From the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
“This June the trial of Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and three other farmers for obstructing a police officer will resume. The charge stems from a 2015 raid of Schmidt’s Glencolton Farms where members of a food cooperative obtaining raw milk products and other foods from Schmidt stopped police from confiscating those foods.
The province of Ontario and local government authorities have been prosecuting Schmidt since 1994 for distributing raw milk, spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in the process. The sale and distribution of raw milk have remained illegal throughout this entire time in all Canadian provinces. It’s interesting to contrast the provinces’ refusal to change laws on raw milk sales with legal developments in the U.S. over the past 23 years.
While provincial and local governments have been wasting millions of dollars since 1994 in prosecuting Schmidt, 16 states in the U.S. have either legalized the sale and/or distribution of raw milk or increased access to it through changes in statute, regulation, or policy. The states are Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Continue reading
“Colorado made history in November 2012 when voters passed Amendment 64, making it one of the first two states to approve legal regulation for the cultivation, sale and use of medical and recreational marijuana to adults aged 21 and over. Since the amendment went into effect on January 1 of this year, the Centennial State has become a proving ground demonstrating the positive impact of regulation over prohibition.
Despite the warnings and hysteria from opponents to legalization, Colorado hasn’t descended into lawlessness and disorder. In fact, many conditions seem to be improving in the state, with crime rates down and a sound economy to boot. Continue reading
From the Midlife Farm Wife (from April 28, 2014):
If a cow grazes in a field and no regulator watches, does she still give milk? Photo from the Midlife Farm Wife.
“Illinois Farm Bureau recently posted on their web site their view of the current raw milk battle in Illinois and although I do appreciate their moderate transparency , I certainly do not appreciate their very wishy washy stance, but I have never been a big fan of wishy washy in any arena.
Either you support small farmers or you support Big Ag and Big Government. The article states “We support their right to choose, provided the dairy farmers that are producing this food product are subject to some oversight, and the milk is picked up at the farm in the consumer’s container.”
Interesting how IFB “supports” the consumers right to choose. Since when do Americans need any organizations support to make our own choices? And the reference to some oversight is a blatant lie. The oversight has mushroomed from one small page to several pages of rules and regulations that if passed will be extremely detrimental to small raw milk farmers and consumers alike.
And why must the milk only be picked up at the farm? Several members of the dairy work group specifically stated they would be willing to endure more testing, and inspecting to ensure a safe product, if allowed to sell at farmers markets retail settings. But they were ignored and IDPH flipped over on them taking those (still proposed) additional testing and inspecting requirements and applying them to ALL raw milk producers, even those with JUST ONE COW OR GOAT!
Jim Fraley, author of the recent article has visited our farm and drank our raw milk. He has sat across from us as we all attempted to work together on the ill-conceived Dairy Work Group Committee created, controlled and disbanded (before any real consensus was reached) by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in 2013.
He verbally supported the raw milk farmers and consumers who served on this committee and in fact when the group often came to a standstill where common ground seemed unobtainable, it was Jim who stood in front of both sides and pulled us towards goals we felt we all could live with. Keith and I felt like he was really hearing small raw milk farmers, and that he was well representing our concerns to the group HE worked for, The Illinois Farm Bureau.
But then when the general assembly was hearing the ill-gotten House Bill 4036 amendment #1 just last month, where Representative Burke was asking that all raw milk sales be made illegal in Illinois, Jim Fraley stopped taking our calls….”
Read more on Midlife Farm Wife.
Note: It’s been a couple weeks since this story was originally posted.
From Michele Simon on Civil Eats:
“With the disappointing results now in from I-522, the initiative in Washington State that would have required labeling of genetically-engineered food (aka GMOs), the looming question is, what’s next? At least for the junk food lobby, that answer in painfully clear: stop this state-level movement at any cost. In today’s New York Times, Stephanie Strom reports on the dirty details contained in industry documents that I obtained from the Washington State attorney general’s office in the wake of a lawsuit brought against the Grocery Manufacturers Association for illegally concealing donors to the No on 522 campaign.
As I explained back in February, the food industry’s ultimate game plan to stop the bleeding in the state-by-state onslaught of GMO labeling efforts is to lobby for a weak federal law that simultaneously preempts or trumps any state-level policy. While we have known that industry would want to put an end to the public relations nightmare happening state by state, this document for the first time reveals the lobbyists’ specific strategy. Continue reading
From Peace News Now:
“Around 8am this morning, Attorney Ajna Sharma-Wilson was detained without explanation on a Frontier Airlines flight in LA. She is a lawyer who plays a critical role in defending the rights of people to consume and procure the foods of their choice. Fortunately, Ajna recorded the interaction. In the audio, which was recorded by her smartphone, Ajna can be heard asking all the right questions.
She asks the names of all involved, though they are reluctant to answer, and says, quote, “Please repeat what you said to me.” She also asks a nearby passenger to write down his phone number so that she may call him as a witness. Continue reading
From David Michael, on the Journal of Natural Food and Health:
“Early in October 2013, the entire nation heard about how Sarah Hershberger, a 10-year old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia (now recovered), is being forced into a two-year unproven experimental chemotherapy study by Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH). It was just learned the parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, took their significantly recovered daughter out of the United States before the court ruled that a hospital-affiliated, attorney-nurse, Maria Schimer, was made the medical guardian to make sure Sarah will get her treatments. Continue reading
From Wenonah Hauter in The Guardian UK:
“If you have a feeling that genetically modified (GM) foods are being forced upon the population by a handful of business interests and vociferously defended by the scientists that work in the agriculture industry or at the research institutions it funds, you might be onto something.
The zeal with which GM proponents evangelize transgenic seeds (and now, transgenic food animals) is so extreme that they are even pouring vast sums of money to defeat popular efforts to simply label GE foods – like the nearly $50m spent to defeat the popular 2012 ballot measure to label GE foods in California, Proposition 37. Continue reading