With a prosecutor upset about disclosures on this blog about the scrapie-related sheep-napping case, a Canadian judge earlier today took the extraordinary step of imposing a news blackout on the case.
The effect of the blackout was immediate: The National Post, a major Canadian publication, immediately took down an article published Friday about how a sheep identified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as a carrier of scrapie may well have come from the U.S., and not from Montana Jones herd of rare Shropshire sheep. If that is the case, then her sheep were likely destroyed as part of a charade to shift blame, and the charges against her and Michael Schmidt are a sham as well.
Fortunately, you can find the article–here’s a cached version from Google; it was also re-posted on a Texas blog about scrapie. But better hurry if it’s something you want to have a copy of–who knows how long it will last anywhere. Also, The Bovine has a summary and excerpts.
Even news of the judges order seemed to be blacked out. Confirmation came from the Schmidt-Jones defense team. It’s hard to believe the Canadian media would be so timid as to immediately go along with a court’s order to put a muzzle on free speech, without even so much as a whimper, or a court challenge of their own.
It’s also hard to believe the judge would act so precipitously. Canadian legal rules provide that requests for news blackouts in preliminary inquiries of the sort ongoing for Schmidt and Jones should come in advance of the inquiry. Once the inquiry begins, both sides are required to agree to it. But the judge seems to have ignored the fact that the defense opposed the blackout, and wouldn’t even allow time for the defense lawyer, Shawn Buckley, to fly cross country to mount an argument against the prosecution request.
The news blackout seemed to be motivated by two desires:
1. Most important, to limit the expanding flow of embarrassing information coming out about the CFIAs handling of the case. The first of that information came via a 22-page letter from a member of the defense team that I posted last week, and do again here now. The defense lawyer, Shawn Buckley, accuses the CFIA of hiding key information and of making only partial disclosures of email exchanges among agents, so as to confuse the defense. My decision to publish this letter apparently irked the CFIA prosecutor and, together with the article in the National Post, convinced the prosecution to seek the news blackout.
– A secondary goal seems to be to dry up contributions to the Canadian Constitutional Foundation, which is mounting the defense for farmers Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones. From the start, the prosecution has tried an array of tactics to disrupt the defense in this bizarre case that stems from a 2010 dispute between the Canadian government and farm owner Montana Jones over whether her rare Shropshire sheep should be slaughtered because they were supposedly exposed to the serious disease, scrapie. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, insisted the sheep needed to be slaughtered to determine for certain whether they harbored scrapie. Jones insisted there was no evidence they did, and sought to negotiate a compromise whereby her farm would be quarantined for up to five years to be certain. The CFIA refused to bend. When its agents arrived in 2012, the sheep had disappeared, with only a note left behind that the sheep had been placed in protective custody by something called the Farmers Peace Corps. (The Canadian Constitutional Foundation has provided additional background on the case.)
Canadian supporters of Schmidt and Jones are rightfully worried that the absence of news coverage in Canada could seriously hurt the case. Im not so sure. Sometimes, when governments attempt censorship, that simply stirs supporters to work around the censorship attempts and get the information out more widely than it otherwise would have gone. That’s one of the big advantages of the Internet.
I have committed to Canadian supporters to use this blog as a source of information on whats happening in the case. To give that commitment leverage, I encourage readers to circulate this blog post as well as other news reports that will be coming up as widely as possible on social media. Use your Facebook groups and Twitter accounts to get the word out as widely as you can. Encourage re-distribution.
I have also committed to getting the word out about the need to raise funds for the defense team. The banner at the top of this post provides information about contributing to the Canadian Constitutional Foundation, which is defending the farmers; here is a link to the donation page.
Heres my prediction: This blackout will spring so many leaks that the news coverage will become bigger and wider than it ever would have been otherwise.
Nothing would surprise me about Canada’s media when it comes to kowtowing to the government. I used to want to move there but ever since its government’s radical tilt to the right Canada has been one of the places I would *least* want to go to.
Having been on the receiving end of 7 contempt prosecutions, I do have a good idea of how it’s supposed to. Stupid people do not get appointed to the Bench. this judge cannot be ignorant that an Order made by a judge of the Provincial Court, or the Superior Court of Ontario, IS ONLY VALID IN THAT JURISDICTION. I’ll bet you a mint-condition 1963 silver dollar that he did this on purpose … knowing full well that “the rockets would go up” !
… comes to mind a round in 1995, where BC Provincial Court Judge Keith Libby had me hauled-in on a contempt citation. He then made an order that I could ‘not protest abortion any way at all, without prior permission from the Court’ In order to go home that night, rather than straight to jail, I agreed to be bound by it. A few months later, I brought on an application in which I put before the Court a pamphlet I proposed to hand out, which had a space for his signature as “Her Majesty’s Censor”. He said “I can’t do that”… to which I quipped “Thank you, your Honor, that’s what I wanted you to say. His ears went beet red. All-concerned, me, Judge Libby and Special Prosecutor Sorochan got a laugh out of my audacity = we all knew I’d made my point … such an Order was utterly UN-constitutional ab initio.
Same with this abomination visited on Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt
what it does, is ; stall the thing while that Order is challenged.
Mark, I think the privileged, including Chairman Mao, have always made it their business to have access to the best foods. I saw this when I visited Cuba in the late 1970s with an American delegation, and we were invited to a dinner hosted by Fidel. Earlier in the day, we had watched ordinary people pick over rotten tomatoes and nearly empty meat shelves at government-run food outlets, and at the reception, Fidel offered beautiful fresh lobster and crab and the finest wines.
By the way, I wonder what the FDA rules are for shipping raw milk to China, or any other country. That qualify as “interstate commerce”? I think not.
a month after the case drops from the screaming media headlines, we now find out that, in the incident in Wisconsin where a whole bunch of people got sick, and raw milk was blamed, the so-called “health authorities” neglected to test the chicken served at that same dinner. Even while their own figures show half the factory-farmed chicken in the country, leaves the processing plant with campylobacter in the package.
no ordinary person could be that stupid = that one took talent
Dairy farmers deny raw milk sickened team
Rob Schultz Wisconsin State Journal
ARKANSAW, Wisconsin — Pepin County dairy farmers are denying charges that their raw milk served at a potluck dinner last September sickened students and coaches affiliated with the Durand High School football team.
Roland and Diana Reed of Arkansaw agreed earlier last month to have their permit to sell and distribute Grade A milk suspended for 30 days after pleading no contest to a charge by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection that they distributed unpasteurized – raw – milk, their attorney said.
But no allegations that their raw milk caused any illnesses were included in the agreement between the Reeds and the department, attorney David Sienko said.
The Reeds never admitted, and strongly deny, that their milk caused any illness, Sienko said in a statement.
He then criticized a report by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that said at least 26 people had confirmed cases of a bacterial infection linked to the consumption of raw milk at the potluck dinner and 12 more had probable cases.
There were 33 students and five coaches affected by the bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni, and 10 were hospitalized or received care at an emergency department, the report said. The report based its conclusions on tests performed at the Wisconsin Lab of Hygiene and area labs and clinics. Symptoms listed by the report were diarrhea, headache and fever that reached as high as 105 degrees for at least one person.
Sienko said the report was incomplete, at best, because investigators failed to test chicken a common source for Campylobacter jejuni that was served at the potluck and did not determine the source of two patterns of the harmful bacteria that sickened seven people and was not found in the Reeds dairy herd.
He also said that tests done by Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection officials of milk sampled from the Reeds bulk milk tank six days after the dinner showed no signs of Campylobacter jejuni bacteria.
But analysis of information collected from 65 students, coaches and parents indicated that consumption of milk was the only exposure statistically associated with the illness, Department of Health Services spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said.
For instance, the report said that some of the 38 people sickened at the dinner did not eat chicken, that 32 drank unpasteurized milk, and that six others drank milk consumed from a store-bought jug that could have contained pasteurized or unpasteurized milk.
Also, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection staff collected cow-manure specimens from the Reeds cows, and genetic fingerprinting proved that the bacteria that caused the illness at the dinner was the same bacteria strain found on the Reeds farm, Miller said.
Sienko added that the Reeds believed that two of their cows might have suffered from hardware disease after they ingested metal identification tags attached to their ears by the state veterinarian during the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection investigation. He said one of the Reeds cows became very ill and suffered a severe injury.
They lied to the public about numerous drugs such as Thalidomide, etc. etc. etc. etc.
They lied to the public about pesticides such as DDT, neonicotinoid and organophosphates.
They have and continue to lie to the public about vaccines.
They have and continue to lie to the public about various herbicides such as glyphosate (Roudup).
And the following article points out what most of us already know, that they have and continue to lie to the public about GMOs.
So what else can we count on them along with their minions, the CDC, the AMA, and the USDA to lie about?
And how can they continue to get away with this continuous charade and misrepresentation of the truth?
Our friends at Desert Farms have worked a 21st century miracle….somehow they have worked out a deal with nature and the FDA and created “dried powdered raw camelsmilk”. They claim that it has not been heated above 60 C and still retains all of the enzymes and all the good stuff found in raw milk!!
Vat pasteurization is 62 degrees C.
60 degrees C is over 140 degrees F.
Somebody is telling some tall stories….!!
I truly wish that the FDA had integrity and even more…producers and marketers had even higher integrity.
There are 2100 proteins found in raw milk ( at least ). All of them are denatured under the heat of a five log kill or 62 degrees C . ( Milk Genomics Phd studies ). Enzymes are denatured as well…starting with our best friend phosphatase that is so essential to bone density and Ca absorption.
Where is truth in labeling? The harder rougher high road is the fight for legal raw milk that is truly safe,intact and whole. This takes food safety investment and totally committed farmers. It also takes a revolution at the FDA….not participation in consumer fraud and in a FDA sell out. Is this true greed!?
I really thought that Desert Farms had different DNA. Sorry guys…the truth is still the truth and nature can not be cheated. Consumers are smart. You can only sell snake oil once….then you are the fool.
I truly wish I did not have to write these words.
I had higher hopes for those guys at Desert Farms, as well. At the least, they should provide documentation about the integrity of this newly processed food. They don’t, because they can’t. And they make the story worse by suggesting it isn’t even processed. My guess: Desert Farms recently raised some investment funds, and now is under pressure to put up some fast-growth revenue numbers….any way it can.
Desert Farms is following the path of certain cheesemakers who label their cheese as raw despite the cheese being thermalized and heated to just below pasteurization temp. I feel into that trap until Mark posted about that deception here at CP.
The Desert Farms label says “60 C “. That’s not 40 C like you wrote. 60 C is really hot. Body temp is 37 C. 60 degrees Celsius is more than 140 degrees F. Technically vat pasteurization is 63 degrees C or about 145 F .
This Desert Farms label claim is rife with real problems. 60 C is not an authorized FDA PMO temp for pasteurized milk. So if it is being sold over state lines….it is not legal. The product must have been taken over 63 C for more than 30 minutes. Spray drying is a fast process. Not a vat pasteurization equivalent.
Sounds like double screw ups here. They blew it with the FDA and the consumers both. It is not raw…and it is not pasteurized either.
The label says..” made with raw milk”. Well, that’s no great claim,… UHT pasteurized, homogenized, stanardized milk products are made from raw milk (CAFO ) also.
It is amazing what millions of dollars can do…and will do when the founders of a raw milk product concept lose contact with their true north and the moms and kids they think they feed.
Oops, my mind meant 60 C, I don’t know why I typed 40 C. Thanks for catching that. Wish I could edit that post.
Maybe my typo illustrates my point all that much more, that most of us Americans aren’t familiar with what 60 C means. If I had typed 104 F (=40 C), I believe my eye would have caught that I really meant 140 F (=60 C).