It’s the ultimate property right to produce a product on your own land using your own hard work. Then government legislators wade in and decide what you will be “permitted” to do on the land you own and work with your own two hands.
Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger was charged with the heinous crime of producing and selling milk to willing and happy customers without a government permission slip. He did not obtain the state-mandated license to sell that which he produced on his own land.
At issue in Wisconsin, as it is here in both Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, is that Hershberger’s milk was not pasteurized.
Government agents outlaw the sale of all unpasteurized milk while graciously “allowing” we mere citizens the “right” to drink raw milk if we choose. If nobody is legally able to sell us raw milk we must resort to owning and dealing with our own milk cow. Not a lot of people are willing to undertake that task!
Here’s a definition of pasteurization from Wikipedia:
Pasteurization or pasteurisation is a process of heating a food, which is usually a liquid, to a specific temperature for a predefined length of time and then immediately cooling it after it is removed from the heat. This process slows spoilage caused by microbial growth in the food.
Unlike sterilization, pasteurization is not intended to kill all micro-organisms in the food. Instead, it aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens so they are unlikely to cause disease (assuming the pasteurized product is stored as indicated and is consumed before its expiration date). Commercial-scale sterilization of food is not common because it adversely affects the taste and quality of the product. Certain foods, such as dairy products, may be superheated to ensure pathogenic microbes are destroyed.
A growing number of people do not want pasteurized milk. This includes all Vernon Hershberger’s customers. They purchased his milk precisely because it was not pasteurized.
Here in Nanny State North in the once-great land of Ontario, government thugs raided the Durham farm of Michael Schmidt because he dared violate Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act by producing and selling raw milk to his friends and neighbours.
Like Vernon Hershberger, Michael Schmidt had no government permission slip to operate his dairy farm, which supplied raw milk to over 150 families. Schmidt was ultimately convicted of the offense and sentenced to 1 year probation and a fine of $9,150. (Presumably this fine included the absurd “victim surcharge”, in this case would add an additional 25% on top of the actual fine.)
Oddly, the practice of selling raw milk was perfectly legal up until 1991. I guess the Massive Milk Deaths that summer scared Parliament into acting.
What? You never heard of the 1991 Massive Milk Deaths crisis??? I’m shocked!
On July 26, 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted Michael Schmidt leave to appeal his conviction made by the appeals court of the Ontario Provincial Offences Court. The date will be set later, likely in a few months. Michael’s lawyer also introduced fresh evidence that pasteurization may not neutralize the harmful effects of toxins produced by the E.Coli bacteria in raw milk, even though it does neutralize E.Coli. Click here for the court documents. Click here for the affidavits.
Here in British Columbia Alice Jongerden is challenging the constitutionality of BC’s legislation which classifies raw milk as a “hazardous” product. Yes, it’s absurd.
“The reason that we’re doing it is that I don’t want to be forced to consume processed milk,” said Ms. Jongerden of Chilliwack, BC.
And isn’t that what our Rights and Freedoms are all about? The right to make our own choices? Even if the government doesn’t think they’re the “correct” choices?