Wednesday, November 29, 2006

National Socialist Nutrition

As always, Dalton McGuinty can be counted on to limit individual choice in regards to decisions concerning your health:

Premier Dalton McGuinty defended the ban [on raw milk distribution], saying it was a serious matter of public health that he's not interested in re-examining.

"If you want to engage in the mass distribution of milk to millions of children and Ontario families on a daily basis, the very best and safest way to do that is to ensure that it's pasteurized," said McGuinty.
Note that the ban is on raw milk distribution; you're not even allowed to give it away. You must compromise food value for the greater public good of mass distribution of milk to millions of children. If it's for the safety of the children, there's no arguing against the state's decision.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I follow your logic here. I don't know that farmer Schmidt is talking about mass distribution; there's a waiting list to join his coop from what I understand. The folks that want raw milk--and are willing to pay premium prices--support sustainable agriculture. This means valuing and paying the farmer enough money that he/she can have a decent living without having to follow the "bigger is better" model. So yeah, if you're talking factory farms, by all means, pasteurize; however, consumers should be able to enter into agreements such as these herd shares. Let's trust adults to make these decisions, we don't need nanny watching over us.

And while I'm all for children's safety, we need to discuss parents' rights here as well. The state has failed to protect childrens' health on numerous counts; parents should have the right to raise their children in accordance with their beliefs. Obviously I'm not for abuse/neglect, but with regards to my childrens' diet, immunizations (or lack thereof), medical treatment, etc.

basil said...

My logic is as follows: this government is limiting the choices available to you regarding your own health.

On an issue such as smoking, I would not attempt to convince anyone that smoking is a healthy pastime, only that as free individuals we have (or should have) the right to smoke in private spaces (including privately owned businesses) whether it's harmful to ourselves or not. Anyone who doesn't like it that I smoke in my bar (or in the bar of someone who permits it) can fuck off - go somewhere where the patrons agree not to smoke.

The irony of the raw milk situation and my reason for pointing to Nanny McGuinty's comments, is that we are being forced to make the least healthy decision while being told we are being protected. And, specifically, the words "mass distribution of milk to millions of children" sound like a dystopia socialist mantra, knowing full well the people are being promised nutrition and being delivered a product whose nutritional value is now questionable - all the while the healthy, natural alternative is illegal.

While I admit, I don't know the precise details of the charges, it is my understanding that it is illegal to distribute - not simply offer for sale - non pasteurized milk in Ontario. The co-op is an obvious attempt the skirt this law by herd sharing and technically removing the owner-distributer/consumer relationship. Even passing along that milk to the owners of the cows is still illegal. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that all milk produced for consumption in Ontario must be pasteurized - even that produced simply for your own personal consumption. If you drink fresh milk directly from the cow you are committing a crime. If I give you a jar of yogurt made from raw milk I may be hit with a $200,000 fine if caught. Meanwhile, McGuinty won't even consider the issue.

I too, am all for children's health and safety (and that of adults for that matter - I don't view a child's life as being any more important than my own or anyone else's). I find it disturbing that the 'needs' children can automatically over-ride freedom of choice for the rest of us. It is the sentimental trump of the calculating collectivist.

Lisa Turner said...

Farmers are actually allowed to drink the milk from their own cows, but it is true that if they distribute raw milk to anyone else, for money or for free, they can be slapped with huge fines by the nanny state and their equipment can be seized by Ministry of Natural Resources thugs. This indeed did happen to Michael Schmidt.

More info can be found here and here.

Anonymous said...

basil, apologies, I misread your post. It looks like we agree!