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Thursday, 30 September 2010

RAW-MILK FANS ARE GETTING A RAW DEAL


The principles of C.A.G.E. are in full agreement with the notion that public health authorities have the responsibility to protect us from hazards from which we cannot protect ourselves, or those of which we may be totally unaware of. The latter applies especially when we rely on third parties to supply us with food products that we have absolutely no control over with respect to their production, processing and handling. We should all be thankful that we live in a country where Health Canada sets high standards and stringent regulations for food productions, and enforce these by conducting regular inspections in facilities that handle commodities for human consumption. Foodborne illnesses can be a serious threat.


Where we at C.A.G.E. draw the line, however, is when the state's ''protection'' offices and agents seek to protect us from our own choices. We as consumers may wish to, and have a right to make decisions for ourselves that differ from the State-approved norm. We may choose to deviate from the mainstream because of beliefs that differ from those of the health authorities, or because some of us are natural risk takers, or for any other reason personal to us.
For instance, should some of us wish to take the risk of consuming the fish that we ourselves pulled from waters that are known to occasionally exceed permissible levels of mercury, should Health Canada raid our refrigerator and seize our catch of the day? Should they fine us or jail us for it? What if we decided to hire someone to catch that fish for us? Should the person that did the catching under our orders be accused of breaking the law for rendering this service?

The answer to each of the above questions should be a clear and emphatic ''No''. And yet, it seems that the above nightmare scenario is presently occurring with respect to raw milk.

We will refer you to an article by Karen Seleck, one of our good friends at the Canadian Constitution Foundation. After you have read the story, please ask yourselves (and preferably your ministerial representative) the following questions:

- Why are they interfering with our choices when we willfully and in full knowledge decide to consume something that is not unlawful to consume, but only unlawful to sell in a regulated producing facility?

- Would they interfere to the same extent if we raised chickens in our backyard and hired someone to care for them? Would they stop us from consuming the eggs?

- Who exactly are they protecting with such zeal and fervor - we the consumers or the supply management cartels as Karen Selick, the author of the article, observed?

We trust that you will find the article below as infuriating and frustrating as we found it.
Globe and Mail
September 24, 2010

Queen Elizabeth drinks her milk raw. She reportedly thinks so highly of unpasteurized milk that when her grandsons Princes William and Harry were schoolboys at Eton, the famous college near Windsor Castle, she instructed herdsman Adrian Tomlinson to bottle up raw milk from her Windsor herd and deliver it to them at school.
Canadians, however, are not permitted to emulate their head of state. Raw milk cannot legally be sold in Canada, except into government-authorized “supply management” cartels, where it goes to be pasteurized. Only those who happen to own their own cow can legally consume raw milk.
A group of some 450 British Columbia city-dwellers thought they had a solution. They organized Home on the Range Dairy, and jointly acquired a herd of 25 cows. Then they hired farmer Alice Jongerden to look after their cows—feed them, milk them, bottle the milk, and make it available to its owners.
This type of livestock boarding contract has long been known to English law. In fact, there’s even a special name for it: agistment, the taking in of livestock to graze on your land in exchange for payment. Ms. Jongerden is called an agister.
But the Fraser Health Authority disapproved of the arrangement and took Ms. Jongerden to court. The real question, which no B.C. court has yet tackled, is whether she can be considered to be “selling” or “supplying” raw milk in contravention of the Milk Industry Act, when the individuals who receive it are already its owners.
Nevertheless, the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction this past March prohibiting Ms. Jongerden and others from “packaging and/or distributing raw milk and/or raw milk products for human consumption.” But the cows took no notice of the Supreme Court and continued to fill their udders twice a day. They had to be milked or else they would soon be bellowing in pain, risking udder infections and possibly dying.
Ms. Jongerden continued milking, placing the milk in bottles clearly marked “Not for Human Consumption” and “Not for Sale”. The owners could have pasteurized it themselves if they had considered it hazardous. They could have bathed in it, used it as plant fertilizer, or fed it to their pets. Only they know what they actually did with it.
Ms. Jongerden, however, was charged with contempt of court. On September 14, a temporary order was made, prohibiting her from engaging in the “further production or distribution of raw milk”. She goes back to court in mid-October.
This leaves the herd owners with three unsatisfactory alternatives:

- Don’t have the cows milked at all, in which case they will suffer cruelly
- Find some new agister who is not subject to the temporary September order, but who is willing to face his own eventual contempt charges for violating the sweeping March injunction, or
-Milk the cows and dump the milk on the ground.

The situation is ridiculous. The milk is there. People have bent over backwards to get it. They’re all aware that the Health Authority thinks it’s dangerous. They still want it. But instead, it will probably be destroyed—wasted—purportedly to protect people from taking a risk they are willing to take.
Canada is out of step with the rest of the world. The United Kingdom, France, Germany and many U.S. states have programs that allow public health authorities to certify a dairy’s output as safe for raw consumption. In France and Italy there are even vending machines dispensing raw milk to eager consumers. B.C. residents can cross the border to Washington state and buy it legally.
Moreover, an overwhelming percentage of conventional Canadian dairy farmers—quota owners who sell milk into the provincial cartels for pasteurization—drink milk raw themselves. In a recent survey of 2,185 milk producers published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 88.7 percent “reported that they or their families consume unpasteurized milk from their bulk milk tanks.”
We don’t ban balloons even though some eight or nine children die annually in North America from choking on them. We don’t prohibit skiing, hockey or even parachute jumping despite the risks of injury or death. We don’t ban seafood, ground beef, poultry or coldcuts even though they are far more common sources of food poisoning than raw milk.
One can’t help suspecting that the fanaticism of Canadian authorities towards raw milk has more to do with protecting the supply management cartels than protecting public health.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

NICOTINE WARS (2)



Last April we commented on a paper from the Harvard School of Public Health that contended that the nicotine lozenges marketed by Big Tobacco were a lure to children that could even be poisoned by the abuse of such a product. We questioned why they didn’t express any worries about the similar pharmaceutical product, Commit and then went on to compare the pharmaceutical produced nicotine lozenges Commit, to the tobacco produced lozenges Orbs. Our findings were quite interesting:

Orbs contain 0,6 - 3,5 ml of nicotine
Commits contain 2 - 4 ml of nicotine

Orbs are fruit and candy flavored
Commits are fruit and candy flavored

Orbs come in attractive packaging
Commits come in attractive packaging

Because they’re a tobacco product minors cannot purchase Orbs
Commits are marketed over the counter and are available to everyone

Orbs dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere
Commits dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere

In the U.S. Orbs are priced at around 4.00 $ before tax for 15 pieces (approx. 15 cents per piece)In the U.S. Commits are priced at around 40 $ for 72 pieces tax exempted (approx 55 cents per piece).

Up until then we could only suspect that this paper was to be served as ammunition to Big Pharma for their scheme to eliminate the cheaper competition, namely tobacco manufactured lozenges, but now our suspicions have been confirmed.

Glaxo Smith Klein, makers of Commits, recently urged the FDA to take dissolvable smokeless tobacco products off the market contending that they are a threat to public health.

But what will the FDA, that has several members with financial ties to Glaxo Smith Klien sitting at the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, do? It remains to be seen. Dr. Michael Siegel has already called for the resignation of such members. Will the FDA do the right thing? We somehow doubt it, but we will just have to wait and see. To follow.

Monday, 27 September 2010

NO TO STATE FUNDING OF PHARMACEUTICAL QUIT SMOKING PRODUCTS!


Smoking cessation drugs never have been more aggressively marketed than in the last 5 years in Canada, yet smoking rates have remained stagnant in that same period. Are our health authorities and so called experts suffering from a severe case of attention deficit disorder to keep repeating the same errors over and over and over, or just over-influenced (euphemism for corrupted) to keep pushing the same medication down people’s throats and now even asking taxpayers to foot the bill for ‘’remedies’’ that have a documented 98,4% failure rate?


For those who read French, please read our previous article on the extensive enquiry one unbiased French media recently did on the cessation drug market and the lies being served to us left right and center about the remedies peddled from the pharmaceutical giants. Read how instrumental Big Pharma was in implementing smoking bans and heavy artillery anti-smoking campaigns to serve their bottom line. Read how the old inexpensive cold turkey method is the only one that has shown successful long term results in kicking the habit. Do we really want the taxpayers, non-smokers and smokers, alike to subsidize this fraudulent market? Do we really want to raise the already prohibitive tobacco taxes to help make Big Pharma richer all the while creating an even bigger underground tobacco market in Canada? What other medication with a 98,4% failure rate that we know of would be endorsed by the Canadian Medical Association?
Please say a resounding NO to any plans to fund pharmaceutical quit smoking aids. Enough with this incestuous relationship between Big Pharma and a prestigious association that is shamelessly abusing our trust!


ON VOUS ENFUME




Nous avons longtemps décrié l’influence de l’industrie pharmaceutique en politique de santé publique. Nous avons illustré à plus d’une reprise comment que ces géants corporatifs se sont insidieusement immiscé dans nos universités, notre système médical, nos gouvernements, nos familles… dans le but de complètement refaçonner notre pensée par rapport à notre bien-être et notre manière de vivre.

Il n’y a pas exemple plus flagrant de cette réingénierie sociale exercée par l’industrie pharmaceutique sur les citoyens, que celui qu’on observe dans l’enjeu du tabagisme.

Or, nous devenons toujours plus optimistes et refaisons le plein d’espoir de voir une reforme à chaque fois que nous constatons que tout comme nous, d’autres médias se réveillent et dénoncent les manigances corporatives de cette industrie sans scrupule et moralité.

En effet, le mensuel français Rue89 a récemment publié une enquête sur les campagnes anti-tabac et le rôle que l’industrie pharmaceutique y joue. Ce qu’on lira peut choquer les non-informés, désillusionner les idéalistes qui ont longtemps cru le discours des autorités en santé publique, soulever l’ire de ceux qui ont été dupés, mais cela peut aussi donner espoir à tous ceux qui tout comme nous ont vu clair depuis longtemps. L’espoir que cette industrie aura à répondre de ces actes avant longtemps.

La prochaine fois que votre médecin vous propose un ‘’remède’’ pour ‘’guérir’’ votre tabagisme, n’hésitez pas de lui faire lire cet article et de lui dire ‘’non merci, j’y arriverai d’une façon plus efficace et moins dispendieuse le jour que j’aurais la volonté nécessaire!’’.

Extraits de l’article
Méthodes pour stopper la cigarette : on vous enfume !

(…)Ce n'est pas par hasard si les campagnes anti-tabac semblent surtout indiquer le chemin de la pharmacie. De la recherche à la définition des politiques publiques, le lobbying des Pfizer, GSK et autres travaille le discours sur le sevrage dans le sens de la médicalisation.

Un système parfaitement rodé, où les liens incestueux entre industriels, recherche publique, médecins et politiques sont omniprésents.

Les géants du médicament ont même réussi à transformer un revers en succès. Les substituts nicotiniques ne font pas de miracle ? « Good news pour le business », si l'on sait jongler, si l'on parvient à transformer le remède pour arrêter d'hier en un chewing gum tendance qui agrémente la vie du fumeur, lui donne bonne conscience et lui permet de remettre éternellement à demain l'arrêt définitif.

C'est ce qui est arrivé avec les produits Nicorette. Il suffit d'orchestrer la « com » ad hoc.
Entre des campagnes qui lui assènent qu'il a besoin d'aide et un discours marketing qui lui propose des solutions pour arrêter à moins que ce ne soit pour continuer, le fumeur qui veut décrocher est surtout… enfumé.

A elle seule, la nicotine ne rend pas accro
Patchs et autres substituts ne vous aideront pas beaucoup
On vous ment : vous pouvez y arriver seul
Les labos sont omniprésents derrière les campagnes antitabac
Médoc, substitut, bonbon… : Nicorette joue sur tous les tableaux
La dépendance a des causes multiples, propres à chacun
Désolé, vous n'y couperez pas : vous allez grossir