Readers write their politicians, part 11

It may be Sunday, the day of rest, but still people are writing to their politicians, concerned that a farmer might die because our elected representative, Premier McGuinty, won’t yet agree to meet with him and listen to his concerns about matters affecting the public good. But there’s some hope on the horizon with the formation of a committee of MPPs committed to encouraging McGuinty to make that move. Copy the Bovine on any further correspondence please: theBovine AT gmx DOT com


To: gsorbara.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Dear Greg [Sorbara],

Thank you so much for being part of the group that is conveying the urgency of the Michael Schmidt situation to Dalton McGuinty. Although the issue of raw milk is no doubt not a huge political topic in most circles, it will be a blight on Dalton’s reputation as a person of  integrity if Michael Schmidt dies on account of this fast. In my workplace, I have met several people who have expressed a keen interest in being able to acquire raw milk. In other words, there are people who care about this, who maybe at this point are not writing letters about the raw milk issue, but who will certainly be horrified if they hear that Michael Schmidt died on account of a hunger strike while waiting to speak to the Premier of Ontario.

I wish you godspeed, good will and fortitude as you pursue this delicate issue.

Thanks for all your work on behalf of us citizens of Ontario!

Sincerely,

Elisabeth Chomko


Dear Mr. McGuinty,

I wrote to you the other day regarding Michael Schmidt. This is a very urgent situation which requires your immediate attention. There is a very serious issue here in Ontario that will not go away. Your meeting with Michael Schmidt need not be seen by you as agreement. It is simply an opportunity to dialogue or simply to listen. You have so far seemed to me to be the embodiment of a politician who listens and wishes to govern well. Please decide sooner rather than later to have a meeting with Michael Schmidt.

Elisabeth Chomko

Richmond Hill, Ontario


Premier McGuinty:

Today is day 30 of Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike for responsible food freedom.

This indicates how many days you have ignored the civil, polite, honest request of Michael Schmidt.

30 days, sir – in which you have refused to have any dialog with Mr. Schmidt.

30 days in which you have had how many meals?

You have probably been contacted by members of your own party; members of your own government who’ve requested that you begin this communication.  I know that you’ve also been contacted by HRH The Prince of Wales, various spokespeople for the food movement, thousands of citizens from all over the world.

Still you choose to ignore this.

When are you going to move out of your self-imposed silence?

When Michael Schmidt dies?

Shame on you, Mr. McGuinty, because your constituents are speaking out, the world is calling out and you will not listen. The voices around him are growing stronger and louder every day…. and they are around you too, but you have turned a deaf ear to all of it.

It is not just one man who is being ignored – it is thousands of people who are concerned about their rights as human beings, their rights to eat the food that they choose.  It is also the pleas of humans around the globe.

Humanity is talking to you, but you refuse to listen, Mr. McGuinty.

Beverly Hill

Crewe, VA  USA  23930


Dalton McGuinty

Prime Minister

Government of Ontario

Dear Prime Minister McGuinty,

As a champion of health care, among others, I am writing you in the matter of the raw milk controversy surrounding the hunger strike of Michael Schmidt. He is now on his 30th day of his hunger strike and his health condition is deteriorating rapidly.

I am writing to ask you to grant him his wish of speaking directly with you regarding the issue of raw milk. It is a simple request on an issue that is of interest to tens of thousands of people around the world. As the number one public official in Ontario, you may wish to reflect on the reality that the citizens of Ontario are looking up to you as a key individual to express their hopes and aspirations.

I am certain that thousands want to meet with you personally. But the case of Michael Schmidt is not an ordinary case. He has tried, for many years, to have meaningful conversations at various levels of government. But these efforts, for whatever reason, have not produced the kind of equitable and just resolution of an issue that affects many people. Only now that these local efforts have failed is he seeking the chance to clarify these issues with you.

In short, Mr. Schmidt’s request is not a nuisance request. It is an attempt to come to a peaceful resolution of an issue that is gaining currency in the world as one of the key issues that will define the future contours of the food system of the planet. And such strategic concerns are surely worth your time to consider.

I am not a citizen of Canada. I am a citizen of the Philippine Republic. However, the issue at hand is a universal issue involving the fundamental right of all human beings to have a choice on what kind of food they put inside their body. Your decision will set a precedent that will not only affect the citizens of Ontario and Canada. It will be a “shot” that will be heard around the world.

Originally, like many people, I had a bias against raw milk. Harking from the days of Louis Pasteur, I thought that raw milk is bad for the health of the people because they can cause diseases. I also believed then that it was right for the government to regulate dairy operations to ensure that these milk operations do not become a health hazard for the general public.

However, last year, when I was in the United States of America, my friends convinced me to try raw milk. I was hesitant. However, they explained to me that there have been many technological developments in the past 100 years that ensure the cleanliness and safety of raw milk products. In addition, they explained to me all the outstanding health benefits of raw milk.

Willing to experiment, I took a glass of raw milk produced from a bio-dynamic diary farm in upper New York state. The results surprised me. Not only was the milk better-tasting than conventional milk. I also felt an usual surge of energy from my body. And, most important for me, as I am lactose-intolerant, there were no negative side effects from drinking the raw milk: no infections, no gases. Instead I felt vitality and health.

Dear Prime Minister, is it possible that, while other sectors of the economy have benefitted from the surge of health-enhancing technology, that the raw milk industry has remained totally backward? I personally do not think so as I can directly verify from my experience. Given this, shouldn’t regional and national food policy be modified to harmonize itself with modern scientific and technological developments?

Prime Minister, the clock is ticking away. You are facing a profound choice that needs to be made as soon as possible. You can either choose to meet with Michael Schmidt, who has now become a global symbol of the right of human beings to choose what healthy food they want to nurture their body with, and therefore develop the reputation of an open, fair, and listening political leader; or, you can choose to ignore his simple and humble request and become a symbol of another face and instrument of the so-called 1% that has now become the target of the “occupy” movement in over 1000 cities in 85 countries around the world.

It is my sincere hope that you choose for freedom of choice, compassion, and fair play. Because the alternative, that is, rejecting his civilized request for an honest dialogue, may mean that, one day, you will have blood on your hands because Michael Schmidt has promised to fast unto death. And that would be tragic not only for me, for you, not least for Michael Schmidt himself and for all those who love him around the world, but it would be tragic for the future of the world food system that now continues to enter into turbulent waters.

I pray for your enlightened decision and I would deeply appreciate an acknowledgement from your staff that they have received this message.

Sincerely Yours,

Nicanor Perlas

Philippines

PS. If you wish to know more about my background, kindly “google” Nicanor Perlas.


This is a similar letter I wrote Premier McGuinty October 24, concerning the raw milk law and the freedom to choose our foods.

I am writing from the US.  In California I can still buy raw milk. I lived in Canada for 11 years, and as we were raising our three children in Ontario, we were fortunate enough to know a farmer (not Michael Schmidt) who would give us milk from his cows.   The farm was impeccable, and I would not have taken the milk if I had not known that those cows were inspected for health and disease on a regular basis.  But I could choose!

Later we co-shared in the ownership of a cow and could call her  “our” cow.

They were happy cows in that pasture! They were grass fed and lived in a clean barn, which is more that can be said for a lot of industrial farms.

If only all cows were treated so well!

Concerning Michael Schmidt, why would he ever want to endanger anyone?

What is the logic? He has his Masters in Agriculture, has raised

healthy cows, and also healthy children!  The disrespect shown to this man is unbelievable.  It is embarrassing to hear the actions taken by the officials in this case.

According to my understanding, not one of the officials has even had a discussion with Mr. Schmidt about what lies so dear and so important to his heart.  Would that not be the first step in this kind of situation?  Sometimes we are really uninformed and to hear what is behind the raw milk Mr. Schmidt advocates would be an education for many of us.  Yet he is being treated as a criminal.

Who is going to trust the government when there is such a show of anger from those involved in this case?  So much anger, that the case Mr. Schmidt won last year, was immediately appealed.  Who are these people who are opposing him?  (The evidence on the benefits and risks of raw milk are still very much debated. Meanwhile, industrial agriculture poses its own, well documented risks!).  It is frightening to think the Canadian Government would here deny freedom of choice!

How many cases of raw milk deaths have there been?  And under what circumstances?  What other food sources have indeed caused death…?

Who is so afraid of raw milk?  Has any one of the government officials tried to drink this gift of nature, and compared it to what we regularly buy.  Raw milk should be available as a choice people can make for themselves.  The government should check the herds, see that health regulations be followed, that is most important. That is the role of the government, not to harass farmers.

This is an urgent case.  We need to respect those farmers who truly care.  Talk to Mr. Schmidt, please.

I hope you read this and take it to heart and ponder this serious situation. It concerns our freedom of choice.  Thank you for inviting comments.

Sincerely,

Nancy Junge,

Paso Robles, CA

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