Monthly Archives: June 2012

Crackdown on raw meat dishes

From CBC news:

“At least one Windsor chef plans to protest the local health unit’s crackdown on raw meat dishes.

Rino Bortolin will serve raw meat dishes lamb tartare and lamb Carpaccio this Canada Day weekend.

“Until an inspector tells me to stop, I’ll keep serving it. And if they tell me to stop, I will probably still do it,” Bortolin said. Continue reading


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Good cop, bad cop games in Maine

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“The  good-cop-bad-cop routine is one of the oldest in law enforcement. Talk  with me, goes the advice to the criminal suspect from the nice-guy cop, or I’ll  send in our junk yard dog, and you don’t want to deal with him. Lord knows what he’ll do to get you to cough up the real story, and he’ll make sure  you get a long jail sentence to boot.

Regulators  from the Maine Department of Agriculture have been playing the  good-cop-bad-cop game with proponents of Food Sovereignty, in an effort  to convince them to back off from their fight on behalf of Dan Brown,  the farmer who has been sued in a test case over whether the Food  Sovereignty ordinances passed by eight Maine towns (including his town  of Blue Hill)  are legal. At the same time, the Maine regulators work closely with the federal regulators and, as I suggested in Part 1 of this series, have even indicated a preference for the federal hard line on food rights over their own governor’s inclination toward compromise.  Continue reading

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Vernon Herschberger to face jury trial over raw milk related charges

From the Reedsburg Times-Press:

“BARABOO — The legal arguments of an Amish dairy farmer representing himself in a criminal case miss the mark, according to a Sauk County judge.

“The defendant fails to develop any argument that makes sense,” Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy Reynolds stated in a decision filed Friday.

Grazin’ Acres farm owner Vernon Hershberger of Loganville filed a motion to dismiss the case. In the motion, he cited provisions in the federal and state constitutions, as well as biblical verses. Reynolds denied the motion. Continue reading

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Cosmetic use of milk goes way back

From Hella Delicious:

Image: Rare mosaic etching by IREL. Click for details

“…Cleopatra is renowned for being an incredibly beautiful woman, many people put this down to her habit of bathing in fermented mares’ milk and modern research has discovered the benefits of lactic acid on cleansing skin and smoothing wrinkles. One thing that is not generally stressed when mentioning Cleopatra is that she was also a brilliant strategist on many levels. Continue reading

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Dissembling on Canadian food safety?

From Jim Romahn, on Agri 007:

“Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz misled the Senate when he was introducing a bill to update food inspection and safety earlier this year.

He said several times that Canada compares favourably with other countries and at one point said we consistently get an A+ rating.

Our most important trading partner, the United States, doesn’t use ratings, let alone handing out A+s.

I don’t have all of the other nations’ audit reports of Canada at my disposal, but I do have the audits done by the United States. Canada frankly rates poorly, judging by comments about critical deficiencies that need attention. Continue reading

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Food Safety a growing concern in China

From Mark McDonald in the New York Times:

“HONG KONG — There’s mercury in the baby formula. Cabbages are sprayed with formaldehyde. Gelatin capsules for pills, tens of millions of them, are laced with chromium. Used cooking oil is scooped out of gutters for recycling, right along with the sewage.

Accounts of dubious or unsafe food in China are as mesmerizing as they are disturbing — “artificial green peas,” grilled kebabs made from cat meat, contaminated chives, chlorine showing up in soft drinks.

There have been stories of imitation soy sauce made from hair clippings, ink and paraffin being used to dress up cheap noodles, and pork buns so loaded with bacteria that they glow in the dark. Continue reading


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Summer Solstice / St. John’s day celebrations at Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms on June 23rd

From farmer Michael Schmidt:

Michael Schmidt and these homeschoolers were among the celebrants at Saturday’s fire.

Year after year we celebrate solstice with a huge St. Johns fire, built from brush and trees and scrap wood collected over the las 12 months.

It is part of a ongoing effort to reconnect to the seasons festivals in harmony with the whole year. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt’s seeking dialog with CFIA over the Shropshire sheep killings

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

CFIA investigators into the mysterious “Shropshire affair”, David Eagelson and Roger Weber at Michael Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms. Photo courtesy of Michael Schmidt.

“Over nearly two decades of fighting for the right to access raw milk, Michael Schmidt has become legendary for his persistent promotion of dialog with reluctant regulators and politicians. He went on a hunger strike last fall that he ended after five weeks when his demand for a personal dialog with Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty, was granted.

In recent days, he has undertaken a new, even more sensitive, dialog challenge. He is seeking to turn  an aggressive investigation into scrapie among a herd of rare Shropshire sheep into an opportunity for dialog designed to re-examine how farm animal illness is handled and how rare genetic strains might be protected.   Continue reading


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Ontario sheep tested negative for scrapie after being killed by CFIA

From the Manitoba Co-operator:

“Over two dozen sheep that vanished from a scrapie-quarantined eastern Ontario farm for about two months have all tested negative for the brain-wasting disease.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Thursday confirmed it had recovered, euthanized and tested 26 of the 31 adult sheep that went missing in early April from Linda Montana Jones’ quarantined farm at Hastings, Ont., east of Peterborough.

A CFIA spokesperson confirmed by email last week that 11 lambs born to those sheep during their absence were also found to be susceptible to scrapie and were euthanized for further scrapie testing. Results of those tests were not released Thursday. Continue reading


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The Trans Pacific Partnership and the end of dairy supply management

From Martha Hall Findlay, in the Globe and Mail:

“Despite a professed commitment to free trade, Canada has retained a staunchly protectionist supply management regime in several agricultural sectors, notably the dairy industry. It harms our trade options. Domestically, it also costs consumers far too much.

Dairy farms are governed by a byzantine system that prices milk based on intended usage, locks out most foreign products with exorbitantly high tariffs and even determines how much farmers can produce. Everyone suffers. First in the line of people harmed by supply management are consumers – Canadians are forced to pay two to three times as much for whole milk as Americans. Continue reading


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