Friday, December 6, 2013

If this sounds unfair and crazy, why is it allowed to continue?

There is an ongoing crisis with the growing and selling of chicken under Canada’s Supply Management system.  The “#ChickenMafia” own, run, make the rules, and get all the benefits under this system.

All of the following facts are supported and/or explained more fully on Small Flocker's Blog

1.      Currently there are about 13,000 small flock poultry farmers in Ontario, and only 1,114 quota-owning chicken factory farms in Ontario (ie. part of Canada’s #ChickenMafia).  Therefore Small Flockers outnumber the #ChickenMafia quota boys by more than 10 to 1 in Ontario.  In spite of this Small Flocker majority, there is Chicken Apartheid in Canada, where the minority faction rules with an iron fist, exercising the minority's control over the rights of the majority, subjecting the Small Flockers to persecution, oppression, and tyranny.

2.      The #ChickenMafia has steadily boosted the retail price of chicken during the last 18 years, 3.54% per year, so that Canadian chicken is now 300% more expensive than the same product in the USA.

3.      The #ChickenMafia has unfairly inflated the price of chicken because they can, for they enjoy a government created monopoly with 99.97% market share.  There is neither competition, nor alternative sources, nor effective government oversight to keep the #ChickenMafia in check.

4.      In addition to monopolistic price gouging, the #ChickenMafia taxed Canadians even more through bogus FCR (Feed Conversion Ratios) charges, which unfairly gouged an additional $1 Billion per year from Canadian wallets for the last 10 years, for a total of $10 Billion in ill got gains.  In Aug. 2013, the Ontario government, after months of protest by SFPFC and others, ordered the Ontario #ChickenMafia to reduce their bogus FCR charges by more than 16%.

5.      Not only is there price gouging, there are significant food safety risks from the #ChickenMafia.  OMAF, CFIA, Univ. of Guelph, and others have consistently found that raw chicken sold in Ontario grocery stores is contaminated with salmonella, E.Coli, campylobacter, lysteria, and other deadly pathogens; between 30% to 80% of the time.  If that isn't bad enough, many of those pathogens are Super Bugs with significant antibiotic drug resistance, often due to the current or prior use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics by factory farms, even though many of these drugs are reserved only for humans.  All of this is contrary to Health Canada's recommendations and good veterinarian practice.

6.      For many decades, the #ChickenMafia purposefully added poisonous arsenic to the chicken feed because it caused metabolic changes in the chicken, and thereby produced 4% more profit for the #ChickenMafia.  Fortunately, this disease and cancer-causing arsenic addition was banned by Health Canada in Aug. 2012, but we have no evidence that the #ChickenMafia obeyed the Health Canada ban; as they won’t discuss it, nor will Health Canada.  Many of the #ChickenMafia continue to regularly feed antibiotics, caffeine, antihistamines, anti-depressants, and/or painkillers to most or all of the factory chickens they raise.  The #ChickenMafia now grow their birds in less than 6 weeks, twice as fast as historically done; so fast that many birds die, or are sick when they go to slaughter, then sold to you and your family.  Speed of growth degrades the chicken’s quality & nutritional value.

7.      While the #ChickenMafia consistently price gouge, endanger Canadians, and oppress Small Flockers, Health Canada reports that 7.6% of Canadian families can't afford the food they need to feed their families (in Nunavut, it's as high as 28%).

8.      My local Food Bank reports a 75% increase in usage during the last 3 years; which is a 20.51% per year increase.  This means that food bank usage has been doubling and re-doubling every 3.4 years.  Most Food Banks report more than a 40% increase in usage over the last 5 years.

9.      More and more, Canadians are being forced to unhealthy diets because they can no longer afford the food that they want and need.  Scientists estimate that 75% of disease is caused or contributed to by poor dietary nutrition; including obesity, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, liver diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's, etc.  No wonder there are multiple interlocking epidemics for these and other diseases in Canada.

How can the #ChickenMafia justify their gouging and unsafe practices under these conditions?  How can the government sit idly by while the #ChickenMafia takes advantage of their monopoly over Canadians?

If this isn't newsworthy for both Canadians and the news media, I don't know what is.

If any of the above facts concern, upset, or scare you, what should you do?  You can:
  • Tell your family, friends, and co-workers about what you have learned.
  • Ask your church or community groups to take a stand for sanity and social justice through chicken.
  • Ask questions.
  • Complain to your MP and MPP.
  • Help Small Flockers in their fight for justice and sanity for themselves and all Canadians.

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The above is available on a 2 page (front and back, 1 page duplex) pamphlet here.  Download, print off copies, and hand them out to family, friends, co-workers, neighbours, and enemies.

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