Who is the enemy?????
I am sitting at the Edmonton airport waiting to fly home. We just finished our hearing in front of the Albert Health Appeal Board.
Once again the question was argued if the Government has the right to issue cease and decease orders prohibiting cow-share members to obtain their raw milk.
Reflecting back to our trials and tribulations I came to the conclusion to look at these proceedings as a very important process to slowly educate those who defend the status quo in the name of our health.
What a contradiction when you listen to witnesses who deeply struggled with their health but drastically improved after switching to raw milk.
What a contradiction when you listen to witnesses who get sick, severely sick when drinking pasteurized milk.
What a contradiction when a farmer milks his cows and suddenly finds himself in court facing accusations that a “health inspector” determined that a ” nuisance” exists because he milks cows for his cow share members.
Alberta’s regulators use the legal term Nuisance in their legislation for everything they deem is a danger for public health.
I have to admit I enjoyed listening to the Alberta Health lawyer James Murphy pointing over and over again to the letter of the law.
For him it was not an issue of peoples personal choice and right, it was the letter of the law what counts. He is right. When you argue within this regulatory frame work there is absolutely no room for choice.
At one point during cross examination I commented on the sweeping powers the health inspectors have.
Any arbitrary decision by him goes without proper oversight.
If he says there is a health hazard or a danger to the health he can shut down every house hold, every birthday party, every gathering in Alberta.
It is clear that you cannot argue this fact because he is empowered by the regulations and various legislative acts.
Who gave him the power?
Those who think they know better because they can pass regulations.
Eric Pudlo the farmer at the center of this case said afterwards; hundreds of years ago people had to struggle for their food going hunting, today we back again hunting for healthy foods.
The stark contrast between those who care and those who enforce was once again evident in these proceedings.
All and I mean All tried their best to bring across their position in regards to the issue.
At the end James Murray the lawyer for Alberta Health simply closed with the most common argument:
It does not matter if raw milk is better for cow share members the law is the law and we should try to change it through our elected officials.
I think I heard that argument already 17 years ago. Dr Buckingham the Dean at the University for Public Health recently said it takes 30 years to change public health policies. 13 more years to go. Not bad considering the benefits of raw milk
Thanks to all for a great day in a highrise downtown Edmonton. An experience not to be missed.
Thanks to a great appeal board panel.
It might take a while to come to a decision. Do not hold your breath. A positive outcome would be too easy.
Photos and story thanks to Michael Schmidt.