Monthly Archives: January 2009

Michael Schmidt’s closing arguments and submissions regarding raw milk case Jan. 29, 2009

Court File No. 939.12.0042

ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE
NEWMARKET

BETWEEN:
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
The Crown
-and-

MICHAEL SCHMIDT
The Defendant

CLOSING ARGUMENTS
AND SUBMISSIONS

The Defendant, Michael Schmidt, has been charged by the MNR and the GBHU with various infractions against the HPPA and Milk Act. Accordingly the Defense provides the following arguments and submissions for consideration.

Capacity
As was well stated by your honor, the matter before this court is the right of an individual against the role of government. The Defense would expound and suggest that it is a matter of the freedom of an individual, versus the opinion and dictates of a multitude, enforced by The Crown. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt’s raw milk trial testimony from January 28, 2009

I was born in Germany in 1954. Both my parents came from rural background. My grandparents lost our farm in Eastern Germany during the war to the Russians and had to flee.

I grew up in rural Germany, worked on farms all my life. After High school I started my formal training and studies in Agriculture. In 1978 I received my masters in Agriculture. My master thesis was the bio-dynamic farm concept, the earliest form of organic agriculture. This degree allowed me to start teaching young farmers in all aspects of agriculture. Since that time I have individually trained practically over 100 young farmers in the art of farming.

I developed the cow share concept already in Germany in 1980 for the purpose of reconnecting the consumer with the producer with the mutual understanding that a cooperation would be the only way how individuals can in fact ensure their safety of food and a safe milk supply. On our bio-dynamic farm in Germany I established one of the first organic micro dairies. Continue reading

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246 comments on CBCnews.ca story

Toronto Life sums up the situation nicely in their Daily dish:

“Raw-milk enthusiast Michael Schmidt began presenting his defence yesterday at a courthouse in Newmarket. The Ontario farmer is defending himself in court after a 2006 raid on his property resulted in a charge of illegally selling unpasteurized milk. This is Schmidt’s second time in court, and he is lawyer-free once again. Is it just us, or is this issue lasting forever?”

Monday’s story on CBCnews.ca was titled: “Case more to do with rights than sales, raw milk crusader tells court”. Here’s a brief excerpt:

“…Michael Schmidt is conducting his own defence during the trial in Newmarket on about 20 charges stemming from an armed raid of his farm in November 2006.

In his opening statement, Schmidt said the core issue was not milk but the “respect to [which] the individual’s freedom has been lost or wilfully ignored.”

During a court recess, he proceeded to take a large swig of unpasteurized milk from a mason jar. Continue reading

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Is the best dairy in Ontario illegal?

So says Toronto Life magazine. See excerpt below from this story:

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On the federal blacklist (origins disguised to protect the guilty): 1. A semi-soft cheese with a washed rind 2. A blue cheese from Quebec 3. Michael Schmidt's raw milk 4. Goat's milk cheese aged less than 60 days 5. A pecorino-style cheese made by local chef Marc Thuet 6. A soft sheep's milk cheese

“At the back of any good cheese shop, there’s a hidden stash: a few unmarked rinds stacked in the walk-in refrigerator or piled in a bin behind the cash register. You might find a cylinder of exquisitely runny blue-streaked Dragon’s Breath sealed in black wax; or maybe a sharp sheep’s milk cheese lovingly aged by a local chef for two years; or a washed rind from Quebec that tastes delicately of fruit and herbs. These are some of the best Canadian cheeses. They are also illegal.

Experts estimate that 25 per cent of domestic rinds in Toronto are contraband. High-end, mid-range, even neighbourhood restaurants keep something illicit in their kitchens to reward regulars. It might be homemade or it might be smuggled. One chef I know gets Nova Scotia curds mailed directly to his house, where there’s less chance of a visit from a food inspector. Like most black markets, this one is burgeoning due to over-regulation: our backward dairy laws often rubber-stamp the bland, the banal and the mass-produced. The smaller the dairy the more interesting and unique its cheese, and the less likely it is to have federal accreditation. Our local industry lags decades behind Quebec’s, but the lion’s share of Quebec’s artisanal cheeses can’t legally cross provincial borders, tantamount to banning the best stuff in Canada. Continue reading

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Little raw milk drinker interviewed by CityTV reporter

Video by Marianne Else

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Report from Wed. Jan 28, 2009 court proceedings and outlook for Thursday in the Michael Schmidt raw milk case

A message in the heavens?

A message in the heavens?

Thursday at 9:00 am both sides will give summary statements. Starting in afternoon, the Charter, section 7 part of the case will begin with Dr. Ted Beals from Michigan. Dr. Beals will address the pathogen aspect and talk about his experience advising cow share programs across the USA. On Friday morning Dr. Ron Hull will take the stand. Then the Attorney General’s office may begin Friday afternoon with their defence against Michael’s Charter challenge.

Today the Court denied Michael’s other Charter challenges from other sections of the Charter because they were filed late and the Attorney General’s office did not have time to adequetely respond. The judge was not also willing to grant a motion arguing that Michael’s witness statement from November 2006 was made under duress or given involunarily. The judge ruled after hearing evidence from those that did the raid. The judge did say that execution of the search warrant was carried out in a deplorable way — effectively confined Michael and his farm hands in their kitchen for 7 1/2 hours.

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More live video from Michael Schmidt trial, day 2, January 27, 2009

Judge seems to support validity of cowshare contract - Says Michael Schmidt

Judge seems to support validity of cowshare contract - Says Michael Schmidt. Video by Marianne Else

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