Political insights from a second viewing of the Michael Schmidt documentary

Here’s another excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s excellent and insightful The Complete Patient blog:

“….It’s funny how you often see things the second time around that didn’t stand out so sharply on a first viewing. For me, the political nature of the entire struggle for raw milk now stood out, as follows:

1. The fact that the raid on Michael Schmidt’s dairy occurred in 2006, and was the first regulatory action against him since 1994. We now know, in retrospect, that the latest war against raw milk in the U.S. was launched in 2006 as well—with raids, stings, and legal actions against Gary Oakes and Carol Schmitmeyer in Ohio, Richard Hebron in Michigan, and Mark McAfee in California. Of course, it has continued with legal actions against other producers of raw dairy products as well, in New York, Pennsylvania, and California. Now I find myself wondering: was the launch of the war on raw milk a matter of international cooperation between allies U.S. and Canada?

2. Canadian regulators and dairy industry officials are totally unyielding. I know when I first saw the documentary, I thought they sounded more unyielding than American regulators. The one comment that summed it up for me was this: “We solved that problem sixty years ago.” In other words, pasteurization seems to work, so don’t bother us with new facts.  But when you think about it, American regulators by-and-large won’t engage in any kind of public discussion on the issue. The Canadians’ willingness to speak out is in contrast with that of American regulators, led by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s John Sheehan, who cower in dark corners, letting their regulatory whips do their talking.

3. It all seems to come down to rights. You watch the documentary, and see the protest gatherings, fundraising events, legislative debates, Michael’s 28-day fast, and you know this isn’t a health issue. The reason: no one is becoming ill! The only example of anyone in the documentary who is sick is a man who became ill from pasteurized cheese. Michael has never had a customer become sick. In the U.S., we know, of course, that very few people become ill from consuming raw milk, but any time someone does, the matter gets played up by regulators and their supporters…..”



Filed under News

2 responses to “Political insights from a second viewing of the Michael Schmidt documentary

  1. Bernie Bailey

    What you say may be true but I have a little different take and mine comes from involvement and the destruction of my milk plant at the hands of uncontrolled civil servants and relates to the Michael Schmidt saga in a way. In the early years Michael made a statement that caught the attention of the media and public with his hunger strike and no politician or civil servant wants that story on their hands so Michael was left alone for a very long time as the civil servants and politicians of the day had a new goal and it is called globalization driven by the worlds largest companies and the civil servants in Ontario are very busy destroying small growing Canadian companies like mine in favor of the new world wide companies and the politicians agree with this cause. .Now along came a new government in Ontario that is not privy to the way the system works and believes they are in control so all the civil servants have to do is get the new boss in line. For example Michael Schmidt story did not air as farmer brakes the law the story started with this —The new Ontario Attorney Generals wife is a cow share member and is involved in a crime . The Ontario Attorney General stands up in the legislation and speaks to the press stating that he will fund and defend his wife and Michael Schmidt against these allegations and then the Premier later stands up in the house and said ,no we will not and then the governments involvement disappears the press forgets the politicians leaving Schmidt the only story with the civil servants to do as they please again , but again Michael dose not back down and the story picks up momentum from the public and people like my self step forward again to try to reveal the truth about the back room practice of corrupt power and how it filters down to us all. This is now even effecting the quota holding farmers as they try to retire , now that they are no use to the DFO they are becoming victim’s through a quota tax . As Bill Moore one of the most powerful civil servants told me politicians will come and politicians will go and you will have to deal with me sooner or later–he forced the closure of Sun Rise dairy with a phantom policy behind closed door meetings.This is why no politician will revue a law with out the permission of the civil servants
    I am still one vote

  2. thebovine

    Bernie, I think you’re thinking of the former Ontario Finance Minister rather than the Attorney General. Just thought I should set the record straight on that.

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