This is the text of cowshare member Judith McGill’s presentation at the International Raw Milk Symposium last weekend:
Cowshare members and supporters helped look after the sales tables at the Symposium last weekend.
We have heard a lot today and in the past two days during the Raw Milk trial about the physical materialist science of raw milk. I am going to take another focus, I am here as a Cowshare member of Glencolton Farms to give you the consumer story about raw milk. There are a number of us here.
The controversy over raw milk isn’t just of interest to us, it is part of our story. It is a story about the relationship between consumers and producers. It’s a story about those that drink raw milk and eat raw milk products and their relationship to the farmers that labour in the fields and milk the cows.
It is also a story about the science of milk. The unwritten science, unstudied and unspoken science of milk. The stories of each of our 150 Cowshare members constitute a different kind of science. It is more phenomenological, that is, it’s a science that describes on the ground, behavior and outcomes that can nevertheless be counted, quantified, and adequately described. Continue reading
Poll results as of 2:30 pm Monday Feb. 2, 2009 -- 80% in favour!
Re poll above: vote now if you haven’t already. [poll result update: at 9:36 pm it was 83.2% in favour to 16.8% opposed!]
Now here’s a progress report from the Newmarket courthouse by Judith McGill:
People from around the world were watching us last week during the seven day trial of Michael Schmidt of Glencolton Farms in Ontario, Canada. Michael chose to defend himself against 19 charges of selling, distributing, storing and displaying raw milk as well as failing to cease and desist with his program for the past 12 years. The trial took place in a provincial regulatory court that commonly tries traffic offences. The space was transformed by high drama as the singular famer took on the complexities of the trial pitted against 8 government lawyers. Continue reading
It’s encouraging to note that the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and Canadian Press have assigned reporters who have covered earlier stages of this story, to report on the current ongoing court case. Here’s an excerpt from the National Post story titled “Milk Martyr“:
Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt. Toronto Star photo by Michael Stuparyk
“… Conversations outside of court this week constantly hit on the hot-points of the advocacy movement: Raw milk tastes better, it’s healthier, heating for sterilization dims the milk’s natural glow. These topics will all be discussed at today’s International Raw Milk Symposium at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where Mr. Schmidt, several of his supporters and international experts will discuss recent nutritional research and debate regulations.
Organizers describe the event as a chance for the public to hear how raw milk is “demonstrably better for you than pasteurized milk” and is seeing a rising consumer demand.
Top billings at the event are Dr. Ron Hull, an Australian microbiologist, and Dr. Ted Beals, a Michigan pathologist, both of whom are in Ontario to appear as expert witnesses during Mr. Schmidt’s case. Continue reading