“A new study by scientist Judy Carman, PhD. that was just published in the peer reviewed journal Organic Systems on the effects of a (now normal) diet of mixed GMO feeds for pigs causes some disturbing health problems, particularly regarding the digestive and reproductive systems and a likely strong involvement of the endocrine system. Continue reading →
The prosecutorial crackdown on raw milk in both Canada and the United States doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s part of a larger political context. For example, it’s sometime jarring to see echoes of raw milk trials in reports of such high profile cases as that of Bradley Manning, who is charged in connection with the release of sensitive material to Wikileaks. Reading Chris Hedges account of the legal maneuvering that went into setting the stage for Mannings trial triggered flashbacks of what went down for Vernon Herschberger in Wisconsin recently. Here’s a snippet of Manning’s story, from Truthdig.com:
“FORT MEADE, Md.—The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Continue reading →
Dr. Thierry Vrain visited Surrey, BC on June 5 to address the general public at the Northwood United Church. He made an hour long speech accompanied by a powerpoint presentation projected on a large screen behind him. Thierry, in his soft and patient manner, untangles the long story of how GMOs came to interest farmers on the promise of lowering labour for weed and pest control efforts, by replacing it with easily available and applicable pesticides, and also by using specialized genetically engineered crops that are either tolerant to specific pesticide/herbicides or produce toxins themselves, that would kill the pests without the need for additional pesticide. That, initially, worked like magic, and saved a lot of labour for the farmers. But, the gain proved to be short lived, while the damage and danger, turned out to be rather ominous for the health of people as well as the sustainability of a biologically diverse ecology. Continue reading →
““Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.“– Hippocrates
In my wayward vegetarian days, before finding Weston A. Price and eventually Paleo, I ate my fair share of faux food: soy ground beef crumbles, egg substitutes made from tofu, heart-healthy margarine, and my favorite, seitan (pure wheat gluten). For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, check out this 30 second “public service announcement” from Ron Swanson of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
Most of us recognize the foods listed above as imitations, but what about locally purchased vegetables, eggs, and grass-fed meats? Clearly these whole foods are leaps and bounds ahead of the imposters, but do they contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals as nature intended? The answer, to a great extent, depends on the care and stewardship of the soil in which they were grown. Continue reading →
It is healthy that we are seeing some vigorous conversation about raw milk safety this week. In an earlier post, I responded to some inaccurate depictions of my work on this front. The discussion continues across social media, with the twitterverse circulating a position paper to reproduce some of the raw milk science myths which I debunked in my recent presentation to the BC Centre for Disease Control here in Canada. That position paper gives some historical context for pasteurization, cites some accurate evidence, and describes one family’s story of raw milk induced illness; it also makes some important errors. While one is entitled to express an opinion online, it is important to differentiate what is scientific evidence.
Of course it is terribly unfortunate that a beautiful young child would and did become severely ill from consuming unpasteurized milk contaminated with E. coli 0157 as the paper’s author reports; and I feel certain that raw milk producers and consumers would agree that it is regrettable. One would certainly wish Ms. McGonigle-Martin, her son Chris, and their entire family well; and wish to do the utmost to prevent any such future occurrence. These stories are absolutely worth telling, to honour the family’s experience. Continue reading →
Durham area raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt and his four year old son William at his Durham area farm on Friday September 30, 2011. James Masters\The Sun Times
DURHAM – Local raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt’s appeal of a British Columbia judge’s contempt of court finding against him is based what he views as the lack of proof anyone drank his milk and lack of clarity of the court order he was found to have breached, he said Tuesday in an interview.
Schmidt said he restructured a Chilliwack, B.C. dairy farm to produce cosmetics to comply with an injunction which ordered him and others not to package and distribute unpasteurized milk for human consumption.
But Superior Court Justice Randall Wong called the cosmetics claim a “ruse” and found Schmidt and farm owner Gordon Watson in contempt of the court by violating the injunction. Continue reading →
Michael Schmidt raises a glass of raw milk in a toast to his supporters at a raw milk rally outside the Grey Bruce Health Unit in Owen Sound in October 2011. Photo via Owen Sound Sun Times.
“Local raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt is appealing a British Columbia Supreme Court judge’s finding of contempt against him for violating an injunction to stop the distribution of raw milk for human consumption under the “ruse” of saying his raw milk was a cosmetic.
Justice Randall Wong, in a June 5 written decision, found Schmidt and B.C. farm owner Gordon Watson in contempt of the court’s March 18, 2010 injunction after the Fraser Health Authority filed a petition calling for a finding of contempt and special costs. Continue reading →
The recent Wall Street Journal story quoting the findings of Canadian researcher Nadine Ijaz to the effect that, contrary to current regulator attitudes, raw milk is in fact an inherently low risk food, has prompted some backlash, notably on Doug Powell’s Barblog:
Doug Powell’s Barfblog logo, David E. Gumpert, Nadine Ijaz
“The scientific fringe craves the credibility – the impateur — of the scientific mainstream. It fuels conspiracy theories, drains public health resources, and unnecessarily worries a lot of folks; it’s a recycled tactic often used in the politics of genetically engineered food, water fluoridation, and so on. Mainstream science can be wrong; but it’s better than astrology….” and so forth.
To reply to this critique about the science supporting the “raw milk is a low risk food” thesis, David E. Gumpert and Nadine Ijaz have each independently spoken to the issue in a new post on The Complete Patient blog:
David: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had no hesitancy about spending taxpayer dollars to promote its viewpoint that raw milk is a mortal danger. A couple years back, I called the FDA on its practice, after it spent nearly $2,500 with a press release service to put out single warning on a slow-news weekend about possible illnesses at a private food club from raw milk, long after any possible threat had passed. Continue reading →
“Washington DC, June 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Three quantitative microbial risk assessments (QMRAs) recently published in the Journal of Food Protection have demonstrated that unpasteurized milk is a low-risk food, contrary to previous, inappropriately-evidenced claims suggesting a high-risk profile. These scholarly papers, along with dozens of others, were reviewed on May 16, 2013 at the Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, BC (Canada), during a special scientific Grand Rounds presentation entitled “Unpasteurized milk: myths and evidence.”
The reviewer, Nadine Ijaz, MSc, demonstrated how inappropriate evidence has long been mistakenly used to affirm the “myth” that raw milk is a high-risk food, as it was in the 1930s. Today, green leafy vegetables are the most frequent cause of food-borne illness in the United States. British Columbia CDC’s Medical Director of Environmental Health Services, Dr. Tom Kosatsky, who is also Scientific Director of Canada’s National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health,welcomed Ms. Ijaz’s invited presentation as “up-to-date” and “a very good example of knowledge synthesis and risk communication.” Continue reading →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)