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.)

This decision is not going to be the last word on raw milk, however. Schmidt has already said he wants to “move into a dialogue where even more people can enjoy raw milk.” That’s exactly the sort of slippery slope that health officials want to avoid.

Schmidt and his supporters have worked hard to frame this issue as one of rights – that is, the right to choose what to consume. But raw milk is also a health issue, and the experts say that drinking untreated milk puts consumers at increased risk of exposure to harmful pathogens, including listeria, salmonella and E. coli.

The raw milk issue is too important to leave with a lower court. The government should appeal this decision and let a higher court decide.”

4 Comments

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

  1. The governments have a convenient way to hide facts and not cover the entire right to freedom. Now with the internet, cameras, electronics, and hard working honest and good people, all governments are under the scope. They will try anything to remain in power and secure their own pay-checks with little work to show. It is about freedom and democracy and real Constitutions now. Stand strong and fight hard. The Milkmen are Back!

    Thank you.

    Milkmen USA

  2. bob danio

    smoking is health issue but we do not ban smoking.
    We put warnings on the packages and let the consumer make his choice.And you can do the same
    with raw milk.

  3. shane

    The judges finding was that the cow share model falls outside of the regulations. The regulations are there to protect the general public, but the cow share is a private group of informed consumers and does not need that protection.

    That’s a pretty big and important difference from it not violating those regulations.

    Also important in his decision seems to be that the penalty that Schmidt would have faced, $10,000 per conviction (19) times the number of days the offense continued for (something like 10 years?) was too extreme given that not one single person was ever injured and that Schmidt did some very impressive due diligence to prevent potential injury.

  4. bob danio

    i have the right to choose what food i eat.

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