Before we get to that letter to the editor from the B.C. minister, here’s an introduction from Gordon Watson:
“Without even half trying, our little cowshare dairy just keeps on getting more high-profile media exposure. Most recently, a provincial Cabinet minister felt compelled to defend her government’s policy on raw milk.
Disappointing that she just parrots the same old line, citing as an expert someone who was caught last month putting out dis-information a quarter of a century out of date, ie. the idea that ‘consumers can get TB from raw milk’. In fact, Canadian dairy cattle have been TB free since 1985.
Ida Chong contradicts herself by saying, on the one hand, that health regulations to do with meat, can be:
“… designed and continue to evolve with enough flexibility to allow for varying size and scale of operators to do business”, while wanting us to accept that similar accommodation for small producers of milk is impossible.
If every pail of raw milk is a bio-hazard in the first instance, how is it that in New Zealand – merely the pre-eminent dairying country in the world – raw milk is legal for sale? How come Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho and several other states are changing laws right now, so that raw milk is available? What is it that the farmers there know about dairying, that she doesn‘t?
I’m over-exposed and I’m focused on my appeal of the Order against us, so I’m probably not going to reply to the Times Colonist. I encourage any one who has something intelligent to say, to rebut the Minister of Health Living”
Gordon S Watson
Justice Critic, Party of Citizens Who Have Decided To Think for Ourselves & Be Our Own Dairy
Victoria BC Times Colonist newspaper April 8th 2010
Re: “Overkill hurting small farmers,” April 2.
“I am writing in response to the editorial that dealt with the issues of public health and food protection.
Contrary to what the editorial asserted, the consumption of unpasteurized or “raw” milk is widely recognized by experts as a health risk. Among those experts is our own provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, who points out that the purchase and consumption of this product puts British Columbians at needless risk of serious diseases and infection.
As well, a substantial proportion of illnesses traced to raw milk occur in children and are caused by E. coli, which can result in kidney failure and even death.
Our government supports sustainable food production. Contrary to the editorial, meat regulations in B.C. have been designed and continue to evolve with enough flexibility to allow for varying size and scale of operators to do business. This includes the licensing of portable slaughter facilities to service more remote areas of the province.
Enforcing public health standards is not a matter of “overkill” by government. It’s a matter of protecting British Columbians to the best of our abilities.”