This is from an email communique sent out to Toronto Dowsers members by Marilyn Gang. Marilyn and the dowsers have been strong suppporters of the raw milk cause since the raid on Michael’s farm in 2006.
Michael Schmidt, the Durham Dairy Desperado was acquitted on all 19 charges against him, which stemmed from the pre dawn raid on his dairy farm November 21, 2006.
The judge announced his decision, and the reasoning behind it today at the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket.
Court was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. today. I was unable to get there until 11 and thought the verdict would have been handed down by that time. It was not. About 150 of us were in the hallways, waiting, until 12:05 when Michael exited the courtroom and told us the verdict — to a roar of applause, cheers, whistles and glasses of real milk raised in a toast, to Michael and to all of us.
During that almost 3 hours in the courtroom, apparently the judge was reading his 40? page decision. Continue reading
Today’s news of Michael Schmidt’s acquittal was reported five hours ago on The Star.com website. Here’s an excerpt from the story, by Megan Ogilvie:
Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt walks out of a Newmarket courthouse and toasts with his own milk the fact that he is allowed to continue his raw milk co-operative, after court ruled it does not break laws against selling unpasteurized milk. Photo David Cooper/Toronto Star
Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt will be allowed to continue his raw milk co-operative after a Newmarket court ruled Thursday that it does not break laws against selling unpasteurized milk.
Schmidt was found not guilty on the 19 charges after Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky ruled that the cow-share program is exempt from legislation set out in Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act.
The courthouse was packed with Schmidt’s supporters and the ruling was met with claps, cheers and some tears of happiness. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from the Canadian Press story, posted three hours ago:
Canadian Press photo of raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt beside his "blue bus" Photo from Summer of 2008.
“NEWMARKET, Ont. — An Ontario farmer raised a glass of milk in celebration outside court today after being found not guilty of 19 charges related to selling unpasteurized milk.
Michael Schmidt, who operates a raw milk co-op, defended himself last year against the charges for dispensing milk straight from the cow.
“I hope that we can move into a dialogue where even more people enjoy raw milk,” Schmidt said after the verdict, holding a glass of milk as his supporters cheered. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from Adam McDowell’s story today in the National Post’s “Posted Toronto” blog.
National Post photo from Oct 2008 -- in which Michael Schmidt and supporters toast to the ultimate success of their campaign for legal recognition of their right to access raw milk through cowshares, a right that has now been finally recognized. National Post photo.
Michael Schmidt was acquitted in a Newmarket court this morning of 19 charges of distributing raw milk and raw milk products.
Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky upheld the legislation, but said in this case Mr. Schmidt did not break the law because he was distributing to joint owners of cows and not the public at large. Continue reading
In a historic, precedent setting decision, that can be quoted in future as “case law”, Justice of the Peace Kowarsky acquitted defendant Michael Schmidt of all charges related to the 2006 raid on Glencolton Farms.
More than 20 media outlets sent reporters and camera crews to cover the event. Supporters at the court house and the rally that followed numbered more than 200. America’s foremost raw milk journalist David E. Gumpert was on hand to hear the historic verdict and record it for his “The Complete Patient” blog.
Here’s an excerpt from that post, titled “Huge Victory for Michael Schmidt As Canadian Judge Rules Cow Shares Outside Regulators’ Jurisdiction:
“….At first, the judge sounded as if he was going to rule against Schmidt,when he said several times he had “no authority” to pronounce on legislation. His role, he said, was to determine “whether offenses occurred.” He then went through each of the 19 counts against Michael Schmidt, which stem from offenses that first occurred in 1994, when his Glencolton Farm was first raided by authorities. Continue reading