Toronto Sun columnist toes the party line on raw milk — suggests judge throw the book at farmer Michael Schmidt

Here’s an excerpt from an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Sun by columnist Connie Woodcock, which very much echoes a recent story in the Globe and Mail on a similar pro-pasteurization theme:

“….Louis Pasteur must be rolling in his grave.

He thought his pasteurization process would save the world from disease.

Turns out it was just another way for government to oppress us. Or at least, that’s the peculiar message rogue dairy farmer Michael Schmidt has been trying to sell.

Schmidt is the Durham-area farmer whose trial on 20 charges of selling raw milk wrapped up recently in Newmarket. He’s spent years trying to get around the law against the sale of unpasteurized milk and came up with a tricky way to subvert it by selling shares in his cows.

Schmidt, who likes to paint himself as a simple hayseed and a martyr to personal freedom, spent his trial arguing the raw milk law is unconstitutional because it interferes with people’s “freedom” to make their own choices. His side of the case was heavily reported. What was underreported was the truckload of scientific evidence the Crown introduced to prove the dangers of raw milk.

A decision isn’t expected for four months.

Apparently, there are all kinds of people who put their personal freedoms ahead of public safety. Only last month, a conference in Toronto gathered about 100 people to sing the praises of raw milk and its alleged health-giving qualities. Harper’s magazine in the U.S. did a semi-supportive story on him last year.

But that doesn’t make him right. For all those who think they ought to be allowed to make their own decisions on drinking raw milk, I have one word: Listeriosis.

You’d think last summer’s huge meat recall — and the deaths and illnesses that accompanied it — would have taught us food safety is hard to guarantee and you don’t miss it until it’s gone.

Or here’s another word: Salmonella. The recent massive recall of peanut products and the deaths and illnesses should also get the message across.

There are lots of other diseases cows are susceptible to and that can be passed on to humans in milk — such as tuberculosis and E. coli. Raw milk fans argue pasteurization takes out valuable nutrients. Everyone from Health Canada to your local health unit will tell you that’s simply not true.


Schmidt claims his herd is clean. Ever been in a dairy barn? Even the cleanest is an open sewer. The potential for disease is massive, which is why we have pasteurization.

And he’s wrong on a couple of other counts. First, we aren’t free to consume what we like in this society. You can’t buy drugs without a prescription because they’re dangerous as well as helpful. You can’t buy heroin just because you want to. You wouldn’t feed your children cat food or eat a hunk of raw chicken, so why would you drink raw milk?…..”

Read the ending and all the comments here. Add a comment of your own if they’re still taking comments. Comments seems to be running 12 in favour of raw milk vs 2 opposed. So I guess the propaganda isn’t working yet, at least not on commenters. It’s an admittedly small sample, but those results do corroborate with the findings of a radio poll on Toronto’s AM640 a month ago (reported in the Bovine) with 83% of respondents in favor of freedom to choose raw milk.



Filed under News

6 responses to “Toronto Sun columnist toes the party line on raw milk — suggests judge throw the book at farmer Michael Schmidt

  1. thebovine

    See our page on Pasteur for a different perspective on what old Louie might be rolling over in his grave about:

  2. thebovine

    As of this morning we’re now up to 23 comments on the Sun site; of those, maybe 3 sort of agree with the writer. The other 20 either favour raw milk or at least advocate for people to have freedom to make their own choice on the question of pasteurized vs raw milk.

  3. Bernie Bailey

    This is the full artical I wrote

    As the owner of the last legal dairy in western Ontario that processed sixteen million liters of milk with never a recall in thirty years force out of business by corrupted civil servants and a corrupted Milk Board that favored the big three global companies (Google Bernie Bailey or go to the Bovine.wordpress for info on this) let me say that your health has little to do with this argument . The bigger play at work here is the monopoly that the Milk Marketing Board or as they call them selves the Ontario Dairy Farmers .They are loosing a battle with the three big milk companies in Canada because these companies are importing milk powder from god no,s were (control that) to make Canadian cheese under a Canadian label and the Milk Board is powerless to stop this as they would have no place to send the raw milk if the big three slow production down. The Milk Board and the Farm Marketing Products Commission have put the farmers at risk of this on their global mission . Every thing I say I will back up with evidence from the freedom of information on meetings and actions. There are simple tests that can be done every day to insure the quality of all products raw or pasteurized but every one keeps leaning on that fifty year old discovery as if that is how milk is still pasteurized well you better take a trip through a dairy to see what is going on and Schmidt is a smoke screen to keep you away from the real story —Canadian cheese from other counties and the Milk Board telling one thousand farmers to leave the land in the next two years as they have no sale for the milk that is produced while the polititions turn a blind eye.

    I am one vote

  4. Bernie Bailey

    If I may suggest ,you should be contacting the one thousand farmers that are being forced out of a life time of dairy and have them join your cow share idea and then you will get the attention of Mrs. Dombrousky the Minister of Agriculture and the change you want may take place. You have to stop dealing with the civil servants that do not communicate with her about your situation ,it willbe hard to win on their level as they do not hold the power of change. The farmers that are being tossed out will be taking place as I write this and they may be willing to stand up to the Marketing Board now that they have their pay out.I would presume that the board would start with the younger farmers as they will lose every thing because they are not given time to pay down dept caused by regulations before the board stops picking the milk up from them. If you can get these farmers to stand with you then you can be a force that the Board and other government departments can not just burry in court waiting for you to run out of money so they win.
    I am one vote

  5. Pingback: Winnipeg Sun runs anti-raw-milk rant — comments 7 - 1 in favour of raw milk « The Bovine

  6. Pingback: Farmer’s daughter and Toronto Sun columnist Connie Woodcock still dissing raw milk « The Bovine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s