Karen Selick: The State, Children and Freedom

Karen Selick is a lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation. If you love food freedom please donate to the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

For more information about raw milk and food freedom please see Food Freedom: The Politics of Food.

Call to Action: Canadians Wanting Raw Milk Legalized

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

I have just received this Call to Action from Margo McIntosh, Weston A Price Foundation leader for Wilmot, Wellesley and Wellington, ON. If you would like to sign the petition, we will have a copy at GO BOX Storage. Please come in person to sign the petition if you would like to see raw milk legalized in Canada.

Your help is needed to support the efforts of a new working group of raw milk consumers across Canada. We are the Canadian Consumer Raw Milk Advocacy Group and our website is www.rawmilkconsumer.ca.

ACTION TO TAKE
We have a petition that will be presented in the House of Commons in the fall of 2012. You can help by circulating this petition through social media, in your health food stores, to your contact lists and through your chapter members. You can also collect signatures for us at health shows, farmers markets, etc. Any way that you can help will be appreciated.  Even if all that is on your petition is your signature, we want you to mail it! The petition must be hand signed and the originals presented to the House in order for it to be taken seriously. The petition link is on the front page of the website.

ACTIVITIES
We are working on an education package for Members of Parliament both Federal and Provincial. A photocopy of the petition signatures will be part of that package.

It is imperative that we collect a significant number of signatures for this endeavor and we are counting on WAPF Chapter Leaders and members to help us make a difference in Canada. Working together as a countrywide effort instead of little pockets of well intentioned people will bring better results.

This effort is not limited to the collection of petition signatures. Our information package will be sent electronically to every MPP and MP in the country. For this we are recruiting people from each province to help us with both the distribution and the follow-up after a few weeks.  This will all happen in the fall. We will be need at least one person in every province to coordinate the efforts for their province with our help. My hope is that one WAPF Chapter from each province will take this on as a project, work together and help to make change happen. If your chapter wants to do this please have someone designated to join our working group so that you are kept in the know. If you are interested in this please contact me at margo@balanceyourapple.com or margo@healthharmonybalance.com and I will put you on a list to be kept informed.

For the Quebec Chapter Leaders and members, I was contacted by Bobby Gregoire from Slow Food Montreal. He can be contacted at info@slowfoodmontreal.com. Bobby helped me when we were organizing the rallies across the country for Michael Schmidt last November. His group is taking volunteers to do what sounds like exactly the same thing our group is doing and we will be collaborating on this.  We were going to have our website translated into French but will instead link to theirs when it is done. If you are in Quebec and would like to help out on a provincial level, please contact him. Please watch our website for that update when it is available. If you collect signatures for us in Quebec please send them to the address on the petition so they can be used at the Federal level. I feel that we will enlist the help of more French speaking people outside of Quebec as well if we link to a Quebec group and website that is working in collaboration with us and the same for them with English speaking people inside Quebec.

Thank you everyone! Lets work together to create change in Canada!

Margo McIntosh, RHN, RNCP, CGP
Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner
WAPF Chapter Leader: Wilmot, Wellesley and Wellington, ON

Michael Schmidt Ends 37 Days of Hunger Strike!

Michael Schmidt has met with Premier Dalton McGuinty ending 37 days of his hunger strike. Here is the full story:
Michael Schmidt meets with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

Thank you, to all the people who have written letters of support for Michael Schmidt. Michael Schmidt has not spoken about the meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty. I will update this posting when more information becomes available.

Updated November 4, 2011: Here is a statement from Michael Schmidt about his meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty:
“This hunger strike was about starting a dialogue with the leader of this province. I have been on this human journey for 17 years looking for constructive dialogue, and I have been dragged through the courts for a crime that has no victims. My aim was simple: to take this to the top and to begin a conversation with our leader, one-on-one. To meet, as equal human beings, not as Premier and Farmer. It was because of this that I undertook my hunger strike. And this morning, I met with Premier McGuinty, in his office, and we have begun our dialogue, and because of this, I am ending my hunger strike today.

I have always had my hand outstretched in an offer for dialogue and feel that today, for the first time in 17 years, this hand has been taken and dialogue at the highest level has finally begun. I truly hope that the government will refrain from any further attacks on farmers until this dialogue has had a chance to take its proper course. We will be working closely with MPPs over the coming weeks to table a private member’s bill.”

Updated February 13, 2012: Above is a short video by Shawn Buckley who is a constitutional lawyer living in Kamloops, BC. He runs Natural Health Products Protection Association (NHPPA). The organization’s goal is to “protect access to natural health products and dietary supplements.” Below is a longer video explaining more details about Michael Schmidt legal situation. As Michael Schmidt says near the end of the video: “freedom is not anecdotal.”

Updated February 21, 2012: Here is the Ontario Court of Justice Judgement by Justice P.D. Tetley on September 28, 2011. Section [96] states: “The entitlement to consume milk, raw or otherwise, is not a Charter protected right. Accordingly, the Respondent bears the obligation of establishing that the restrictions on raw milk consumption and the prohibition of its sale and distribution is “grossly disproportionate” to the legislative objective inherent in the applicable provisions of the Milk Act and the H.P.P.A. This assessment involves consideration of the extent of the alleged Charter infringement, if any, and its significance when contrasted with the interest, or objective, the legislative initiative was enacted to address.”

Here is a PDF of the full Judgement:
tetley-decision-28-Sept-2011

Dealing with Children, Societal Pressure, and Halloween

day of the dead1 Dealing with Children, Societal Pressure, and Halloween

This is the day after the celebration of the Day of the Dead. Maybe mothers could take back the holidays and make them into something healthy for our children.

As a parent dealing with young children, I have struggled with wanting my children to have the best quality food possible and living in a toxic food society. So what’s a mother to do? Should I be a killjoy or conform to societal norms and allow my children to consume industrial junk? I refuse to call this junk, food.

As I see it, if we had one or two holidays a year that indulged the consumption of industrial junk, it wouldn’t be a problem. If all children normally ate whole foods from a quality source, I wouldn’t be worried. Unfortunately, industrial junk has become the normal daily fare for children and adults alike. It is also possible that industrial junk, for special occasions, has been the wedge that has increased industrial junk consumption throughout the year. Some people believe industrial junk is addictive and giving it to children will lead to a lifelong battle. Please read Zapping Sugar Cravings.

It has been the policy in our household to allow our children to go trick-or-treating for Halloween. Since my children never eat industrial junk, I feel it is okay for them to have one holiday a year where they can totally indulge in industrial junk. In fact, I feel my children need to have some exposure to industrial junk as part of their education. Here is how our household deals with Halloween:

  1. We allow the children to eat as much of the candy as they like for the one evening.
  2. If they don’t like the candy, I encourage them to spit-out the candy and discard it into a pile of refuse.
  3. After they have eaten their fill, the candy goes in the garbage. It is one of the few times I encourage wastefulness.

What I like about this policy is that I can conform to societal norms while at the same time feel confident I’m not hurting my children’s health. It’s just once a year, right? Unfortunately, after doing this program for a number of years, I have noticed a few negative outcomes, including lying and hoarding.

Every year my children agree to this arrangement around Halloween. They love dressing up and plan their homemade costumes for months. The act of going trick-or-treating and the excitement of the night is irresistible. When they get home, they are happy to spit-out yucky tasting candies and are grateful that I’m not worried about wastefulness. Within a few hours, the super sweet binge is over and the candy goes in the garbage.

Well, that’s the plan. But my children have dumpster dived for candy and even gone to the trouble of hiding candy at a friend’s home. I find the behavior of my children strange. Normally, my children don’t lie or hide a hoard, but candy seems to have the power to motivate them into less than ideal behavior. Even indulging once a year, these sugary treats have a powerful hold on my children.

I really don’t know what to do. As a mother I can only do so much. Our household is like an island in a sea of community. Without the support of other like-minded families, our battle with industrial junk is likely a losing one. In my mind’s eye, I can see our community change the nature of our holidays and make them fun and nourishing for our children. Jill Escher has some ideas about how Moms could transform Halloween.

One new idea I’m going to try this Halloween is to “trade” industrial junk for artisan quality chocolate. I would prefer to know and control the ingredients that are in their treats. My hope is that quality chocolate and confectioneries will educate my children’s pallet. None of my children have taken me up on this offer yet, but I am hopeful. Honestly, can a high quality organic chocolate or confectionery lose out to industrial junk? I will find out this year.

I find it ironic, that as I try not to buckle under societal pressure regarding Halloween, Michael Schmidt is into day 23 of his hunger strike, fighting for our collective food freedom. So what’s it going to be: trick-or-treat?

November 4, 2011: Both girls decided to trade their industrial junk for artisan quality chocolate, organic chips, organic mulberries, and organic nut butters. It was interesting to see what the girls wanted but the price tag was high. I spent about $150 on this experiment. We planned for a Bon Bon Fire but everyone was too tired by the end of an exciting Halloween day. I just gave away the industrial junk. My eldest daughter went to her first Halloween dance and enjoyed chocolate cupcakes and a few pieces of industrial junk. Yesterday, she ended up in bed with her first cold of the year. Some people believe sugar will suppress the immune system for a number of hours after ingestion. I treated her with homemade Elderberry Syrup and local propolis for sore throat and Hibiscus tea for extra vitamin C. I also made up some soothing homemade chicken vegetable soup with extra garlic.

December 8, 2012: Here is a documentary called Big Sugar: Sweet, White and Deadly by Brian McKenna. Join the movement to have a sugar-free Halloween.

December 30, 2012: Diet plays a very big roll in mental health. Here is a lecture by Dr Russell Blaylock about how poor nutrition can bring a young person into a world of violence, crime, depression and suicide. Not very sweet news.

Weston A Price Foundation Urgent Raw Milk Action Alert

I received this Urgent Action Alert from the Weston A Price Foundation. They are requesting all Weston A Price Foundation members and people interested in food freedom to commence a letter writing campaign to mobilize against government interference with property ownership rights and food freedom. A sample letter can be found in the comment section of this posting:

raw milk rally Weston A Price Foundation Urgent Raw Milk Action Alert

Raw Milk Rally at the Legislature in Victoria, BC on November 23, 2011. Photo from Gordon Watson.

BACKGROUND
On Wednesday, September 28, 2010, the Ontario government won its appeal against biodynamic farmer, Michael Schmidt. The appeal reversed the former ruling, which confirmed cow share members’ right to obtain raw milk products. Justice Peter Tetley rejected Schmidt’s argument that providing raw milk to cow share owners who are aware of any health risks was his legal right.

Schmidt has been fighting for the right to provide raw milk at his Grey County farm ever since it was raided by government officials in 1994. The recent ruling convicts Michael on 15 of 19 charges and reverses last year’s lower court decision to acquit him of all charges. This latest judicial ruling basically endorses governmental interference in property ownership rights and violates basic human rights to food freedom.

Since this ruling, Michael has embarked on a hunger strike and faces imminent danger of another raid to his farm, as do other farms that participate in Cow Share Canada. He feels that our movement is in great danger and we must act in unison now!

Michael’s urgent message: “We must mobilize our forces throughout Canada and the US with an enormous public outcry. We need to put relentless pressure on legislators in both countries—national, state and local—and also on health authorities through a massive letter-writing and call-in campaign.  We also need to organize face-to-face meetings whenever possible. Canada desperately needs US support in these matters, so we encourage all US members to send messages to key Canadian contacts as well.”

ACTION TO TAKE
It is imperative that we organize to a much higher level. We need everyone in our movement to participate. We need:

  1. At the very least, all members (US and Canada) should write to Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. Submit an email or send a fax to 416.325.3745.
  2. US citizens to write letters and call local, state, and federal legislators in the U.S. and to write letters to Canadian members of the Provincial Parliament in Ontario and British Columbia listed in this alert.
  3. Canadian citizens to write letters to Canadian members of the Provincial Parliament in Ontario and British Columbia listed in this alert.
  4. All need to write letters and call your local health officials.

Michael is depending on us to back up his brave efforts for food freedom!

CANADIAN CONTACTS
Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M7A 1A1
T: 1.800.387.5559
F: 416.325.3745
Send an Email

Tim Hudak, Leader of the Opposition
Unit M1, 4961 King St. E, Beamsville, ON, L0R 1B0
timhudak@niagara.net
T: 905.563.1755
T:1.800.665.3697

Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
242 Piccadilly Street, London, ON, N6A 1S4
dmatthews.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
T: 519.432.7339
F: 519.432.0613

Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party, Hamilton Centre Constituency
Suite 200, 20 Hughson Street South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 2A1
ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca
T: 905.544.9644
F: 905.544.5152

Randy Hillier, Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington Constituency
Unit 1, 105 Dufferin Street, Perth, ON, K7H 3A5
randy.hillierco@pc.ola.org
T: 613.267.8239
F: 613.267.7398

Jack MacLaren
2 Beaverbrook Mall, Unit 102, Kanata, ON, K2K 1L2
jack@jackmaclaren.com
T: 1.877.780.5225

Greg Sorbara, Liberal MPP in Ontario Constituency Office
140 Woodbridge Avenue, Unit AU8 – Market Lane, Woodbridge, ON, L4L 4K9
gsorbara.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
T: 905.851.0440
F: 905.851.0210

Larry Miller, Federal Conservative MP, Chair of Standing Committee on Agriculture in Ottawa
1131 2nd Avenue East, Suite 208, Owen Sound, ON, N4K 2J1
millela1@parl.gc.ca
T: 519.371.1059
F: 519.371.1752