Tag Archives: trade

WTO vs Country of Origin Labeling

From Rebekah Wilce, on PR Watch:

The WTO doesn’t want Americans to know where their food was grown or raised. Photo via PR Watch.

“The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling today against the U.S.country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. This popular pro-consumer policy, which informs shoppers where meat and other foods were raised or grown, enjoys the support of 93% of Americans, according to a 2010 Consumers Union poll. Now Congress must gut or change the law to avoid the application of punitive trade sanctions. Continue reading


Filed under News

National Post says it’s time to end Canada’s milk cartel — dairy supply management — or the quota system

Much ado about dairying. Art by Stephanie Metz

Those who read the writing on the wall, and take an interest in international trade agreements have known for some time that the end is nigh for dairy supply management in Canada. Not that raw milk makes a difference one way or another. Still many have long suspected that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (formerly the Milk Marketing Board) have used their lobbying clout and financial resources to attempt to block raw milk from gaining any traction in legislative circles. Continue reading


Filed under News

Farmers choose cotton over food crops

From William Neuman in the New York Times:

“SPEARMAN, Tex. — Tight supplies of corn, soybeans and wheat have sent prices skyrocketing in the last year, prompting worries of a looming global food crisis.

In other years, American farmers have responded to high prices by devoting more land to staple food crops.

But this spring, many farmers in southern states will be planting cotton in ground where they used to grow corn, soybeans or wheat — spurred on by cotton prices that have soared as clothing makers clamor for more and poor harvests crimp supply.

The result is an acreage war between rival commodities used to feed and clothe the world’s population.

“There’s a lot more money to be made in cotton right now,” said Ramon Vela, a farmer here in the Texas Panhandle, as he stood in a field where he grew wheat last year, its stubble now plowed under to make way for cotton. Around the first week of May, Mr. Vela, 37, will plant 1,100 acres of cotton, up from 210 acres a year ago. “The prices are the big thing,” he said. “That’s the driving force.” Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

The tyranny of government protection — why we don’t need more regulations

Helkie Ferrie, writing for Vitality magazine:

“There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted… If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life …”

~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Picture via Vitality website.

When the Egyptians informed their president recently that they were fed up with 32 years of government tyranny which had been justified as protection from harm, we all watched in amazement. Few of us realize, though, that in North America and Europe, we are heading for “tyranny light” as our governments determinedly proceed to ensure that we are protected in every which way except the way we want.

On January 6, Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians commented in the Globe & Mail: [Here is] “what you don’t know about a deal you haven’t heard of,” namely the impending Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Regulators gone wild — U.S. Pork Board takes legal action against Unicorn meat ad over “the new white meat” tagline

Excerpted from ThinkGeek.com:

Original promo for the product launched April 1st.

“Recently we got the best-ever cease and desist letter. We’re no stranger to the genre, so what could possibly make this one stand out from the rest? Continue reading


Filed under News

Is raw milk about “consensual crimes”?

Here’s a recent analysis from the “Show Me Daily” blog:

“The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently published an article that synthesizes the arguments for and against raw milk consumption.

It strikes me that the debate over the appropriateness of raw milk consumption is a natural application of the general principle in Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Society, by Peter McWilliams, which we recently read for the Show-Me Institute’s book club. His central idea is the following:

You should be allowed to do whatever you want with your own person and property, as long as you don’t physically harm the person or property of a nonconsenting other. Continue reading


Filed under News

Passion for raw milk spoken loud and clear by buying club fans in Boston

Here’s the latest news from Monday’s hearings about milk buying clubs and other raw milk concerns in Massachusetts, via David E. Gumpert, of the Complete Patient blog:

Fox News covered the milk-in at Boston commons which was held in conjunction with the MDAR hearing Monday morning. Click on the image to go to Fox News page to watch video of the proceedings

“Scott Soares, Massachusetts agriculture commissioner, left, after the hearing Monday. One after another–farmers, moms, dads, lawyers, buying club owners, a state rep, and a blind woman, some 49 in all–they testified this morning before the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Scott Soares. More likely would have spoken out, except the hearing room filled up with about 125 people, and another 60 or more couldn’t get in.

After threatening in a late-Friday press release that people wouldn’t be able to testify on his agency’s crackdown on raw milk buying clubs, Soares relented in the bright sunshine of a new day. He allowed the testimony, and in doing so, he opened a flood gate of emotional appeals, lasting three-and-a-half hours. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Why milk matters so much in food retail

Even David E. Gumpert of the Complete Patient blog is writing about Ontario’s decision to appeal the Michael Schmidt acquittal. Here’s an excerpt:

Connecticut entrepreneur Ed Hartz, with his two children and author David E. Gumpert's following David's talk at Rutgers University. Ed is starting a milk delivery service. Complete Patient blog photo.

“The news that Ontario’s food police are challenging the exoneration of raw dairy producer Michael Schmidt—in the face of a thoroughly researched and documented judicial opinion—raises the question of why these officials remain so obsessed about milk. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News

USDA tries to manipulate consensus using “Dephi technique” at first of 14 scheduled listening sessions on NAIS

Here’s a report by someone who took part in the recent Harrisburg Pennsylvania “listening session” held by the USDA in an attempt to build consensus around the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Videos below are for background on what NAIS is all about.

Purported Listening Session—First of 14

The first USDA National Animal Identification System purported listening session took place on May 14th, 2009 at the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.  It was scheduled during the busiest time of the year, in the middle of a rainy spring planting and birthing season, yet many took time out of their farming schedules, or took off from work to attend. 

Attendees came from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio,  New York, and one woman even flew in from Oregon to make sure their opposition was recorded.  There are very few of these purported listening sessions scheduled around the country, as of the beginning of the session only 7 had been scheduled and posted to the USDA site.  The torrential rains which hit us slowed down many of us, and prevented many others from being able to get through at all. 

The USDA personnel did not wear badges or name tags, yet attendees signing in were given a folder which included a name tag which said, “Hello, my name is….”  One person there felt that if the USDA  personnel were not ‘tagged’, then attendees didn’t need ‘tagging’ either.  It would very soon become apparent just who was who.  One little girl wrote “NONAIS” instead of her name, her older brother wrote “NOUSDA” on his name tag.  He handed it to one of the USDA employees sitting at the press table on his way out at the lunch break, and refused to return for the afternoon ‘breakout’ session.

Continue reading


Filed under News