sick after drinking milk from your own cows, milked and jarred for you by a farmer that you privately hired, you really can't go running to the state health department to crack down and investigate. Now, you can still privately sue your hired farmer if you like, but since you've opted out of government oversight, you can't really run back to the government and ask them to solve your problems.

As far as private herds go, Public Health could play an important advisory and educational role for private herd owners who want information, much like extension services have done for many years to educate home food preservers and canners. Extension services and their food labs have done so much in making available good, tested information about processes and recipes for canning and preserving your own food at home. In the past, they've offered free trainings available to the public (although home food preservation has given way to Sam's Club and Costco I'm afraid.) No doubt overtime many illnesses have been prevented due to the easy access of good information on processes.

The other option is publically available raw milk with licensing oversight and official partnership between regulators, producers, and consumers. Personally, this is the option we would choose if it were available to us. It is not, due to licensing requirements not being scaleable to a farm of our size. However, licensing oversight provides many benefits, for both consumers and raw milk producers, for those who would choose it.

rawmilkmike's picture

If these people get their way there will be no opting-out.
...
Herd-shares were the beginning of the end of raw milk in Wisconsin and if one of these raw milk bills is ever pasted, that will be the nail in the coffin. The state of Wisconsin tricked consumers into starting herd-shares by telling them that was the only legal way to get raw milk, them promptly changed their minds and made them illegal. Now consumers are being told by there representatives that their raw milk bill will legalize raw milk when in fact raw milk is not illegal and these raw milk bills only make raw milk more difficult to get.
...
How can anyone buy raw milk and not understand that these outbreaks are scams. Why would you sell raw milk to anyone willing to believe that raw milk could cause HUS or a miscarriage?

Why would your consumers want you taking advice from our enemies who admit they know nothing about our product? Wouldn't that just be more disinformation? That's no better than trial and error. What's wrong with asking your parents, friends, and family. How about the library or the internet?

Getting recipes from the government great idea. Not!

“processes”? Aren't we talking about fresh unprocessed food.

It's no accident that “licensing requirements are not scalable to a farm of your size.”

Hopefully, as our understanding of the role of microbial ecosystems improves it will become obvious that the present public health position that some microbes are the cause of disease is flawed. Then we will all have to come up with real standards. The quality and safety of milk is not defined by how many colony forming units are detected in a laboratory test. I wish we could get past this absurdity that it is all about "pathogens". Aside from laboratory test results, what other standards does RAWMI suggest? Anyone who wants to build a wall between themselves and the people who produce their food is welcome to do so. I think such a wall just leads to a lack of respect for each other.

Shawna Barr's picture

The plans of the listed RAWMI producer are here:http://rawmilkinstitute.net/listed-farmers/I think you will find the plans quite holistic and not limited by any means to counting coliforms.

Shawna,

I read the "common standards" it is all about keeping "pathogens" out of the milk.There isn't anything about ways to manage the cows or pasture or any standards that would assure a high quality milk. I think milk producers have always tried to follow the RAWMI common standards. Like the original Organic farmers organizations, RAWMI should recognize that there are lot more problems with conventional milk than pasteurization .There should be goals to work toward. We were trying to increase the amount of organic matter in our soil. For RAWMI one goal could be to increase the nutrient ( primarily mineral) content of the milk. Another goal could be to eliminate disease in the herd through management rather than vaccination. Another, to eliminate the need for feed supplementation through pasture diversity and freedom for the cows to graze where they want when they want. Nature is the model we need to learn from.

rawmilkmike's picture

Thank you again, miguel.

Shawna Barr's picture

True Miguel, the Common Standards are focused on pathogens, but the way farmers achieve those standards tends to be very holistic. RAWMI does not tell its farmers how they must achieve the standards, and it encourages, through the private dialogue and support network that we enjoy, all of the natural and organic methods of risk-reduction and quality-improvement that you describe. We have some incredibly knowledgeable herdsmen and women, me being the rookie for sure, who bring years of experience in organic and biological, life, health, and soil support farming practices. Its all connected. The soil, the grass, the treatment of the livestock, and the bugs.

churchlanefarm's picture

Miguel

I couldn’t agree with you more. Getting past this “absurdity” about "pathogens” is critical if we wish to live constructive, healthy lives.

The problem with wall building is that those who build them are fixated on control and don’t know when to stop.

Ken

rawmilkmike's picture

Thank you, miguel.

mark mcafee's picture

I will be the first volunteer to take my own advice.

Ora Moose's picture

I saw the canabaleyes back up the irst volunteeres with points of contention and jefferson airplanes, before takeoff! Is Grace still around? She's one of my idols

Ora Moose's picture

Oh, and Braking News with the Acknowledgements backing up the Replacements, who were obviously replacements for a reason = ear candy. Not to mention pasteurized milk. Garbage is awesome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OdTBCgqRt4

Please continue to hang in there, Mr. Schmidt. I hope you finally see some justice and can begin providing food to people in peace. It is mind-boggling that the harassment against you has lasted so long.

Ora Moose's picture

Amen. Uncociousnalble is the word

D. Smith's picture

What a beautiful photo to go with your article, David.

Even though my DH and I aren't from Canada, we are pulling for Michael Schmidt on the milk issue, as well as the sheepnapping issue. The outcome of both of those cases will, indeed, be likely to set precedent for the future of Canadian small farmers. Might even effect what goes on down here in the USA.

Our best wishes are with Michael and his family, no matter the outcome. Ditto for Montana Jones.

You are so right Mark! If only more people knew how hard he has fought for food rights for all of us in North America, and especially in regards to access to raw milk. He is largely an unsung hero. The USPS has issued Rosa Parks stamps to honor this woman who stood up (or rather sat down!) for her rights and made history. Her act of civil disobedience is now legendary, and look at what that simple act of hers spawned. Michael stands up for all of us, every day, in his steadfastness to his principle that we all deserve the right to choose the foods we eat. Good luck Michael, we are in that courtroom with you!

Ora Moose's picture

As I watch the flames go up the chimney in anticipation of yet another snow storm, please remember that we are all dust in the wind. Warm one another and feed what sustains life and share. Love dogs cows and cats and muskrats. Violins please.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH2w6Oxx0kQ&feature=kp

include me out of your pessimism, Ora
if that's your take on life, then welcome to it, but don't come crying to me on Judgment Day. The theology of the people who founded America ( and my own) is that this place is the New Jerusalem. and that Jesus Christ shall establish the Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth. Those who qualify for citizenship, get to live in it. The remainder of all humanity who don't make the cut, go back to the dust whence they came .... known as "the annihilation of the wicked". Not all that popular a doctrine in brand-name churchianity, these days, but it's what the prophets of Israel preached. Job said "I believe my Redeemer liveth, and I shall see him standing on the Earth".

mark mcafee's picture

Many people fight for raw milk... It is how Mike fights that matters most. Grace, skill, humility, intellect, respect all part if Mike. A true humanitarian and a friend at a higher plane.

rawmilkmike's picture

From D. Smith
“How do you define GMO-free?" he says. "What's the tolerance level? If it's zero, we might as well have a drink and part friendly, because we can't do business. We cannot hit a zero standard."
People just need to know, he says, that in the U.S., "GMO-free" means that something contains no more than 0.9 percent GMOs.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/04/269479079/how-american-food-...

Ora Moose's picture

Let the people choose: Raw milk advocates call for end to prohibition, progression away from processed foods continues ... love the cows:

http://www.naturalnews.com/043787_raw_milk_government_propaganda_pasteur...

mark mcafee's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po6Uw7tFlaU&feature=c4-overview&list=UU-H...

Thought you all might appreciate why OPDC raw milk costs $16-17 per gallon in retail stores. My son Aaron does a great job of explaining the reasons why raw milk costs more. He does not include:\

Added insurance costs
Milk Pool burdens and costs of tens of thousands per month and hundreds of thousands per year.
Touring and educational outreach ( free with donated product given at presentations )
Our committment to travel and outreach to help others where ever they may be in North America.

I am very proud of my son and daughter for their role at OPDC. Having a very well educated and deeply committed next generation to take over is perhaps the greatest gift to a father and mother. It is also rare on the ever shrinking American family farm.

mark

Sorry Mark, but $16-$17 is more than our budget can afford. I have a choice between somewhat imperfect raw milk at $5/gallon from a farm I can travel to fairly easily and see the conditions of the operation, or perverted white fluid from the supermarket. Throw into the mix $16 milk from some place I can't visit and is better traveled than I am, and I'll still choose the first option.

mark mcafee's picture

Miguel,

I think you will find that the "Grass to Glass" wholistic approach that RAWMI takes to food safety does definitely address all of the areas you have mentioned across the food chain.

RAWMI goes one step further....it does not preach to the farmer about what he must do or not do. Instead RAWMI helps the farmer to understand HIS or HERS set of specific conditions and mentors the farmer to more fully appreciate the conditions that prevail in their specific neck of the woods. Some soils are fantastic just as they are...others need soil CPR. We at RAWMI try our best to take each farmer as they are and help them to be the best raw milk producer that can be given their circumstances and conditions.

There are so many factors that lay from Grass to Glass. We try to incorporate and recognize as many as possible in the RAMP plan. Not all factors are risks....however a severe soil imbalance is a big risk. Water is a huge factor. The human element and what drives the producers heart and mind is perhaps the greatest factor.

Miguel...thank you for your comments, they are always welcomed and thought provoking.

RAWMI data does measure the end result of the entire Grass to Glass RAMP plan. I do agree, that the "common standards" reflect a very narrow set of measures. This data is the best measure we have of the farmers food safety efforts, but do not reflect the nutritional value of his raw milk. That is important...but this goes a bit farther down the road than RAWMI wanted to tackle at this early time. The big raw milk battle right now is to establish an undisputed record of food safety so we can get this stinky 120 year old dead chicken off our collective necks. From the interest being shown right now...that appears to be happening. This paradigm fight is so much more than pathogens. It is about money and who in the food chain will now get it. We have just taken the fluid milk away from the big processors and they are not very happy. That is what this is all about. Their only way to attack us is by pointing at any recalls or illnesses caused by raw milk! We must completely deny them that glory. They are facing a dooms day scenario with their continued loss of dollar votes on the national markets for fluid pasteurized milk. Almond milk, raw milk and everyother kind of non-milk or pseudo-milk robs it away every day.

Shawna Barr's picture

."..so we can get this stinky 120 year old dead chicken off our collective necks."

Hee hee, your country-boy roots are showing! Funny and interesting analogy. I wonder if the more urban-readers here get it!

By the way, your link above is not correct. Here you go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWvm-xuAxnw&feature=c4-overview&list=UU-H...

Aaron does a great job.

Mark,
There surely are people at the CDC who understand that as long as you, and the people who drink organic pastures milk, believe that they might get sick from some bacteria in the milk ,then the CDC will have complete control over whether or not raw milk is available. The problem with the way microbes have been studied in the past is that a very complex system of microbes in the wild is much more than a collection of bacteria in a laboratory. Much more important than which microbes are present is the environment which they inhabit. Available nutrients,PH ,temperature, water availability,saltiness,inhibitory chemicals,etc. decide not only which microbes thrive,but what functions they perform in the system.
To reduce the system to the study of each microbe in a laboratory is to miss the point entirely. Does it make any sense at all that certain microbes lay about in cow manure just waiting to get into some milk so that they can get into a person and attack them from the inside? Do you really think bacteria are predatory?
We are populated by a system of microbes just as the earth is populated by macroscopic life. It's all the same system micro to macro. There are toxic environments in and on our bodies ,the same as there are toxic environments on the earth. In these toxic places, microbes that can tolerate those toxins are the ones that break apart the toxins. When the toxicity is low enough, less extreme microbes continue the process of decomposition. A compost pile can break down herbicides and other toxic chemicals.
We want the system of microbes that inhabits our bodies to be stable and resilient. Illness is not the result of an invasive organism,it is the result of a shock to a system that lacks the diversity that it takes to still perform the janitorial functions to keep the system running. No one microbe can be blamed. When corn root worms attack a corn crop, is the worm the problem OR is it the monoculture of corn that is the problem?

rawmilkmike's picture

These same people blame parents for crib deaths caused by vaccines. They tell parents the child was killed by it's teddy bear or blanket or even worse they sometimes say the parent shook the baby.

They even have people being prosecuted for spreading AIDS through sexual intercourse with no proof AIDS is even a sexually transmitted disease.

They blame school shootings, caused by prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and Ritalin on bullies and guns.

Now they blame complications caused by malnutrition and their own medical malpractice on farmers and harmless bacteria.

D. Smith's picture

Found this update on Michael Schmidt's case today. It's not decided yet, of course, but there are some details here: http://www.newstalk980.com/content/top-ontario-court-hears-raw-milk-case

This is all I've been able to locate, so far.

D. Smith's picture
David Gumpert's picture

This from Michael Schmidt's account on Facebook about the prosecution's arguments Wednesday: 
"A very funny moment indeed today at the hearing when the attorney general's lawyer was talking about the milk and its imminent health threatening bacterias..........

'There are many orgasms in milk----oh no sorry, organisms in milk!!!!'

"If anybody has the illusion that Government has any respect for the individual right and choice they should have come to the court proceedings. 
Overwhelming evidence according to the prosecution proves raw milk a hazard to human health. 
Hold on to your cow, we are in for a wild ride.
Unless you know your rights get off. It is going to be an ugly reality check."

D. Smith's picture

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

-Brigitte

Not if the "striving valiantly" is in the wrong direction, while the critic has the idea for the right direction. And who are you saying is a "critic" who's not also sweating and bleeding and being stung by wasps in the dust?

Is that the same Theodore Roosevelt who, according to Salatin, instituted the FDA in the first place precisely in order to head off a rising grassroots movement against the industrialization of food? How telling you are in your heroes!

rawmilkmike's picture

In the case fresh food, who is “the critic who doesn't count” or “the man pointing out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better.”?

mark mcafee's picture

Miguel,

We have studied the human genome & human biome with our tax dollars and have failed to awaken or apply the startling results. We have yet to consider the earth biome and how we fit into it as an active part of it.

You think like none at the FDA would ever consider to wonder for fear of a loss of paycheck or grant funding.

We are so young in the true appreciation of what the world is and how it works. Bacteria run the place....their DNA run 98% of our lives as humans and digest us when we die. Yet...we murder them with anti-biotics and then wonder why we get autoimmune disease and anti-biotic resistant bacterial infections that kill more than 20,000 of us per year at least.

For all the very smart people in medicine....medicine is pretty damn stupid. That statement comes from a retired EMS paramedic that spent 17 years rescuing doctors from their poor decisions and practices. Yes....that is right, doctors call EMS and *911 paramedics when they are out of ideas and then leave the room when you arrive. Society has made some very poor decisions about life in general and what is important. In America...society has decided that medicine should be a profit center instead of a preventative health care solution and a right to all.

As a society....We are truly sick...and we are truly very stupid.Why...because we have decided that concentration of money in the medical and medicine industries is more important than a healthy society. That is exactly why. Until we tell doctors to provide health and until we tell pharma to go overdose on themselves...we are stuck in the stupid paradigm.

Raw milk and all the whole foods will save not only America....but all the good things that are trying to live in it including the good bugs and the good people that respect them.

Hi all... new visitor to this blog, reading from London, UK, although my home is a small farm in South-Western Saskatchewan. Anyway, the reason I'm posting is that here in the UK there is a new consultation process happening on Raw Milk that I think is looking very positive. Link to follow. Raw Milk is currently available in England, Wales & Northern Ireland but not Scotland as long as it is sold directly by the farm/farmer. So, farmgate, farmers markets, internet sales (UK is geographically small enough that delivery of a fresh product like milk is practical) etc as long as their isn't a middleman in the link. Anyway... for your interest, here is the link to the consulation: http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/consultations/consultations-england/...

David Gumpert's picture

Expat Canadian, this is very interesting. I am thinking the U.S. FDA could take a page from its British counterpart, with this statement: "Most milk and cream consumed in the UK is pasteurised. However, it has been recognised that some consumers prefer to exercise choice in continuing to have access to raw drinking milk and cream (RDM) despite the potential food safety risk associated with such products. Therefore, the current rules in England, Wales and Northern Ireland concerning the sale of RDM for direct consumption make allowances for restricted sales of RDM..."

It's not ideal, but it's such a departure from our FDA in recognizing "choice"....I can dream, can't I? 


rawmilkmike's picture

The British are much better at saying what they mean.

“FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY CONSULTATION”
http://multimedia.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/consultation/rawmilk-pack-...

“Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Raw Drinking Milk and Cream (RDM) producers, RDM consumers, the dairy industry and enforcement authorities.”

“What is the subject of this consultation?
An Impact Assessment on the options identified following a review of the controls governing the sale and marketing of RDM in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

“What is the purpose of this consultation?
To seek stakeholder views on the FSA's preferred option that was identified following a review of the current RDM policy. Also to determine whether the FSA's assumptions are a fair reflection of costs, benefits and wider impacts for stakeholders. The overall objective of this review is to ensure that the controls in place to manage the food safety risk associated with RDM are proportionate and risk-based, taking into account the latest scientific evidence and information and views from producers, consumers and parties with an interest in this sector.”

http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/consultations/consultations-england/...
“Raw Drinking Milk for direct consumption” I love it.

Russ,
I don't recall offering up any of my heros
You need a refresher course in history, rather than relying on others. The dynamics in industrialized agriculture and food systems at work in the early 20th century were far different than today and is hardly a comparison to today's FDA. Roosevelt was moved by the description of industrialized slaughterhouse practices in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and in a broader sense sought a means of preventing the adulteration and misbranding in the food system. He also sought to support farms and ranches the likes of which he knew well in the Dakotas, and gave us 155 national parks and forests.
Reread David's rules here to refrain from personal attacks. It gets tiring and boring.
If you spent less time bickering, you might get more done.

@bruthman,
"You need a refresher course in history, rather than relying on others". Would you please elaborate on that comment? Aren't you relying on others in drawing your conclusions?
And what exactly constitutes a personal attack? Addressing a particular person?

Bruth~man : having dropped in just lately, you haven't had time to realize the pattern in which "Russ" contributions give him away - he's not here to advance the Campaign for REAL MILK. He's cut from the same cloth as his (late lamented ) comrade Bill Anderson ... humorless party hacks, not old enough to remember - let alone be embarrassed by - their utopia crumbling in Soviet Russia.
The commies are venal, but they're not stupid. Sensing that Americans are awakening to the damage done by collectivism aka corporat-ism, Russ et al. chime-in the dialogue, stepping out ahead of where the crowd is heading, pretending to lead it. Personifying the swine-class, as explained in Animal Farm ... Strong on rhetoric ... but you won't see them out in the barn, doing the chores. No. they're not really interested in producing wealth for our children. Not only do they not have children of their own, they glory in Planned Barrenhood. Their hero being one, Barry Suetoro, born in Kenya. His masterpiece - Acorn, and its hangers-on, are parasites on the body politic.
I go back so far I remember Russ' type at University of BC in 1968, Maoists waving their little red books high, chanting "fascists have no right to speak". Yeah, well, we found out who the red fascists were, did'n we? One of their main tricks being : polluting discourse ... slanging anyone who exposes what they're really about. Their femi-nazi contingent are the ones who coined the term "toxic" ... a classic case of projection. What bends them right out of shape, is = someone who stands his ground, talking back to them at their own level. When they start getting exposed, they can't take the heat, so they manipulate "the authorities" to impose censorship.

No one needs to look at "patterns" to figure you out. You're an overt racist who consistently claims that raw milk and racism go hand in hand. What others think of that is up to them. Your company seems to be acceptable to most of the people here, perhaps more than mine.

I'll just point out that I criticize the corporatism of the McAfee and his cheerleaders, while you're one of those cheerleaders. It just goes to show.

Yup, I had your corporatist ideology pegged. As for the real history of corporatism, that's one of the things I've tried to talk about here. For example rejecting the kind of lie I mentioned above, which you seem to be implicitly parroting, that the industrialization of agriculture and food is a "natural evolution" rather than a consciously and systematically constructed planned economy.

As for personal attacks, I've never engaged in them, though as we see up at the top of this thread I've been the target of them. (If you had any reading comprehension, you'd easily see who inaugurated the "bickering" in this thread. I hadn't commented at all in a week or so.) But my criticisms are always substantive. It's a measure of your corporate ideology that you consdier it so normative that you can't comprehend substantive criticism of it, but can only experience that as a "personal attack". That's the myopic limits of your mental box.

ingvar's picture

Russ,
In your discussion with –Brigitte (bruthman) you were caught overstepping when you wrote: ” How telling you are in your heroes!”

In a later comment, did you mean to say “parroting” and did you mean to say “If you had any reading comprehension, you'd easily see”?

Both later paragraphs read more smoothly to my ear with those words stricken.

Admittedly, this is largely a forum of correspondence rather than minutes and perhaps you have grounds unapparent to myself to write the three things I mention above, but as I said, the grounds are unapparent to my mind, the result a pejorative ring to my ear.

The substantive material of the TCP lurches along when driven in this manner.

You don’t often do this you might never need to do it.

I do appreciate your comments.

Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

David Gumpert's picture

Ingvar, thank you for injecting some common sense into the nasty back-and-forth among several commenters here. From what I can tell, Brigitte (bruthman) threw out an insightful, non-ideological, comment from Theodore Roosevelt, which both Russ and Gordon Watson used to hammer her, and engage in their own ideological name-calling. For what purpose? The only outcomes--making the targets of the attacks feel bad or making each other angry--are completely negative. Please leave the personal attacks for some other venue.  

in no way was my comment to bruthman intended to "hammer her" ... if it came across that way, then I apologize to her.
As for my opinions about the resident "community organizer" : I stand by them. Few people on this forum have the measure of the enemy, the way I do. 30 years' worth of engaging communists toe-to-toe on the street and through about a dozen prosecutions taught me the discernment necessary to know one when I see the same old party line being insinuated into the discourse.
The commies love to dish it out, but they're crybabies when they start to take a shellacking .. . so it always degenerates into a brouhaha = "tone versus content". if I had a silver $ for every time I've been chided "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" ... I'd be happily retired. But I ain't in the fly-catching bidness.
Dr Henry Makow's website < www.henrymakow.com > is the General Theory of what's going on / the Campaign for REAL MILK, only a portion of the contest for the planet. I do not apologize for rebuking anti-christs, nor an individual who promotes communism. If you-all don't yet grasp what I'm saying, now, you will

David, if you didn't notice the context of the comment, and that it was basically repeating McAfee's earlier unsubstantiated attack, then you seem not to have read the thread very closely. I never commented at all until those attacks started coming.

But if you see substance in it, please let me know what that substance is, and I'll retract my response.

As for my reply, I thought the fact that she was quoting Theodore Roosevelt of all people, father of the FDA, was too good an irony to pass up.

Or maybe it's not ironic, since at the core of the contention here is whether or not the FDA can be appeased and collaborated with, and whether or not this would be desirable even if possible. I say that those who hold this position are corporatists, which seems to me to be a self-evident truth rather than "ideological name-calling". Isn't the FDA a corporatist bureaucracy? Is it at least the sense of this blog to agree on that, or is even that going to be the subject of endless, fruitless, pointless, and ultimately suicidal dispute?

rawmilkmike's picture

Russ, you've summed it up perfectly and this is a point that every working class fresh food consumer needs to understand before they waste their breath trying to reason with regulators who have already proven themselves, at every turn, to be unreasonable.

David Gumpert's picture

Russ, I think you were reading too closely between the lines, and  as a result you headed down a blind alley.  I agree, Mark McAfee's complaint about "toxic personalities" was more loaded than it should have been. But Brigitte's (bruthman) quote from Theodore Roosevelt seemed to me to be in line with my post--an inspiration she took from Michael Schmidt's legal journey. You read that quote much differently, and boom, you were off and running about corporatists and the FDA as a corporatist bureaucracy. That is definitely a worthwhile subject for discussion (has been discussed at different times, will come up in my next blog post), but it's apart from where Brigitte was going. 

Ingvar, as you can see Mark McAfee provoked this entire exchange by referring to unnamed people, but certainly including me, as "toxic" people talking "garbage". Bruthman then continued in that same passive-aggressive vein, making insinuations. I replied directly. I don't agree that passive-aggressiveness is "polite" while plain-speaking is "rude", and the notion that it is, which is always used by defenders of the system to try to disparage critics and dissenters, is part of the current pathology.

rawmilkmike's picture

The stated intention of all our food statutes and regulations is“preventing the adulteration and misbranding in the food system.” It is not to protect big business from the competition of small business or to protect us from ourselves by banning the foods we want. The true intention, from the very beginning, was to do the exact opposite.

@Ora Moose,

You're not toxic (although I hated that joke you made about pigs and girls way back when). But you are very...eccentric?? A little weird?? I don't say that with malice ;)

Ora Moose's picture

Mama, I honestly do not remember making any comment about pigs and girls way back when, and when I searched this blog nothing came up. If you can find my comment please remind me, so I can either explain what I actually meant or apologize for it. I do vaguely remember replying to you as to how most of my lifelong best friends are female, so I am definitely not sexist.

As to eccentricity and weirdness, I take that as a complement. Remember, most people in America think that WE the raw milk supporter people are the "eccentric?? And a little weird" I definitely do not want to be a cookie cutter person.

My take on it is, sometimes people need to have their perceptions and reality shaken up a little to make them realize that there are are other perspectives just as realistic and valid. I try do that with a little humor, or sarcasm.

And hey look, they did a song called "Milk"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leLV4xKDJ-s

Melancholy and abstract, but that's what it is.

Hey Ora,

Hint: "Cunning runts". OK, I'll assume it was a flight of fancy :). I come from a long line of eccentrics, so I'm at home with eccentricity. And I'll even wager a my best friends are weird. Come to think of it, I wonder exactly what that word means. Not the dictionary definition, but in its general usage.

Dare I listen to the "Milk" song?

Ora Moose's picture

Mama, now I remember. You are right, that was a juvenile joke from back in the high school days and has no place in a forum like this. I sincerely apologize.

Thanks Ora! I appreciate the apology :)

churchlanefarm's picture

We all fly in our own orbits; life would be hellishly boring if we didn’t.

Ken

mark mcafee's picture

Dear friends,

OPDC is not a corporation. It is an LLC ( limited liability company ). It is made up of family members that take complete responsiblity for the products we produce.

In my book "Corporatism is FOOD INC-ism". I can appreciate that link and criticism.

If you produce food in America...expect to get sued. That is part of our culture. If you are going to get sued, you need the protections of LLC's and good insurance.

That is not Corporatism...that is called participation in and feeding the people that make up our society.

Ora Moose's picture

I could be completely wrong, but to me this is the distinction between LLC and Corporate setups, and the rest of us:

Toxic choice #1

LLC

Is to protect your personal assets in case that something goes wrong in your business, you will not lose all your non-business property in the process. The head person/people in most these type of organizations would try to be in touch with the frontlines, not just upper management filtered info. They talk to their employees and customers directly and in person, as well as on the net to have some transparency but with that comes vulnerability and accountabillity for your decisions- a good thing.

Toxic choice #2

Corporations are different in that they are run by people in board rooms that prioritize profits and stock value above all, and have no connection or interest in overall public health, nutrition,potential damage done to environment, or the sheer number of people affected by their decisions - therefore their are insulated, especiallly by corporate laws from personal responsibility to said results - this is what's wrong with America.

Toxic choice #3

People that intentionally support with their spending choices local and genuine natural and healthy products, consciously avoid being influenced by any advertising especially Corporate flashy crap mind candy stuff and cringe when exposed to it.

Tough choices I know but even if you choose not to choose, that's a choice too. And in keeping with the recently resurfaced civility them, please do unto others?

Ora Moose's picture

Toxic choice #4 which is the obvious winner, people that devote their life to producing community sustaining produce that never gets on a truck or warehouse, supply meats and eggs to farmers markets and do not make food toxic for profit.

rawmilkmike's picture

Corporatism

I must admit, I thought you folks had made up your own word.

Historical meaning of the term:
Historically, corporatism or corporativism (Italian corporativismo) is a political system in which legislative power is given to corporationsthat represent economic, industrial, and professional groups. Unlike pluralism, in which many groups must compete for control of the state, in corporatism, certain unelected bodies take a critical role in the decision-making process. This original meaning was not connected with the specific notion of a business corporation, being a rather more general reference to any incorporated body. The word "corporatism" is derived from the Latin word for body, corpus.
Ostensibly, the entire society is to be run by decisions made by these corporate groups. It is a form of class collaboration put forward as an alternative to class conflict and was first proposed in Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, which influenced Catholic trade unions which were organised in the early twentieth century to counter the influence of trade unions founded on a socialist ideology.

Contemporary meaning of the term:
Today, corporatism or neo-corporatism is used in reference to tendencies in politics for legislators and administrations to be influenced or dominated by the interests of business enterprises (limited liability corporations). The influence by other types of corporations, such as those representing organized labor, is relatively minor. In this view, government decisions are seen as being influenced strongly by which sorts of policies will lead to greater profits for favored companies. In this sense of the word, corporatism is also termed corporatocracy. If there is substantial military-corporate collaboration it is often called militarism or the military-industrial complex.
http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Corporatism

First Known Use of CORPORATISM:
1890,
:  the organization of a society into industrial and professionalcorporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corporatism

mark mcafee's picture

Mike,

I do agree that corporations do generally run our legislatures. They have the money, the time and the energy and they show up!!

However...I have seen moms beat the day-lights out of corporations by: showing up, standing up and speaking up! This happened in 2008 with SB 201. The SB 201veto letter sent by Arnold said..."the authors of the raw milk bill used unfair political tactics in their campaign for the SB 201 Raw Milk Legislation".

Our unfair campaign advantage??....a bunch of passionate pissed off well educated moms. Yes....moms trump Corporations. It is just a matter of getting them educated and compelled to show up. We did that in CA.

Unfortunately, the back door was closed by the veto and the corporate insider track. We did get 95% of all of the votes in the legislature.

SB 201 was the very beginning of RAWMI standards. In fact, if SB 201 would have passed, RAWMI type RAMP standards would have been the raw law of CA. Now we volentarily use RAWMI RAMP standards which basically blow away CDFA Grade A raw standards, but that is a different story for another day. Who says you need a law in order to do what is right and develop standards that far exceed the current regs. When it is right to do...you do it!!

rawmilkmike's picture

"Today, the terms corporatism or neo-corporatism are used in reference to tendencies in politics for legislators and administrations to be influenced or dominated by the interests of business enterprises (limited liability corporations)."

rawmilkmike's picture

Where's Waldo? Who wears the white hat? It's a shell game.

Listen - http://www.wpr.org/shows/racism-politics

Read - http://ebookee.org/Dog-Whistle-Politics-How-Coded-Racial-Appeals-Have-Re...

Watch - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqKHc8Fmaxg

Please someone show me you know what this man is saying even if you disagree with him.

These same people blame parents for crib deaths caused by vaccines. They tell parents their child was killed by it's teddy bear or blanket or even worse they sometimes say the parent shook the baby.

They even have people being prosecuted for spreading AIDS through sexual intercourse with no proof AIDS is even a sexually transmitted disease.

They blame school shootings, caused by prescribed anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and Ritalin on bullies and guns.

Now they blame complications caused by malnutrition and their own medical malpractice on farmers and harmless bacteria.

These are just the top 5 off the top of my head but the list goes on and on and on.