Here’s an excerpt from David E. Gumpert’s report on the showing this past weekend of Norman Lofts’ prize-winning movie about raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt, down in California at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s “Wise Traditions” conference. Both Michael and Norman were on hand for the conference, and David was asked to introduce them to an audience of several hundred. It’s fascinating to see how the Canadian raw milk situation looks to someone who’s been around the U.S. raw milk scene as much as David Gumpert has. Here’s some of what he says in a post from Sunday on his “Complete Patient” blog:
“It’s difficult to imagine that there might be a country that is more inhospitable to raw milk than the U.S., but there is, and it is just across to the north–Canada.
That becomes clear in a chilling documentary just out, “Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist?”, produced by Norman Lofts. It was screened in front of several hundred attendees Friday evening at the Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions conference. Yours truly had the honor of introducing Michael and the film’s producer, Norman Lofts, who were both attending.
The film begins with a raid conducted by Canadian regulatory and police authorities on Michael Schmidt’s 100-acre raw dairy two hours outside of Toronto, in November 2006. Fortunately for us, Michael pulled out his video camera when he saw the police surrounding his farm, and began filming, so we have the bizarre scene of Canadian inspectors donning special boots, gloves, and hats before entering his barn, as if they’re looking for toxic wastes.
“I was completely calm,” Michael intones on the film of the seven-and-a-half hour raid. “The only time I got choked up was when I saw the cheese equipment in their truck.”
It’s one thing to hear about the police raiding a raw dairy, quite another to see it unfold as it did at Michael’s dairy. Just as it’s amazing to listen to the Canadian regulators being interviewed, spouting their protect-the-children rhetoric. “This is a hazardous product, it really needs to be looked after,” says one. They really sound like Orwellian robotons as they repeat their gibberish, even in the face of alternating interviews from Michael’s healthy looking herdshare members discussing the ongoing health benefits they receive from consuming raw milk.
The question of liberalizing Canada’s total prohibition of raw milk came up briefly in the Canadian parliament following the raid on Michael’s farm, and a member is shown objecting: “We solved this problem sixty years ago.” His view prevailed.
A big part of the documentary is devoted to Michael’s 28-day hunger strike following the November 2006 raid, and we see him literally shriveling up before the camera.
We also see interviews with conventional dariy farmers defending required pasteurization, and admitting they don’t want Michael to rock the boat of their huge incomes derived courtesy of the monopolistic milk marketing boards….”