Monday, December 04, 2006


Turn the Udder Cheek

There is quite an interesting debate unfolding in Ontario. Michael Schmidt - Ontario's raw milk celebrity - is battling the provincial governement to gain the right to sell his product to the wanting masses. Durham area farmer Schmidt delivers the milk to people who own shares in his cows. Finance Minister Greg Sorbara's wife is one of those shareholders. Sorbara says a system should be in place that allows raw milk to be sold in Ontario.

Things have gotten so bad that the Ontario Provincial Police cruisers blockading the lane while armed officers swooped onto a farm, herding the farmer and his workers into the kitchen of the old house. In the century-old barn of the farm northwest of London, Ont., were 30 cows and the stainless-steel equipment used for milking, separating the milk and manufacturing dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.

There is no evidence that unpasterized milk is actually ok for North American consumption. Talk to the numerous folks who have visited India and suffered Delhi belly and they will tell you no. Most scientists will second that. It is likely ok to consume a glass or two on the farm, but too much is not safe.

The Toronto Star has a great piece on why - either way - kids need to be protected.

If people wish to drink unpastuerized milk on their own volition, provided that they are aware of the consequences, then there is no reason for government health authorities to jump in with armed police officers and a phalanx of lawyers to intimidate a single farming operation.

This is yet one more intrusive measure of government in our lives which is unwarranted and an infringement on our rights.

It is interesting to note, moreover, to compare the potential harm due to drinking unpastuerized milk to that of ingesting organic fruits and vegetables, which are prized so highly by enlightened sources, even though the latter have been known to have insect particulate and larvae (as to the vegetable prodects) and a higher potential for disease (for the flesh-food) due to the lack of pesticides and supplemental treatments.

This is a double-standard, to be sure.
You miss the two main points of my post:

1 - Health officials and scientists have weighed in and found that it is unhealthy for North Americans to drink unpastuerized milk. It is not a matter of personal freedom. It is a collective health matter. Although, I tend to agree with some of your statement due to the logic of the question below and my beliefs.

Let me extend the same question to you using your logic. By your logic - drugs of all types and prostitution should be legal. An individual knows the risks and is willingly taking them. Butt out state.

2. The Star article is spot on since it is saying that children - who cant make an informed choice - are being dragged into this.
I couldn't get into the Star article, so I don't know if that's my computer's problem or what, so I can't argue for or against anything in this manner.

But going to the point of the health nazis protecting us from ourselves, apparently, the farmer has been producing and distributing this milk for over a decade and only now did public health officials shut down the operation ("guns ... on the farms ... in Canada ... I'm not making this up..."). From what I have read about this, there has not been one person reported as being sick from ingesting the product nor have there been widespread complaints from the customers.

Moreover, the product is purchased directly from the producer and not put on store shelves so that unsuspecting consumers are not grabbing it by mistake.

There are far worse things for our health that our government could ban and seize with force (not that I advocate this). I'm sure the feds will take on these evils eventually, but it seems that picking on a single milk producer out in the boonies is a much more politically expedient manoever than taking on McDonald's and the fine folks at Crisco.
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