Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Milk and Government Regulations

At the Green Living Show there was a booth occupied by Glencolton Farms. My basic understanding of their situation is that a group of people bought cows at this farm to obtain raw milk for personal use. Apparently they have done something contrary to regulations that prohibit the sale of unpasteurized milk. I don't know if raw milk is healthier or not and I don't really feel that is the issue. Government has regulated so many things to the point that these people can't get their own milk from a cow that they own. Meanwhile, thousands of chemicals are sold to people everyday without much scrutiny or concern. Regulations on agricultural products like raw milk make people suspicious that the regulations are in place to protect commercial interests and not the public from harmful products. Throw in subsidies, trade issues and marketing boards, and the vested interest against programs like the one at Glencolton Farms becomes so large it must be accommodated by government.

A situation like this then makes you wonder about what else is regulated in such a way that it protects commercial interests over those of the individual? Is that the type of regulation we want and is it effective? Looking at the last year of product recalls for unsafe products, the recent BPA news, and the increasing awareness of where things are coming from and how they are made - it looks like a change in approach is warranted.

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