Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Food Safety, but at what Price ?

The NS's Turkey Mafia moved to shut down a rural butcher shop-abattoir that served the local small flock turkey farmers for 36 years. Nova Scotia's Agriculture Minister Cowell justified the actions of the Turkey Mafia by claiming that uncertified butcher shop-abattoirs cannot be allowed to continue operating due to the food safety issues and liability.

The re-use of the Mockingjay broach from
The Hunger Games seems fitting for Nova Scotia's
war against Small Flock Turkey Farmer
For our previous Blog postings on NS' Turkey Trauma, see here, here, and here.

I call them the Turkey Mafia, as they are a handful of special interest, millionaire turkey farmers who somehow got a monopoly on turkeys in Nova Scotia by getting friendly politicians to pass more and more restrictive laws under Supply Management.  Armed with lobbyists whispering into the ears of bureaucrats and politicians, the Turkey Monopolists can safely act like their namesake Mafia, shutting down small flock turkey growers and those who supply them.  This unfair and unjust action under cover of Supply Management rules and food safety smoke screen, helps the Turkey Mafia protect their monopoly from any competition.  This helps the Turkey Mafia more quickly move from being paltry millionaires, and more quickly become newly minted billionaires.

It is our view that these Supply Management rules should be for the greater good of the public.  Supply Management should not be encouraging and enabling the Turkey Mafia to do price gouging, oppression, and abuse of the public; all of which have been going on for decades, all across Canada.

However, Minister Cowell is correct that food safety is important; but at what price?

If the food produced becomes too expensive to afford, it will rot unsold on the grocery store shelves; a loss for everyone.

Inspection and testing is important.  Restaurants throughout Canada regularly get inspected for cleanliness and following food safety protocols, and if necessary Health Inspectors can take bacterial swabs from key, critical surfaces in those restaurants.  Why can't that occur for small, rural abattoir-butcher shops too?

The formal, government approved systems for huge Big Ag, Big Food, Supply Management Mafia and their huge slaughter plants are the ones that have been killing Canadians.
Witness Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto, a Federally inspected & approved (supposedly, Federal inspection is a higher standard than just Provincial inspections) abattoir & meat processing plant that killed 22 people and made 58 seriously ill from food contaminated with deadly listeria bacteria.  Where were all the government protection systems then?

Witness XL Foods in Alberta that in 2012 poisoned 18 people with deadly E.coli 0157:H7.  In spite of XL Foods being the 2nd largest beef slaughter plant in Canada (or perhaps because it was), it was allowed to continue running with poor operating procedures, and even non-compliance to those half baked procedures, resulting in numerous batches of beef trimmings being contaminated for up to 2 years before the massive recall in 2012; all occurring under the government's negligent eyes.  Where were all the government protection systems then?

Unfortunately, there are many other examples of the government's system enabling the poisoning and killing of Canadian citizens who put too much trust in the government and their faulty food inspection systems.

University of Guelph, CFIA, and other scientists report that 30% to 80% of the raw chicken on grocery store shelves are contaminated with deadly bacteria, and 50% of those contaminated birds have Superbugs, resistant to 1 or more human antibiotics.  Again, all of these are produced by millionaire Big Food, Big Ag systems under the government's negligent eye and their mandatory inspection system.

Joel Salatin, a farmer with an on-farm butcher shop in Virginia USA regularly produces chickens and turkeys, one at a time with a sharp knife and a farmer's skill and care.  His birds have 1/10 of the bacterial contamination that's usually present in the birds produced by the large, automated factories operated under the USDA's approved system and inspectors.

It's the skilled and caring people, not the government's paperwork, that keeps the food safe. 

So based on these facts, should Gordon Fraser be allowed to continue to serve his customers and community with safe, nutritious, and affordable turkeys?

It appears the answer is a resounding YES!

Most or all of Gordon Fraser's customers for the past 34 years feel the same way.

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