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News for February 16, 2010

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt’s Queen’s Park news conference release

February 16 Press Statement, Queens Park

This Press conference is directed personally to Premier Dalton McGuinty and those MPP’s who seemed to be under the tight control of the marketing boards in Ontario.

In 2006 after the violent raid on our farm I said, that the Government of Ontario made a big mistake having chosen me as the prime target to attack the raw milk movement. Justice Kowarsky rendered a clear and lengthy decision in our favour based on the facts presented to him and based on his own legal research. Justice Kowarsky is a trained Justice of the Peace as we had required somebody who was trained in law. That is an important aspect.

[ READ MORE ]

Raw milk farmer to continue fight

Responding to the province’s appeal last week of his January acquittal on 19 charges relating to his distribution of raw dairy products, Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt said he will continue to fight for the right of Canadians to drink the kind of milk they want — taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary.

In a press conference at Queen’s Park yesterday, which Mr. Schmidt “directed personally at Dalton McGuinty and those MPPs who seem to be under the tight control of our marketing boards in Ontario,” the Durham, Ont., dairy farmer said Canadians should enjoy the fundamental right to eat and drink what they want. “It’s my body. I want to put in my body what I think is good for you,” he said, between sips of raw milk. “The government made a big mistake having chosen me as their prime target to attack the raw milk movement.”

[ READ MORE ]

Lawmaker Blasts DATCP Probe of Farm Over Raw Milk

Wisconsin law prohibits the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk to the public due to concerns about the spread of food-borne illnesses. But the state’s decision to crackdown on raw milk sales is stirring up controversy amidst claims that the state has been too harsh on farms that sell these products.

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, state Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) says that regulators have subjected Midvalleyvu Family Farm, in Pepin County, to harassment and excessive requests for information.

[ READ MORE ]

Controversy over Wisconsin’s raw milk sales ban

Wisconsin law prohibits the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk to the public due to concerns about the spread of food-borne illnesses. But the state’s decision to crackdown on raw milk sales is stirring up controversy amidst claims that the state has been too harsh on farms that sell these products.

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, state Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) says that regulators have subjected Midvalleyvu Family Farm, in Pepin County, to harassment and excessive requests for information.

[ READ MORE ]

Raw milk advocate says he was threatened

A Durham farmer who is heading a raw milk revolution says he has received two death threats since his acquittal last month for breaching 19 provincial laws.

Michael Schmidt, 55, was at Queen’s Park on Tuesday to do battle against an appeal filed by the Ontario government to overturn his acquittal.

Schmidt alleged he was threatened on two occasions after the acquittal by two men at his Glencolton Farms. He did not report the threats to police and suspects they were made by those “against raw milk.”

[ READ MORE ]

Ontario farmer to develop volunteer guidelines for raw-milk production

TORONTO — An Ontario raw-milk farmer, acquitted of all charges in a 16-year legal battle for running a cow-share program last month, will help establish voluntary guidelines for other farmers interested in the controversial industry.

Michael Schmidt said Tuesday he has started Cow Share Canada, which will help establish production, testing and inspection guidelines based on standards at his organic farm, Glencolton Farms in Durham, Ont.

[ READ MORE ]

State crackdown on raw milk sale stirs protest

A crackdown on raw milk sales has drawn criticism from a legislator and a local sheriff who say the state has been too rough on family farms that sell unpasteurized dairy products.

State Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) said Monday that regulators have subjected Midvalleyvu Family Farm, in Pepin County, to harassment and excessive requests for information.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection asked the farm's owners for bank records including signature cards, monthly statements, canceled checks and deposit tickets.

[ READ MORE ]

As Food-Safety Push Grows, Consumers Sort Out Dos, Don’ts

With new food-safety legislation making its way through Congress, safety advocates are hoping the FDA will soon have sweeping new powers to protect the nation’s food supply, as I write in the Informed Patient column today.

But in the debate over how to make food safer, it can be tough for consumers to figure out what’s safe to eat. Take  a study released earlier this month by Consumers Union, which analyzed 208 samples of bagged, pre-washed salad, and reported finding “indicator organisms” –- bacteria found in the digestive tracts of humans, animals and the environment. The study authors say those bacteria indicate the potential for the presence of more dangerous bacteria, but none of the dangerous bacteria were found in the salad packages tested.

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Monsanto Took Over NOFA Convention Says Ripton Candidate for VT Senate

Vermont State Senate independent candidate Robert Wagner has exposed the deep links between the offices of Bernie Sanders, Monsanto and the USDA. A Monsanto insider, lobbyist & litigator, Tom Vilsack is the US Secretary of Agriculture and gave the keynote speech at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) convention yesterday.

"Sanders' office directed NOFA to dedicate their Keynote Address to Monsanto's man-in-Washington", Wagner said, referring to his conversation with NOFA's executive director Enid Wonnacott. "There was no choice in the matter."

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'We need to do a better job' or Wisconsin will keep losing valuable farmland

JANESVILLE — It was the first big sale of land on the Rock Prairie east of Highway 14, where most people didn't think development would occur.

"I think people were shocked," recalled Norm Tadt, senior conservation specialist at the Rock County Land Conservation Department.

In 2007, at the request of the owner, Janesville annexed and rezoned from agriculture to residential 365 acres at Highway 14 and County A.

Developer Bill Bohn planned to build a 900-home subdivision on the land. The development eventually failed, and the land is still being farmed. But the annexation and rezoning stand, and the land will likely be developed when the housing market rebounds.

[ READ MORE ]

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