The story of Mark Baker and his supposedly feral pigs has been in the news for a while (See links at bottom). Now finally, the state has conceded. They’ve given up their attempt to force Mr. Baker to stop farming his non-standard breed of pigs. Meanwhile, the weird “law” which he was fighting supposedly remains on the books as applying to other farmers. And yet, how can Baker’s case not be precedent setting? David Gumpert spells it all out for us:
From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“The state of Michigan angrily gave in to farmer Mark Baker, telling a state judge that the farmer can continue to raise his hybrid pigs clearly forbidden by the state’s contentious Invasive Species Order. What’s unclear is how the state’s move affects other farmers.
The state made its move in a desperate effort to avoid a trial, scheduled to begin March 11, that was based on a suit brought by Baker to force clarification of the ISO and its broad prohibition of pretty much all pigs that aren’t raised by corporate producers. Continue reading
by David Michael, BSc, MSc, PEng
Should these pigs be killed just because they look different. Michigan seems to think so.
“On this Independence Day we should be celebrating freedom and thankful for those who died, were injured and served in the military over the decades to keep the freedom we have. This is the thanks this 20-year military veteran has received from the Michigan state government and this is an example of those freedoms being lost.
Late last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) demanded the payment of $700,000 from a small farm family of ten and the destruction of 70 of their pigs at Baker’s Green Acres, operated by Mark and Jill Baker and their eight children. This action followed Mark Baker’s comments during testimony opposing a new rule at a state congressional hearing where he identified himself as owner of three hogs deemed illegal (because of their looks). Continue reading
From Fritz Kreiss, on Occupy Monsanto:
Photos of pigs’ stomachs from the study.
“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
From Heather Callaghan at the Activist Post:
““Our farm is basically embargoed. We can raise all the pigs we want, but can not move them out to our market. That cuts off cash flow, effectively starving the farm financially and the pigs practically.”
Bakers Green Acres made the news last spring as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) went on a mission to eradicate heritage pigs, calling them a feral invasive species. This move would wipe out the entire small-scale farm whose animals pose no threat to typical hog species. New blockages from multiple government agencies are making it impossible to run the farm. Continue reading
From Ocean Robbins, on Common Dreams:
“In one of history’s most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms. As an immediate result, 34,000 mother pigs will no longer be kept in stalls for long periods of their lives, and 350,000 hens will be freed from cages.Screen shot from video below Continue reading
From the Alliance for Natural Health:
“Allowing only one color of pig (or cow, corn, wheat, tomato, etc.) is a very bad idea. You can help. Action alert!
As we reported in April, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued an Invasive Species Order, or ISO, that was supposed to “help stop the spread of feral swine and the disease risk they pose,” not to mention their “potential for extensive agricultural and ecosystem damage.”
Quite intentionally, we believe, the ISO’s unnecessarily broad definition includes heritage or “old world” breeds and open-range pigs raised on small family farms. These are included because they do not have the uniform color and appearance of factory-raised pigs. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
“…Big Ag’s Michigan Pork Producers Association similarly denies it is trying to stamp out small producers:
“Since the DNR began enforcement, opponents of the ISO have stepped up their efforts and rhetoric by embarking on a vicious misinformation campaign alleging that MPPA and ‘Big Ag’ have conspired with the DNR to put small, niche pork producers raising hogs outdoors out of business. We cannot stress enough that this is utter nonsense and absolutely untrue. Neither MPPA nor the DNR have any interest in deterring niche producers from continuing to operate as usual, unless the producer is using the breeds or types of hogs prohibited by the ISO, or crossing those prohibited breeds with domestic breeds to circumvent the ISO.” Continue reading
From Health Ranger Mike Adams, at Natural News.com
Click image to go to page where you can watch the video.
“(NaturalNews) NaturalNews can now confirm that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has, in total violation of the Fourth Amendment, conducted two armed raids on pig farmers in that state, one in Kalkaska County at Fife Lake and another in Cheboygan County. Staging raids involving six vehicles and ten armed men, DNA conducted unconstitutional, illegal and arguably criminal armed raids on these two farms with the intent of shooting all the farmers’ pigs under a bizarre new “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) that has suddenly declared traditional livestock to be an invasive species….” Continue reading
As in test marketing of the one variety fits all, or imposing monoculture on the entire ag sector. From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:
“…Obviously, the state and Big Ag’s Michigan Pork Producers Association don’t like small farms raising nutrient-dense food. But why? Because these outfits want total control of the market, in particular, control of the sources of supply. Here are three ways they seek to gain control:
1. They try, in this case, to limit the specie options. In the dairy arena, they try to eliminate an entire category of food (raw milk, and products made from raw milk). Of course, it’s the species diversity and the raw milk that growing numbers of consumers truly want, and are willing to pay extra for. To anyone who says the MI Pork Producers Association is trying to limit competition, the organization will reply that, no, any farmer can produce the one or two species that are still allowed. But, of course, small farms that are limited to producing the same breeds as the big producers have no way to set themselves apart, and are forced to become part of the commodity economy. You want American Species Pork at $3 a pound or $6 a pound? If pork-is-pork-is-pork, then you’ll insist on it at $3 a pound. Continue reading
Canadian farmer Montana Jones with one of her rare Shropshire sheep which the CFIA wants to kill.
You’ve no doubt read the stories in recent days about how Michigan’s Natural Resources Department has mysteriously concluded that most if not all of the free range (non CAFO) pigs in the state are an “invasive species” and therefore need to be shot, killed and disposed of. Meanwhile the Michigan Pork Producers are endorsing the move, as the competition to their CAFO-raised pork is about to be eliminated.
Perhaps they’re tired of hearing about how more people prefer meat that’s raised the old fashioned local and organic way. But when all the other options are conveniently gone, people are just going to have to settle for what they can get and shut up about it.
No doubt you’re thinking that this is some sort of abuse of government power by private interests that’s going on down in the states. And maybe you’d be right about that. But we may have our own peculiar problems with regulatory overreach up here in Canada as well. Remember the story from December 2011 about Montana Jones’ herd of Shropshire sheep that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was proposing to kill, and for what seemed like no good reason. Continue reading