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
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
From the Wall Street Journal:
“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
by Raoul Bedi, BASc
Dr.Vrain spoke about “The Future of Agriculture” at TED talks on May 23, 2013
Building on the theme of collaboration and synergy, in the work of food security, anti-GMO awareness and public education, through the examples of interviews (Vandana Shiva May 1, 2013), writings (Dr. Thierry Vrain’s May 23 GMO Dangers essay), podcasts, activism and rallies, I continue this process with a summary about the recent June 5 “Community Forum on GM Food” and lecture by retired GM Scientist Dr.Thierry Vrain in Surrey BC that was sponsored by Phil Harrison, the Council of Canadians ( www.canadians.org ) and others.
Emcee Phil Harrison and Dr.Thierry Vrain fielding questions from the audience (Photo by Raoul Bedi http://www.biofield.ca). Click image for more photos from Surrey GMO forum.
Apart from disseminating the information shared with the audience by Dr. Vrain, it is also useful to provide some background on the organizational and activist elements involved, so that towns and regions across Canada may more easily and quickly replicate and build upon this work. Continue reading
From the Canadian raw milk consumer advocacy group:
Dairy is the lowest risk of all these food categories.
“The unfortunate truth is that, no matter what we eat, all food has some inherent risk. The question is of course, comparative risk. At a conservative estimate, there are at least 10 million raw milk drinkers in the United States (no similar survey was done for Canada), based on a 2006 consumer survey (this estimate does not even take into consideration any increase over the last 7 years, and we all know that consumer demand has vastly increased). But for these 10 million raw milk drinkers, we do not see thousands or millions of them dying each year. In fact, there have been two raw milk related deaths since 1997, and at least one of these two was actually linked to illegal raw queso fresco cheese….’ Continue reading
From Kiera Butler, on Mother Jones:
“Over the past year, I’ve been involved in an illegal, underground, super-secret speakeasy. I smuggled contraband to my house, even distributed it among my friends. Nope, not meth: milk. Creamy, delicious, unpasteurized milk.
When I first tried raw milk, I found the taste odd, but soon I came to crave its distinctive flavor. Better yet, I was told it could cure my allergies and eczema. “People see amazing results when they give this stuff to their kids—they have ear infections and asthma and allergies, and with raw milk it goes away,” says Mark McAfee, CEO of Fresno, California-based Organic Pastures, the nation’s largest raw-milk dairy. McAfee pointed me to a peer-reviewed study suggesting a link between raw-milk consumption and diminished allergy rates—as the theory goes, raw milk contains proteins and compounds that somehow keep the immune system from overreacting to allergens. Continue reading
From Chris Kresser, on his blog “Medicine for the 21st Century”:
“Back in February, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study targeting raw milk as dangerous and unsafe for human consumption. The media jumped on it in typical fashion. You may have seen headlines like this:
“Raw Milk Causes Most Illnesses From Dairy, Study Finds.”
– USA Today
“CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness.”
– Food Safety News
“Raw Milk is a Raw Deal, CDC Says.”
While two of these headlines are technically accurate – raw milk is responsible for more illnesses than pasteurized milk when the number of people who consume each is taken into account – the concern they convey about the risk of drinking unpasteurized milk is dramatically overstated. Continue reading
By Jodie Jackson, via Three Wheeled Cheese:
“Eric and Joanna Reuter believe a state and local health department bias against raw dairy products is partly to blame for those agencies initially linking raw dairy to an E. coli outbreak.
The couple, owners of Chert Hollow Farm in northern Boone County, said health departments have rushed to judgment in the past, and they cite examples of small farms forced to go out of business or destroy large volumes of food as a result of “health scares.”
“There’s no mechanism for fighting back,” Eric Reuter said. Small farms stand to lose sales and their reputations because of “raw milk paranoia,” he said, but that’s not the case for health departments. Continue reading
From Karen Selick, on the Digital National Post:
Michael Schmidt with lawyer Karen Selick at a Queen's Park news conference in Feb. 2010
“Raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt finally got to meet with Ontario Premier Dalton Mcguinty last month after a 37-day hunger strike. But the Premier told him the government had no plans to change the law to legalize raw milk sales, and that it would rely on the best advice of medical experts.
But what is the best advice of medical experts? Perhaps the better question is what is it today — as anyone who closely follows medical news knows, what’s considered healthy one week is often feared, or dismissed, the next. Forty years ago, for example, women were told to perform a self-exam every month to check for breast cancer. Last month, experts retracted that advice: Breast self-exams “have no benefit and should not be used.” Continue reading