Tag Archives: regulations

Not only does he drink, he also smokes

The latest from that Michael Schmidt:

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The State of Raw Milk in Illinois

From the Midlife Farm Wife blog:

The wheels of raw milk move slowly in Illinois. Photo via Midlife Farmwife blog.

“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

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CFIA’s mighty enforcement powers

A past president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides an overview of the agency’s remarkable powers. 

From Ronald Doerring, on “Food Law”:

“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

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How food safety regulations do not necessarily lead to greater food safety

From Baylen Linnekin, on Reason.com:

“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

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Food poisoning lawyer Bill Marler raises his own chickens, and shares the eggs with his neighbour . . . and why not?

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

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Raw milk: Wisconsin v. Herschberger

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

“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

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Security theatre in the Canadian courts

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

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