The problem of widespread and indiscriminate use of small doses of antibiotics in animal feed is widely regarded as leading to the development of antibiotic resistant disease strains such as MSRA. Nicholas Kristof has has written about this in the New York Times years ago (here and here). And the problem has been widely discussed in the alternative media as well. What’s new in this story by Jane Black is a report on how the Dutch government is actually doing something to improve the situation. And if they can do it why couldn’t we?
From Jane Black, on Prevention.com
Photograph by Stuart Freedman (via Prevention)
“It’s the stench, a pungent mix of ammonia and wet earth, that gives it away. This neat row of brick buildings in the Dutch village of Bergeijk is a massive chicken farm. Inside the six barns are 175,000 birds, hidden from the neighbors’ view and without any access to the outdoors or even natural light. To see them, visitors must slip into sterile blue jumpsuits and plastic booties, a low-tech but effective type of biosecurity that stops people from sneaking in any dangerous bacteria—or taking anything out. Continue reading
Ontario farmer and raw milk advocate, Michael Schmidt, with one of his supporters, following a court case in 2011.
We don’t see a lot of this out there, but here’s an apparently independent blogger, who doesn’t appear to be a cowshare member, or all that closely connected or impacted by the case, expressing concern for the fundamental issues at stake in the Michael Schmidt raw milk saga, which so far has mostly been about how Michael has been prosecuted in the absence of any damage, and how his case has gotten an inordinate amount of regulatory attention, given what else is happening in the world these days. From Sofa King Next Level:
“Michael Schmidt is an Ontario farmer who was targeted in 2006 by the Province of Ontario (through the Grey-Bruce Health Unit and the Ministry of Natural Resources) for making unpasteurized milk available to his small buying group of customers who owned shares in his milking herd. We are talking less than 150 customers over a number of years, and less than 30 cows. When the judgement for this case came down in 2010, Michael Schmidt was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges. This should have been the end of the story. Continue reading
For all we know, this sort of thing goes on all the time. But it’s not often stories like this break out into the media:
From Jason Louv, on Ultraculture.org:
“Tyrone Hayes, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, was hired by agribusiness giant Syngenta to study the herbicide atrazine, which is used on half the corn crops in the US, as well as Christmas tree farms and golf courses. What Hayes found was exactly what Syngenta didn’t want to hear: in studying atrazine’s effects on frogs, he discovered that the pesticide has a disruptive effect on the endocrine system.
Ready for this? According to Hayes, it apparently interferes with male development, causes males to switch gender to female and develop ovaries and eggs, drops testosterone production, “chemically castrates” male frogs and later leads to development of homosexual behavior as the gender-altered frogs begin to prefer same-sex mating. Continue reading
Lawyer Derek From and farmer Michael Schmidt hold a news conference on the steps of Osgoode Hall in Toronto February 5th. The results of the appeal are not expected to be announced soon.
Farmer and activist Michael Schmidt has more than one legal controversy on the go. A couple of weeks ago Michael was in the news for taking Ontario raw milk case to Ontario’s highest court. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
Former Maine Farmer Dan Brown, interviewed by television reporter. Photo via The Complete Patient blog.
“Lawyers for Maine farmer Dan Brown say a judge who issued an injunction last April barring him from selling raw milk “completely overlooked” that he would have had to spend $62,500 to comply with regulations to obtain a state permit for his one-cow dairy.
As a result, “The injunction has put Mr. Brown’s farm out of business,” according to a brief filed on behalf of Brown by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund to appeal the decision by Superior Court Judge Ann Murray. In addition, Brown was assessed $1,132 in fines and court costs. Continue reading
From Richard Chomko, via FB:
Likely thanks to the Fukushima disaster, background radiation levels have about quadrupled here in Vaughan. Geiger counter readings fluctuated, spiking up to .42 micro sieverts per hour. Here the meter shows .16. Pre-Fukushima levels were reported to be about .04. This was on Jan. 11, 2014.
The author reports that this was on a day it was snowing fairly heavily. Suspicion is that precipitation brings the radioactive particles down out of the atmosphere.
The Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph will be hosting a one-day symposium on science and policy questions around raw milk on Tuesday April 22, 2014. Academics, industry and government representatives are expected to attend.
According to the event web page: “The goal of the conference will be to engage in discussions on the need for a structured and transparent process, to ensure that scientific research and knowledge are used to enable effective policy decisions. We are engaging a wide spectrum of global experts, who will use current policies relating to raw and pasteurized milk as the exploratory case study.”
Among the nine presenters will be Durham area farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt. Here’s Michael’s bio from the presenter page: Continue reading
Michael Schmidt talks to a CBC news reporter on the steps of Osgoode Hall Wednesday.
According to Michael Schmidt’s first lawyer, Clayton Ruby, this case will be won or lost in the court of public opinion. And that’s why the news media coverage is significant. Because coverage in the press helps spread public awareness of the issue. Regardless of the slant of the stories, questions are being raised in the minds of thinking people across the country. By the way, that count of 43 is as of Saturday, Feb. 8th, according to Google’s news aggregator. Here are 25 examples from that list: Continue reading
The Bovine reports:
Snow falls as farmer Michael Schmidt and Canadian Constitution Foundation lawyer Derek James From answer reporters’ questions on the steps of Osgoode Hall, during a lunch break Wednesday.
More than 100 raw milk supporters from across the province made the trek through stormy weather to Toronto’s Osgoode Hall to hear the third-round appeal in Michael Schmidt’s raw milk saga last Wednesday Feb. 5th. Continue reading