The WAPF Victoria Chapter assists the BC Herdshare Association in a letter writing campaign advocating for change to the current raw milk regulations in British Columbia. Should you wish to send a letter to the BC Minister of Health or to the Provincial Health Officer, the following may be helpful:
It’s important to state specifically what we wish to be changed: Clause 2(a) in the Health Hazard Regulation (see http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/216_2011#section2).
It is interesting to note that the existing clause is only a regulation (vs legislation which would have to be presented as a Bill in the Legislature, and have to be voted upon). This regulation can by changed by the Minister of Health through his passing an Order in Council (“Ministers Order”), as he’s in charge of the Public Health Act and has the authority under that Act to enact regulations.
Here are some points that could be used in writing a letter:
- Raw Milk is the only food listed in British Columbia as a health hazard (even though evidence shows it is a low risk food, with less risk than spinach for example). The penalty for creating a health hazard is a $3 million dollar fine/3 years in jail.
- Canada is the only G8 Country that restricts 100% access to farm fresh milk.
- Small and local farms producing farm fresh milk results in sustainable agriculture.
- Personal – the consumer gets to know the farmer.
- 100% traceability, short supply train.
- Small scale operations allow for the production of safe milk. Input from Steve: Large-scale operations have miles of pipes, pumps, valves and storage tanks that are almost impossible to keep sufficiently clean and pathogen-free. Therefore they need to a) pasteurize, and b) use very harsh chemicals to try to suppress the bacteria. Because of the simplicity of small scale operations, they just don’t run into these problems and the milk is inherently clean and safe.
- BC had over 4,000 dairy farms 30 years ago, today there are 480 and declining!
- Small local dairies boost the economy: One farm can easily employ five full-time staff and more.
Join us in advocating for our food rights and for universal access to raw milk. Thanks!