Weston A. Price group in Princeton, New Jersey eager to hear about ruling of Ontario Judge in recent raw milk case

This is excerpted from David E. Gumpert’s latest post on the Complete Patient:

Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky

“I spoke last evening before a group of about 35 attendees at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Princeton, NJ, chapter. I try in my talks, as I do here on the blog, to emphasize my belief that raw milk is a proxy issue for food rights.

Yet last evening, a number of the questions and comments concerned raw milk’s supposed protective and health-giving powers. Doesn’t good bacteria in raw milk from pasture-fed cows overwhelm pathogens that might be present? Doesn’t that mean you can’t become seriously ill from raw milk? Isn’t pasteurized milk more likely to contain pathogens than raw milk?

I tried to explain that there is very limited data on the first question, and what little there is doesn’t support the notion that milk from pasture-fed cows won’t allow pathogen growth. I also said that people can become seriously ill from raw milk, as they can from pasteurized milk. And, once again with incomplete data, I said I thought that what there is indicates raw milk is riskier than pasteurized milk, but that the entire category of dairy products is low on the food-borne illness totem pole.

Given the dearth of data, and the fact that raw milk doesn’t appear to be a serious health risk in its own rite, then the real issue is food rights, which brings me back to the Michael Schmidt decision in Ontario last week. And that is where I thought Judge Paul Kowarsky began to set some interesting parameters.

He may not have spoken about food rights, but he spoke to an area very close: the right of individuals to enter into private contracts in order to access the foods of their choice. More Americans are choosing private arrangements—for example, C.A.R.E., the largest buying group in the U.S. in Pennsylvania, has grown to 5,500 members over the last few years.  The right to private arrangements is mentioned in the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 10) and known as “the Contract clause”, though admittedly it was included for different reasons at the time; food rights wasn’t much of an issue in the late 1700s.

Repeatedly in his decision, Judge Kowarsky affirmed the right of individuals to enter into private agreements to access raw milk:….”

“…..It’s interesting that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario are advocating an appeal of the Michael Schmidt case since, as Steve Bemis suggests in his comment following my previous post, the judge didn’t make any changes in legislation. Quite the opposite, as the judge concluded his decision by stating: “Indeed, the milk marketing legislation remains of full force and effect until such time as it is amended or revoked by the Legislature…”….”

“….I can only assume the Ontario dairy organization is worried that Judge Kowarsky’s decision could begin to erode its complete control of the dairy system. Control is what a lot of this is about, and only guarantees and exercise of rights can counter the forces of control.”

Read the whole post on the Complete Patient blog.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Weston A. Price group in Princeton, New Jersey eager to hear about ruling of Ontario Judge in recent raw milk case

  1. shane

    I think it is unlikely that the judge spoke at the westen a price foundation and if he did that would likely indicate that his decision was biased in some way and be grounds for appeal. The linked article does not actually state the judge spoke at the gathering. What it does say is the judge ‘spoke’ about this and that and I believe they mean he did this via the court case decision and not in person.

  2. thebovine

    In the opening sentence it does say that the judge spoke to the group. I don’t think David would have gotten that fact wrong. He is a professional journalist after all, not just some amateur blogger.

    Seems to me this was a group that wanted to hear more about the case and the verdict and they wanted to hear it from the man who should know all about it.

    Somehow I doubt this indicates bias.

    I’m sure the judge would be just as ready to accept an invitation to speak at a meeting of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

  3. shane

    In what opening sentence? The linked to blog opens like this “I spoke last evening before a group of about 35 attendees at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Princeton, NJ, chapter. I try in my talks, as I do here on the blog, to emphasize my belief that raw milk is a proxy issue for food rights.” even though this post on thebovine does make it sound like the judge was there. Did the complete patient change the blog since you captured this?

  4. What would it be like if the “Other Dairies” in Canada and the United States converted their operations to organic milk production and /or raw milk production? What would happen if the dairies decided to label their milks with full mineral and vitamin content disclosures? Would it not be fair to charge the consumer more money for a better product? A better food quality? What is the relationship between the raw milk farmers and the FDA and other government officials like as compared to that of the Pasteurized Milk producers and the government officials’ relationship with them?

    Even the richest, technologically most advanced societies today face growing environmental and economic problems that should not be underestimated. Consider what it would be like if only modest costs of safety measures were seriously implemented thereby minimizing risks for all systems of milk production.

    There really isn’t a world food problem or a local food problem; there is already enough food; we only need to solve the transportation problem of distributing that food to places that need it.

    Just last night I was at our local Japanese/Chinese restaurant. I was talking with one of the waiters who is from South China in the country but near a city. He told me that still, today, a farmer can walk into to town with his cow and go directly to someone’s home with that cow and ask them if they want some milk. The homeowner many times would say yes, and the farmer will milk the cow right there for them. Fresh Raw milk at their door. The waiter told me that this was fresh and that people for hundreds of years have been doing it this way. They loved the taste of this milk. He did not hear any news or stories of people dying or getting seriously ill or even sick from this. He smiled and said, “the people really enjoyed and appreciated this service delivery system.”

    As Carlo Petrini says, “at every level, our food supply must meet the three criteria of quality, purity, and justice.” Carlo’s great insssight is that when we seek out food that meets these criteria, we are no longer mere consumers (especially like those consumers found in large supermarkets. I like to call them “Conspicuous Consumers” – myself included, we are all guilty of this type of consumption. Rather wasteful at times, is it not?) – but we are CO-PRODUCERS, who are bearing our fair share of the costs of producing good food and creating responsible communities.

    “Along with the process of industrialization, in little more than a century a kind of technocratic dictatorship has been established, where profit prevails over politics and economics over culture, and where quantity is the main, if not the sole, criterion for judging human activities.” – Carlo Petrini from the book titled, Slow Food Nation. Rizzoli 2005.

    “Eating is an agricultural act” and “producing must be a gastronomical act.”

    Why not pool our forces? And before it is too late. Or a Real Revolution will happen.

  5. thebovine

    Shane,

    It appears there was a subsequent edit that I’ve now reflected in the currently posted version. I’ve also changed the headline to match.

    Thanks for alerting me to this error.

    Actually I’ve now figured out what happened. I first took this story from Google reader. There the first sentence reads “Ontario Judge Paul KowarskyI spoke last evening before a group of about 35 attendees at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Princeton, NJ, chapter.”

    I figured that an “and” was missing and so I inserted it.

    Actually what I now figure out was that the caption for the photo had been run together with the first sentence.

    Amazing how that shifts the whole meaning.

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