The latest from that Michael Schmidt:
The latest from that Michael Schmidt:
“Last week , September 10, our group of pro-raw milk individuals, made up of farmers and consumers, met again with representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health. It was our 4th mtg with them. We entered the meeting in good spirits, I mean after all at the last two meetings we had made real progress…didn’t we? Continue reading
A past president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides an overview of the agency’s remarkable powers.
“A Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspector stopped at a farm and talked with the old farmer: “I’m here to inspect your farm.” The old farmer replied, “You better not go in that field.”
The CFIA inspector replied in a solemn tone, “You don’t seem to understand. I have the authority of the federal government with me.
See this CFIA card? I am allowed to go wherever I wish anywhere in Canada if I’m conducting an investigation.” Continue reading
“Nearly 18 months after passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a landmark piece of legislation that granted new powers and authority to the FDA, the legislation is still mired in congressional debates over how to fund it. If this status update sounds familliar, it’s with good reason. The FSMA found itself in a similar place six months ago and a year ago.
As FSMA implementation treads water, my own latest piece of research on the subject has just been published by the Northeastern University Law Journal. It’s based on a talk I gave as a panelist at the journal’s 2011 food-law conference—held just weeks after the FSMA became law.
In my article, “The Food-Safety Fallacy: More Regulation Doesn’t Necessarily Make Food Safer,” I use ancient and more recent historical examples of flawed rules to rebut the common misconception that more food-safety regulation means safer food. Rather, history shows us that food-safety regulations have often made food (and, consequently, people) less safe. Continue reading
From his unique vantage point as a prosecutor of food poisoning cases, Bill Marler has a greater than normal awareness of deficiencies in the American industrial food system. So it’s really no big surprise that he chooses to raise a few chickens so he can get his eggs direct from his own hens, rather than going through the industrial food system.
But even the few hens he has produce more than his own family can use. So he shares them with his neighbour. This is such ground level common sense stuff that people didn’t used to have to think twice about it. In fact it’s a commentary on how far we’ve come collectively, away from our roots, that such arrangements are now considered noteworthy.
Sadly though, the regulatory mindset seems stuck in the fantasies of the late 20th century, in which it was thought that the green revolution of factory farming would feed the world and we could all happily vege out in front of our televisions after coming home from a day at the office. Folks who live in more urban or less pemissive municipalities than Bill Marler would be getting themselves into a load of trouble doing what he’s doing. Continue reading
“The video below seems almost mundane in its discussion about dairy rules and regulations. But it’s what is not said that is most important here.
Ostensibly, Jackie Owens was at the farm last Thursday to carry out an inspection. Part of her regulatory duty, since her Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is responsible for overseeing farms of all sorts, as she politely explained. And just as politely, the farm’s owner, Verson Hershberger, declined her request for the inspection.
But Vernon Hershberger’s farm not just any ordinary farm. His farm’s milk and other produce are available only to the 100-plus members of his food club. Continue reading
By Karen Selick, from The National Post, where it was titled “Your Honour what’s with the bulletproof glass”:
I happened to catch a few moments of Sun News TV the day that the Kingston, Ont., courthouse was shut down due to a bomb threat during the Shafia trial. The reporter was marvelling over the low level of security he had observed at that courthouse up until then. There were no metal detectors at the doors, no police officers “wanding” him as he entered, etc.
He must have been from Toronto. He didn’t realize that the absence of metal detectors is normal out here in small-town eastern Ontario.
But even peaceful little courthouses like Belleville’s — where I began practising in 1985 — have been moving gradually to greater security. When I started, the Belleville court staff waited on people over an open counter. Lawyers could slip behind the counter to use the court’s phone or photocopier, in a pinch. There was never a police officer in the courthouse unless one of the lawyers involved in a contentious case requested one in advance. Continue reading
“Buying local continues to be a leading food trend in the California, and many small farmers are expanding the ways they sell produce locally. The Bay Area has a growing number of farmers’ markets and many Community Supported Agriculture programs. CSAs allow communities to invest in local farms and receive weekly produce baskets in return.
While local produce growers are flourishing in California, small dairy operations are being threatened.
Doniga Markegard is a family farmer and strong advocate for local food sources in San Mateo County. She has a program similar to a CSA but instead of produce, she sells shares in her grass-fed cattle and cows. In exchange, herd share participants get meat or raw milk from the animals. Continue reading
“There are any number of reasons why the negotiations over herdshares taking place in California—between owners of small dairies and the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture– over the last few months should not work.
Many tiny dairies dispensing raw goat’s or cow’s milk through such operations feel as a matter of principle that they shouldn’t have to negotiate a right that is already theirs—the right to contract with neighbors and friends for milk and other dairy and food products.
Even if they aren’t so principled, many shy away from making their presence known to the CDFA. They figure that no matter what comes out of these discussions—even the least onerous regulatory structure—they’d rather not be on any more government agency lists than are necessary. Assuming the CDFA never gives them trouble, who knows what other authorities the agency may send their way. Continue reading
Polish raw milk vending machine manufacturer Konrad Pszowski came to our attention through comments he posted on the Bovine. We thought, as a maker of raw milk automats, he could fill us in a little on the under-reported raw milk scene in Europe. So we contacted him. He wrote back, and we sent him some questions. And now we are pleased to present his answers in the form of this exclusive interview:
The Bovine: When I was in Poland in 2007, one could drive along the highway from Warsaw to Bialystock and see people milking cows into buckets out in the field. Also one would sometimes pass horse-drawn hay wagons on the smaller roads. Is there a strong feeling among Poles that smalll farming is something that should be encouraged, that it’s here to stay and not on the way out like it is in so many other parts of the world? Continue reading