“Shocked and appalled” — as still more readers write their politicians about raw milk and Michael Schmidt — part 4

Keep those letters coming, folks! Send them to TheBovine AT gmx DOT com

Farmer Michael Schmidt makes his case to the media last week at Queen's Park.


October 22nd 2011

Dear Premier McGuinty;

The time has come for you and your government to take some responsibility for this provinces legislation related to milk production, sale and distribution. This legislation is woefully outdated and does not take into consideration the right that people have to make informed choices over what they consume.

Consumers now more than ever before know what foods make them healthier and what foods are making them sick. Production and distribution methods are far more safe now than they were when this legislation was written.

People from all over the world are united behind Michael Schmidt and understand plainly that he is being made a scapegoat for the Ontario Governments unwillingness to review the absurd milk production and distribution laws that treat raw milk as if it were suspect. These laws falsely promote raw milk as a hazardous substance. To what end? It could not be further from the truth. It is clearly an attack on small organic dairies in favour of well financed industrial production facilities owned by large corporations and protected by highly paid lobbyists. It is not difficult with todays lobbyist laws to trace back who is connected to the liberal party and how your government has been protecting the interests of the milk lobby. This is a flagrant deceit on the part of government and it must stop.

In my mind, the dangers of milk consumption are related to large scale industrial milk production where cows are treated poorly and the unsafe production processes that are used by farmers who must rely on a high heat treat pasteurization process. Pasteurization is the only real safeguard for milk that is produced by corporate farmers that don’t give a dam and that must be mass distributed.

The Government of Ontario under your leadership has a horrific record when it comes to sitting down in dialogue with small scale organic farmers to sort out the role they have played in the past and continue to play in milk production. These are farm families that are dedicated to high quality production and providing wholesome food to local markets. They are Canadian farmers that are producing food for other Canadians not global consumers in a global market place, for nameless, faceless eaters. They deserve your support.

You seem disinterested in the question of how all of us in the future will have food security without local farmers and producers. If you were interested then you would be concerned about how local economies and local production can be supported to flourish. Without fostering a sound connection between food producers and consumers you run the risk of putting our futures in danger. Ontario is in grave danger of losing the family farms that over the past ten years have been able to withstand the ongoing legal and policy attacks from government. Soon there will be no family farms left.

Stop putting our futures in danger. Stop perpetuating the myth that raw milk can not be safely produced and distributed. I am fed up with such conscious manipulations of the truth. The only reason Michael Schmidt is being seen as a force to be reckoned with provincially is that he represents the little guys, the farmers that still have a conscience- who still have their integrity in tact and who are not going to stand for this flagrant abuse of legislation. It is time to sit down with Michael Schmidt and hammer out a solution to this absurdity. He is willing and able to coalesce local farmers and farmers across Canada to end this legislative vacuum and bring it into the 21st century.

Regards

Judith McGill

416 997-3311


I asked a candidate for a local office about food freedom, and specifically the right to consume raw milk from dairy animals held in collective ownership.

Now on to the other candidates — there’s close to a dozen people running for three offices here!

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Leslie” <freerangemind@shaw.ca>

Date: 22 October 2011 11:17:48 PDT

To: “Jan Steinman” <Jan@Bytesmiths.com>

Subject: Re: Food Freedom Issues

Good Morning Jan:

Thank you for your question, and for your patience in awaiting my answer. Yes, I do support the right of Canadians to consume food of their choosing, without undue interference from either legislation or regulation. Yes, I think Canadians should be able to consume raw milk from dairy animals they hold in collective ownership arrangements. If elected, I would certainly consider working toward explicitly allowing well-specified herd share operations in the Capital Regional District. Certainly, I will speak out in favour of this.

Many people are asking me to include certain actions among my priorities. If elected, my plan is to solicit broad based community input into setting priorities through the use of a Civic Lottery and Citizen’s Reference Panel. Every household on the island will recieve an invitation to become a part of the panel, which will be struck for the purpose of learning about the various needs in the community that fall under the responsibililty of the CRD and making recommendations as to priorities for the community as a whole. I will have no role in choosing who will be included in the Panel. The learning part is key, as it’s essential that all participants have access to the same information on which to base their recommendations, however they might evaluate that information for themselves. Civic Lotteries and Citizen’s Reference Panels have now been used successfully to build consensus in a number of divided Canadian communities such as ours, and I am a big fan!  My intention in

striking a Citizen’s Reference Panel to advise me on priorities is not to divest myself of the responsibility for making decisions, but to deepen the public consultation process that informs good decision-making by government.

I welcome your feedback on what I think is an exciting initiative to help me make decisions that enjoy broad public support, that I hope will also contribute toward healing the rift in our community.

For more information about Citizens Reference Panels, Google:

The new citizens’ panels: a powerful antidote to cynicism

michael posner

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 29, 2011 2:08PM EDT

For more information about Citizens Reference Panels, Google:

The new citizens’ panels: a powerful antidote to cynicism

michael posner

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 29, 2011 2:08PM EDT

See you around the Rock!

Sincerely,

Leslie

—– Original Message —– From: “Jan Steinman” <Jan@Bytesmiths.com>

To: “Leslie Wallace” <freerangemind@shaw.ca>

Cc: “Carol Wagner” <carol@ecoreality.org>

Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2011 5:50 PM

Subject: Food Freedom Issues

Hi Leslie,

It was good seeing you “on the trail” today. As has been the case so many times, Garth was AWOL.

I have a question for you. I think I know the answer, but I’d like it on the record, and with your permission, will publicize your reply via food freedom organizations.

Selling or even giving away raw (unpasteurized) milk is illegal in Canada. Although this is a national issue, it has been brought down to at least the provincial level in Ontario and BC, where courts have imposed severe penalties for trying to get around this prohibition by selling shares in a herd of dairy animals, since it is legal to drink raw milk from an animal you own, and Section Two of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms supposedly gives us the “freedom of association,” or the freedom to do collectively that which is legal to do individually.

Do you support — as a fundamental right — the right for Canadians to consume food of their choosing, without undue interference from either legislation or regulation? Should Canadians be able to consume raw milk from dairy animals they hold in collective ownership arrangements? If elected, will you work toward explicitly allowing well-specified herd share operations in the Capital Regional District?

In an attempt to legally distribute raw goat milk, EcoReality Co-op has begun a shared-ownership dairy operation. I am prepared to go to jail for my belief in the fundamental right to consume food of our choosing. Problem is, government regulators are too smart to create martyrs by throwing people is jail; instead, they fine their life savings away then seize their assets.

Thank you for whatever you care to say on this topic. I can steer you to plenty of information if you feel you need more background on this issue before reaching a position.


1 Comment

Filed under News

One response to ““Shocked and appalled” — as still more readers write their politicians about raw milk and Michael Schmidt — part 4

  1. I am very disappointed that this issue is not getting the media coverage it deserves. It is sad to think that the government even has control over what we see on our nightly news. We are becoming more and more like the United States every day and THAT is not a good thing.

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