Farmer convicted in raw milk case launches hunger strike — National Post

From Derek Amba at the National Post:

Farmer and raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt has launched another hunger strike. in his nearly five-year legal battle to make Ontario the only province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk. Photo: Aaron Lynett/National Post

“Farmer and raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt has launched another hunger strike in his nearly five-year legal battle to make Ontario the only province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk.

The move comes after the Ontario Court of Justice on Wednesday found Schmidt guilty of selling and distributing raw milk and raw-milk products. In a 77-page decision, Ontario Justice Peter Tetley convicted Schmidt of 15 of the 19 criminal offences charged under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act.

In January 2010, Schmidt was found not guilty of 19 charges related to his cow-share business. This week’s decision essentially reverses the acquittal and now Schmidt may face fines, but is unlikely to see jail time.

In Canada, it is illegal to market, sell, distribute or deliver unpasteurized milk or cream. Yet it is legal for farmers and their immediate families to drink raw milk or to use it to make cheese.

“The number of food-borne illness outbreaks from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization of milk was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991,” Health Canada says on its website.

Reached Friday, Schmidt said the danger in unpasteurized milk comes in large industrial production centres, where milk from several farmers is pooled and any one providing bad milk can ruin the whole batch. He said when done properly at a family farm, the production of raw milk can be safer than pasteurized milk from factories.

“The only zero tolerance with regard to food [safety] is with milk,” Schmidt said. “Everywhere there is a calculable risk [that governments] accept, but not with milk.”

Schmidt recalled how more than 20 Canadians died in 2008 after deli meats became contaminated with listeria.

“Did they ban cold cuts?” he said. “No. They looked at the operation and said, ‘We need you to do things better,’ and so on. The problem really is the industrialization of our food.”

Asked how long he would remain on a hunger strike, Schmidt said, “Until I see some results.”…”

Read it all on The National Post.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Farmer convicted in raw milk case launches hunger strike — National Post

  1. Alim

    Sigh. Seriously? This is ridiculous. Can someone please tell me how I can get in touch with Michael, I have met with him several times during our issues with Home on the Range in BC last year. I would like to explain to him exactly how he can get these clowns to go away, once and for all. And it’s not by going on a hunger strike!

  2. Oh course the problem is the industrialized food system. In the United States, refer to the Yearbook of Agriculture, 1939. A volume called, Food and Life. United States Department of Agriculture. “It shows that the human being and the animals must have fundamentally the same needs. People as well as animals must be well fed if they are to do their best and give their best.” – Henry A. Wallace
    Secretary of Agriculture

    Get a copy of this book, over 1,100 pages of intelligent work. How far has the Department Of Agriculture moved from the virtue with which these people of that time in history possessed? A possession of high scientific standards, breadth of vision, and enthusiasm. And most important, virtue.

    Why have we moved so far from such traditions? Ways of thinking and doing business? It all has to do with greed and characters who have little or no virtue.

    Does this movement and leaders like Michael Schmidt represent the counterfeit radicalism that blames everything on ‘Society’ and absolves individual accountability? I do not think so.

    Ed Hartz
    Milkmen USA

  3. Royce Hamer

    I live in Flamborough On. and I am surveying the main party members in the riding of Ancaster,Dundas Flamborough and Westbrook,on raw milk and have just been advised that Ted McMeekin (Lib) is against raw milk for health reasons.. The man obviously does not know any of the facts. Remember this when you cast your secret ballot.

  4. Gordon S Watson

    the question is posed = Why have we moved so far from such traditions? Ways of thinking and doing business?
    the simplistic answer is = because this nation sufferers under communism, in ignorance….. don’t quite believe me? Look around your neighbourhood and tell me which of the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto are NOT in place?!
    this came about because the hirelings / false teachers and pulpit parrots who infest in the state-licenced Baal-barns of organized churchianity put their congregations to sleep with that abomination known as Judeo-Christianity
    the Campaign for REAL MILK is = white people awakening to our heritage, the Bible, via its agricultural and food laws

    we’re going to bear the yoke of Esau ’til the punishment phase is over. this too, shall pass … Meanwhile, save yourself ; open that Bible and read it … read it ALL, from cover to cover
    if, as Justices Tetley and Gropper in BC tell us, this is a “political issue” … then it is now squarely about one’s civil right to use and enjoy his private property
    asserting that right is the bulwark against communism, and we’re doing it today, in BC

    • “this nation sufferers under communism”

      Gordon, I think the noun you are reaching for here is “fascism,” which Mussolini himself defined as “the merger of corporate and state power.”

      If it weren’t for monopoly milk marketing boards, I don’t think the health authorities would be so rigidly irrational.

    • Jenny

      Hi Gordon,
      I don’t quite know what to make of your statement “the Campaign for REAL MILK is = white people awakening to our heritage…”.

      As someone of African descent (1/2), am I not welcome to be part of this?

    • Gordon..I’ll second the request…care to explain the below?

      “the Campaign for REAL MILK is = white people awakening to our heritage, the Bible, via its agricultural and food laws?”

      • nedlud

        Gordon is just a little bit goofy on a few things. He means well. He is an example of why a good system has ‘checks and balances’. Checks and balances that ACTUALLYfunction, and not just talked about as per our current modern dictatorial world governments which are blatantly abusive (murderous) in the extreme and corrupt.

        nedlud

      • Gordon S Watson

        Jenny, being half white, you have the genetic trait which enables you to digest milk, because it’s dominant. Your very white-ness is why you’re here at all

        my experience over about 16 years now, has shown me that Caucasians are the mainspring of the Campaign for REAL MILK… certainly those who produce it are. another way to describe it is, the anti-christ one-worlders attempting to exterminate the white race because we are the crucible of Christianity. For the last century the communists predicted they’d play ‘the food weapon” and here we are
        it has to do with the fact that individuals of the white race keep on producing the enzymes which digest milk, into adulthood, while other people in other races don’t. Rare exception being the Masai. Are your people Masai on the African side, Jenny?
        the fools who believe in the theory of evolution, call this trait = “the evolutionary advantage”. But it’s a lot easier for me toI believe that our God programmed our DNA with this attribute as part of His bigger purposes

        Alexandr Solzenhitsen told us … after he got out of the Soviet Gulags … that Americans have forgotten God, same as they did in Russia. So America is going to suffer the same way. As the pain of the yoke of Esau = red fascism aka communism = become unbearable, it causes us to remember our heritage, the Bible and what it has to say about agricultural practices

      • Jenny

        @Nedlud:
        Just a little bit goofy, Nedlud? It would seem that ‘white supremecist’ might be a little closer to the mark. Aside from his desire to obtain raw milk, I don’t think Gordon’s views have any place in a ‘good’ system. I sincerely hope that his views aren’t shared by the majority of readers.

        @Bernie:
        Thanks for speaking out. It’s nice to know at least one other person thought that Gordon’s comments were out of line.

        @Gordon:
        “At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being.” – Friedrich Otto Hertz

  5. My only criticism is that this is only Michael at this point.

    How can we turn this into a movement?

    If I thought it would be of any help, I would join Michael in his hunger strike. But I’m just an ordinary person, and I like food, and I don’t particularly want to go hungry if no one is going to notice.

    Now if we get, say, 30 people to join this hunger strike, and if a massive media campaign gets press and public attention, I’m there.

    • valleymom

      You don’t even need 30 people. If even just one other person joined him it would create waves. Call up all the media and tell them you’re doing the same. That WOULD do something. I would totally join him if I could, I like food too but I’d be willing to try this. Only thing is I’m the only caretaker to my little kids and they at home with me all day. I couldn’t physically be able to care for them if I were on a hunger strike. Everyone who is able to do this, should seriously consider it. If everyone did it even for a few days it would grab the media’s attention. Who walks the talk these days? Very few.

    • Jan: I hear you, I like my food as well, and nor do I wish to hungry. If each of us follows Michael on his hunger strike it will get noticed, and it’s more about solidarity then press coverage. The coverage will come as it’s noticed that one by one people across Canada are joining Michael on the hunger strike.

      Ordinary people are just the type of people that need to start coming out in favor of raw milk. If every ordinary person in every province stood up for raw milk, imagine what could be done. It just starts with one!

  6. I hope his hunger strike exclude raw milk. Be careful Micheal we need men like you.
    I find it confusing that the supreme court of Canada can legalize a safe injection site for ilegal narcotics in Vancover base on the rights of the drug users, yet we cannot consume raw milk and have no right to do so. Can someone explain? What if I developed an addiction to raw milk? Would I be granted the same?
    Attention needs to be brought to this issue. The real question now is how do we do this.

    • valleymom

      I think we need to find a “safe injection site” for raw milk! How about that? What if we drank the milk under medical supervision? Really, it’s absurd, but what will it take to get a little budge here?

  7. Gordon S Watson

    we do this” in practical terms : keep right on producing, and as Mark McAffee says =”teach, teach, teach”
    when informed consumers taste REAL MILK, they don’t go back to the swill merchandised under the Standard of Identity “homo milk”
    I used to get about one inquiry per day for the first 4 years of our cowshare. Lately, it’s more like 2

    this round is just a particularly dramatic display of the death-throes of the corporate monsters which grew up under the Stalin-ist milk marketing scheme.
    the latest issue of the Western Producer magazine has a good editorial questioning why, if this federal govt. can see the wisdom of doing away with the Canadian Wheat Board, how come we don’t see the same treatment for the dairy and egg monopolies?
    as much as I admire and support Michael Schmidt, myself, I’m not going to join him in his hunger strike … I can’t do without my REAL MILK

    at the hearing of the contempt allegation against him, and myself, set for November 2 2011 in New Westminster, I’ll have on hand a few gallons of fresh whole pure raw milk brought in specially from Washington State .. Everyone who’s never tried it, and is curious what all the fuss is about, is welcome to have some

    • valleymom

      I believe M is drinking one glass of milk a day on his hunger strike, at least that’s what I read in a news article about the last one.

  8. my choice

    heres a thought…whoever has the funds or can put it together…introduce the 1st ever ingestion site of illegal raw milk…better to have a “safe site” and can monitor the addicts..and can’t be charged. Get the government to fund it.
    If theres money to be made then it would take off and everyone would
    want one. Even the DFO would want in.This is how crazy the world is. Look at what is supported. Waiting to see them shut down McDonalds & Wendys…offering food that causes obesity! Drug addicts freedom to choose costs down the road in health care. Then again no bonus or incentive for those who take responsibility for their own health & welfare.

    • hahaha!! …I had the very same thought go through my head when I saw the CBC news article about “wondering” if safe sites should be government funded!
      Now why not leave the the free needles alone and offer Raw Milk… heaven forbid that they would become addiclted to something healing instead of harming!

  9. Karen Selick

    @my choice and Janeen – clever idea. Why not write this up as a letter to the editor of your favourite newspaper?

    • nedlud

      @Karen Selick (again):

      “Good’ defense lawyers are always ready to compromise with any and all courts of law (however corrupt). After all, it’s not their life on the line, merely that of a ‘defendant’ they are being paid to represent. Morals as such, can be adjusted accordingly. It’s a matter of ‘common legal sense’ {sic} and who is ‘in charge’ {sic}.

      First lesson in law school:

      If you want to make a good living at law, you have know who is in charge and has the money and make your ‘deals’ {sic} accordingly.

      Better luck to the defendant next time.

      Justice can be a fickle thing.

      Going after money, however, is solid.

      I wonder what God thinks, though. I wonder if He doesn’t resemble Shakespeare: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ethicalesq/shakespeare-and-lawyers/

      I wonder.

  10. Winifred

    What will end the hunger strike?

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