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 →
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 →
“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 →
“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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)