The following is a statement which raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt read to reporters and guests in the media room at Queen’s Park this morning beginning at 9:30 am. Michael’s speech was followed by a lengthy statement by lawyer Karen Selick, of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
February 16 Press Statement, Queens Park
This Press conference is directed personally to Premier Dalton McGuinty and those MPP’s who seemed to be under the tight control of the marketing boards in Ontario.
In 2006 after the violent raid on our farm I said, that the Government of Ontario made a big mistake having chosen me as the prime target to attack the raw milk movement. Justice Kowarsky rendered a clear and lengthy decision in our favour based on the facts presented to him and based on his own legal research. Justice Kowarsky is a trained Justice of the Peace as we had required somebody who was trained in law. That is an important aspect.
The Attorney General and the Bruce Grey Owen Sound Health Unit did appeal the decision last week and once again the current liberal Government missed a truly historical opportunity to enter into dialogue and co-operation.
I have received two death threats and have been publicly assaulted. It is unfortunately that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and the current Government create intentionally a climate of hatred and adversity. If something happens to me or to the farm, then it is simply the result of the actions of those agencies.
Since the acquittal I have been bombarded with requests for raw milk and by farmers who wanted to develop a cow share operation like ours.
Every time I get approached I make it very clear, that the ruling did not legalize raw milk at all. This ruling acknowledged and clarified the limitations of the states jurisdiction.
After the ruling in January, I organized a meeting with farmers who approached me regarding the mechanics of a cow share operation to express my concerns about raw milk production without proper guidelines and checks and balances.
We agreed to form the Association Cow Share Canada which will establish production guidelines, testing and inspection procedures.
We established a Cow Share College beginning its work in April or May with international experts on Raw Milk production.
The Second International Raw Milk Symposium, which we started here in Toronto last year, will take place this year in Madison Wisconsin on April 10. 2010.
You can see the raw milk movement is well on its way to provide regulators and government agencies with the opportunity of co-operation with well educated and intelligent people in order to produce a safe and healthy product people need and want.
I send last week a registered letter to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario to offer my assistance and co-operation in exploring the possibility of finding ways, how we could develop the raw milk market as a true niche market here in Ontario.
Karen Selick did also approach the new Minister of Agriculture and Food Carol Mitchell to discuss the eventual legalization of raw milk.
I assume the appeal to be the answer to those offers we made.
I can assure you that the current approach by Government or Marketing Boards will not work. Please take your time and review the general tone of comments from across the country for example on the CBC and CTV websites as a response to the Governments actions. The tide is turning. People are starting to rebel against the nanny state, against over regulation and against the obvious corruption..
This ongoing battle about raw milk has galvanized people from all walks of life, who have been faced with similar situations.
We are overregulated, we are over controlled, and we are forced into an environment of compliance through fear.
This raw milk debate is about basic rights, which we have lost and which we are losing every time this Government passes another regulation without considering the most important factor of liberty and individual rights.
This raw milk battle is about basic food rights.
We are forced against our will to eat sterilized, pasteurized, radiated, pesticide and herbicide laced and genetic manipulated Government inspected food, because we have been given no choice.
We are dangerously close to a real revolt against this emerging faceless dictatorship of bureaucrats.
Let me tell you, this is not the end; this is just the beginning of the food rights movement.
I like to thank those individual MPP’s who happened to be Conservatives for their continued support in this matter.
Glencolton Farms, February the 16th, 2010