brilliant article about the crux of the controversy around raw milk for human consumption
= the right to use and enjoy private property
Life against Death
An Associated Press report issued this morning calls attention to an important battle taking place here in the United States between dairy farmers that produce and sell unpasteurized milk, claiming it is safe, and government authorities who maintain pasteurization is the only way to assure destruction of pathogenic microorganisms that might be present.
According to the report, ( which bears a Des Moines, Iowa tagline ) debate about the health advantages and risks of raw milk is spilling into statehouses and courtrooms countrywide as raw milk advocates push to make unpasteurized dairy products easier for consumers to purchase.
I am glad to see this relatively little-known debate receiving the national attention it deserves. We can expect that in the hours and days to follow a number of news venues will be picking up the AP report and writing on this matter, which makes this the perfect time for me to share my thoughts on the subject.
Avid raw milk drinkers swear by its taste and health benefits. Some believe consuming it cures asthma, prevents ear infections in children, strengthens bones and the immune system, and improves the functioning of those with autism. Indeed, a study published in the June 2006 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that 4,767 children in rural England who lived on farms and drank unpasteurized milk had significantly fewer symptoms of asthma, hay fever and eczema than their pasteurized milk drinking peers. A follow-up European study of nearly 15,000 children published in the May 2007 issue of Clinical and Experimental Allergy found children who drank unpasteurized milk were less likely to have asthma and hay fever.
However, the FDA claims health risks associated with drinking raw milk far outweigh any benefits. It strongly advises against consuming it and, under its commerce clause powers, has banned its interstate transport and sale. Laws among states differ greatly. Some have banned its sale, other states allow it but strictly for non-human (animal) consumption, while others allow its sale to the public at large. But even where legal, raw milk dairy farmers are harassed by the FDA and local authorities, who are increasingly committed to overseeing and regulating production.
I recently attended a lecture and book signing by journalist David Gumpert, who writes on matters of health. His most recent book The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind Americas Emerging Battle Over Food Rights provides an engaging and informative account of the ongoing clash between the government and dairy farmers. Blog follower Joseph Heckman, Ph.D., a professor of soil science at Rutgers University, hosted the lecture and alerted me to it. I am glad he did! Mr. Gumpert spoke about many aspects of this debate, including the overall safety of unpasteurized milk, presenting a wealth of statistics to prove his point. He has become an important spokesperson for the raw milk movement, asserting that people be allowed to return to enjoying this natural drink.
Pasteurization was introduced by French chemist Louis Pasteur in the mid-19th century ( for wine ) and thereafter became the norm for milk. Prior to this, drinking milk posed serious health hazards and many became ill. Conditions on dairy farms were often atrocious. Cows were kept under filthy conditions, water was contaminated and there was no refrigeration. Its no wonder milk-borne illnesses were common. With widespread implementation of pasteurization, milk and its various products were made quite safe. Pasteurization largely - but not always - prevents food-borne sickness, ranging from mild food poisoning to serious illnesses caused by contaminants such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli.
No one argues the assertion that pasteurization was an enormous advance for public health, or that it remains valuable. However, healthy cows raised in a clean environment dont produce contaminated milk, and refrigeration keeps it fresh. Todays dairy farmers who produce unpasteurized milk take pride in their clean facilities and in their first-rate healthy cows, certified free of disease.
Following Mr. Gumperts lecture, I had the opportunity to speak from the audience about the similarity between the current situation facing these milk producers and Wilhelm Reichs ordeal. I spoke about Reichs fate at the hands of the FDA. Here was a brilliant scientist who died in prison because his natural health products and information were transported across state lines. I also said that what happened to Reich and what these dairy farmers are now up against can be understood in the context of what Reich discovered and termed the emotional plague, a force that drives authorities to exert control over the lives of others for their own good.
One might expect that honorable people with good intentions, on both sides of the table, could somehow resolve the raw milk issue without battling in court. After all, people consume raw or undercooked products all the time, as with sushi, clams and oysters on the half shell, beef carpaccio, or simply a rare burger. None of these are banned. But common sense wont prevail. Nor is it a question of needing more information, more facts pro or con, to settle the matter.
I contend no matter how much proof of safety is presented or what additional information is provided, the government authorities will never relent in their efforts to end sales of unpasteurized milk. If farmers, brave or foolish enough, elect to violate the inevitable court decisions in favor of the FDA, I fear they will be imprisoned as Reich was. Heres why. The safety of unpasteurized milk and the best interest of the public are not the sole or even primary reason for the governments attack. It is its stated reason, and because the safety issue does have validity and is partly right, the more insidious underlying aspect of the emotional plague remains hidden.
Unlike the neurotic who suffers inwardly without troubling others, plaguey people deal with their emotional upset by attempting to control its source, the behavior of others, which stirs up in them an intense longing for living the natural life that they themselves cannot live. But they just dont see it. In their minds they must stop dangerous activities and behaviors, never realizing their prohibitive actions are not really for the good of others but rather to make themselves feel better by putting an end to the behavior that makes them intensely anxious. Controlling others makes plague-ridden individuals feel better, at least temporarily.
The emotional plague is often found in individuals who are bright and endowed with a high level of energy. This combination enables them to rise through the ranks into positions of authority. As officials with power, they are now really in a position to exert control over others. It is no mistake they have gotten themselves into these positions. Their livelihoods serve as a defensive mechanism to ward off their intense anxiety. It cannot be over-emphasized that plague-ridden individuals and the institutions they control have no insight into their destructive behavior. They believe, in their heart of hearts, what they are doing is right and necessary. There is always an element of truth that justifies their control over others. It is this truth-- the partly right-- that creates much confusion and allows others, on the sidelines, to so easily get caught up in the plagues activity. In the case of unpasteurized milk, the assertion of a health hazard causes many decent and openminded people to side with the FDA. Notwithstanding, there may often be a sense something is not right in what the government is doing, but good people cant place a finger on it. Try as they might, they wont find what that something is because the driving force behind the FDAs attack is the unseen hand of the emotional plague.
Nevertheless the emotional plague can and must be fought. The battle over raw milk is an important one. If it isnt won, we will all be on the slippery slope, raw milk drinkers or not. Increasing controls on the foods we eat and the health measures we choose are limitless. Next could be mandated irradiation of food, as Mr. Gumpert points out.
Raw milk advocates have their work cut out for them. I believe they are doing the right thing by organizing demonstrations to gain media attention, especially outside of the courtrooms where dairy farmers are being prosecuted. I also think it important to continue to get the message out to consumers about the relative safety of unpasteurized milk in whatever ways possible. Given the expensive nature of court battles, funding for the legal defense of targeted farmers will have to come from individuals and organizations that support natural health and wellness, free from government control. Finally, I offer that raw milk advocates consider using the adjective unpasteurized as opposed to raw, which seems to me could conjure up the unpleasant image of bloody meat. Referring to the milk as organic, unpasteurized, certified safe or something along these lines may improve its overall image.
I encourage my readers visit David Gumperts blog, The Complete Patient, and to read his book The Raw Milk Revolution. It might appear worlds apart from Wilhelm Reichs The Sexual Revolution, but the overall conclusion is the same, which is that people should be free to live their own lives, naturally, as they choose. Reich wrote about sexual repression as it existed then in the late 1920s. He was on the side on the unthinkable, defending natural functioning and healthy sexuality. Both Reich and Mr. Gumpert assert people have the right to live as they wish and both, in their own way, support a return to nature, or more natural functioning. For Reich it was the enjoyment and health benefits of sex, free of moralism and societal restraint. For Mr. Gumpert it is for the enjoyment and health benefits of natural foods, free of government control. Both declare it a right and duty to resist the enforcement of unreasonable, unjustifiable laws.
For further exposition of the emotional plague as conceived by Reich, I recommend reading Chapter 12 of Wilhelm Reichs Character Analysis and Chapter 13 of Elsworth F. Bakers Man in the Trap. The Complete Patient is located at www.thecompletepatient.com. Also, The Weston A. Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org is an excellent source for information on nutrient-dense foods. One of their specific goals is the establishment of universal access to clean, certified and unpasteurized milk.
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here's an excellent rebuttal to the scaremongering by the Centre For Disease Control
The author's dairy, the Family Cow, in Pennsylvia, had a recall of their raw milk in January 2012
Crossing The Rubicon ... by Edwin Shank 3/5/2012
Around 3000 years ago, there lived a wise man who spoke by inspiration of God. And this is what he said: "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." ~ King Solomon, circa 1000 BC ~ Proverbs 27:2
This adage is impressively wise. Considering the source of Solomons wisdom and the humility with which he petitioned for it, we are not surprised. I meditate on these words a lot and cannot help but make some parallel observations. Like this, for example: Let another man defend thee and not thine own tongue.
The events of the past 6 weeks that have surrounded our farm and family have understandably given rise to an inclination to defend ourselves. But outweighing this inclination was the belief that a better way, even a more effective way, was to let you speak for us. You did... and a great job it was! Thank you!
But increasingly we come up against a dilemma. Here it is.
Is it morally right to passively watch truth, any kind of truth, being abused... even if it is just the truth about raw milk? Is it selfish to avoid a defense of truth because we are afraid that our defense of truth will be misconstrued by some as a dishonorable defense of ourselves? Is there a difference between selfishly defending self and honorably defending truth?
This conflict between our desire to avoid dishonorable defense and our moral obligation to communicate truth to The Family Cow families has been building steadily. What to do? Which is most right?
Last week this issue was forcefully brought to a head by the flood of calls from customers, friends, and family. They had been left confused by the claims and statistics of government agencies in relation to raw milk risks. Many had even been erroneously led to believe that new illnesses are still occurring from our farm! Several were under the false impression that there was actually a second outbreak.
We cant say this strongly enough folks. At its best, this is incompetent journalism and at its worst it is intentional misinformation. Many of you will say, "Well, what did you expect?" And I guess that is part of our problem. Somehow we always want to believe the best of others, that they would not decimate false information and that really, down inside, they want to take the high road. We are getting our education. We are fast learners.
So today we crossed our Rubicon. We still are not going to defend ourselves. In fact, we arent even going to defend truth. Truth needs no defense. But we are going to communicate the truth. That is all the truth needs to be told. No more watching truth get slaughtered on the altar of sensationalism. The news media and the health departments have had over a month to tell you the truth. Now we will.
In the following paragraphs, I highlight several common anti-raw-milk strategies. I have consistently observed these tactics over the last 10 years. Many of you are already wise to these methods, however, some of you are new to raw milk and are at a loss to identify and expose the twist in the information even when you strongly suspect it is there. It is for you and your families that I write.
Strategy #1. Only tell part of the truth. Freely quote government and medical data in order to appear valid but only reveal the parts that advance the agenda. This strategy is #1 because it works so well. It works because most of us are either too busy, too trusting or lackadaisical to do our own research and so will never notice. Here is how this tactic was used in our situation.
The number of ill from our farm was broadcasted with ever-increasing alarm. (And we arent minimizing the seriousness of even one ill person. Believe me!) But, wouldnt you think that to give the story context it would have only been right, only fair, even a moral obligation to also reveal that the CDC estimates 2.4 million cases of campylobacter in USA every year! Here is an unedited excerpt directly from the CDC.
How common is Campylobacter?
Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. The vast majority of cases occur as isolated, sporadic events, not as part of recognized outbreaks. Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that about 13 cases are diagnosed each year for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 2.4 million persons every year, or 0.8% of the population.
So, lets do the math.
According to the CDC, the annual cases of campylobacteriosis in USA are: 2,400,000
If we divide that by 50 states, it puts the annual cases per state at: 48,000
When we divide that by 52, we find that the weekly number of cases per state is: 923
So the number of cases per state for the two week period (Jan 16-31st) in question is: 1,846
Therefore, the normal case count during the two weeks from a 4 state area is: 7,384
If we subtract the 80 cases from our farm during that same period, we discover that during the same two week period in PA, MD, WV and NJ, the official estimated number of cases of campylobacteriosis from other source was: 7,304
Now thats food for thought! What did the other 7,300 eat? Of course, everyone else was normal and just ate normal foods, so what made them sick wasnt newsworthy. But even so, why wasnt this official data revealed to at least put the story in context? I mean, arent professional, ethical, educated journalists supposed to be balanced? But I do understand. To put the story in context would have taken away a lot of the fear and drama. We cant have that folks... we cant have truth obscuring the fear!
Strategy #2. Intentionally leave the impression that this is a unique raw milk problem. In no case reveal that pasteurized milk does not eliminate risk. This strategy is amazingly successful for the same reason #1 works so well. We are too busy or too trusting to do our own homework. Here is how it is used in real life.
There was little attempt to give the story balance. Balanced data and all the facts are essential to parents responsible to make educated, informed, choices for their family. No parents should be conned into a decision based on fear, sensationalism and partial information and no health official or reporter should put them in that position. It seems the following outbreaks could have been referred to, at least in passing.
1,664 cases of Campylobacter jejune from Pasteurized Milk Outbreak - CA
49 Sickened and 14 Dead from Listeria Outbreak in Pasteurized Milk MA
93 Confirmed ill from Muti-drug Resistant Salmonella found in Pasteurized Milk PA, NJ
4 People Dead After Drinking Listeria-Laden Pasteurized Milk - MA
Modern History of Illness from Pasteurized Milk (one outbreak sickened more than 150,000)
Please understand. We do not present this data to try to persuade anyone away from pasteurized milk. Your choice is just as honorable as our choice. We simply present this information because we believe in informed choice. It is part of the information puzzle. If someone is hiding important pieces, how will you ever assemble the big picture? If these true outbreak stories are a shock to you and have disturbed a sheltered feeling that you cherished, Im sorry to wake you up. But dont blame me for the sleep! Blame those who are singing the lullaby. We present this to you because its unlikely you will get it from any other source. The point in mentioning other outbreaks is not to divert attention from us with "Oh look, they did it too, so we are not so bad." The point is that contamination can and does happen to all food classes but the focus is always on the How, Why and Solution to the contamination, not on the elimination of the food class. All we ask is that raw milk be given equal treatment.
Strategy #3. Compile raw milk illnesses from multiple years to get bigger, scarier numbers.
This tactic is the easiest to expose. It is such an obvious attempt and yet it is parroted in just about every article you read on raw milk. Once you know what to look for, you too will notice it everywhere. It is worded slightly different at times but it usually goes something like this excerpt taken from a news story last month. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 93 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported from 1998 through 2009 resulting in 1,837 illnesses, 195 hospitalizations and two deaths."
This data indeed sounds alarming! At least until you wake up. First, notice that 1998-2009 is an 11-year period. When do you ever hear of an 11-year period used to give statistics? Total traffic accident deaths over the last 11 years? Total ill from hamburgers over the last 11 years? Total asthma and allergy deaths during the last 11 years? Total food-borne illness deaths over the last 11 years? No. Never. Statistics invariably are given on a per-year basis for a good reason. It makes comparison easy.
So why would the media and the CDC make comparison hard in the case of raw milk? Well, for starters, to reveal that an average of 167 persons get ill from raw milk per year just doesnt pack the same fear-factor punch as the big number. But even more important, they are confident (see strategy #1) that the average person is not awake enough to know that the, "CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases."
You better go back and read that again! Notice, that this is each year, not an 11-year window like they use for raw milk. So, lets politely yet firmly... (its always important to be firm with these people) ask them to play fair and honest and extend the 11-year statistical window for all foods just like they have chosen to do for raw milk. This is what we find:
Every 11 years, 528,000,000 Americans are estimated to fall ill from food-borne illness. 1,837 of those are from raw milk.
Every 11 years, 1,408,000 Americans are hospitalized from food-borne disease. 195 of those are from raw milk.
Every 11 years, 33,000 Americans die from food-borne illness. 2 of those are from raw milk.
Folks, Im not making this up. These are not my numbers. I am simply forcing the players to play fair with their numbers. As an awake American, you need to ask yourself, "What is going on? Why was I not told this before? Who is hiding the puzzle pieces and why? What is the motive to make raw milk illness look like such a huge food-safety threat when the statistics show it is not?"
Strategy #4. Carefully word headlines so new illnesses appear to occur long after the outbreak is over. This insidious strategy works marvelously to spread the hype and fear, because many are not aware that it is normal for epidemiologists to take several weeks to finish their paperwork. When health departments send urgent news releases and reporters create sensational headlines each time the paperwork on a case is finished, it is easy to make it look like new cases are still cropping up. This tactic is especially effective at damaging trust if the raw milk farmer has taken extraordinary steps to correct the problem and has informed his customers of the changes. Since the "new illness" reports appear after the public has been reassured the problem is fixed, the credibility and trust of the farmer and raw milk itself is destroyed much more than the first time around. It is a raw-milk-opponent's dream!
This particular strategy has been distressing to our family. Even though our raw milk sales have increased sharply and drop point sign-ups have roughly doubled as compared to our "pre-January" rates, (Praise the Lord and Thank you, Thank you, Everybody!) it still hurts to hear the doubt, distrust and worry in the voice of a loyal raw milk mom as she fearfully asks, "Are there still people getting ill from your milk? ...I read it in the news," or "Is it true... the news is saying that there has been another outbreak?" One mother said that she was sure it was a glitch the first time, but now she is not sure anymore. When we try so hard and care so deeply that our hearts at times feel pulled up by the roots only to see our credibility ripped away in a moment by this tactic... at its best, this is incompetent journalism and at its worst it is intentional misinformation.
We are getting our education. And like it or not, you are in school with us. Now, go educate your friends and family. One awake American shaking a friend out of slumber awakens another percent or so of Americans every year. One American at a time, the tipping point will be reached. This is power. This is hope. It is only a matter of time. With you at our side we need not defend ourselves!
Your farmers ~ Edwin and Dawn Shank and Family
If you have recently joined our newsletter list and would like to read the previous emails from the last few weeks, please see the new page on our website called "Current Events." This letter will also be posted there shortly.
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Note to our Customers: Pass It On!
The Family Cow LLC | 3854 Olde Scotland Rd. | Chambersburg, PA 17202
September 8th 2011
To : John van Dongen, Member of the Legislature
For the last few years, the controversy around raw milk has been newsworthy because it brings to focus resentments people have against the welfare state. In light of Premier Clarks remark
We need to wherever necessary get out of the way.
There are a lot of processes that government creates, that we need to rethink.
I write to urge your administration to consider how raw milk for human consumption can be made available in British Columbia, much the same way it is in most of the united States of America, New Zealand and England. If they can do it, so can we
The Law and Equity Act makes the law of England, so far as it is not from local circumstances inapplicable, in force in the Province. But when scrutinized, the regulation prohibiting raw milk from being available for human consumption is not substantiated by any good reason. In the face of the fact that raw milk is readily available for human consumption in other places, with no, or negligible, adverse reactions, section 7 of the Public Health Act Transitional Regulation is unreasonably overbroad. It is a law framed in mischief in furtherance of the offence of abuse of dominance being committed by the dairy cartel, contrary to the Competition Act Revised Statutes of Canada Signing it, the Lieutenant Governor was deceived in his Grant. Wherefore modification / alteration of that basic law so as to interfere with our civil right to use and enjoy our private property, is illegal
I am one of many British Columbians who believe that the nutritional value of REAL MILK is far superior to that of homo milk. The term REAL MILK meaning : whole milk produced by grass-fed cows and delivered fresh within a few days of it being milked, UNheated, not homogenized, nor adulterated with milk protein concentrate. What we want is not available in retail stores, so weve organized privately-underwritten dairies called cowshares
Enclosed please find your letter stating that cowsharing is exempt from the requirement that raw milk must be Pasteur-ized. Find also ; the letter from the Director of Food Safety saying the same thing. This double witness of public policy on official stationery gave us confidence that what we were doing was perfectly lawful. Onward from the date of your letter, especially after January 2010, when the Provincial Court in Ontario ruled that cowsharing is lawful there, I helped agisters start up cowshares all over Canada to meet the demand for REAL MILK. There has not been an instance of raw milk from a cowshare having any untoward effect upon a member, let alone, to the public health. The noise and confusion you heard in December 2009 / January 2010, about raw milk from Home on the Range private dairy being unfit for human consumption, turned out to be an utter lie. When I ran-to-earth what hed said, I forced the Chief Medical Health Officer to admit that he had no facts to support his allegation it was just part of mendacious bureaucrats pillorying us in the public mind, setting the stage for our agister to be hectored through Court, in order to put her out of business
The mindset of those who cooked up the regulation in question is half a century out of date. For instance; whenever someone sticks a microphone in his face, Perry Kendall md parrots the idea that raw milk can transmit tuberculosis and brucellosis to those who drink it. In fact; for over 25 years, Canadian cattle herds have been certified free of TB and brucellosis. Fearmongering by opponents of REAL MILK mis-leads the public to believe that cowshares are run by stupid hicks / health-food nuts etc. operating under medieval conditions. If those ignoramuses in high places were to go out and get some facts, theyd find that cowshares are far more scrupulous than commercial dairies. Under the quota system a farm can get away with shipping something which is the lowest common denominator of whats acceptable, knowing that itll be cooked before it gets to the end of the supply chain. Raw milk from cowshares is cleaner than anything else around
So the controversy does not arise from any actual threat to the public health. Rather, its about the politics of the dairy industry, particularly, profitability of gigantic processors with vested interests in the quota system. See the article The #25,000 cow by Andrew Coyne in Macleans magazine, signalling that the federal government will eliminate the milk marketing board, as it has the Canadian Wheat Board. For the last half-century, this country tried the centrally-directed, command economy model only to find out the hard way that Stalin-ism kills, steals and destroys whatever it touches, vis = the family farm. Another way of summing-up what it's really about is ; people who are wise to the damage globalism is doing to our nation, are rejecting not just the degenerate products put out by industrialized agriculture, but governance by red fascism in which monstrous, conscience-less corporations dictate to local governors what suits them, rather than whats best for the people
I urge you to read the Report of the Commission in to milk marketing, and the Milk Industry Act as it was from 1955 to 1996 ; excerpts of which are enclosed. From its inception there was always a way for raw milk to be retailed legally. My requests under Freedom of Information to the various ministries revealed that there is not a whit of evidence of anyone ever becoming ill from drinking raw milk from a farm so-certified. Thus, the claim of opponents to the Campaign for REAL MILK - ie, that all raw milk is so inherently-diseased that it must be cooked before anyone may drink it which was used to justify the regulation defining raw milk as a health hazard - has no evidentiary foundation
No doubt your advisers in the Ministries of Agriculture and Health will tell you what they told me following my FoI request for all material used by the committee which wrote section 7 of the Public Health Act Transitional Regulation. They say its predicated upon the database of the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia. Against that, consider the Affidavit of Dr Ted Beals, and also the text of his speech ; enclosed. Using that very same database, Dr Beals explains how raw milk produced by artisanal dairies is 35,000 times less likely to cause food poisoning than any other commercially-available foodstuff
In the Schmidt case in Ontario, the testimony of expert witnesses Beals and Hull convinced the Court that there are two streams of raw milk in America : that which is produced by artisanal dairies knowing that it will be consumed raw, versus that which is produced assuming that it will be Pasteur-ized on the way to market. Scientific studies show that about a quarter of the time, milk in the bulk tanks of CAFOs has pathogenic organisms harmful to human beings. That milk must be cooked in order to make it fit for human consumption : ours doesn't
The way Washington state and California deal with dairying to provide raw milk, proves it can be done safely. In those places, REAL MILK is available both by retail sales to the public, and via cowsharing. with oversight by their agricultural departments. In England, raw milk is available at the farm, via home delivery and in specialty shops. In New Zealand - merely the largest dairy farm in the world - raw milk is sold at the farm gate. Australia and New Zealand are currently reviewing their legislation which will make raw milk products more readily available
Enclosed please find the pre-amble to The Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995 = the set of rules according to which raw milk may be sold in England. Notice that it was formulated
after consultation in accordance with section 48 (4) of the said Act with such organizations as appear to them to be representatives of interests likely to be substantially affected by the Regulations
Contrast how they do things there, with the way your government imposed the regulation to do with raw milk. The committee which wrote section 7 of the Public Health Transitional Regulation did entertain input from representatives of some interests - namely the Dairy Farmers of Canada - while deliberately hiding from cowsharers what was in the works. I believe it is more likely than not that lobbyists for the dairy cartel did influence the committee to have all raw milk defined as a health hazard, so that anyone perceived to be intruding into their share of the milk market would be eliminated. Ironically, the majority of people who seek out a cowshare to get REAL MILK, were already disgusted with homo milk so had quit buying it
Thus : cowshares supply sustenance to a demographic which industrial agriculture had lost as customers because it wasnt offering what that cohort of consumers want. Which evidences a failure to comply with the statutory duty set out in section 40 (3) (q) of the Milk Industry Act. The repeal of that section of the Act last month, is laughable a childish attempt to hide evidence of one of my best arguments concerning how your administration fumbled this issue
The precept Madame Justice Griffin relied upon in the case of the BC Teachers Federation ; Chussodovsky and Her Majesty the Queen in right of British Columbia was that, when drawing up new law, government has a positive duty to consult with those affected by it. That case being the second time your administration has been chastised by a judge for going about lawmaking the wrong way. As with the statute concerning the teachers, the regulation which outlawed raw milk for human consumption = section 7 of the Public Health Act Transitional Regulations = was enacted arbitrarily, thus, improperly. I predict that when a judge hears Alice Jongerdens challenge to its constitutionality, hell point to the B C Teachers case as authority for striking it down
In conditions just like British Columbia, fifty million people in England can get all the raw milk they want, with negligible consequent illness. The experiences there, and in California with 30 million people, and in Washington State where conditions are identical with our situation in BC, are the best argument that dairying to deliver raw milk safely, can be done
You have the chance to do what you ought to have done in the first place : enact a regulatory scheme which takes into account our fundamental right to use and enjoy our own property, before you are embarrassed in Court, again. This letter is my request that you meet with me, along with a few others involved in the Campaign for REAL MILK, to discuss how this untenable situation can be resolved quite easily. With the stroke of his pen, the Lieutenant Governor could adopt by reference the Dairy Products Hygiene Regulation 1995 Your administration would then be seen as listening to the people, rather than cobbling-together laws to suit corporate interests
enclosures mentioned will be delivered by surface mail next week
It is not the function of government to keep the citizen from falling in to error,
it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling in to error
Robert H Jackson Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States of America
Gordon S Watson
Justice Critic, Party of Citizens Who Have Decided To Think For Ourselves & Be Our Own Politicians
7954 Elwell Street Burnaby British Columbia V5E 1M4
Telephone 604 526 5064 email < [email protected] >
junk science is defined as " ... when scientific facts are distorted, risk is exaggerated and the science adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda." The June 2010 issue of Country Life in BC magazine provides a perfect example. ; see the opinion piece entitled
Without even half trying, our little cowshare dairy just keeps on getting more high-profile media exposure. Most recently, a provincial Cabinet minister felt compelled to defend her governments policy on raw milk.
Disappointing that she just parrots the same old line, citing as an expert someone who was caught last month putting out dis-information a quarter of a century out of date, ie. the idea that 'consumers can get TB from raw milk'. In fact, Canadian dairy cattle have been TB free since 1985.
Ida Chong contradicts herself by saying, on the one hand, that health regulations to do with meat, can be
"... designed and continue to evolve with enough flexibility to allow for varying size and scale of operators to do business" while wanting us to accept that similar accommodation for small producers of milk is impossible.
If every pail of raw milk is a bio-hazard in the first instance, how is it that in New Zealand - merely the pre-eminent dairying country in the world - raw milk is legal for sale? How come Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho and several other states are changing laws right now, so that raw milk is available? What is it that the farmers there know about dairying, that she doesnt?
Im over-exposed and I'm focussed on my appeal of the Order against us, so Im probably not going to reply to the Times Colonist. I encourage any one who has something intelligent to say, to rebut the Minister of Health Living
Gordon S Watson
Justice Critic, Party of Citizens Who Have Decided To Think for Ourselves & Be Our Own Dairy
Victoria BC Times Colonist newspaper April 8th 2010
Re: "Overkill hurting small farmers," April 2.
I am writing in response to the editorial that dealt with the issues of public health and food protection.
Contrary to what the editorial asserted, the consumption of unpasteurized or "raw" milk is widely recognized by experts as a health risk. Among those experts is our own provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, who points out that the purchase and consumption of this product puts British Columbians at needless risk of serious diseases and infection.
As well, a substantial proportion of illnesses traced to raw milk occur in children and are caused by E. coli, which can result in kidney failure and even death.
Our government supports sustainable food production. Contrary to the editorial, meat regulations in B.C. have been designed and continue to evolve with enough flexibility to allow for varying size and scale of operators to do business. This includes the licensing of portable slaughter facilities to service more remote areas of the province.
Enforcing public health standards is not a matter of "overkill" by government. It's a matter of protecting British Columbians to the best of our abilities.
Minister of Healthy Living and Sport
We now face this question with the recent issuance of a report by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment about the campylobacter outbreak last spring at Scott Freemans dairy. Its something Ive reported on previously, and which Scott Freeman refers to in a comment following my previous post.
Ive spent some time reviewing the states documents, and I should say, I started off wanting very much to be highly critical. I do have criticisms, but I came away impressed with the thoroughness of the investigation as presented in the report. When I say that, Im trying to allow for the fact that were not going to get a Presidential commission type of investigationremember, were dealing with a public health department that has lots of reports of illness from restaurants and other places to look into, and must prioritize its work.
In this case, public health officials personally interviewed 159 of Scott Freemans 208 shareholders. I know some raw milk advocates will read all kinds of biases into the report, and certainly a number are present (which Ill discuss). But after allowing for those (nearly a given when it comes to the public health communitys attitudes toward raw milk), the report is enlightening from both positive and negative perspectives.
On the negative side:
--The number of people sickened was quite high, according to the report. It states: There were a total of 81 cases identified in this Campylobacter outbreak Thirty-one percent of all shareholder households reported at least one person with illness that met the case definition, which is a substantial attack rate. When you consider that data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that in the period 1973-2005 there was an average of 54 illnesses per year, one outbreak of 81 cases is a lot. Its important to note, as well, that only one of the illnesses was serious enough to require hospitalization.
--The department made a strong case that sanitation at the Kinikin Dairy wasnt up to snuff. The milking parlor was inadequately built/constructed shed which failed to meet the minimum standards prescribed in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance or the Manufactured Milk Regulations, as well as the standards described on the dairys own raw milk website. The floor consisted of dirt and hay, and was soiled with manure. The interior was unfinished plywood, with openings directly to the outside around the door and other various points within the structure. Overall the structure was not clean nor in good repair. Animals other than cows (dog, chicken) entered the milking area during the visit. The milk room/house (storage area) was well constructed and had the minimum of equipment. There was evidence of manure being tracked into the milk house There were no handwashing facilities in the milking parlor. Sanitizing solution was not used to sanitize the Mason jars used to bottle the milk, and on the day of inspection, there was no chlorine sanitizing solution present.
--The investigation highlighted tensions between farmers and public health officials. Scott Freeman initially cooperated with officials. But when he continued to make milk available to shareholders after the Dept of Public Health and Environment requested he end sales, the department issued an order prohibiting distribution. He says he continued the distribution because shareholders requested he do so, and because they own the cows, he was obligated to do so. (Documents associated with the exchange between Scott Freeman and the department are contained in an appendix.)
--The department never found campylobacter in the dairys milk. Would that it were so straightforward. It found evidence of campylobacter via a PCR test (polymerase chain reaction, which identifies genetic material from campylobacter), but noted that such tests were not part of its usual protocol, and therefore not conclusive in and of themselves. Further complicating the situation, according to the report, the testing of milk samples was limited, apparently because of the departments own screwups in handling milk testing samples. Three additional milk samples were collected on April 22, May 1 and May 6 but were rejected by the laboratory because they were not delivered in the necessary time frame or did not have documentation that they were held at the correct temperature during transit, which is required for formal regulatory milk testing, although is often not required during outbreak investigations. It would have been intriguing if those three additional tests had shown no evidence of campylobacter. It seems as if the public health people were sloppy in their handling of the samples, which isnt comforting, given the public health hazard. Inference was the order of the daybased on the prevalence of raw milk drinkers among those with campylobacter, officials concluded raw milk was the culprit. (I think the public health officials make an important point that campylobacter isn't easy to pinpoint in any food.)
--The departments negative attitude toward raw milk pervades its conclusions: Unpasteurized milk has been the source of numerous outbreaks in the past, in Colorado and other states. Another Campylobacter outbreak associated with unpasteurized milk from a cow share operation occurred in Larimer County in 2005. Outbreaks of Salmonella, E. coli O157 and Listeria associated with unpasteurized milk have been documented in other states and have resulted in deaths and cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. Fortunately this outbreak involved only one hospitalization and no deaths. With the increasing number of cow share programs, outbreaks associated with unpasteurized milk are likely to continue in Colorado." "Numerous" outbreaks in Colorado, yet all it can come up with is one, four years previous? And resulted in deaths? Like any number of governmental authorities, it makes this assertion, even though there arent any known deaths from raw milk since at least the 1980s.
On the positive side:
--The department made recommendations to Scott Freeman to improve his sanitation. As I noted earlier, it concluded that sanitation was lacking at the milk parlor. So the department recommended installing hand-washing facilities and improving washing of equipment and bottles to improve sanitation, and he adopted the suggestions. Isn't education part of the public health department's role in life?
--One of the most interesting pieces of data from the public health investigation is a survey of the shareholders reasons for drinking raw milk. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is buried in the reports (table 7 of Appendix 2), rather than highlighted. It shows the two most popular reasons being that its more nutritious and better tasting (than pasteurized milk), with substantial numbers saying raw milk helps relieve their allergies, improves their immune systems, and enables them to overcome lactose intolerance. There aren't many such surveys around--it's useful information that helps document why so many people are willing to take whatever small risk might be involved to consume raw milk.
One of the messages that comes through loud and clear from the report is that investigations of food-borne illness are as much art as science. Its a form of detective work. As a result, when I read a report like this, covering 81 illnesses, and then see the repeated invocation of the mantra that we have 76 million cases of food-borne illness each year, its hard not to be skeptical. The only way to characterize that 76 million number is as a wild estimate, and it underlies the current push for draconian limitations on food producers being proposed in the current food safety legislative push.
Ill be curious to read Scott Freemans take. I know he disagrees with a number of conclusions, most importantly, the one that lays the blame for the campylobacter outbreaks on his dairy. He may have good arguments, but I sense in all this that the public health professionals made a good-faith professional effort to figure out what might have gone wrong at his dairy, despite their own biases. Its a situation everyone can learn from, and hopefully thats what will happen, as opposed to ongoing recriminations.
February 25th 2010
Executive Director Health Protection Population and Public Health
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport
I have good reason to believe that your ministry has been in communication with several Health Authorities and other branches of the provincial and federal governments, concerning raw milk produced via cowsharing arrangements. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act RSBC I require and hereby demand copies of all records within your Branch, in any and every format, including emails, which pertain to the topic of raw milk, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, more particularly, to the dairy in which I hold an interest, for which Alice Jongerden, dba Home on the Range, is the agister.
No doubt you are aware of the ruling in the Provincial Court of Ontario in the case of Regina versus Michael Schmidt. The Reasons for Judgment are posted on the internet at
No doubt you are aware that Fraser Health Authority applied for an injunction against anyone and everyone who packages and/or distributes milk from our dairy. At the end of the hearing, Madame Justice Gropper reserved judgment sine die. The fact that she did not pronounce an Order right then and there is tacit acknowledgment raw milk is not a hazard to Public health. Every day our Agister makes available to us the milk from our cows, unprocessed, and we all drink it with no ill affect, we prove that this kind of dairying can be done safely.
As we left, counsel for Fraser Health Guy McDannold said to me I expect well see each other again. From which I gather your Ministry has in mind still more abuse of process as a tactic for ruining our dairy even though, in Washington State - literally within sight of the New West. Courthouse - raw milk dairying is carried on perfectly legally. And that the last word on cowsharing in Canada - the ruling in the Schmidt case - is that its legitimate.
I, and all British Columbians, are entitled to know the law under which were supposed to govern ourselves. Enclosed please find a copy of the statement by Special Prosecutor Doust, staying prosecution of a farm which had ostensibly offended a provincial law. I see myself as being in the same position as was the operator of Desolation Sound Oyster Farm before being charged, in that, like them, I have tried to get a straight answer out of the government for years. Acknowledgement from you that the Reasons for Judgment in the case of Michael Schmidt, do apply, mutatis mutandis, to cowshares operating in British Columbia, will save all-concerned a lot of confusion and waste of precious Court time.
I expect that you are aware of the letter from (then) Acting Director of the Health Protection Branch, Ron Duffel, September 15 2005 ; your file # 629995. I require a reply = : yes or no = as to whether your office stands by his statement that a cowshare is exempt from the Milk Industry Act if certain terms are met. If your Branchs policy is different today, then I require you to tell me what reason(s) warrant any such change.
Enclosed also please find a copy of the letter to me of (then) Minister of Agriculture John van Dongen.
I require a reply as to whether your office disagrees with the policy as stated therein : yes or no. If your Branchs policy differs, then I require you to tell me what good reason(s) there are now for any disagreement with what the Minister said then.
Enclosed please find an excerpt from Hansard of the discussion before amendment of the Milk Industry Act in 1996. The changes made to the Act at that time removed from it all provisions except those concerning the interest of the government in the healthfulness of the milk supply. In your letter to Howard Abel January 21 2010, who is one of the shareholders in our herd of dairy cows, you said
Your letter has been referred to me for response as the Public Health Act and the Milk Industry Act ( with respect to processing ) are the responsibility of Health Living and Sport.
Am I correct that your ministry does not have anything to do with licencing producers, as defined in the Milk Industry Act ?
I remind you of the Report of the Royal Commission into milk marketing, excerpts of which Ive submitted in previous letters. Clearly and repeatedly, the Commissioner recommended that the scheme which the Legislature was to install by the Milk Industry Act, should always have a way for people who wanted raw milk, to get it. Sections 3, 4, 5 and 67 of the Act enabled a farm to be certified to sell raw milk for human consumption. So what happened to that statutory duty upon the government? Please advise me to which Ministry of the government I should address my request for my farm to be certified for selling raw milk ? Twice now, Ive put that query to the Milk Marketing Board. But they just come back with the same trite, boiler-plate palaver you churned out to Howard Abel.
I remind you that the Law & Equity Act is the foundational Act in British Columbia. It says that the law of England is the law of British Columbia, except where otherwise amended. In England, raw milk is perfectly legal for sale as Green Top Milk, under permits issued to farms by the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries. You may not know that our Queen, Elizabeth, maintains a dairy herd in order to get raw milk for the Royal Household. I say that since the Milk Industry Act once did expressly make a way for raw milk to be sold here, yet is now silent on the matter, then the presumption is that raw milk may be sold in this province in accordance with the law of England. If you have anything which undoes my position, please advise me as soon as possible.
In the material in support of my appeals of the Health Act Orders to our dairy, issued in 2008, I put in the entire book The Untold Story of Milk by Dr Ron Shmidt. That book will educate you as to why par-boiling milk - aka Pasteur-ization - seemed like a good idea at the time, yet only created another set of problems. Its required reading in order for policy advisers to get your collective heads out of the 19th century, into present reality. See also the essay
Raw milk : What the scientific evidence really says
produced by the Weston A Price Foundation and published on the website
After studying that material no intellectually-honest person can say that raw milk is always and only so dangerous that it must be outlawed. Best proof being : in the last 9 years, the State of Washington has issued new raw milk dairy licenses to 27 farms. Technology and science have solved all the concerns about health. Whoever is advising you, the information they rely upon is about 60 years out of date. Your policy advisers are obliged to inform themselves of all pertinent information on this topic. They can do that by going to the links page on my website < www.freewebs.com/bovinity >
I require and hereby demand from your Ministry copies of all materials before the Legislature, including any committee which had input to changes in the Milk Industry Act, which constituted the rationale for removing from the Act, previous sections 3, 4, 5 to do with certification of a farm to retail raw milk to the public.
I note that in your response to Mr Howard Abel, concerning legislation to do with raw milk, you said that your Ministry has oversight (with respect to processing) I require from you an answer as to whether your use of the term processing there, includes the complete lack of processing. Is it the position of your Branch that
A as we put our own property = ie. milk = in jars, such activity amounts to processing?
B for us to pay our agister to do the work of putting our property = our milk = into packages for us, is processing?
Unlearned in the law as I am, I believe that a Health Authority is statute-barred by section 2 of the the Attorney General Act RSBC from going to Court to initiate any kind of action, unless a counsel for the Attorney General of British Columbia takes conduct of the matter. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act RSBC I require and hereby demand copies of all records of contracts between the Fraser Health Authority and the law firm of Staples McDannold Stewart for that firm to act in Her Majestys Courts in British Columbia, in matters concerning the Public Health
On February 1st 2010, Fraser Health Authority Petitioned for an injunction to have our dairy shut down.
I pointed out to Madame Justice Gropper, that at paragraph 169 of the Reasons in the case of Regina versus Michael Schmidt Justice of the Peace Kowarsky says
from my own personal research I have good reason to believe that similar cowshare programs are functioning lawfully in large parts of the world, including many states in the United States of America and Australia, to name but two. In addition, I understand that similar cow share programs have been established in parts of British Columbia .
My website is one of the prominent ones in B. C. to do with raw milk. Therefore it is more likely than not that JP Kowarsky did view the material I publish at < www.freewebs.com/bovinity > Logically, the arrangement we have with Alice Jongerden dba Home on the Range for agistment services to our herd, is similar-enough to what Michael Schmidt is doing in Ontario that the reasoning of JP Kowarsky in the Schmidt case, pertains to us, here. I require from you a straight answer to each of the following questions
A do you admit that the arrangement we have with Alice Jongerden by which her business Home on the Range provides agistment services for our herd of dairy cows, is lawful?
B do you acknowledge that the group of individuals having an interest in the herd of dairy cows, taken together, is a producer as contemplated by the Milk Industry Act RSBC ? Yes or no ?
C do you acknowledge that the group of individuals having an interest in the herd of dairy cows, taken together is NOT a vendor, as defined in the Milk Industry Act RSBC ? Yes or no ?
D do you admit that the arrangement we have with Alice Jongerden dba Home on the Range for agistment services for our herd of dairy cows, does not compel her to Pasteur-ize the raw milk produced by our cows before she makes it available to us? Yes or no ?
When the Health Authorities dumped our perfectly good milk down the sewer, one of the excuses they used was that it was a food from an un-approved source Please advise me the procedure for having a given foodstuff recognized as approved ? You ought to be aware that raw milk is sold in the State of Washington, perfectly legally, from farms which hold a licence from the Department of Agriculture there.
a ] - Yes or no : does raw milk from a farm which holds a licence as a raw milk dairy in Washington State qualify as coming from an approved source, for purposes of me retailing it in a store in British Columbia?
b ] - Yes or no : does raw milk from a farm which holds a licence as a raw milk dairy in Washington State qualify as coming from an approved source, for purposes of me delivering it to homes in British Columbia?
c ]- Yes or no : does raw milk from a farm which holds a licence as a raw milk dairy in Washington State qualify as coming from an approved source, for purposes of me selling it at a farmers market in British Columbia?
I draw your attention to the following :
that the Food Act Revised Statutes of New Zealand enables farm gate sales of raw milk, to a limit of five liters per person per day
that the Food Safety Branch in Australia / New Zealand is currently considering how their laws should be amended to make retail sales of raw milk more freely available See the website at
I require and hereby demand copies of all communications your Branch has had with the government of New Zealand / Australia on the topic of the availability of raw milk to the public
Gordon S Watson
Justice Critic, Party of Citizens
7954 Elwell Street Burnaby British Columbia V5E 1M4
on Wednesday March 18 2009, an Inspector from the Fraser Health Authority issued a Cease+Desist Order to our depot in Abbotsford. Immediately below is a letter which I've served on the Inspectors and the FVA today, March 23 2009
in short : it sets out why the Order is illegal, and what I shall do if they don't revoke it.
Dan Dhillon, Inspector,
And To George Rice, Fraser Health Authority, Chilliwack Health Unit
On March 18th 2009 you issued an Order to Rockweld Farm prohibiting ¡°the distribution of raw milk for human consumption¡±. According to the Health Act, inasmuch as I am one of the shareholders in the herd that produced the milk which is the subject of your Order, I am a person aggrieved by it
In the Reasons for the Order you use the term ¡°cow share¡±, which gives me good reason to believe that on March 18th 2009 you were aware that the legitimacy of the arrangement by which we get our milk was acknowledged by the government. Records obtained through the FoI process show that a researcher within the Fraser Health Authority had downloaded parts of my internet website. On it are displayed letters to me from the Minister of Agriculture and also from the Director of the Health Protection Branch, acknowledging that what we are doing = ¡°cowsharing¡± in order to get raw milk for ourselves = is not a breach of the Milk Industry Act. Thus, the FHA certainly did have knowledge of those letters.
You indicated to the Rockweld shopkeeper that you were aware of my appeal in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the Order FHA Inspector George Rice issued to the Agister of our herd, namely Alice Jongerden. You, nor the manager to whom your Reasons refer, can claim ignorance of my position, as set out in my appeal, to wit :
Section 56 of the Health Act RSBC creates two categories of milk : in one category is all milk which is ever ¡° ¡. exposed for sale, or deposited in any place for the purpose of sale, or for preparation for sale, and intended for food for humans¡±. In the other category is all milk which is not offered for sale. ¡®food for humans¡¯ is not a stand-alone category. The word ¡°and¡± there ties that phrase to the overall import of the section - foodstuff exposed for sale
Milk produced by our dairy most certainly is intended as food for humans but is never for sale. Our milk does not fall in the category of foodstuff defined by section 56 therefore the Health Act does not confer power over it to an Inspector. Regulation 181/88 of the Health Act does not apply to our property, ie. the raw milk, which was always and only for our personal use and enjoyment.
Section 56 (2) of the Health Act says
The burden of proof that an eatable referred to in subsection (1) was not exposed or deposited for any purpose referred to in that subsection, or was not intended for food for humans is on the party charged
An Inspector of a provincial Health Authority can presume a foodstuff is for sale, but as soon as he or she is given evidence otherwise - when it¡¯s pointed-out that the labels clearly say a jar of milk is ¡°NOT FOR SALE¡± - then he has no authority over it at all. Thus, the presumption of an Inspector that he has authority, is undone. They have no power over food in a place unless it is for sale.
The Regulation cited in the Order is predicated upon the Milk Industry Act RSBC. That Act pertains ONLY to milk which enters-in to commerce. It does not pertain to milk produced by people for themselves, as long as such milk is not offered for sale. Section 1 of that Act distinguishes between a ¡°producer¡± and a ¡®vendor¡±. The definition of ¡°vendor¡± ends (b) ¡° ¡ but does not include a producer as such¡± It categorically excludes someone who is only a ¡°producer¡± yet not a ¡°producer vendor¡±.
Section 2 of that Act says
Application of Act
2 This Act applies to all vendors, whether co-operative associations or not, despite the Cooperative Association Act, or any other Act, or the terms of any contracts between producers and vendors
Our group of shareholders is indeed a ¡°producer¡± under the Act, but we are not a ¡°vendor¡±. Since we are not a vendor, milk produced by our private dairy is not subject to the Milk Industry Act. Since authority for the Health Act Regulation 181/88 relies upon the Milk Industry Act, but our milk is not caught by the Milk Industry Act, then Regulation 181/88 does not apply to it.
You saw the labels on the jars of our milk which advertise it is NOT FOR SALE. After that you knew perfectly-well that the foodstuff at issue was not within the purview of the Health Act. Your Order is not only a nullity, but it is rank interference with the right of each shareholder to use and enjoy our property ¡ that would be, the milk produced by our cows. As you issued your Order with knowledge that it was contrary to, first ; the letter of the law, and second ; the express policy of the provincial government, your conduct was malfeasance of public office, not misfeasance ¡ malfeasance of public office.
If you do not revoke your Order within 48 hours of service of this NOTICE, then I will certainly appeal it. Furthermore : on a separate track, I will certainly sue you and each and every officer within the Fraser Health Authority who was involved in its issuance, for the tort of malfeasance of public office.
As someone aggrieved by your Order, I have the right under the Health Act to make full answer in order to discharge the reverse onus upon me. I am asserting my right to due process of law now. Should a formal appeal be necessary, one of the Grounds will be that you, and persons yet to be ascertained within the Fraser Health Authority, were well aware that the Order you made on Rockweld Farm was illegal ab initio. For which I require and hereby demand FORTHWITH
A copy of all records, in any and every format, concerning the risk of illness from consuming raw milk
A copy of every Order issued within the last ten years by the Fraser Valley Authority or its predecessor concerning raw cow¡¯s milk
A copy of every Order issued within the last ten years by the Fraser Health Authority or its predecessor concerning raw goat¡¯s milk
a copy of all records in any and every file within the Fraser Health Authority
- including e-mails - which mention
the term ¡°cow share¡±
or the term ¡°herd share¡±
or my name
or the name of the Agister with whom I contracted to look after the herd of dairy cows in which I hold an interest , ie. ¡°Home on the Range¡±.¡¡
Govern yourself accordingly
Gordon S Watson
PO Box 63009 RPO Highgate Burnaby British Columbia V5E 4J6
Telephone 604 526 5324 email < [email protected] >
I will be in the Supreme Court in New Westminster BC on December 9th 2008, for directions as to the conduct of my appeal of the Order which prohibits our Agister from "distributing" our milk to us.
Following in the Outline are the Grounds for my Motion to have that Order set aside
1 I, Gordon S Watson, Applicant /Appellant, seek directions for conduct of the hearing of the Appeal
2 I seek Orders for
a stay of the Order of Inspector George Rice pending the appeal of the Order
the Respondents to produce certain materials
the Respondents to make available for Discovery certain individuals
Basis for seeking relief
1 On July 9th 2008 Inspector George Rice of the Fraser Health Authority issued the Order,
which is appended to this Outline
2 the Order infringes my right to use and enjoy property in which I hold an interest, that being, a herd of cows.
the Order infringes my right to contract, particularly, for ¡®agistment¡¯ of my animals
the Order infringes my freedom of association
the Order infringes my right to security of the person
first ; in that it interferes with my food supply.
second ; in that it interferes with the supply of products derived from our raw milk which I require to maintain and improve my health.
the section of the Health Act out of which the Order arose infringes
my right to be presumed innocent, especially since there is potential for loss of liberty
3 being aggrieved by the Order I have status to appeal it.
4 the context out of which the Order arose is set out in Affidavits which are part of the Chambers Record.
5 - Responding to my lobbying efforts, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health had each given me a Letter of Comfort acknowledging that the arrangement by which shareholders contracted with an agister to look after our herd of cows, was lawful. From 2003 up ¡®til the day of the Order we had been dairying with no problem.
- Respondents were well-aware of our dairy, another way, because they had been notified of my Petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia raising constitutional questions to do with cowsharing as a way to obtain raw milk legally. As part of preparing that Petition, in May 2007 I had spoken with Chief Veterinarian Merv Weztstein, telling him that we were producing raw milk for ourselves. He replied ¡®we (govt. officials) won¡¯t bother you unless we get a complaint¡¯
- in the spring of 2008 - even though they acknowledged in internal e-mails that they knew they needed a real complaint in order to move against us, but did not have one - officials of the provincial government set out to ruin our dairy
- Respondents never did have a genuine complaint about raw milk from our dairy presenting a hazard to Public Health. They knew full well that since our milk was never offered for sale, it did not fall under the Health Act nor the Milk Industry Act : they knew that what they were doing, ie. contriving the Order, was contrary to the express policy of the Ministries of Health and Agriculture
- After I originated the appeal I discovered in the Royal Archive the 1954 Report of the Royal Commission Report on milk marketing which stipulated that raw milk must always be available to those who wanted it.
6 As well as asking for directions about how I should proceed in the appeal. I am asking for special directions to remedy glaring obstruction / perversion of Justice on the part of the Respondents.
I want Orders compelling them to submit to Discovery of evidence both oral and tangible, in order for the whole truth to get before the Court
7 at the appeal proper, I shall challenge the Health Act Regulation 181/88. Its presumption that raw milk is always and only a vector for disease cannot be justified in the face of the evidence and experiences in other jurisdictions. It is patently absurd, thus invalid. At the Appeal proper, I shall challenge section 56 of the Health Act because it infringes my right to be presumed innocent
8 At the hearing proper I will rely upon the cases of
WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS INC and SUNSHINE COAST REGIONAL DISTRICT acting as a LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH Supreme Court of British
Attorney General of Canada and Portland Hotel Society Supreme Court of British Columbia
Chaoli and Zeliotis and Attorney General of Quebec ; Attorney General of Canada Supreme Court of Canada
9 To date, the Respondents refuse to produce the identity of a supposed complainant. By first concocting a ¡®complaint¡¯ when there never was one, then, refusing to co-operate in the Court process, wittingly obstructing my right to make my full answer and defence, they are misusing the powers and dignity and resources of the Crown to obstruct Justice
Appellant /Applicant seeks a stay of the Order on the following Grounds
10 As defined in section 1 of the Milk Industry Act
"producer" means any dairy farmer who produces milk;
"producer vendor" means any person who distributes milk produced by his or her own cattle, but does not include a partnership, corporation or cooperative association owning or controlling more than 2 dairy farms on which qualifying milk is produced;
"vendor" means any person dealing in milk, whether by purchase or sale or on the basis of delivery on consignment for sale, and includes
(a) agents for producers and cooperative associations, if the agents and cooperative associations sell and distribute milk produced by their principals or by the members of the associations, and
(b) a jobber, a producer vendor and a processor,
but does not include a producer as such.
And section 2 of the Milk Industry Act
Application of Act
2 This Act applies to all vendors, whether cooperative associations or not, despite the Cooperative Association Act, or any other Act, or the terms of any contracts between producers and vendors.
Thus not every ¡°producer¡± is necessarily a ¡°vendor¡±. As we co-operate in dairying for our own sustenance our private association is seen as a ¡°producer¡±, but we are not a ¡°vendor¡±. The Milk Industry Act is concerned with ¡°marketing¡± It requires that all raw milk produced by ¡°vendors¡± must be pasteurized on its way to market. But farming to produce food for ourselves does not involve marketing because our milk is never for sale. Since our dairy is not in the ¡°vendor¡± category, our raw milk is not required to have the life cooked out of it - known as pasteurization - before we drink it. Regulation 181/88 does not apply to what we do, nor to our contractor Alice Jongerden
11 We have the freedom to associate one with another for a legal purpose without having to get permission to do so from the government. The Milk Industry Act does not compel us to obtain a licence to take a dividend in the form of milk from our property, ie. cows which produces milk strictly for our own use. In the 1954 provincial Royal Commission on the marketing of milk. We find that the prime purpose of the Act was to
¡°provide for the maintenance of a steady and adequate supply of fresh safe milk of thoroughly satisfactory quality to the consuming public at a reasonable cost¡± - page 161 of the Report of the Royal Commission
From its inception, the Act concerned milk producers who were in commerce. The Act effectually created two categories: in one is all milk produced with intent it shall be sold at some point in time. In the other is all milk produced for personal consumption, but not for sale. Nowhere in the Report is there indication that the government ought to be empowered to regulate the use and enjoyment of private property, let alone, micro-manage British Columbians¡¯ food choices. Although it is tacit, there is a distinction in law between the raw milk from vendors, which is caught by Regulation 181/88, versus our milk. The Regulation does not apply to our milk, thus, the Order does not apply to our dairy
12 The Order is predicated upon Health Act Regulation 181/88, but that Regulation contradicts the spirit and the letter of the original Milk Industry Act Although it was amended in 1996, eliminating mention of the avenue for someone to obtain a certificate for retailing raw milk, which had been sections 3, 4, 5 and parts of 67 of the Milk Industry Act, the concept was never repealed. Thus provision for raw milk to be sold is ¡®grandfathered¡¯. The intent of the Milk Industry Act is expressed in the 1954 Report of the Royal Commission on milk marketing, to which Regulation 181/88 is adverse. Since the Regulation is invalid, the Order at issue is, too.
13 The evidence upon which the Order was based was obtained illegally. Whereas the Order purports section 61 of the Health Act as authority for searching the farm, in fact, Inspector Rice and the Respondents from whom he took direction were, at all times material to the incident, aware that raw milk produced by the Home on the Range herd was not caught by section 56 of that Act. Before he got there, Inspector Rice knew that he did not have authority to search the premises. Thus, whatever he seized and what followed from that illegal seizure, is precluded from consideration by the Court
14 The Order was uttered under false pretence. It pretends to be based upon Inspector Rice¡¯s statement that he saw Alice Jongerden ¡°packaging and distributing raw milk in violation of the Health Act¡± when in fact he, and the Respondents who directed him, were very well aware the raw milk which she was handling was not caught by the Health Act. At all times material to the incidents out of which the Order arose, Respondents knew that raw milk from our herd remains shareholders¡¯ private property, never being entered-in to commerce. Not being offered for sale, it is exempt from the Health Act or the Milk Industry Act Inspector George Rice wittingly perverted Justice
15 The Order was invalid ab initio because, before it was issued, its subject, namely Alice Jongerden, had discharged the onus upon her to show cause why the raw milk was not such a foodstuff as is contemplated by section 56 of the Health Act. On June 16th 2008, as she stood there with him on the farm, Alice Jongerden told Inspector Rice that the milk was indeed for human consumption but it was not for sale. She called me on her cell phone, then handed it to him. I then told him the same thing. When he spoke with me, it was clear that Inspector Rice knew who I was vis-¨¤-vis the dairy. Internal government e-mails obtained later show that they were well-aware of my correspondence on the raw milk issue. Inspector George Rice had been briefed about the information published on my internet website, on which those letters are posted. Allowing for the purposes of argument, only, that the search was lawful, the moment we - two live witnesses - told him the milk was not ¡°exposed for sale¡±, we satisfied section 56 (2) of the Health Act. Lacking any evidence to the contrary, Inspector Rice thereafter had no authority to issue the Order. Absent jurisdiction, the Order is of no force nor effect
16 The Order is contradicted by the express policy of the Minister of Health. As Inspector George Rice, and Respondents from whom he took direction, uttered the Order, they were very well aware they were flying in the face of official approvals of our dairy which had been issued by both the Minister of Agriculture and also the Minister of Health. Copies of those approvals are contained in Exhibit ¡°E¡± in the Affidavit of Gordon S Watson sworn February 14 2007. Disregarding those policy statements out of an ulterior motive, Inspector George Rice and his accomplices committed malfeasance of public office
17 The Order is in conflict and must yield to the right of the Applicant / Appellant to use and enjoy his property, especially for self~medication. Even if - allowing for the sake of argument only - the Order is legitimate, it is superceded by the need of the Applicant/ Appellant and the needs of other individuals who hold shares in the herd, to use and enjoy our property - that being raw milk produced by our cows - for medicinal purposes. I have a long-standing deeply-held belief that fresh pure whole raw milk is a necessity for maintenance of, and to improve, my health. Wherefore my and other shareholders¡¯ joint and several rights to medicate ourselves, enshrined in section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, trump the Order
18 The Order is void for vagueness. The Order is unclear whether the farm on which our herd stands, and the premises in which our milk is actually packaged, and from which it was being distributed up until July 9th 2008, are caught by it, since the Order stipulates an address for a property with which our dairy has nothing to do. The Order is unclear whether or not it pertains to every place its subject, namely Alice Jongerden is, while doing business as ¡°Home on the Range¡±, or only if she happens to be at the address it sets out. Since Alice Jongerden has never set foot on the property at 49311 Prairie Central Road Chilliwack, the intent of the one who issued it is incomprehensible
19 The Order was the result of a conspiracy to pervert Justice. Materials received through the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act process show that the directing mind of the conspiracy had accessed my website and had knowledge of what I say there. Intra-governmental emails
[ at TAB M ] prove that, as of June 2008, these officials in the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and the BC Centre for Disease Control had received no complaint about our dairy. They knew that as we, daily, proved why raw milk ought to be available in British Columbia, profits of their friends in the dairy cartel would suffer as informed consumers switched to REAL MILK. These government officials set out to destroy our dairy, while they were very well aware that it posed no hazard to the Public Health, and whilst they were aware that raw milk was instrumental in some people¡¯s health improving.
Terms ¡°imminent¡± and ¡°likely to¡±
20 The legal standard to be met when an Order is issued under the Health Act is, whether there was sufficient credible information to give rise to reasonable belief that a danger to the public health existed. No such evidence whatsoever was ever before the Fraser Health Authority nor any of the other Respondents such as the BC Centre For Disease Control about the raw milk produced by our herd. On the contrary ; Respondents wittingly avoided testing the sample of our milk for bacteria known to cause food poisoning.
21 There no evidence before the Fraser Health Authority capable of supporting the presumption that raw milk from our herd was did or was likely to endanger the public health. When they moved to ruin our raw milk dairy, Respondents were obligated to act in accordance with the meaning of ¡°likely to¡± as articulated in the case of Western Forest Products. They did the exact opposite
22 If Respondents say that all raw milk is always and only a vector for disease, they have to justify that position. If Respondents pretend that the batch of milk they sampled presented a hazard to the public health, then onus is on them to prove that much. Yet they have done the opposite ; the have hindered me getting the facts.
23 Accepting for the sake of argument, only, that the public interest was ever engaged : given the opportunity to get scientific proof that milk from that batch did contain bacteria which cause food poisoning to members of the public, Respondents avoided doing so. From that deliberate choice the Court ought to infer that that they knew our milk was OK, and didn¡¯t want hard evidence on the record which would embarrass them.
24 Absent evidence of harm, then, in light of the fact that we did drink it and we did enjoy it without any ill effect whatsoever, the Court ought to find as a fact that our milk was safe to drink
25 The beginning of the issue to be determined is the language of the Health Act. at section 1
¡°health hazard¡± means
(a) a condition or thing that does or is likely to
( i) endanger the public health
(ii) prevent or hinder the prevention or suppression of disease
(b) a prescribed condition or thing, or
( c) a prescribed condition or thing that fails to meet a prescribed standard
26 On the day the Order was issued, did the milk from our cows actually endanger the public health? It did not. All the rest of the milk in the batch from which the Inspector took a sample was thereafter consumed by its owners, happily. Absent evidence of our milk causing illness to anyone, the Court ought to assume the converse to be true : ie. by drinking it in good health, we have proven the raw milk from our cows to be safe ; it is the very opposite of a hazard to the public health
27 On the day the Order was issued, was the milk from our cows likely to endanger the public health? No : it could not endanger the public health because our milk is never made available to the public. Since the premise for the Order goes back to section 56 of the Health Act and to the Milk Industry Act, both of which are concerned with milk offered for sale then Regulation 181/88 does not apply to raw milk which always remains private property
28 Respondents do not have clean hands. There is no other, more logical inference to be drawn from the Respondents refusing to provide the most basic element of the appeal process, ie, the identity of a complainant, but that crucial documents are being hidden to prevent me getting the whole truth before the Court.
29 Emails between the Respondents show that they knew they needed a formal complaint as a triggering-event to proceed properly under the Health Act, but they did not have one. Respondents have stonewalled my repeated requests for that basic element of this matter. As a United States Court of Appeals has held
Silence can only be equated with fraud where there is a legal or moral duty to speak or where an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally misleading."
United States v. Prudden, 424 F.2d 1021 (5th Cir. 1970), 400 U.S. 831(1970)
There never was a complaint such as would have given the government entr¨¦e to our private dairy. Thus, the Order of Inspector Rice was a fraud from Day One. Refusing to divulge records which would prove that malfeasance, Respondents are perpetuating that fraud upon the Court : Fraud vitiates everything it touches.
30 The process whereby an Order under the Health Act is issued is in the nature of a citation for a show-cause hearing. A health Inspector who originates that process is the Prosecutor until the Attorney General takes over prosecution of the charge. In his capacity as the Prosecutor, that Inspector has the duty to disclose all material in his control to the Person named in the Order as well as to persons aggrieved by it, so those persons can know the case they have to meet. The Inspector¡¯s counsel, Guy McDannold, has refused repeatedly to discharge the obligation upon a Crown Counsel, to full disclosure. On a parallel track, the Respondents are hindering the Freedom of Information process in order to prevent me getting documents which will show they did conspire to commit an indictable offence, to wit, perversion of Justice
The Serious Issues to be tried are
31 the legality of the search ; constitutionality of Regulation 181/88 ; constitutionality of section 56 of the Health Act
Balance of Convenience favours granting the stay
32 the Order should be set aside until the appeal proper is heard on the basis of ¡°necessity¡±. Having it set aside would entail no loss at all to the government but there certainly is a loss to us who hold shares in the herd. What are we supposed to do with 40 gallons per day of perfectly good milk ¡ our food, our property? The Court has an obligation to prevent waste.
33 The Order greatly inconveniences us supplying our own food. It causes us extra cost over and above what we have already paid to the Agister for her services. Some of our shareholders have very small income, thus, that extra cost is onerous
34 Some of the shareholders need raw milk for their health conditions ; for instance, Rick Adams whose Affidavit speaks volumes
Dated : November 10th 2008 A. D. ________________________
Appellant / Applicant
This OUTLINE is prepared by Gordon S. Watson
Whose address for delivery is : 7954 Elwell Street Burnaby British Columbia V5E 1M4
September 8th 2008
David Loukedelis, Privacy Commissioner
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act, I hereby request that the performance of the government agencies be reviewed in the matter of my request for certain records, as described in the enclosed materials
I have good reason to believe that the government agencies have knowingly refused to provide complete copies of the records under their control because they realized such records will prove malfeasance of public office
The overview is that for about seven years, I have been corresponding with Ministries of the provincial government on the topic of the availability of raw milk. I am not a registered lobbyist for any faction
I came upon the idea of ¡®cowsharing¡¯ or ¡®herdsharing¡¯. In some states and provinces, if it is illegal to sell raw milk, individuals can agree to underwrite, jointly, the maintenance of dairy cow, or cows, so as to receive raw milk for our own sustenance. The practice of paying a farmer to look after one¡¯s livestock is known as ¡°agistment¡±. Agistment has been known in British common law since, at least, the 1300s. The boarding of horses is a good example of ¡®agistment¡¯ in modern times.
I did organize a couple of small-scale raw milk dairies, in which all went well, but those agisters ceased operation for one reason or another.
In 2003, I put to the Minister of Agriculture a query about govt. policy on ¡°cowsharing¡±. I was told that the govt. was not opposed. Later, in order to better clarify the policy, I put the query again to the Ministry of Health. I was told by the Acting Director of the Health Protection Branch, on behalf of the Minister, that they did not oppose us co-operatively dairy farming for our own food, on certain terms.
From about May of 2007, we began a new cowshare which quickly gained members. We went from one cow to about a dozen, by June 2008. We went from just me and the Agister holding shares in one cow, to about 200 shareholders holding shares in a herd of about 16 cows
Unbeknownst to us, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Fraser Health Authority became concerned that we were ¡°selling¡± and/or ¡°distributing¡± raw milk. The material received so far shows that they set out to stop us even though they were well-aware that I had letters of comfort from both the Ministries of Agriculture and of Health. They knew that the procedure under the Health Act required a complaint as a triggering event. But there had been no complaint ; our little dairy was providing thousands of gallons of wonderful whole fresh pure raw milk to hundreds of households with not one single report of anyone getting ill from it. In fact, many of our shareholders give us unsolicited testimonials as to the dramatic improvement in their health attributed to consuming raw milk, or, as we call it : REAL MILK
Our experience proved that raw milk dairying can be done safely here just as it is done in 28 of the united States, and the entire European Economic Community of 300 million people. Just for emphasis : the store on Her Majesty¡®s farm at Windsor Castle, in England, has raw milk for sale! My study of this topic over the last decade, alongside my communications with others promoting REAL MILK, prove that opposition to raw milk on the ground that it is a ¡°health hazard¡± is, in truth, primarily for restraint of trade, to benefit the corporate interests, rather than concern for Public Health.
Even with the limited information I have now, I am confident that the records at issue will reveal that the Health Act Orders upon our dairy were motivated by people who have personal interests in the commercial milk supply system. The pretended ¡®complaint¡¯ was not a genuine complaint at all under the Health Act, but was motivated by malice.
One of the things I asked for in my FoI request was the name of the complainant. The fact that they refuse to refuse to divulge that info - merely the lynchpin of their action - indicates that there never was a genuine complaint. I strongly suspect that that person - if he exists at all - will turn out to be someone who covets our success. Our Agister gets about $17 per gallon, gross, for handling our REAL MILK, versus about $3 per gallon for farmers who are locked-in to the quota system. The malice goes deeper than that : as our project asserts the right to use and enjoy our property, it embarrasses farmers who are effectually serfs in the centrally-dictated system of industrial agriculture ; the very system Karl Marx called for in his Communist Manifesto. Thus, there is a profound ideological contest going on here.
The fatal flaw in that system of industrial agriculture is that, while it does seem to produce cheap food, that quantity is only an illusion. The image of abundance hides the fact that that food is seriously deficient in nutrition. North Americans who have had ¡®cheap food¡¯ for a couple of generations, are now reaping the consequence = expensive healthcare.
Explanation of the profound malice underlying what¡¯s going on with the REAL MILK starts with the communist definition of ¡°peace¡±, ie. ¡®absence of opposition to socialism¡¯. The bureaucrats, and especially the leaders of the unions of Public Servants, are communists, dedicated to a One-World socialist government. They perceive any and every citizen who attempts to take care of himself outside the machinery of government, as their class enemy. Thus, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant someone is, simply producing food for themselves outside the quota system, the bureaucracy hates that individual because he dares to think for himself. The communist mentality sets out to destroy him.
These officials abused the powers at their disposal with the end in mind of destroying our little raw milk dairy. Lacking a genuine complaint about its actual health-full-ness, they concocted a Health Act Order and slapped it on one of the depots where our milk was stored for pickup by shareholders. They outright lied to the proprietor, telling him he was ¡®in jeopardy of ten years in jail and a $200,000 fine¡¯. They concocted another Order and served it on our Agister at the farm.
Both Orders were predicated on Health Act Regulation 181/88. Yet these people knew all the while that our milk is not subject to that Regulation. Raw milk produced by our dairy is only for our own private use. It is never entered-in to commerce, thus it is categorically exempt from both Health Act and the Milk Industry Act.
Their perfidy is revealed by the fact that when these people conferred with Craig Jones, who is counsel with the Constitutional Law Group with Legal Services Branch of the Attorney General, he told them that what we were doing is not illegal. Failing to get the answer they wanted, they went shopping outside government for a lawyer who would give them a pretext for moving against us.
The partial records I have received so far show that their ¡°researcher¡± accessed - and, probably, printed-out - the website where I published my enquiries and the letters in which officials stated government policy vis-¨¤-vis cowsharing : < www.freewebs.com/bovinity > With knowledge of these letters, they must have known that what they were doing was contradicted by their superiors ¡ that what they were doing was wrong. In each instance, when one was served, I immediately made a request for the records concerning how these Orders came about. As well, on a separate track, I originated appeals in the Supreme Court of British Columbia to each of these Orders.
Researching the law in order to prepare my appeals, I went to the Royal Archive in Victoria and read the Report of the Royal Commission on milk marketing. The Commissioner mentioned that raw milk was then = 1954 = being sold to the public by farms which were certified by the province to do so. Commissioner J V Clyne directed that the Milk Industry Act should have an avenue so that those who wanted raw milk, could always get it. That provision was in the Act until its last amendment, in 1996. Never having been repealed, provision for sale of raw milk from farms so-certified, is still part of the spirit of the Milk Industry Act, being ¡®grandfathered¡¯. Raw milk has always been legal for sale in British Columbia, even if that fact was forgotten.
The officials involved now know all this because I spelled it out. Now that I¡¯ve caught them, they are hiding the evidence that they committed malfeasance of public office. Rather than come clean and resolve the issue so we can have the best food in the world, unhindered by ignoramuses doing their job wrong, the bureaucrats have circled the wagons. Which is the exact opposite of the good government to which I - and all British Columbians - are entitled. It is the duty of the Privacy Commissioner to compel production of all the records, in order that corruption is exposed, so it can be remedied.
Gordon S Watson
Box 63009 RPO Highgate Burnaby British Columbia V5E 4J6
Telephone 604 526 5324 email < [email protected] >
On Monday June 16th 2008, an officer from the Fraser Health Protection Authority showed up at the morning milking and took a sample of our milk.
The Wednesday afterwards, I spoke briefly with Mr Jones on the phone who acknowledged ¡°there are constitutional issues here¡±. The crux of it being that producing REAL MILK for ourselves is the exercise of our right to use and enjoy our property, versus the law which prohibits ¡°distributing¡± raw milk. By phone on Thursday I asked George Rice what we could expect next. He said that they - the govt. people - will have a conference call next week on this issue
On June 30th 2008 a Cease&Desist Order was slapped on the Fraser Delicatessen, then the authorities watched as all the good raw milk was poured down the toilet. They did that with full knowledge of our year-long project proving that raw milk is not necessarily a ¡®health hazard¡¯
A good analogy for arguing that raw milk can be safe to drink ¡ if produced and handled properly ¡ is the way the govt. deals with quality of water delivered out of public water systems. From time to time various disease-causing bacteria are found, and a ¡°boil water advisory¡± is issued. In such cases, the tipoff is sick people. Yet those who choose to, can still use that water at their own risk. In extreme cases, the water supply is condemned as a public health hazard. But when that happens in one locale, every water system in the province is not shut down
Same with independent producers of REAL MILK. This week in Washington state, Dee Creek farm pleaded guilty to having shipped dirty raw cow's milk across the state line, three years ago. But all the other raw milk dairies in the state, were not shut down then.
In the last year, our cowshare operation has delivered thousands of gallons of REAL MILK to hundreds of share holders and their households. We haven¡¯t had any report of anyone getting sick from it. Since concern about "risk to health" has been demonstrated to be manageable, why stop us?
On July 9th 2008 at about 7 pm our Agister was served an Order to 'cease and desist' "distributing" raw milk. Unhappily, we must comply with it or they'll take the thing sideways in to 'contempt of Court' process, which is a no-win situation.
For now, shareholders are not getting their milk delivered. We are trying to find out the scope of the order so as to allow for those who can, to pick up their milk at the farm. This may be an ad hoc fix for a short time only
Below is my appeal. I will be pursuing it "with vigah"
... our cows are still out on the best pastures in the world, and giving fresh pure whole raw milk which is being made in to wonderful X-factor butter 'til we get the fluid milk back on track
Appeal of Health Act Order
New Westminster Registry
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
RE : In the matter of the Health Act RSBC 1996 c 179, as amended, section 102
And in the matter of the Milk Industry Act RSBC 1996 c 289 as amended
BETWEEN : GORDON S. WATSON Appellant
AND : MINISTER OF HEALTH GEORGE ABBOT
FRASER HEALTH PROTECTION AUTHORITY
INSPECTOR GEORGE RICE
PERSONS YET TO BE ASCERTAINED Respondents
NOTICE OF APPEAL
as amended August 7th 2008
WHEREAS on July 9th 2008 George Rice acting for the Minister of Health in his capacity as Public Health Inspector for the Fraser Health Protection Authority, made an Order in the form attached to this Notice of Appeal (¡°the Order¡±)
AND WHEREAS an appeal lies to this Honourable Court pursuant to section 102 of the Health Act RSBC 1996, c 179 as amended :
AND ON NOTICE TO THE RESPONDENTS George Rice, Fraser Health Protection Authority,
Minister of Health GEORGE ABBOT
TAKE NOTICE THAT Gordon S. Watson of the City of Burnaby in the Province of British Columbia hereby appeals the Order on the following Grounds :
First reason why the Order is invalid
1. The Order is invalid because the Regulation from which it claims authority does not pertain to the Person who is its subject, namely Alice Jongerden dba ¡®Home on the Range¡¯. The essence of the bargain which I and the other shareholders have with her is that we pay in advance for agistment services of our jointly-owned cattle. Under this agreement, known as ¡°cowsharing¡± / ¡°herdsharing¡± the Agister delivers dividends from our jointly-owned asset, ie. milk from our cows, to shareholders but to no one else. She is not engaged in commerce ; she is not ¡°selling¡± nor ¡°distributing¡± raw milk for sale, as contemplated by the Milk Industry Act nor is that milk ¡°offered for sale for human consumption¡± to anyone but those who already hold an interest in the herd.
2. The Milk Industry Act came about after the 1954 provincial Royal Commission on the marketing of milk. Prime purpose of the Act was to
¡°provide for the maintenance of a steady and adequate supply of fresh safe milk of thoroughly satisfactory quality to the consuming public at a reasonable cost¡± - page 161 of the Report
It created two categories : in one category is all milk produced with intent it shall be sold at some point in time. In the other category is all milk produced for personal consumption, but not for sale. From its inception, the Act concerned only milk producers who were engaged in commerce.
3. The Milk Industry Act requires that all raw milk produced by vendors must be pasteurized on its way to market, but, since our dairy operation is not a ¡°vendor¡± then Regulation 181/88 does not apply to what we do, nor to our contractor Alice Jongerden
Second reason why the Order is invalid
4. Regulation 181/88 negates one of the objects of the Royal Commission on milk marketing.
5. Section 8 of the Interpretation Act RSBC says
Every enactment must be construed as being remedial, and must be given such fair, large and liberal construction and interpretation as best ensures the attainment of its objects
6. I asked the Ministries of Health and of Agriculture and of the Attorney General for all material on hand at the time, underpinning the rationale for Regulation 181/88. I was told there was none.
The Cabinet does not just sit around making up law to pass the time, or because they get paid by the word : there has to be a good reason for new legislation. Unless Respondents can come up with evidence of some hazard to the Public Health presented by all raw milk immediately prior to that Regulation being proclaimed, for which it was the remedy, then it is without logical foundation.
7. Respondents mis-used Regulation 181/88 to frustrate Mister Justice Clyne¡¯s stipulation that a law which came out of his Commission must ensure that those who wanted raw milk could get it. For four decades, up until the Milk Industry Act was amended in 1996, that exception was enshrined in its sections 4 and 5, whereby someone who wanted to sell raw milk to the Public could have a farm so-certified. The Public Health did not suffer simply because a few people sold raw milk to a niche market.
8. When interpreting an Act, jurists start with as much of the material which can be located, of what was before the Legislature when the Bill was under consideration, as well as what was said about it in the Chamber. One of the blind spots of the Premier of the Day ( 1954 ) was his refusal to allow a written record ; until about 1972, British Columbia was the only government in the British Commonwealth which did not have a Hansard. Thus we cannot know what discussion was on the floor of the House leading up to passage of the Milk Industry Act. Bearing in mind that the author of the Report was an eminent judge who heard many hours of vive voce testimony from dozens of stakeholders, as well as reading extensive written submissions, to come to his conclusions, the government is bound to abide by the findings of the Royal Commission
9. at page xiii of the Report the Commissioner says
10. Pasteurization -- For the reasons given in the report, pasteurization should be made compulsory throughout the Province, subject to exceptions in the case of small communities where the cost of a pasteurization plant would be prohibitive, and where there should be rigid rules for inspection in lieu of pasteurization. Provision should be made for a further exception in the case of raw milk dealers, who would be subject to special inspection and classification so that persons desiring to drink raw milk should be able to exercise their choice. Containers for raw milk should be clearly marked.
at page 106 of the Report the Commissioner says
¡. I have no hesitation in recommending that the Legislature enact laws providing that all milk intended for human consumption in any part of the Province and all milk products manufactured for human consumption should be pasteurized. There would, of course have to be certain exceptions. I do not suggest that a person who really wants to drink raw milk and is prepared to accept the risk of doing so should be deprived of that privilege. There is undoubtedly a market for raw milk, and I think that farms producing milk which is intended to be sold for human consumption without pasteurization should be subject to special inspection, as is presently carried out on a number of farms on Vancouver Island, and should be given a special grade such as triple A. All unpasteurized milk should be clearly labelled so that no one should drink it without realizing that he is running the risk attendant upon drinking raw milk. ¡
10. Thus whole fresh pure raw milk was being produced and delivered to appreciative consumers while this Royal Commission was underway half a century ago. Preparing my Constitutional Challenge to Regulation 181/88, I tried to obtain records of farms which had been certified to sell raw milk to the Public under various Acts, but was told by the Freedom of Information branches of the Health and Agriculture Ministries that those records had been destroyed according to a directive. So the best evidence we have that raw milk was once upon a time in British Columbia, offered for sale legally, is contained in the Report of the Royal Commission. The Commission spells out that the inspection of dairy farms had broken down, thus milk quality was unreliable. Inferior quality milk came to market cheaper than milk produced by farms with higher standards. Meanwhile raw milk dairies were operating to higher standards, concentrating on the health of the cows along with best handling practices of the milk : exactly what we formed our herdshare dairy to do for ourselves.
11. Regulation 181/88 was not introduced for anything to do with the Public Good. It was contrived for an ulterior motive, that being : to run independent farmers off the land as part of the communist agenda to consolidate control of the food supply under corporations. Ergo, as Regulation 181/88, founded as it is on a false premise - that all raw milk is always and only teeming with disease from the moment it comes out of the udder - is patently absurd. An absurd law is a nullity ; the Order falls with it.
Third reason why the Order is invalid
12. Section 56 of the Health Act creates two categories of milk : in one category is all milk which is ever ¡° ¡. exposed for sale, or deposited in any place for the purpose of sale, or for preparation for sale, and intended for food for humans¡±. In the other category is all milk which is not offered for sale. Anticipating that the Respondents may say the milk in our dairy undeniably was ¡° intended for food for humans¡± thereby placing it under the jurisdiction of the Health Protection Authority, I say the word ¡°and¡± there ties that phrase to the overall import of the section - foodstuff exposed for sale. ¡®Food intended for humans¡¯ is not a stand-alone category.
13. Milk produced by our dairy most certainly is intended as food for humans but is never for sale. Our milk does not fall in the category of foodstuff defined by section 56 therefore the Health Act could not confer power over it to Inspector Rice. Regulation 181/88 of the Health Act did not apply to our property, ie. the raw milk, which was always and only for our personal use and enjoyment. Lacking jurisdiction, the Order of Inspector Rice made July 9th 2008 upon Alice Jongerden dba as Home on the Range is void
14. On June 16th 2008 when Inspector Rice announced the purpose of his visit, Alice Jongerden told him ¡°we¡¯re not selling milk.¡± That plain statement ought to have ended his visit right there and then. Yet he replied ¡°we think you are¡±. Onus ought to be on the Respondents to prove that the subject of the Order or anyone else associated with our raw milk dairy, ever offered milk for sale before the Order was issued. Lacking such, then the power conferred upon Inspector Rice to inspect for a hazard to the Public Health, ended. Alice Jongerden did discharge the - utterly unconstitutional - reverse onus set out in the Health Act. To the time of this writing, Respondents refuse to disclose any evidence to substantiate the assumption of Inspector Rice. That¡¯s because there is none. Therefore the Order ought to be set aside for that reason, alone
15. Starting with one cow in May 2007, and growing to 11 cows in milk on the day the sample was taken by Inspector Rice, about 200 households were providing ourselves with fresh whole unadulterated raw milk via an arrangement known as ¡°cowsharing¡± or ¡°herdsharing¡±. We have not had a single report of anyone becoming ill from consuming milk from our herd. During that time none of the ministries of Health, nor Agriculture nor the Attorney General told us to stop delivery. With letters in hand from the government condoning cowsharing, our understanding always was, and continues to be, that what we were doing is quite legal.
16. The progress of our ¡°cowshare¡± was well known to the Respondents because I informed them about it every step of the way. Its success - legally providing REAL MILK outside the quota system - is dramatic proof that, given the opportunity, informed consumers will reject the stuff produced under the communist model of industrial agriculture merchandised as ¡°homo milk¡±, in favour of pure fresh whole unadulterated raw milk from cows on pasture.
17. In that the Order is based on a sample of our milk which, when tested, did not show bacteria harmful to human beings, the Respondents¡¯ own pre-emptory action proved that our raw milk dairy was being carried on safely. The success of our farm over the preceding year disproves the presupposition of Health Act Regulation 181/88, ie. that every pail of raw milk is always and only a hazard to the Public Health. Predicated as it is on a demonstrably incorrect assumption, Regulation 181/88 of the Health Act is patently absurd, therefore invalid. The Order goes down with it
18. The Order references a sample taken by Inspector George Rice, to wit, a jar of raw milk with my name on it. Respondents had that sample tested for phosphatase, only. Presence of phosphatase indicates the milk had not been cooked because the test for complete pasteurization is the absence of all enzymes ¡ the very enzymes needed by the human body to digest milk! The copy of the test result which I received evidenced nothing presenting a threat to the Public Health. The fact that the Respondents did not embargo the entire batch of milk on site July 9th 2008, and did not direct the laboratory to test for pathogens, proves that they expected the milk to be free of disease. Otherwise they would have seized it and dumped it immediately. At all times material to the events out of which this appeal arises, our milk certainly was fit for human consumption. We know so because after the Order was served, prohibiting our Agister bringing it to us, shareholders had to go out and get that very same milk. We drank it and we have not had one single report of illness from consuming it
19. The last word on what constitutes a threat to the Public Health is found in the ruling in the case of Western Forest Products and Sunshine Coast Regional District It was incumbent upon the Respondents to follow that standard for determining a health hazard. Respondents - and all of them - were obliged to know the legal terms ¡°presently¡± versus ¡°imminent¡± and to appreciate that distinction when determining if some thing is a hazard to Public Health. The Order is unreasonable in that the Respondents acted not only with no evidence the milk in that jar, or any of our milk, ever presented a hazard to the Public Health, yet with proof positive to the contrary
20. At all times material to the incidents from which this appeal arises, it was incumbent upon the Respondents to comport with the ruling in the case Portland Hotel Society and the Attorney General of Canada as the standard for determining what constitutes necessary health treatment. Respondents had in hand evidence showing that I, and many of those who hold shares in the herd, do so motivated by our sincere longstanding belief that fresh whole unadulterated raw milk is necessary for our health. Attached to this Notice and served herewith is one example, being the unsolicited testimony of a father concerning his son. Attached to this Notice and served herewith is the editorial of the Globe & Mail newspaper of August 4th 2008 touching on self-medication
21. Inspector George Rice and those from whom he took direction, erred by disregarding that standard even though the Ministry of Health was well aware of it.
22. With no evidence of any real threat to the Public Health, yet with evidence in hand some shareholders needed it for maintenance of their health, Respondents acted utterly contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Health Act The Order unduly interferes with my right and the right of other shareholders per section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to self-medicate, as explained by the ruling in Portland Hotel Society and the Attorney General of Canada
23. Officials had in hand extensive correspondence from my lobbying effort towards having raw milk available legally. From that material the Respondents were well aware that raw milk dairying is being done successfully in Washington State, Oregon, California, Texas et cetera. Respondents were well aware that raw milk is bought in other places by Canadians and brought back in to British Columbia legally, declared as groceries. Respondents were well aware that it is perfectly legal for someone to use and enjoy within British Columbia, raw milk which was bought out of the Province. Respondents have never seized raw milk brought back over the border from the united States of America under the pretext it was a hazard to the Public Health.
24. Particularly, Respondents had in hand a letter to me from the then-Minister of Agriculture van Dongen as well as a letter from the previous A/ Executive Director Health Protection Ron Duffell, both of which acknowledge that I and those with whom I co-operate are asserting the right to use and enjoy our property, ie our cows, as we go a¡¯dairying for our sustenance.
25. Respondents are responsible for knowing the laws which govern their Ministries. It is hard to believe that the combined expertise of the upper echelons of the Ministries of Health and of Agriculture and of the Attorney General could have missed the plain meaning of the Health Act and the Milk Industry Act as those Acts concern themselves with raw milk, explained in paragraphs 1 to 14 above. Government officials cannot plead ignorance of the two letters which approved our herdshare. There is no other, more logical inference to be drawn but that those who directed the Order be issued knew that what they were doing was wrong, yet proceeded anyway in furtherance of a plan to ruin our dairy so as to perpetuate the myth that ¡°raw milk is disease-ridden and a hazard to the Public Health¡±, all, in order that consumers will never find out otherwise, and the Dairy Cartel can get away with profiting from selling an inferior product
26. On June 18th 2008 I spoke with George Rice by telephone about his seizure of my property on June 16th 2008, at which time he told me that, after that sample of milk was tested, there would be a conference call the following week ¡°with our legal side¡±. On July 9th 2008 I told Inspector George Rice about those two of the letters referred-to in paragraph 24. I warned him that he would be acting illegaly if he served the Cease and Desist Order. Mr Rice replied that he was not aware of them then got off the phone. A day later when one of our shareholders, namely Linda Meadows, asked Mr Rice on the phone what was going on, he told her that ¡°the law¡± required a shareholder to be directly involved in the care of the animals. Since there is no such ¡°law¡±, Mr Rice could only have been referring to A/Director Ron Duffell¡¯s reply to me. Every official who exercises power under aegis of the Ministry of Health has a duty to know and to abide by the law which governs his office. For Inspector George Rice to serve the Order after my warning that the Ministry of Health had in hand good reason for him not to proceed, is studied negligence
27. That hearsay about the telephone exchange between George Rice and Linda Meadows gives me good reason to believe and I verily do believe that George Rice and those from whom he took direction as they issued the Order were very well aware that they wittingly acted contrary to the spirit and the letter of those official replies.
28. After Inspector Rice seized my property on June 16th 2008, I had a brief phone conversation with Ministry of Attorney General counsel Craig Jones on June 18th 2008, about the seizure of our milk at the Fraser Deli, Mr Jones acknowledged ¡°there are constitutional issues¡± around cowsharing. In the exchange on the cellphone on the morning of July 9th 2008, Inspector George Rice told me that he had been on a telephone conference call with Craig Jones ¡°last week¡±. I have good reason to believe and I verily do believe that in that conference call, George Rice was advised that I had originated Petition #104023 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia at New Westminster which asks for Declarations of Right to do with raw milk dairying. It is more logical than not that the conference call mentioned the letters which approve our herdshare model for raw milk dairying. Wherefore Inspector Rice knew, or ought to have known that the validity of the Order was dubious, at best
29. Respondents knew, or ought to have known that, twice, the World Trade Organization has censured Canada for its quota system of milk supply. Respondents knew, or ought to have known, that the milk marketing system in Canada is operating contrary to the trade agreements to which Canada is signatory. Respondents are well aware of and sensitive to the looming disruption and threat to the profitability of stakeholders in the milk marketing system posed by the WTO rulings. The Order is an attempt to curtail milk supply outside the quota system, rather than for any good reason to do with a health hazard
30. Governments federal and provincial which co-operate in the Stalinist model of a centrally-dictated food system are worried, especially, by consumers who are now farming co-operatively after losing confidence in industrial agriculture. Our herdshare is perceived as a threat to the profits of the governments¡¯ friends, ie the Dairy Cartel, because we have proved the concept of consumer-directed agriculture viable. Issuance of the Order is unfair because it imposes communism over my right to use and enjoy my property cooperatively, so as to ensure the quantity and quality of food I prefer and need
31. The Order is an attempt to regulate the milk supply disguised as the exercise of authority to terminate an existing hazard to Public Health. That sham is undone by our having demonstrated whole fresh unadulterated raw milk, particularly the batch which is the subject of the Order, is some of the best food in the world. Respondents abused their powers under the Health Act not for any reason genuinely to do with Public Health, but out of an ulterior motive, which is to prop up the failing milk marketing scheme. It is illegal for the Respondents to do obliquely that which they cannot do directly.
32. There is no other, more logical inference to be drawn from the timing of service of the Health Act Order on the Fraser Delicatessen on June 30th 2008 along with the Order of July 9th 2008 on Alice Jongerden, but that the Minister of Health perverted the powers and resources and dignity of the Crown for an illegal purpose, which is : suppression of the Campaign for REAL MILK in British Columbia. That is political activity outside the purview of the Health Minister.
33. Issuance of the Order was not truly for protecting the Public from a real hazard to health, but rather, recrimination against me for holding the Respondents accountable for their actions in a Court of law
34. In October 1993 I was one of the first people to avail myself of the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act RSBC Shortly afterwards, my cousin, who was then working in the Ministry of Attorney General, told me that employees of the ministry had been given a day-long seminar in how to pretend to comply with requests pursuant to that Act, meanwhile divulging as little information as possible. In the years since then, as I applied the Act and used information so-gained to embarrass the government of the day on certain political issues, I became known as one of the ¡°frequent flyers¡±, which term is slang within the bureaucracy for citizens who know the protocol and use it often. It is well known within government that FoI requests which touch on politically-sensitive issues are flagged for special attention of the Minister
35. On June 18th 2008, after the seizure of my property in Chilliwack by George Rice, I made a formal Freedom of Information demand to Craig Jones of the Ministry of the Attorney General for all records concerning that seizure, particularly the name of the complainant.
36. After the seizure of a sample and detention of my property ( the raw milk ) which was being warehoused at the Fraser Delicatessen on June 26th 2008 I made another formal Freedom of Information demand to David Jantzen at the Coastal Health Authority for all records concerning the seizure, particularly for the name of the complainant
37. From June 26th 2008 and on, my property was in cold storage at the Fraser Delicatessen plainly marked with tape bound around the bunch of jars, on which tape was a legal warning that the stuff was embargoed. So situated, that milk in no way constituted a hazard to the Public Health.
38. On June 30th 2008 the property of the shareholders in the dairy herdshare was dumped down the toilet at the Fraser Delicatessen at the direction of Vancouver Coastal Health Protection Authority Inspector Vanessa Oulette.
39. On July 3rd 2008 I originated my appeal of the Health Act Order made June 20th 2008 upon the Fraser Delicatessen, then served a copy of it to the Coastal Health Authority and the Minister of Health.
40. Hearsay received since June 30th 2008 set alongside a curious mistake on the Order of July 9th 2008 leads me to believe that the complaint upon which Respondents acted originated with a farmer who holds quota in the milk marketing system. That information inclines me to believe and I verily do believe, that the motive for the complaint was covetousness, not any real concern for Public Health. I believe that the Respondents realized the FoI process would expose them as having proceeded on a complaint when they knew it arose from malice rather than any legitimate hazard to Public Health. I say that the destruction of my property at the Fraser Deli on June 30th 2008 and the Cease & Desist Order of July 9th 2008 were part of a plan in which the Respondents calculated to provoke me to do and/ or publish something which they could then use as a pretext to prosecute me, thereby deflecting scrutiny of their own misconduct. All in furtherance of a unethical campaign to frustrate my seven years¡¯ effort to get REAL MILK flowing legally in British Columbia.
amended this 7th day of August 2008 A. D.___________________________
Gordon S Watson Appellant
The Appellant acts in person
The Appellant¡¯s address for delivery is :
7954 Elwell Street Burnaby British Columbia V5E 1M4
Telephone 604 526 5324
Fax number 604 526 5064 by prior arrangement