Daily Archives: January 22, 2010

“We just saw the law do what the law is supposed to do” — George Salverda

I think it’s fair to say that this letter to Michael Schmidt from cow share member Shirley Ann Wood expresses feelings shared by a great many:

Shirley Ann Wood's children, Sylvia and Lyndon, perform a raw milk version of Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by their father, to kick off yesterday's post-verdict rally. Shirley Ann wrote the words.

Dear Michael,

We were both pleased and impressed by the judge’s development to his conclusions and the conclusions themselves. Congratulations. I hope you take the time to celebrate, because it is important to fully acknowledge this joy and share it with others.

I spoke with George briefly and congratulated him. I heard so much of what he had developed in his legal advise to you during the time he was working with you, being presented in the judge’s presentation.  The concept of the private contract versus public commerce was absolutely vital in the determination of the verdict. Like Max Kane from Wisconsin said, “What a learning experience!” Continue reading


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Toronto Star editorial says the Crown should appeal yesterday’s decision in favour of raw milk and Michael Schmidt

This Toronto Star editorial titled “The Raw Milk Debate“, is the first sign of “blow-back” from yesterday’s decision to acquit farmer Michael Schmidt on raw milk charges. According to litigation director Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, the Crown would have 30 days to file an appeal of yesterday’s verdict:

“Yesterday’s court decision allowing Michael Schmidt to continue his raw milk cooperative is already being touted as a victory for everything from family farms to the constitutional rights of both consumers and producers.

But in his ruling, Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky did not actually deal with Schmidt’s contention that mandatory pasteurization laws violate his constitutional rights. Rather, Kowarsky simply found that Schmidt’s cow-share model – where people buy a portion of the cow, rather than pay directly for the milk – does not violate our health and milk regulations. (In Ontario, it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk but legal to drink it, and farmers often do.) Continue reading


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Activist foodies hail raw milk triumph — front page news in today’s Toronto Star

Megan Ogilvie’s story in today’s Toronto Star is the best in-depth coverage we’ve seen yet of Michael Schmidt’s legal victory in a case that addresses fundamental food freedoms every Canadian should care about. Here’s an excerpt:

William Schmidt, 2, with mother Elisa VanderHout, toasts his dad’s raw-milk victory in Newmarket. (Jan. 21, 2010) Caption & photo from the Toronto Star.

“The cows will still give their milk and their owners will still savour frothy mouthfuls straight from the farm. But now, the infamous cow-share program of Durham, Ont., is legal in the eyes of the law.

In a surprise move, a Newmarket court ruled Thursday that dairy farmer Michael Schmidt can continue his raw milk cooperative and that his venture does not break laws against selling unpasteurized milk. Continue reading


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Health officials more concerned about raw milk than heroin in Beautiful British Columbia?

Here’s the latest missive from Gordon Watson on the contentious situation on the lower mainland over Home on the Range and it’s raw milk. Gordon wrote this before learning of the recent Ontario verdict in the Michael Schmidt case which recognizes the right of cowhare members to, as it were, opt out of the government’s “protections”:

“We’ve been feeling a bit beleagured around here, so it was uplifting to be at the drop-off this afternoon and see moms and dads arriving with beautiful healthy children,  eager to get their REAL MILK

Tomorrow, Thursday January 21, Michael Schmidt gets the verdict from his trial.  By 10:30 am, or so Ontario time –  which means by about 7:30  am our time – we’ll know something definite. If he wins, we win. Continue reading


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Download full text of the judge’s Jan. 21, 2010 decision in “Regina v. Schmidt”

Please note that this is a large file (28.4 Mb) as it is 41 pages of image scans. Be prepared for some heavy duty legal reading. Download that file here — look for the green box.

In case you’ve missed the story so far, Michael Schmidt was acquitted on all 19 charges, and the judge ruled that cowshares are outside the jurisdiction of regulators. So this is a significant ruling that could open the door to more cowshare farmers making raw milk available to more people.

It was a record breaking day yesterday on the Bovine with 2,510 hits, which surpassed our previous maximum by a good measure. Below is a screen grab from our stats page:

Traffic report on the Bovine for Jan. 21, 2010. This was a little before the end of the day.


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