La Belle Province is very much a land of farmers and foodies, so it’s no surprise that the Michael Schmidt raw milk story is getting ink in Quebec papers. This story by Linda Nguyen, is from the Montreal Gazette, a Canwest publication:
“TORONTO — An Ontario raw-milk farmer, acquitted of all charges in a 16-year legal battle for running a cow-share program last month, will help establish voluntary guidelines for other farmers interested in the controversial industry.
Michael Schmidt said Tuesday he has started Cow Share Canada, which will help establish production, testing and inspection guidelines based on standards at his organic farm, Glencolton Farms in Durham, Ont.
“This raw milk debate is about basic food rights,” he said, drinking a glass of his milk at a news conference. “We are forced against our will to eat sterilized, pasteurized, radiated, pesticide and herbicide laced and genetic manipulated government inspected foods, because we have been given no choice.”
So far, he has about 50 Ontario farmers who have been interested in the voluntary program.
Schmidt, was acquitted of 19 charges related to the distribution of raw milk and cheeses in a Newmarket, Ont., courtroom in late January.
The judge had ruled consumers are still able to choose if they want to consume unpasteurized milk, but only through Schmidt’s self-regulated cow-share program.
Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act makes it illegal to “sell, offer for sale, deliver or distribute milk or cream that has not been pasteurized or sterilized.” Consumption is legal, however.
Nearly 200 people have purchased a membership in the cow-share co-operative, paying a membership fee of $300 for partial ownership in one of the 30 or so cows kept at Schmidt’s operation.
The provincial government filed their notice of appeal last week citing a number of legal errors were made in the ruling.
Schmidt said he will establish Cow Share College in the spring to help spread information about safe raw milk production….”