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Make Raw Milk Legal in Canada

By Linda Morken,  WAPF Vancouver Island Chapter Leader

Why do Canadian consumers want raw milk?

There is plenty of evidence that probiotic-rich raw milk is a health-enhancing food and that its vital elements are destroyed by pasteurization and processing. Raw milk therapy is currently a well-used protocol in German hospitals, just as it was in the early 1900’s at the then named Mayo Foundation when the ‘raw milk cure’ was used as successful therapy for hopeless cases.

Raw milk can truly be a life-saving food and has been shown to help with asthma, allergies and many other conditions. And the taste – delicious! In most countries of the world, this traditional, real and unprocessed food is widely available. Why not in Canada?

Canada needs thriving small farms and local dairies.

Small local dairies boost the economy and selling milk, butter and cream can actually be what saves the family farm. Thirty years ago in British Columbia, for example, there were over 4,000 dairy farms, today there are 480 and declining. One small farm can easily employ five full-time staff and more. The unfair and senseless regulations imposed upon Canadian farmers deprives them of making an honest living, and this has been the case for over a century.

Because of a food regulation that doesn’t apply to many other higher risk foods, farmers that produce traditional raw milk risk going to jail and ludicrous fines that can mean losing their farms.

Is raw milk safe?

​No one will argue that in days long gone there were serious problems with swill milk that came from sick cows in deplorable, dirty conditions. However, with proper standards and modern testing with a food safety plan (such as with a Risk Analysis and Management Program – RAMP), regulated raw milk can be extremely safe. In fact, raw milk is deemed to be no more risky than eating spinach. Raw milk isn’t risk free, but it is a low risk food. This conclusion was documented in a Grand Rounds presentation at BC’s own Centre for Disease Control by researcher Nadine Ijaz. Modern safety checks and methods ensure healthy cows and clean milk.

Come to Canada, Queen Elizabeth, and have a glass of our wonderful raw milk – well, maybe not.

Canada is the only G8 Country that restricts 100% access to farm fresh milk. Many European countries commonly dispense raw milk in vending machines. It is long past time to bring Canada to a place where the need for raw milk is acknowledged and the rights of its citizens to produce and access this traditional food are respected.

There are an estimated 100 micro dairies operating under the radar in British Columbia alone. The 20+ year legal fight that Ontario has had with farmer Michael Schmidt has cost taxpayers untold dollars, and this cruel harassment is nothing short of the bullying of a farmer who simply wants to provide a clean, nourishing food to his community.

Please consider showing your support for Michael Schmidt (Agister), Agricultural Renewal Co-op, and the livestock owner group, Our Farm Our Food Co-op, in solidarity with all Canadian raw milk producers and those who depend on raw milk products in Canada by donating here to help
cover ongoing court costs: https://www.gofundme.com/foodrights.

​Isn’t it beyond the height of ignorance and irony that in Canada, Queen Elizabeth could not be served something she is accustomed to in her homeland without breaking our unfair and ridiculous raw milk laws?

For more information about raw milk and its benefits, check out the non-profit Weston A. Price Foundation’s®​ Campaign for Real MilkWAPF has been instrumental in the fact that raw milk is now legally available in 42 American states and in many countries the world over. In this time of never-before-seen numbers of children suffering from chronic, degenerative diseases, the awareness that fresh, organic raw milk from grass-fed cows can be a health-giving food is growing. It is ludicrous that Canadian law continues to deprive its citizens of their fundamental right to consume the foods of their choice, provided by the producers of their choice.

And while we’re on the topic of food choices…

Take a look at this article about why we need to fix Canada’s Food Guide. Please sign the share the petition that is backed by over 500 Canadian physicians and allied health professionals to have Health Canada change the food guide so that it represents evidence based nutritional policy that is free from industry influence. Find the petition here: ​http://www.changethefoodguide.ca/

 

 


Reprinted with permission from Alternative Boomer Legacy.

RAWMI Webinar: Write a RAMP food safety plan

Free Webinar:   How to Write a RAMP
Presented by Mark McAfee, Spokesperson, Raw Milk Institute
Click here to view.

“RAMP” stands for “Risk Assessment and Management Plan” and is a key part of the HACCP-based “Risk Analysis and Management Planning” food safety system developed by the non-profit Raw Milk Institute.

The B.C. Government stated that any new law legalizing raw milk will require raw milk farms to have on-farm food safety (OFFS) plans.    The goal is to prevent disease outbreaks, because pathogens such as E.coli STEC, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria Monocytogenes in contaminated food can cause severe illness.

OFFS are already mandatory for all commercial dairy farmers in Canada via the “Canadian Quality Milk” (CQM) training program.

A RAMP is an on-farm food safety plan specifically designed for raw milk farmers.   Plans are crafted for the unique conditions of each farm, but the process of creating the RAMP plan is common to all.

Mark McAfee, the founder and CEO of the Raw Milk Institute, presents this free webinar on how to write a RAMP plan.

As a farmer-friendly tool, the RAMP plan assures that, “from grass to glass,” risks have been identified, explained, and are continually managed.   Farmers can feel confident that they are producing a safe product.

Consumers appreciate the delicious flavor, longer shelf-life, and the low risk profile of clean raw milk.   Knowing how the milk is being handled lets a consumer make an informed choice about raw milk consumption.  Herdshares can show prospective members their RAMP plans along with test results to prove that they are taking care to produce a safe product.

Mark will explain the RAMP writing and assessment process in an easy to understand, step-by-step webinar.  Join him to take the mystery out of writing a RAMP plan.

(Consumers – please pass this information along to your raw milk provider!)

Volunteer Coordinator Wanted!

Are you good at working with people, pro-active, and able to supervise and mentor? BCHA needs you! Can you spare a few hours a month to volunteer?

In order to accomplish its goal of serving the herdshare community, bringing farmers and consumers the services they have asked for, BCHA need volunteers. And we need a Volunteer Coordinator to recruit and mentor them.

Your job will working with the directors and committees to identify volunteer needs, advertising for volunteers, interviewing them, and helping supervise and mentor them. As a Director, you will also be involved in management decision making for the organization.

Interested? Please email contact@bcherdshare.org

B.C. Status Report – March 2016

BC-status-report imageThis is a presentation that scheduled to be given by a volunteer, Alice Jongerden, via teleconferencing at a recent conference, but last minute technical difficulties made that impossible.  It summarizes the current situation in B.C. of laws which impact herdshares and the movement to change them.

Download the B.C. Status Report here (.ppsm PowerPoint presentation file with audio, 10 meg)

 

 

 

U of Guelph – Raw Milk Symposium 2016 Presentations

aliceB.C.H.A. volunteer Alice Jongerden was invited and scheduled to give a presentation at the “Raw Milk Symposium 2016 –  Building Bridges for a Canadian Raw Milk Policy” conference at the University of Guelph. Unfortunately, she received the announcement just as the conference started that her talk had been cancelled because of technical problems with teleconferencing.

Her two talks, “What’s up in B.C.?  A Status Report” and “Legal Herdsharing: Exploring How it Could be Done,” will be recorded and full audio versions posted shortly.

 

We want to hear your positive raw milk stories!

Last month, a raw milk consumer here in B.C. spoke to a staff person at the Ministry of Health, sharing her story about how raw milk is helping her with a serious health issue.   This staff person told her that this was the FIRST positive thing that the Ministry had ever heard from the public about raw milk, the first time they had heard that it has any benefits!

BCHA wants to ensure that the decision-makers hear more accounts of raw milk’s benefits and the positive ways in which it has supported and improved lives.   The government is not going to change a law when they do not see a benefit to citizens in changing it.

Has farm-fresh unprocessed milk played a positive role in your life?  Has it helped you with health, nutrition, or well-being?  What about your agister, your animals, your farm?   BCHA is looking for stories of raw milk, to both publish on this website and to compile and send to the government, to the Honourable Dr. Terry Lake, Minister of Health.   Dr. Lake is the decision-maker who has the ability to change the archaic law from 1988 that makes raw milk the only food for human consumption classified as a “health hazard.”

Let’s educate the government about what the benefits of raw milk have been for us.  Send your stories to contact@bcherdshare.org, with the subject line “My story.”   Your name and contact information will be kept private unless you tell us otherwise.