People are continuing to write to Dalton McGuinty and to other influential politicians in Ontario, Canada, and beyond. Here’s our third installment of letters to political representatives on the Michael Schmidt raw milk issue. Once again, these will be archived along with the earlier letters we’ve received, on our Letters page.
October 22, 2011
Dear Andrea Horwath,
Leader, Ontario’s NDP
I urge you to pressure Dalton McGuinty to meet with Michael Schmidt in person as soon as possible to start a dialog on legalizing raw milk.
Raw milk is safe for human consumption. In all the years of the operation of Glencolton Farms not one person has become sick. I have been serving raw milk to my family for many years. My children have grown up on raw milk, and are healthy and strong. Read the accounts of people who have been restored to good health with access to raw milk, including accounts of babies and young children. Dairy farmers can legally drink raw milk from their cows.
Review the statistics in Europe where raw milk is legal, and children can buy it in schools or from vending machines. Review the statistics from legal operations in the United States, California for example. They have stellar records of safety. My husband and I can provide supportive statistics recorded in the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the Center of Disease Control, FDA in the United States. Clearly the issue is not about safety, not at all. To speak of raw milk being unsafe is false reporting, and suspiciously put forth with a hidden agenda. As my husband wrote in an earlier letter, “… there appears to be a strong bias amongst health authorities against raw milk, even though their own statistics suggest that the bias is unfounded. “
We need to protect our small farmers, and permit them to set up Farm Share programs. We need to support farmers who farm with integrity and truly serve the people and the land. We need to support farmers who do not sacrifice the environment, quality farming practices, and good nutrition; for profit and control as large agri-business does. Currently, small farms are going out of business at an unprecedented rate.
In the words of the late Jack Layton,
“Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. so let us be loving hopeful and optimistic. And We’ll change the world.”
These words not only inspire me, but are words that call for change and positive action in the face of overwhelming odds. We all deserve our freedom to choose nutritious foods for ourselves and our families.
Please let me know that you will tell Dalton McGuinty to meet with Farmer Michael Schmidt to discuss legalizing raw milk. Michael is on a hunger strike over twenty days now, and it is of utmost importance to talk with him as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Shirley Ann Wood
October 21, 2011
Author, Nutrition Educator, Musician
Raw Milk Advocate
An Urgent Appeal for Justice
Dear Premier McGuinty,
Today, governments are pouring enormous resources into interfering with people’s rights to their own property and to obtain the food they need for their well-being. Governments that are truly concerned with justice are supposed to protect citizens’ rights, not violate them. We urgently demand an open, in-depth dialogue with government and health officials about these violations of food freedom and property ownership.
Increasing numbers of people consider it crucial to their health to obtain high-quality foods directly from organic, sustainable farms. These foods often include raw dairy products, meat and eggs from free-ranging, grass-fed animals—foods of very dense nutrient value that cannot be found in grocery stores.
In states and provinces where the law bans the sale of raw milk, people enter into contracts to co-own a cow and board the animal with a farmer. As owners of the cow, they are also the owners of the milk the cow produces, and are legally entitled to drink it because no sale of milk is involved. These arrangements are called “cowshares”.
The most allergenic food in North America is pasteurized milk, so it is not an option for many families. Raw milk is not allergenic and actually cures asthma and allergies (huge international studies show this to be true). That is why we must be free to have that choice. That is why our lack of food freedom creates illness and pushes us all into food slavery.
These basic principles of justice must prevail:
· Food freedom is an inalienable constitutional right
· Rights to one’s own property is a legally binding principle
· Cowshares are a legal binding contract of property ownership
· Access to foods from small farms is essential to the health and well-being of families who choose these foods
· Small sustainable farms are essential to the health of agriculture world-wide
· Governmental interference of property ownership rights along with violations to basic human rights of food freedom must end
· Government and health authorities must abstain from the infringement of rights and violence against cowshare programs.
Clarinetist, Orion Ensemble
Author, Performance Without Pain
My article on A Grass Roots Initiative for Health Freedom
——– Original Message ——–
|Subject:||Re: Feedback Form – Web Response|
|Date:||Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:53:36 -0400|
Thank you for taking your time to reply and for providing the information that I already know 🙂
Some more information – (from a very trusted the source called ‘personal experience’ 🙂 – I would love to share with you: I have been drinking raw milk since infancy as did my 4 children. With no ill effects. That’s over 45 year of raw milk consumption. Multiply that by 2 servings a day times 365 times 45. 🙂 Billions of people drink raw milk worldwide. With very few ill effects reported from CONTAMINATED raw milk. When I moved to Canada in 1994 and couldn’t find a supplier of raw milk and had to drink pasteurized version of ‘milk’ I began having a number of digestive problems that – thankfully – have been cleared once I switched back to raw milk.
When my presently 2-year-old daughter started drinking pasteurized milk at daycare a year ago, she began to have asthmatic symptoms and my naturopath told me to take her off the pasteurized milk immediately, which completely alleviated all symptoms. She’s been on raw milk for over 7 months and her health is better than ever.
Raw meat, vegetables and any raw product could, too, “contain bacteria that can cause illness, including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria”. Still, NONE of them is banned by the Ministry of Health. We’re not in 1938 anymore and farming practices, hygiene codes, machinery, methods of disinfection and health awareness have drastically improved.
We agree, by no means raw milk should be sold in the mainstream department stores and pasteurization MUST be mandatory for commercially produced milk. Since commercial dairies can never follow the strict code of proper dairy farming. It is very labour-intensive and time consuming. However, private sale of freshly produced raw milk MUST NOT be illegal because regardless of the Ministry of Health’s opinion, there are thousands of people who can only properly digest the milk raw, without any ill effects. There are thousands of people who report healing of many ailments and return to good health after they started consuming fresh raw milk.
We very much appreciate public concern and not endorsing abandoning pasteurization, it is only about the people who prefer to drink raw milk for health reasons and currently are being discriminated against, and have to sneak around the law like criminals to buy the product that is vital to their wellbeing, and for may physical survival.
The law is outdated and unfair. If any other agricultural product can be sold by the farmer in raw state, why not milk?… It should be up to the consumer to make an informed decision and a to have a free choice whether to drink milk raw or pasteurized. Some people got sick from drinking contaminated water. Did Ministry of Health ban drinking raw water? Some people got sick and died from eating a cantaloupe. Did Ministry of Health ban selling raw cantaloupes?… How many people got infected with Listeria from eating cold cuts produced by Maple Leaf? Did Ministry of Health close the plant and completely ban the sale of processed meats?…..
So, is it REALLY about public concern or is it about corporate-induced government regulations vs a handful of rightless farmers?…. I guess we all know who wins in a game like this. And this is the reason that “public at large” has very little faith in Government and Ministries. Regulations are great. FAIR and REASONABLE regulations with concerns for ALL groups of population are even better.
Sad. Very sad….
On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM, Wynne_Kathleen-MPP-CO <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thank you for your two emails and for your kind words. It was nice to meet and speak to you and I appreciate the support from you and so many of my constituents.
On the issue of food rights and the status of raw milk in Ontario, my office has contacted the Ministry of Health and long-Term Care in the matter and of course food safety is our first priority.
As Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said very clearly:
Drinking unpasteurized milk is a health hazard. It can lead to illness, long-lasting disease, even death. Raw (unpasteurized) milk is unsafe to drink because it could contain bacteria that can cause illness, including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. Pasteurization of milk has been mandatory in Ontario since 1938. These bacteria can lead to very serious health conditions ranging from illness to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and in some cases, death. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.
Due to the potential serious consequences of drinking unpasteurized milk, the Health Protection and Promotion Act makes it illegal to sell, offer to sell, deliver or distribute raw milk in Ontario. From 2005 to December 2010, 174 cases of illness caused by unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products (cheese) exposure were reported in Ontario.
Thank you once again for contacting me. I am taking the liberty of forwarding your message to my colleague Hon. Deb Matthews the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with a request to look into the issue that you have raised and to see if her ministry can do something with regard to Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike. I wish you all the best.
Kathleen Wynne MPP
Don Valley West
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: October 20, 2011 7:04 AM
Subject: Feedback Form – Web Response
Michael Schmidt is on teh 20th day of his hunger strike. PLEASE urge Dalton McGuinty to hear him out. This man has nothing but the best to offer to all of us. Thousands of people have to feel like criminals sneaking around the law to buy the vital product that keeps them healthy and alive.
He is prepared to go to the very end rather than betray people who depend on him. If he dies, his death will be on your government’s record.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:30 PM
Subject: Feedback Form – Web Response
You visited our condo before the recent election and that was the decision-making point for us who to vote for. In fact, I’ve been following your political path for quite a while and your integrity has always been the most convincing argument. We were happy to find out that you won again in our riding.
I would like to follow up on the little chat we had in regards to food rights and the illegal status of the raw milk in Ontario. I don’t know if you personally can do anything but I think the more honest, caring people are aware of the issue, especially people who are chosen to represent us in government, the more chances we have to do what’s the best for our community.
As a consumer, I have to know and to trust the people who produce food for me. I have to trust the sources, that is land and animals, it comes from. I have to know that the food I receive from them doesn’t contain anything that is known to cause harm. And the only way to know is to have a close relationship with the farmers, have a good knowledge of their farming practices and make an informed decision.
For many people RAW milk is the only form of milk they can consume for various health and dietary reasons. For many, it is VITAL for their health and, ultimately, survival, to consume raw milk to maintain their immune system and healthy flora in the intestinal tract. Banning the sale of raw milk means discrimination of the large group of population with those needs.
Unless we shop at the local farms, everything that comes to our table is controlled by food manufacturing corporations. They decide what they put in our food. They decide what we are allowed to consume and what we’re not. Then they lobby the government to enforce regulations.
“…increased food regulations are being proposed because big agriculture fears competition from little producers, and therefore uses lobbyists to virtually eliminate small family farms that have been successful outside of the mainstream. Interestingly, those involved in large-scale agriculture are already the beneficiaries of massive government subsidies.”
The number of illnesses and deaths from bacteria-contaminated raw vegetables and meats reached thousands in the past few years. Still, we don’t hear about any bans on selling those products raw. It is left up to the consumer to practice safe handling of the product to prevent infection. Milk is THE ONLY product in Canada that can’t be bought raw.
Canada is THE ONLY G8 country that made raw milk illegal. Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt has been selling raw milk for over 17 years and approximately 500,000 servings of milk have been consumed by his grateful customers, without a single report of any ill effect. Still, sale of raw milk is illegal and the farmers who dare are being prosecuted and intimidated. If I can buy raw meat and raw vegetables, I should be able to buy raw milk. Singling out only ONE product that can’t be bought raw is discrimination.
Food Rights movement started with raw milk advocates. Unless we stand up against unreasonable, corporate-dictated government laws and regulations, our choices of food will become more and more limited. Even more so for our children and generations to come.Please have a look at some recent statistics:
(click on View Results)
and please sign this petition:
Freedom of choice is a human right. And food should be at the top of the list when it comes to choices. We’re free to make UNHEALTHY choices and buy tobacco, alcohol, junk food. Why is our right to make HEALTHY CHOICES is limited and thwarted BY PROVINCIAL LAW?…
From : Mark McAfee
Date : Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:14:03 -0700
To : David Gumpert
Cc : Jon
Subject : Support for Mike and Canadian raw milk rights.
I spoke with Jon today in Canada and got his take on the progress in Canada. He said that they are still in the full court press and were looking for big support from where ever they could raise it.
This is what I have pledged:
1. A You Tube Video going out to about 8000 FB followers of OPDC that makes a very strong statement of support for Mike and Canadian raw milk access rights. In that video I will ask 65,000 consumers and everyone that drinks OPDC raw milk in CA to call, write, fax and or email the Canadian Premier and demand that all Canadians be given the right to access raw milk…and tell their stories of raw milk. Most importantly, demand that the premier meet with Michael start a dialogue and end the hunger strike.
2. A sticker on OPDC products that asks 65,000 people to send their support to Canada and Mike by demanding that the Premier meet with Mike.
3. Try my best ( through channels ) to get Governor of CA Jerry Brown ( a raw milk drinker and supporter )to call the Premier and ask that he meet with Mike to start a dialogue and end the fast.
Jon said that this would be fantastic. The work is underway.
I am writing in support of Michael Schmidt and to protest our governments actions.
I am a student of alternative medicine (Heilkunst and Homeopathy) and am fully informed on consuming this wonderful food. I support the consumption of raw milk because it is my right to choose the food I consume. I have high admiration and love for the courage that Michael has to stand up for my rights. There is no one like him and I stand behind him in his efforts in trying to work with our government to recognize that right.
The actions of the Canadian government is an embarrassment to me as a Canadian.
PO Box 601
Pouce Coupe, BC V0C 2C0
I am writing to you from Gympie, in Queensland, Australia.
Having read about Michael Schmidt’s fight with Authorities re: the Right of people to choose what what they eat and drink–The Right to buy a share in a cow and its milk.
I wish him all the best and below is news of happenings here in Australia.
In Australia it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk and cheese.
So far we can have cow sharing although the Authorities are trying to stop it. Lots of Dairies get around the rules by labeling unprocessed milk as Cleopatra’s bath milk.
I am very fortunate and have a share in a Jersey cow at a local Organic dairy.
The Farmer also has Organic Beef and Pork for sale.
Again My thoughts are with this brave farmer.
Michael, keep up your good work. but you are needed, so do not Die. For who will fill your shoes? Travel worldwide if possible spreading raw milk information.
12 Firchester Court
The right to drink Raw Milk goes right to the CORE of our very being. Thank you to Michael Schmidt for helping bring our fundamental right to choose what we eat and drink to the ultimate forefront of the news. We have sadly lost the battle for the rights to chose supplements and medicines of our choice. Now the powers to be wishes to take away our food too – like bread and water, MILK is basic to the essence of our being and closeness to nature.
Please hang in there Michael, Your message is heard loud and strong. We need to take back our basic rights written in the constitution. We support you dearly.
9-433 Innes Rd. , Ottawa, ON K4A 3W3
3 responses to “Readers write their politicians, part 3”
Cheeseslave’s 10 ways to support Michael Schmidt: http://www.cheeseslave.com/2011/10/22/end-the-hunger-strike-10-ways-to-support-raw-dairy-farmer-michael-schmidt/
Politicians don’t read letters unless they contain a bribe……………………..
Hebrews 11; v.33-35: You were at times publicly insulted and mistreated, and at other times you were ready to join those who were being treated in this way. You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your belongings were seized, you endured your loss gladly, because you knew that you still possessed something much better, which would last forever. Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. Hebrews 11; v.1: To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
Peace be with you, may the angels sustain your health and energy and give you restful sleep. Amen.