Daily Archives: November 27, 2008

Four Amigos, Queen’s Park, Nov 18 ’08

MPP Randy Hillier, Sean McGivern, Michael Schmidt, and MPP Bill Murdoch

Four amigos: MPP Randy Hillier, Sean McGivern, Michael Schmidt, and MPP Bill Murdoch just before the anniversary news conference November 18, 2008

Last Wednesday November 18th, raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt and supporters held a news conference at Queens Park Toronto to mark the second anniversary of the raid on Glencolton Farms November 21, 2006. In the days to come we’ll be presenting material from that news conference, much of which didn’t make it through the mainstream-media news filters. So stay tuned for more exciting episodes. To start the ball rolling, here’s a photo that Michael wanted, out in the hallway before the news conference got underway.

In case you’re wondering who that Randy Hillier character is, here’s his website.

And as for the others in the photo, Sean McGivern represents the Grey-Bruce Landowners Association, Michael Schmidt is a well know raw milk advocate and farmer and Bill Murdoch was the MPP who sponsored a private members bill in 2006 to have the Ontario study the question of raw milk regulation. The bill was defeated.

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Locally-grown milk in Athens, Georgia

Lead photo from Farm Dreams blog, Atlanta, Georgia

Lead photo from Farm Dreams blog, Atlanta, Georgia

All across the continent, health-minded folks are establishing their own local supply networks for food outside the mainstream agribusiness-supermarket paradigm. Here’s one more example of this phenomenon, this time from Athens, Georgia. Read the whole story here. Or start with this excerpt:

“…Moving here I was worried about finding local sources for everything. I got on Local Harvest and found out about a group called Athens Locally Grown. It is basically a co-op. A group of people found farmers that would provide products every week. On Sunday, they post what is available that week and members can place an order. The organizers then go around to all the farms and pick up the orders, then the members go pick up their orders at a centralized place at an arranged time.

They have produce of all types, eggs, meat and raw milk. The meat to choose from included beef, chicken, pork, lamb and goat. The raw milk included cow and goat milk. They also have many cheeses. Continue reading

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Nestle ordered to recall melamine-tainted baby formula in South Africa

Nido and Lactogen, two Nestle products affected by the recall in South Africa

Nido and Lactogen, two Nestle products affected by the recall in South Africa

Unlike in the United States where public health officials are pretending it’s “business as usual” (see post below), South African health officials have ordered Nestle to withdraw products from store shelves.

Here are excerpts from two news stories covering this latest development in the melamine saga. The first, from The Times, titled “Nestle Baby Formula Recall”, is by Nivashni Nair:

Tests reveal high melamine levels in two batches of local infant formula

BATCHES of Nestlé baby formula have been pulled off shelves in South Africa after tests showed they contained unacceptably high levels of melamine.

Blog: Contaminated baby formula: From the mouths of cows

The department of health said yesterday that mothers should stop using the products Nido and Lactogen and return them to the shops at which they were bought. Continue reading


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FDA finds melamine in American baby formula but recommends parents continue using it — WTF?

FDA Chemist testing for melamine. FDA photo.

FDA Chemist testing for melamine. FDA photo.

Thanks no doubt to the far-reaching results of globalization, companies that supply 90% of the American baby formula market are finding melamine in their products. Here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press story (via The Huffington Post):

“Traces of the industrial chemical melamine have been detected in samples of top-selling U.S. infant formula, but federal regulators insist the products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration said last month it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants, but a top official said it would be a “dangerous overreaction” for parents to stop feeding infant formula to babies who depend on it.

“The levels that we are detecting are extremely low,” said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “They should not be changing the diet. If they’ve been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That’s in the best interest of the baby.” Continue reading


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Melamine (Chinese milk additive) 101

In today’s post we feature a picture parade that tells the story of melamine contamination in milk products, what it is, what it’s for, how it works and some hints on how to recognize and avoid contaminated foods.

Chinese mother feed their babies -- Telegraph photo

Chinese mothers feed their babies -- Telegraph photo

Adulteration of milk has historically not been limited to China. In North America, in the early decades of the last century, substances such as chalk were added to milk from large dairy farms that tried to cut their costs by feeding their cows distillery swill (leftovers from the distillation process) instead of hay and pasture. With it’s fairly recent shift to industrialization, China may well be going through a similar sort of birthing pains as were once felt here in Canada and the United States. But while we used chalk, they’re using melamine. But the purpose was the same — to make the milk seem more nutritious than it really is.

Ultimately, the lesson of the melamine scandal is: Know where your food is coming from. Cultivate personal relationships with local growers, because the corporate food chain just can’t be counted on to look out for the health of consumers. Beyond melamine there’s the whole issue of GMOs just lurking under the level of public awareness. How long will it take before GMO contamination becomes the next “melamine scare”?

Thanks to farmer Michael Schmidt for passing the following information and pictures along to the Bovine, which he received in the form of an email. We’ve edited some of it for style and content. Continue reading

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