Thursday, August 29, 2013

Black Death & the Chicken Mafia

Many members of the Chicken Mafia regularly dose their thousands of chickens with antibiotics.  This helps reduce their risk of a major disease outbreak, helping to ensure their profits.  As Blogged previously in Bugs & Drugs this profit seeking behaviour by the Chicken Mafia puts everybody at great risk.

One of the drugs of choice used by the Chicken Mafia is Bayer's Baytril 10%  This is a enrofloxacin  (a.k.a. ciprofloxicin which it partially metabolizes to) which belongs to the class of the fluoroquinolones.  These are very powerful drugs also used for human infections, and are Class I antibiotics (ie. essential for treating human disease).  The loss of fluoroquinolones due to antibiotic resistance would be a serious blow to a physicians drug arsenal.

Prescribing of this drug to poultry in Canada is prohibited by Health Canada's VDD (Veterinary Drug Directorate).  The only permitted use of Baytril 10% in Canada is bovine (cow & steer & heifer) lung infections.  Even then, Health Canada cautions that this drug is not to be used indiscriminately.  It appears that this ban is not being followed.

Here is Health Canada's Policy for Extra-Label Drug Use  Are all Canadian Vets following this important Policy?  Are DVM's (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) complicit in the use of banned drugs for broiler birds, or is it just a few "loose cannons" in the Chicken Mafia who import the illicit drugs themselves and feed it to their chickens?

Let's see where this ill-advised and suspected bad behaviour by the Chicken Mafia might take us.

The Chicken Mafia is supposed to have biosecurity (see this Blog posting).  They have been working on this for decades, and in April 2013 CFO finally claims that 100% of their Mafia members are now compliant.  As a Certified Quality Auditor, I can tell you that even if CFO claims 100% enrolled and audited, there is significant doubt whether all of these 1,114 chicken factories are 100% compliant for 100% of the time.

Rat flea.  About 1% of N. America rat fleas are infected
with Yersinia pestis (a.k.a. Bubonic Plague)
Rats are a known problem at a chicken factory.  Baby chicks and chicken feed are like a smorgasbord feast for a rat.  If a chicken can drink from a water bib faucet, so can a rat.  A chicken factory has everything that a rat could ask for. That's why rats show up at chicken factories soon after they open their doors and start growing chicken.  The chicken producer is supposed to have rat traps, check them often, pest control contractors, and clean apron belts around all buildings where the rats can't hide.

Since the rat is drinking from the same faucet as the chickens, they also get medicated by whatever the chicken producer puts into the chicken's water.  That includes Bayer's Baytril 10%  Therefore all rats that hang out in chicken factories will get treated with the drugs as well.

Most rats have fleas. The fleas bite the rat continuously, sucking the rat's blood. Any drugs that are in the rat's bloodstream are then automatically shared with the rat's fleas. Given enough time and incidents, the fleas on the rats will have Yersinia pestis (a.ka. Bubonic Plague) bacteria that are resistant to this antibiotic. Due to acquired resistance and gene exchange, many other bacteria could thereby become resistant to Baytril, as well as many other antibiotics.

In the US according to Centre for Disease Control, there are 10 to 15 people each year who get infected by Bubonic Plague.  Based on population ratios, that would be 1 to 1.5 people with Bubonic Plague per year in Canada.  In June 2012, a 50 year old man in Oregon, previously in good health, died from Bubonic Plague from a flea on a mouse that a neighbourhood cat had caught.  In spite of hospitalization and every drug and treatment available in our most modern hospitals, he quickly died.

As antibiotic drug resistance grows, might death be a more frequent outcome of contracting Bubonic Plague?

If you remember your history, that same disease is also referred to as "Black Death", the same disease that wiped out 33% of Europe's population in 5 short years ( 1348 - 1353).  Canadian researchers from McMaster University recently proved that Yersinia pestis (a.k.a. Bubonic Plague) in North America today is the exact same as the one that wiped out Europe  in the Middle Ages.

Welch et al reports that  the plasmid IP1202 in Multi-Drug Resistant Yersinia pestis gives it high-level resistance to streptomycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol and sulfonamides—drugs recommended for plague prophylaxis and therapy.  They continue:
"Y. pestis pIP1202-like plasmid backbone was detected in numerous MDR [Multi Drug Resistant] enterobacterial pathogens isolated from retail meat samples collected between 2002 and 2005 in the United States. Plasmid-positive strains were isolated from beef, chicken, turkey and pork, and were found in samples from the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Oregon. Our studies reveal that this common plasmid backbone is broadly disseminated among MDR zoonotic pathogens associated with agriculture. This reservoir of mobile resistance determinants has the potential to disseminate to Y. pestis and other human and zoonotic bacterial pathogens and therefore represents a significant public health concern."
  Wagner et al also reported:
"To determine whether the IncA/C plasmid backbone previously found in MDR Y. pestis and other species exists in Y. pestis isolates from western U.S. states, we screened Y. pestis DNA."
"The 713 isolates were collected from from humans, small mammals, and fleas in 14 of the 17 western plague-endemic states (Table), including all states that reported human cases during 1970–2002.  Of the 713 Y. pestis isolates screened, none was positive for the IncA/C plasmid backbone, indicating that MDR as mediated by pIP1202-like MDR plasmids described by Welch et al. (6) was not in these samples. This finding is encouraging with regard to public health. However, we screened only for the plasmid backbone; MDR genes may have been in some of these samples but not carried by pIP1202-like MDR plasmids, especially considering that plasmids can be readily integrated into the Y. pestis chromosome (1)."
"Could MDR Y. pestis arise in North America by acquisition of an MDR plasmid, such as pIP1202, from food-animal production activities in plague-endemic regions? If so, Salmonella spp. would be a likely MDR plasmid donor for several reasons. First, Y. pestis has several plasmids that are highly similar to those in Salmonella spp., indicating active transfer of plasmids between these 2 bacterial groups (6). Second, fleas that are common vectors of plague have been shown to be naturally co-infected with Salmonella spp. and Y. pestis and capable of transmitting both organisms to rodent hosts (9). Third, MDR plasmids are readily transferred to Y. pestis in the flea gut (5). Fourth, transferable MDR plasmids are common among Salmonella spp. isolates in US food animals (10). Given these linkages, the transfer of an MDR plasmid from Salmonella spp. to Y. pestis seems possible. However, we emphasize that to date no evidence supports this type of event. "
Urich et al did similar work on a world-wide basis, and had similar results.

In short, we have created a biological booby trap.  Fortunately, humans have not yet been caught in our own MDR trap; at least not yet for Y. pestis.  When this trap eventually does spring shut on our leg, the abuse of antibiotics in chicken factory farms will likely be the culprit that triggers the trap to chomp on the legs of society.

Alberta might be the only Province that is safe from this doomsday scenario, as they claim to be 100% rat free.  For the other Provinces, CFIA is supposed to be monitoring and inspecting to ensure that illegal drugs are not used, or legal drugs are not used in a banned or discouraged manner.  Unfortunately, CFIA seems to have placed the Chicken Mafia on the honor system.  CFIA seems to blindly trust everything that the #ChickeMafia does.

Is the Chicken Mafia worthy of CFIA's blind trust?

How about your trust in both CFIA and the Chicken Mafia?

Are Small Flockers equally guilty?  Due to the low density used by small flockers, the use of this expensive drug is not a necessity, so there is no reason to do so.  A CFO audit of Small Flockers shows that reasonable biosecurity measures are taken by most Small Flockers, so there is much less risk of anything, including antibiotic resistance.

Is there full awareness by Health Canada, Chicken Mafia, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), Bayer, and your friendly neighbourhood DVM (Doctor Veterinary Medicine) who prescribed and possibly dispensed the Baytril 10% drug for this ill-advised, and illegal risk management scenario?

Do they care?

Perhaps as long as their big salaries and their monthly chicken quota cheques keep coming, they don't give a damn about the possible consequences.  Perhaps they do care, but choose not to stop it anyway.

What about you?  Do you care?

What would you tell these fine people who illegally feed Baytril 10% to chickens and have incomplete rat control systems?

Leave a comment so we all know what you're thinking.

2015/04/09 Update:   Bubonic plague outbreak in Arizona USA.  Public Health officials respond by disinfecting to kill fleas before disease outbreak infects humans.

2018/06/14 Update:  Cases of Black Death continue to occur in USA, mainly in the rural Western part of the USA.However, there are a significant number in California, near where CAFO farming also occurs.  If some small change occurs for one of the vector carriers (ie. a rat, cat, dog, etc.) that enters a congested urban area with high density homeless people, or a CAFO farm, the disease could suddenly ignite like wildfire, similar to the Middle Ages when 1/3 of the population died.  Can (or will, or when will) this natural reservoir of Black Death soon spill over into the commercial CAFO farming system (chicken, turkey, pig, etc.)?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bugs + Drugs

The Chicken Mafia learned a long time ago that they can make more money by feeding antibiotics to their factory flocks.  When you have 250,000 birds crammed through a chicken factory, the sniffles in one bird soon becomes a pandemic that ruins your profitability.

I previously Blogged about the smorgasbord of drugs fed to chickens so that the Chicken Mafia earn maximum profits. Here's an update.

A June 2011 Surveillance Bulletin from Public Health Canada warns of apparent cheating by the Chicken Mafia who are suspected of using ciprofloxin antibiotics in chicken.  PHC found a rising prevalence of ciprofloxin-resistant campylobacter in retail chicken sold in BC and Saskatchewan.  Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen that causes gastroenteritis in Canadians.  Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antimicrobial, which is considered very important to human medicine in the treatment of respiratory, urinary, gastrointestinal, skin and bone/joint infections.  These antimicrobials are not labelled for use in poultry in Canada. Health Canada requires that veterinary fluoroquinolone product labels include the following warnings:
  • Do not use in an extra-label manner in cattle or in any other species; 
  • To limit the potential development of antimicrobial resistance: Fluoroquinolone drugs such as Baytril 100/A180, should not be used indiscriminately.
  This Chicken Mafia cheating was discovered by the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS).  Public Health Canada says that:
"Expert opinion suggests that the trend noted in ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter from chicken is associated with the extra-label use of enrofloxacin in broiler breeder flocks to treat Salmonella."
It is common industry practice for the Chicken Mafia to request that antibiotics be added to the chicken feed and/or the water supply for the birds.  Continuous dosing of low levels of antibiotics helps protect your Chicken Mafia profits, but has been shown to increase the risk of drug resistant bacteria developing.

But that is just a small miniscule risk, right?  Surely the government wouldn't let the Chicken Mafia create a Frankenstein monster in the hen house, right?  Don't be so sure.

CBC TV has a popular show called Marketplace who investigated this situation back in 2011. Two-thirds of the chicken was contaminated with bacteria, but all of the contaminated samples had at least one strain of bacteria that was found to be drug-resistant.

That means humans are surrounded by a growing mob of drug-resistant bacteria.  When we get sick, more and more of the bugs that make us sick cannot be treated by antibiotics.  The magic bullet can't be used.

A Feb 2011 Care2 article writes to over 367,000 people who have expressed an interest in "Real Food".  After reading the article, 491 people (as of 2013/08/27) expressed their opinion that 77% of them were less likely to buy antibiotic induced meats from a grocery store.  Combining the survey categories of  "leaning yes" and "yes", we have a total of 89% who were less likely to buy.

Another study in 2009 found that 80% of all kg. of antibiotics sold in the US goes to treat livestock and poultry.  Should we assume this is similar to Canada?

Of course, only a small fraction of people go to the Care2 website, so these conspiracy theory, aluminum foil hat crowd can be dismissed as "crackpots", at least that is likely how the Chicken Mafia see it.

Unfortunately, the Chicken Mafia isn't worried about these findings.

The Mafia Don (a.k.a. Chicken Farmers of Canada) isn't talking about this anymore.  If you go to CFC's website and do a search for "antibiotics" I got three hits to the search on 2013/08/27; two of which refer to files that have been removed from CFC's website.  Fortunately, CFC forgot to update their search index file, so we know what has been removed by them.  CFC isn't worried, they decided to stonewall and deny.  I wonder why?

Search results for "antibiotics" on CFC's website as of
13/08/27 11:50 AM EDT shows 3 hits, the first two have disappeared
and are no longer available for the public.  Why?
 The third hit for "antibiotics" directs us to CFC's Mission and Vision, where we find:

Our Vision

A Canadian chicken industry that satisfies consumer expectations with domestically produced chicken.
The central elements of this vision include:
...   [Other items deleted for our focus on antibiotics]
  • Innovative products and management practices that respond to a broader array of consumer expectations – for different market segments (most notably aging baby boomers and immigrant/ethnic populations); and for product quality, animal care, environment and antibiotics use.
So it appears that CFC realizes that the public has some expectations concerning antibiotics.  Whatever CFC thinks those expectations concerning "antibiotics", they don't want to say, for specifics are messy, and could get CFC in trouble with their members in the Chicken Mafia.

Will this limited awareness by CFC save us all from the "Bugs vs. Drugs" war?  Don't hold your breath.  If CFC was doing anything, or if they had accomplished anything, they would have blared the news far and wide.

There's nothing to see.  Move along.  Go back to sleep.  All is well.  Trust us.

SFPFC goes to the Fair

SFPFC (Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada) shares information
with the public attending the local Agricultural Fair

The Providence Bay Agricultural Fair has a proud history of 130 years, the longest running agricultural fair in Northern Ontario.  SFPFC (Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada) was there, sharing information and discussing the issues with all who were interested.

We found most people very interested.  Most people said they had no idea why chicken was so expensive in Ontario, nor all the shady dealings that were going on behind the scenes.  SFPFC was able to pick up some new members quite quickly.

Seeing an opportunity, SFPFC next attended the Massey Fair. Massey Fair has only been running for the past 101 years, so is quite the junior compared to the Prov. Bay Fair.  We found many dozens of people very interested to hear the long tale of woe about factory chicken producers and the Chicken Mafia.  Everybody was shocked to learn how the Chicken Mafia had poisoned people with arsenic for decades so that they could earn an extra 4% profit from growing their birds faster.

SFPFC was able to turn that shock into new memberships for SFPFC.

Doublings of Membership Numbers for Small Flock Poultry Farmers
SFPFC must grow exponentially in its cause, or it will die an early death by our own hands through neglect.  Exponential growth means we need to speak about how long we must wait to achieve a doubling of our membership.

The above graph shows that we have achieved 4.64 doublings in the number of members in SFPFC since our start in February 2013.  For this Blog to touch the lives of 8.4 million people (ie. the number of eligible voters in Ontario), we need a total of 23 doublings to occur.  It is very difficult and dangerous to predict when we will have achieved 23 doublings based on this very preliminary data.

We'll have to wait and see.

All members are requested to contact their family & friends about this issue, and encourage them to join SFPFC.  We need the numbers if we hope to defeat the Chicken Mafia. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

SFPFC Membership

Now that some positive movement has been made by the Ontario Government for our grievances with the Chicken Mafia, we need more members all across Canada.  This will help show that SFPFC has a broad base of support with Canadian citizens from all walks of life.

Membership applications on-line cost $2.00 but just $1.00 if you send it in directly to SFPFC.  The added cost for on-line membership covers the fees that are deducted by Pay-Pal.

At the top of this page is a Tab for "About SFPFC".  Click on this to read about SFPFC's Mission, Vision, and Principles.  If you like all that you see, please consider becoming a member.

You don't have to own nor eat chicken to become a member.

What do you get for being a member?

You get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped all your fellow Canadians to end an injustice.  You help yourself and all other Canadians get reasonably priced, affordable chicken.

Bullies & Evil

Last night, I had a dream.  I dreamed that I had met somebody who had read some part of this bilious Blog.

I was pleasantly surprised.  One out of 7 billion souls of this planet reads your Blog and you think you're famous.  I asked them what they thought about the issues discussed here.

They said I had raised some important issues, but they felt I had done so in an improper manner.

I asked for clarification.

They continued by saying that I was acting like a bully, had stooped to insults, name calling, and personal attacks on many good people, hurting them and their good name.  They accused me of inflaming the situation, rather than helping to improve it.

Bullying?  Wikipedia defines "bullying" as the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others.  Intimidation is intentional behavior that would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities to feel fear of injury or harm.  Coercion is attempting to getting somebody to set aside their free-will choices in favor of the will of others.  Coercion is mutually exclusive of "free choice".

Is it not the Small Flockers and the public who are being bullied by the Chicken Mafia?  It is truly the ultimate hypocrisy and psychological projection to push the crimes of the Chicken Mafia onto their victims.

I asked if this self-confessed Blog reader happened to be one of those "good people" who was the focus of this Blog's attention (ie. one of the Chicken Mafia).

"No.", was their response, then they continued, "...but that doesn't matter.  When you attack somebody, you might as well attack everybody.  Everybody is hurt by verbal attacks, even innocent bystanders."

That gave me pause.  I've been thinking about these dream-sourced comments all morning.  Is my dream part of reality?  Does my dream show a guilty subconscious?  Or is my dream God-sent insight, calling me to reconsider my Blog and my prior actions against the Chicken Mafia?

I can understand that some people might worry that the gun-sights of this Blog might swing their way after the Chicken Mafia has been fully dealt with.  Perhaps these worriers have been involved in similar evils to the Chicken Mafia.  Perhaps they are fine upstanding citizens who just worry.

I admit that the tone of this Blog has been very pointed, and has been extremely critical of the quota-bearing chicken factory producers, major chicken processors, chicken feed suppliers, both the Federal and Provincial Governments, and the Supply Management ("SM") system in general.

Is it improper for me to criticize others for their actions?

Wikipedia provides the following guidance:
The most basic "rule-of-thumb" of criticism which psychologists usually recommend is:
"Respect the individual, focus the criticism on the behaviour that needs changing - on what people actually do or actually say."
I agree with this basic rule, as stated above.  I am aware that many or most people, including me, might have fallen into the SM trap, had our roles in life been reversed. I assume that most people who are in the Supply Management system work hard, and generally perform their role in the system as that system has defined it.  To me, it appears that it is the Supply Management system itself, not the people who work the system, which is the root cause of the problem.  It is the Supply Management System which is mis-guided and poorly defined, and this causes the unacceptable consequences of which this Blog complains.

As bad as the Supply Management rules are, I have discovered that there are other people who knowingly cheat on those SM rules, going to even greater evil than what Supply Management permits.  What should we say about those people and their greater evils?

If anybody in the Supply Management system wants to reform their actions (and/or their inactions) so that it resolves some or all of the grievances complained about here, I will quickly recognize the change, and state my appreciation for their reformed behaviour.  I will then move on the the outstanding issues that have not yet been fixed; letting bygones be bygones.

Criticisms of things that cannot be changed (eg. a person's height) is pointless and unacceptable.  Attempting to impose the preferences of one person onto the rights, free choice, and preferences of others is not acceptable.

Both this Blog, and Supply Management should respect the equality of rights by everybody.

If you feel I have failed these principles at any point in this Blog, please be kind enough to point out my error, and I will promptly correct it.

Failing that, this Blog's criticisms and assertiveness for the rights of Small Flockers and the public in general stand as stated herein.  If the edgy tone in this Blog causes angst, frustration, or discomfort by those who have unacceptable behaviours in the Supply Management system, those persons are free to relieve their negative emotions by changing their behaviours for the better.

Epictetus (Greek philosopher, AD 55 - 135) believed:
"Suffering occurs from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power.  As part of the universal city that is the universe, it is our duty to care for all our fellow men. Those who follow these precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind."
"Where is the good?
      In the will.
Where is the evil?
      In the will.
Where is neither of them?
      In those things that are independent of the will."                Discourses of Epictetus,

If the Chicken Mafia don't want to change their evil ways, they might want to seek psychological counseling to deal with their increasingly chronic negative feelings created by this Blog.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why Change Now?

As recently posted, OFPMC has cut the throat of CFO and the Chicken Monopoly by reducing the FCR by 16.3%.

This is obviously a very significant change.

Why make this change?

Why do it now?

One reader of this Blog, Jim Rohman suggests:
"...reform of marketing boards will come only if and when they are in dire straits with no choice."

Winston Churchill (or Israeli Diplomat A. Eban, depending on the source cited) once said:

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else."

Perhaps these wayward bureaucracies operate on the same principles referred to in the above famous quotation.

I think there are overwhelming piles of anecdotal evidence to support the theory that bureaucracies will only make painful changes when they have no other choice.

If that is so, then why quit the stonewalling?  Why admit that the FCR was way out of whack?  Why did OFPMC force a significant change at this time?

CFO says it was Association of Ontario Chicken Processors (AOCP) who complained.  Note that neither this Blog nor any of the greatest critics of the Chicken Mafia were given the nod by CFO as causing or contributing to this significant change.

CFO would have you believe that the chicken industry is healing itself.  CFO wants everybody to believe that a small bookkeeping error in the FCR inadvertently occurred a long time ago.  CFO also wants us to believe that sharp-eyed chicken industry insiders found this miniscule slip, and promptly got it corrected.

Unfortunately, the facts don't fit CFO's rationalization and cover story.

The FCR "error" has existed for more than 10 years.  There have been legions of people squawking about CFO's phony FCR for a very long time.  I and this Blog have joined the chorus just since Feb. 2013, making even more noise about this evil FCR.

Somebody at CFO had to propose that phony FCR ten years ago, justifying it to both the chicken processors and the government oversight regulators.  Was this phony FCR true at any time in the 10 years it was in effect? 

How did CFO slip these fraudulent assumptions past everybody back then?

How did CFO keep that lie alive and well all this time?

Perhaps there is a true criminal mastermind lurking in the shadow, within CFO, or using CFO as a facade behind which they can hide as they plot and scheme against Canadians.

To think that they would go to such lengths for just a few billion dollars of reward.

So why not continue to stonewall?

If CFO says AOCP generated the complaint that initiated the change, can we believe them?  Does AOCP have enough clout with OFPMC or the Ontario government; enough lobbying and arm twisting behind the scenes that OFPMC was forced to act at this time?

After all, AOCP is an industry group of dozens of corporations, each of which has millions to billions of dollars sales each year, and owned by billionaires.  Who would think that they would have any influence on the powers that be?

 I can't wait to find out how this chicken soap opera finally ends.

Payback Time

Day before yesterday, I blogged about CFO being ordered to correct the unfair and illegal live chicken prices  they had previously been charging in Ontario.

Regulation 402 passed under the Farm Products Marketing Act  for chicken marketing delegates powers from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission ("OFPMC") to Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO"), and tells CFO all the things that they can do.  It was under this Regulation that the live chicken price is set.

Regulation 402 is all about giving power and authority to CFO.

However, under Regulation 402, I can find nothing that places neither a duty, nor responsibility, nor accountability upon CFO.  Responsibility involves being accountable for, or having obligations or duties to others, and acting reasonably.  When somebody has power without responsibility, it's generally dysfunctional and a danger for all those close by.
‘Power without responsibility – the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.’
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
With this false and misleading FCR revealed and admitted, we can now more fully see the consequences of the Ontario government creating CFO as a harlot who has extreme power over citizens, but neither responsibility nor accountability.

CFO is an Ontario corporation.  As such, shouldn't it have some duties and responsibilities to the Ontario public?

Nope.  Sorry.  Under Section 3(5) of the Farm Products Marketing Act ("FPMA"), all the local Supply Management Boards, including CFO, are exempted from the duties, responsibilities and accountability imposed on all other Ontario corporations by the Corporations Act ("OBCA") and the Corporations Information Act.

Under  Section 3.(6) of FPMA, everybody associated with CFO is protected from personal liability, in spite of any negligence, error, or incompetence; no matter who they hurt, nor how badly they hurt an innocent third party.

Everybody at CFO can run amok and never be held accountable.  Talk about sponsoring and encouraging irresponsibility and delinquency!

Is this a minor detail?   Gowlings, a Toronto law firm and one of the largest in Canada, states that Directors and Officers of all other corporation have the duty to:
  • Manage the corporation (ie. neither abdication nor laissez-faire nor passive nor acquiesence)
  • Act with loyalty and good faith
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information acquired by virtue of their position
  • Exercise care, diligence, and skill in everything done for the corporation
  • Ensure that they are reasonably informed
  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations
I see all of the above (and more) as being important duties, responsibilities, and accountability that both CFO and OFPMC are missing.  This needs to be corrected by the Ontario Government as soon as possible.

According to the Supreme Court of Canada, if Directors or Officers fail in their duties to the corporation, and third parties are thereby damaged, those third parties can sue the Directors & Officers for damages suffered.  While CFO and OFPMC have been exempted from the OBCA, they have not been exempted from the common law.  The OBCA merely codified and confirmed the common law duty of care.

Has there been any third parties that have been damaged by CFO and/or OFPMC?  How about the 13.5 million citizens of Ontario?  Do they count for anything?

Is anybody interested in discussions of a very interesting Class Action lawsuit against these two organizations?

The Chicken Mafia Exposed

Yesterday's Blog posting was about CFO being ordered to correct the unfair live chicken prices they had previously been charging in Ontario due to an inflated FCR (Feed Conversion Ratios) factor.  The FCR was supposed to reimburse the factory chicken farmers for chicken feed that they had to buy.  What really happened is that the bogus FCR paid for all the chicken feed purchased, plus a 16.28% premium.

However, CFO allowed both an inflated FCR and inflated $/tonne chicken feed prices to be used in this "fair and reasonable" formula.

Garbage in gets you garbage out.

I previously Blogged how the bogus FCR extracted $945 million per year from Canadian wallets.  However that calculation was based on the proper FCR being 1.82 so now that 1.72 has been admitted, the total bill for the FCR scam is adjusted to $999.942 million.  Between friends, can we call it an even $1.0 Billion per year?

Since this bogus data has been used at least since 2003, that's 10 years of deceit, so we have a total scam of $10 Billion over that 10 year period of time.

I think that both OFPMC and CFO knew, or ought to have known, that the previous FCR of 2.0 was false, substantially inflated, a mis-representation, and deceptive.

I also suggest that CFO acted contrary to the Federal-Provincial Agreement on Chicken, 2001 which they signed, where Section 1.01 (d) states that CFO and OFPMC (and all other signatories) are:
(d) to work in the balanced interest of producers, industry stakeholders and consumers.

With the Chicken Mafia on the loose, it's no wonder that a 2010 Health Canada survey finds that 7.65% of the Canadian population (ie. 2.56 million people) can't afford the food they need to feed their families (ie. they're food insecure).  In Nunavut, it's 28.8% of the population.  In addition, food bank usage is up 40% in the last 5 years, and Canadians are charged 3 times more for chicken than our American neighbours to the South.

The Chicken Mafia become millionaires while millions of Canadians are improperly nourished.  People are forced to eat inexpensive, less nutritious foods as they cannot afford the foods they need to optimize their health.

Will CFO and the Chicken Mafia be required to disgorge these unfair extortion proceeds back to their victims, the Canadian public?

Under CFO's Quota Policy, factory chicken producers can self-market chicken directly to end-consumers. Did any of the Chicken Mafia actually take advantage of this opportunity?  If they did, perhaps they can be held accountable for their actions.

The live chicken price formula was widely publicized by CFO and many others as providing just enough income to the factory chicken farmers so they can earn a fair and reasonable living.

For example, Chicken Farmers of Ontario said (emphasis added by me):

"In light of the global economic crisis, the timing of Chicken Day gave us an opportunity to show our appreciation for support of supply management and reinforce strength of a system that provides consumers with premium quality Ontario chicken at consistent prices while providing farmers with a fair return on their investment."

For example, Chicken Farmers of Canada said:
"By acting together, farmers negotiate a fair price for their products based on what it costs to produce them."
"Farmers get a fair return for their products,..."
Ontario's Consumer Protection Act applies to most purchases of goods for personal use by an individual.  Buying chicken for personal consumption from a quota-bearing chicken factory would fall under this Act.  Under Part III of this Act, it prohibits unfair practices such as false, misleading, or deceptive practices.  Section 14.(2).16 of the Act states that a false, misleading, or deceptive representation includes:
16. A representation that misrepresents the purpose of any charge or proposed charge.

With 2700 members in the Canada-wide Chicken Mafia, and a refund of $10 Billion owed (plus interest, of course), that would be an average refund of $3.7 million per factory chicken producer.  Perhaps they can sell their chicken quota and turn over all of the proceeds to the public, wiping the slate clean.

Who would buy the chicken quota?  Nobody I know would touch it with a 10 ft. barge pole.  With the high cost of quota, the ROI (Return on Investment) was previously shown to be less than 3% The Chicken Mafia have certainly backed themselves into a corner.  They will have to sell everything to pay their debt to society.

I suggest the reasonable settlement terms as follows:  All Chicken Mafia Members will be required to sign an admission of guilt, make a written apology to all Canadians, and pay $3.7 million from each member of the Chicken Mafia.

For CFO, we need to be much harsher, for it was CFO who was the controlling mind; the Mafia Don who lead the Chicken Mafia in the raping of Canadians.  The only punishment that fits CFO's crime is capital punishment.  The Crown Attorney must seek the death penalty for CFO.  If and when convicted, CFO will face corporate execution, be wound up, and cease to exist.

Perhaps this accounting explains how chicken quota came to be valued so high in the Canadian free market.  It was all just the accumulation of ill-gotten gains.

Are there any lawyers out there interested in a juicy class action lawsuit?  If there is, perhaps there are many people ready to help the cause of calling the Chicken Mafia to fully account for their actions.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Alive!

Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, ("OFPMC") the regulatory boss of Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO") is truly alive.

After years of complaints from many sources about the cartel imposed, monopolistic, Supply Management minimum cost of live chicken, OFPMC has finally done something about it.  OFPMC came back to life and took action against the arrogant and oppressive chicken monopoly.

The old rule, imposed on the powerless citizens who pay the ultimate price, has been in place since May 4, 2003 (and was even more oppressive and wrong before that date).

The May 2003 rule assumed a Feed Conversion Ratio ("FCR") of 2.0 but in reality, many sources (including me) believed the factory farms of Ontario had a FCR of 1.82.

An FCR of 2.0 means that it takes 2 kg. of chicken feed to produce 1.0 kg of weight gain by the chicken.

I previously wrote about this unfair extortion of Ontario consumers by this bogus FCR here, and here.

The new FCR rule will adjust the factory farm gate price of live chicken to be more in line with the real cost of raising those chickens.

CFO states:
Currently the regulation states that “for every $5/tonne change in the feed price, the minimum live price will be adjusted by one cent in the corresponding direction”. This section will be changed to “for every $5.81/tonne change in the feed price, the minimum live price will be adjusted by one cent in the corresponding direction”.

The old rule which assumed a FCR of 2.0 is calculated as follows:

($0.01/kg chicken)/($5.00/tonne chicken feed)*(1000 kg/tonne)= (2.0 kg chicken feed)/(kg. of chicken)

Similarly, the new rule assumes an FCR of 1.72

Note that the new rule is 94.57% of our assumed nightmare, and just 86% of what CFO was previously trying to convince everybody was a "reasonable" FCR.

So, it now seems that CFO and the chicken factory producers were even bigger cheats than we had previously suspected.

Well, congratulations and thanks to OFPMC for coming back to life and finally taking action.  My thanks and appreciation to CFO for swallowing hard and doing as OFPMC ordered them to do; I'm sure it wasn't easy, and won't be easy for the factory chicken farmers to accept and thrive with the more correct FCR.

The trick will be for somebody, anybody, to stop all the middle men from gobbling up this 16.3% drop in the FCR before the consumers get to enjoy it at the grocery store meat counter as lower chicken prices.

Since feed costs represent about 60% of the total cost of raising chickens, and the eviscerated weight is about 73.72% of the live weight, a 16.3% drop in feed prices should translate to a 9.78% drop in the live chicken price, and a 7.21% drop in chicken prices at retail meat counters.

Do you think consumers will see any of that FCR correction as a retail chicken meat price decrease?

I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Round # 7 with Chicken Farmers of Canada

We are now into Round 7 of the heavy weight fight between Small Flockers and CFC (Chicken Farmers of Canada).

So far CFC has dodged every punch thrown by the rookie Small Flockers.  Years of experience at doging responsibility and tying everybody up in endless bureaucracy and doublespeak has obviously come in handy for CFC, a long time veteran of the ring.

Just because CFC has been a long time winner doesn't make them a popular favorite with the crowd.  There is a small group of 2,700 supporters in CFC's; all of them paid handsomely for their ongoing support and blood allegiance to CFC, the Mafia Don of Chicken.  There are severe consequences for any of those followers who are merely suspected of questioning CFC's control, or for becoming a whistleblower and squealing to the authorities.

FPCC (Farm Products Council of Canada), formally known as National Farm Products Council (names have been changed to protect the guilty) is the supervising and monitoring agency to ensure CFC does what they are supposed to do.  This week, I received a letter from Mr. Laurent Pellerin, Chair of FPCC, stating that he saw no basis for my complaint against CFC.  That was the end of Round #6.

Small Flockers   0
CFC                  6

It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up.

- Vince Lombardi
Within 3 days of FPCC's letter, I had a revised complaint against CFC drafted, checked, and off to FPCC and CFC.  Round #7 has begun.  Many people believe that 7 is a lucky number.  Will it be lucky for CFC, or Small Flockers?

Only time will tell.

Place your bets.