Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

Documentary film on raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt premieres Thursday

Farmer Michael Schmidt shares a moment with filmmaker Norman Lofts outside the courthouse in Newmarket Monday.

Farmer Michael Schmidt shares a moment with filmmaker Norman Lofts outside the courthouse in Newmarket Monday.

Norman Loft’s 47 minute documentary titled “Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist” makes its North American premiere this Thursday at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival in Toronto. The film will be screened at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). You can order them over the phone by calling 416-967-1528 and pay with a credit card. Tickets are $10, or $8 for students or seniors. That’s plus a $3.50 service charge. You pick up your tickets on the day of the event, October 23rd. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt replies to the verdict

Michael Schmidt after hearing the judge's verdict Oct 20, 2008

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt outside the Newmarket courthouse Oct. 20, 2008

October 21, 2008

Dear Friends
Dear Mr. Kuzmyk
Dear Justice Boswell

I would like to express my respect and thanks to all who have been part of this trial and ongoing venture for the last months. The formality of the court room makes it sometimes difficult for human beings to convey all the necessary thoughts, intentions and concerns. However, since the Honourable Justice Boswell accepted website postings as evidence, I am sure all parties involved will, in fact, read this posting and gain more insight into why I am who I am and why so many people are supporting the cause.

In my response to Justice Boswell’s ruling, I responded with the following:

Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver's order to give up her seat for a white man.

In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver's order to give up her seat to a white man. That's Martin Luther King in the background.

When Gandhi started his march to the Indian Ocean to encourage his people to make salt in order to defy the tax on salt imposed on India by the English Empire, he did that knowing full well that they needed to break the law in order to bring about justice.

When the black woman, Rosa [Parks], started the bus boycott in Montgomery, Martin Luther King knew that they had to break the law in order to eradicate injustice towards the blacks in America.

When Stephen Harper apologized this year in the House of Commons for the Government’s injustice towards the First Nations, he had to do it because the legal system failed to protect their individual rights. Continue reading

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Raw milk ambassador raises milk toast

Michael Schmidt raises a toast of raw milk outside the Newmarket courthouse on October 20, 2008

Michael Schmidt raises a toast of raw milk outside the Newmarket courthouse.

Plenty of media were there to capture the moment.

Lots of reporters and photographers were there to capture the moment.

Many of Michael's supporters joined in the "milk toast"

Many of Michael Schmidt's supporters were on hand to share in the experience.

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Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt asks for maximum penalty — cbcnews.ca

Here’s a report from Oct 20 from CBCnews.ca on the guilty verdict:

Reporters from the Toronto Sun, Canadian Press and CBC TV interview farmer Michael Schmidt on his reaction to Judge Boswell's verdict.

Reporters from the Toronto Sun, Canadian Press and CBC TV interview farmer Michael Schmidt on his reaction to Judge Boswell's verdict Monday Oct. 20 in Newmarket.

“Ontario farmer convicted in raw-milk trial, seeks maximum penalty — Farmer asks court to impose maximum penalty

An organic farmer found guilty Monday morning of ignoring a court order to stop selling unpasteurized milk asked the judge to give him the maximum penalty.

Michael Schmidt has run a co-operative organic dairy farm near Owen Sound, Ont., for more than 20 years.

Contempt charges were sought by York Region officials, who fear there are health risks for people consuming the raw milk, including the risk of spreading salmonella, E. coli and listeria bacteria. Continue reading

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Udder Hypocrisy — Gina Mallet

This is excerpted from “The Appetizer” section of the “National Post” website, October 20th, 2008, by Gina Mallet:

“Raw-milk activist Michael Schmidt was found guilty Monday for not adhering to a court order to discontinue production and sale of unpasteurized cow milk. Gina Mallet reacts:

Talk about hypocrisy! Michael Schmidt’s raw milk has never been found to have listeria or e coli, none of his customers have turned up in intensive care. People who buy raw milk know there’s an outside risk of a pathogen in unpasteurized milk.

But no one who ate the listeria laced deli meat and now, the e-coli burgers from a North Bay Wendy’s knew they were dicing with death when they ate processed and fast food.

So why hasn’t the government banned deli meats and fast food burgers? Continue reading

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Shut down your livelihood for 2 years while we get around to hearing your case

The following is excepted from a comment I made on The Complete Patient blog, where another commenter was wondering what was going on with the Michael Schmidt case. So I had to add my 2 cents worth. While generally on this blog, we pretty well stick to reporting the facts, in this piece, since it was “a comment” I’ve indulged in a little more “editorializing” than usual.

“… From what I’ve read around the web, Michael Schmidt is unique in not allowing himself to be cowed by the actions of governments. He’s telling the press that he intends to keep right on fulfilling his contractual obligations to cowshare holders. i was in court with him today and when the discussion came round to sentencing, Michael asked the judge to give him the maximum sentence. However the judge declined to allow him to “throw himself on the sword of York Region for political reasons”.

The really nasty thing about this recent court case (for contempt) is that it can’t address the fundamental things he was charged with nearly two years ago now. That’ll be in January 2009. Meanwhile, according to the court order that he ‘s now convicted of violating, he’s essentially supposed to have shut down his livelihood for what, for two years, while the courts get around to processing his case. Continue reading

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Farmer toasts guilty verdict with a glass of raw milk — Toronto Star website

“October 20, 2008


Torstar News Service

Noor Javed interviews Michael Schmidt for the Toronto Star outside the Newmarket courthouse,

Noor Javed interviews Michael Schmidt for the Toronto Star outside the Newmarket courthouse,

NEWMARKET – Less than an hour after farmer Michael Schmidt was found guilty of contempt of court for distributing raw milk, he joined his supporters in a toast outside the Newmarket courtroom.

The glass was filled with white, creamy, unpasteurized milk.

“Here’s to the real milk,” said Judith McGill, one of his dozen supporters who came out to support the farmer this morning.

“Here’s to everybody,” said the calm Schmidt, who had waited for a month to hear the verdict.

In September, Schmidt went on trial after York Region filed a contempt charge against him for failing to obey a May 2007 court order that prohibited him from distributing raw milk within its borders. Continue reading

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