Raw milk rallies across Canada this Wednesday Nov. 23rd including one in Toronto at Queen’s Park

Here is the list of raw milk rallies planned for November 23rd, all across Canada. Perhaps one of them is in your neck of the woods:

Michael Schmidt had an informal chat with friends about the state of all things raw milk a couple of hours ago at the Toronto Waldorf school Arts and Crafts show in Thornhill.

November 23rd in BC – Nadine Ijaz and Jan Steinman are doing a rally at the legislature building in Victoria.  They may be milking a cow and a goat.  An update on that should be forthcoming.   They will also be bringing milk across the border to drink at the rally.  You can reach Nadine atnadineijaz@gmail.com and Jan at jan@bytesmiths.com.

November 23rd Vancouver BC – 11 am 12.00pm Olympic Cauldron, 1055 Canada Place Vancouver.  Event Organizer Alice Jongerden invites members of the public to attend, key note speakers, live cooking event with celebrity chefs.  Nearest Skytrain and Canada Line Waterfront, also the Seabus terminal is a 4 minute walk away. Alice can be reached atalice@homeontherangefarms.com.

November 23rd in Ontario – at 11 a.m. we are having a rally at Queens Park in Toronto – Michael is to bring a cow to milk (provided he is well).  If he can’t we will find another farmer to do it.  Organizers are Margo McIntosh at margo@balanceyourapple.com and Charlotte VanGenechten at gushue_8@sympatico.ca

November 23rd in Ontario – at 11 a.m. Jacqueline Fennell Conklin is organizing a rally in Ottawa at the Health Canada Bldg. at Tunney’s Pasture. She can be reached at conavista@jcis.ca

November 23rd in Alberta is being organized by Charlene Bishop a raw milk activist.  She can be contacted at c1bishop@telus.net.

November 23rd in Saskatoon Saskatchewan is being organized by Carol MacRitchie Bird of the Weston A. Price Foundation.  There will be a rally at 12 noon in front of city hall in Saskatoon.   Carol can be reached at info@resumeresort.com.

November 23rd in Regina – Katy Helliwell is organizing a rally in fronto of the legislature building.  She will be serving milk and cookies and is planning a couple of speakers Katy can be reached at: katytraveller@yahoo.com.

November 23rd in Montreal -Bobby Gregoire President of Slow Food Montreal will be publishing a letter to Quebec media on November 23rd to support the freedom of choice for consumers and they will be talking about the fight of Michael Schmidt.  He can be contacted at info@slowfoodmontreal.com.

November 23 in St. John Newfoundland – Carol-Ann Galego will be organizing an event in St. John’s NL at the Dynamis Health Centre.  She will be showing “The Milk Wars” and informing people about Cow Share Canada. Donations will be made to the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Contact info is Carol-Ann Galego at cagalego@gmail.com

November 13 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  The East Coast will be represented by Nova Scotia with both Shirley Sharfe, a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader and Michael Howell of Slow Food.  You can contact Shirley at glscharfe@eastlink.ca.  Michael has indicated that they are doing a screening of Milk Wars at the Slow Food Film Festival in Wolfville on November 13th at 1.  You can see the details at this link  http://slowmotionfilmfest.ca/milk-war/ Michael can be contacted at mhowellgtc@ns.sympatico.ca.  Shirley will be doing a short talk giving information about Michael and his situation.

Five years after the November 23rd armed raid of an organic raw dairy farm in Ontario, food freedom advocates across Canada are rallying to gain public support for legislative changes to allow limited distribution of safe, carefully produced raw dairy products.

“The glass of raw milk has become the symbol of the food rights movement,” said Michael Schmidt, the target of the 2006 pre-dawn raid involving nearly two dozen armed law enforcement officers. “Our message and our method is to bring down barriers in order to open dialogue,” Schmidt said in a speech at the Wise Traditions conference recently held in Dallas, Texas.

Schmidt recently ended a 37-day hunger strike when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty agreed to meet with him to begin a dialogue to change raw milk laws, which Schmidt and thousands of his supporters identify as limiting Canadians’ freedom of food choice.

Canada is the only G8 nation that bans the distribution of unpasteurized milk. Government health officials cite the low probability of possible contamination with pathogenic bacteria as justification.

However, in an analysis of US Center for Disease Control data, Dr. Ted Beals notes that there is an average of only 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk in the US, compared to an estimated 48 million food borne illness from all causes. In government actions against raw milk, over 90% result in no harmful pathogens found, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, a food-rights advocacy group.

Dr. Beals notes that US CDC data show that “3.04 percent of the population consumes raw milk, or about 9.4 million people.” Beals concludes that consumers are 35,000 times more likely to become ill from other food products than from the raw milk that they drink. With nearly 33,000 traffic fatalities in the US each year, a US raw milk drinker is about 780 times more likely to die in an accident on the way to pick up their milk than they are to be sickened from drinking it.

Raw dairy advocates cite multiple benefits of their food choice, such as supporting local agriculture and community-based initiatives, lower carbon emissions based on improved animal management practices such as grass feed instead of grain and greatly lower antibiotic use, and numerous health and nutritional benefits.

Government health officials generally downplay raw dairy health benefits, although recent peer-reviewed research at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute show that children who drink raw milk have a 41% lower risk of asthma and a 50% lower risk of allergies, compared to children who drank pasteurized milk, as reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Raw milk advocates assert their right to seek out food of their choice from local farmers, without government interference. In a recent editorial, the National Post agrees: “Ottawa has let the price of Canadian milk, cheese, eggs and chicken rise well above world prices… to appease powerful farmers whose incomes are guaranteed because their production levels are regulated by bureaucrats… it is more important than ever to dismantle this old protectionist model.”

Novemer 23rd rallies are being held in Victoria and Vancouver in BC, Toronto, Kemtville, and Ottawa in Ontario, Saskatoon and Regina in Saskatchewan, Montreal in Quebec, Wolfville in Nova Scotia, and St. John, Newfondland.

Media Contact is Ingrid Hamilton – 416-731-3034 and e-mail at gat@bellnet.ca.

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