Quota dairy farmer wants raw milk legal

Voice of the people, speaking in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder — excerpts:

“On Jan. 21, Michael Schmidt of Durham Ontario, the non-quota holding dairy farmer who formed a “cowshare” type of co-operative which allowed its members to own a portion of a dairy cow and receive “raw” or unpasteurized milk and thus circumvent the Canadian law which prohibits the sale of any unpasteurized milk or milk product, was acquitted of all charges.

In the week that followed, the phone calls to our farm started.

We received at least six calls from families unknown to us, wanting to know if they could lease, buy shares or buy and board one of our Jerseys. The quantities requested ranged from 10 litres every second day to one woman who wanted 100 litres a week -milk, butter, cheese and ice cream were on her agenda. We politely refused each request, explaining that to do so would put our quota, and thus our farm, at risk. Everyone swore they would never tell where they got it, but we chose to pass up the opportunity to make extra money.

It isn’t that we don’t believe in consuming raw milk, our family has used the milk from our own cows for over 30 years -if it is good enough for us, then it is good enough for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO). We do, however keep store milk in the freezer for guests, being well aware that it is an acquired taste and that a body needs time to adapt to it.

The raw milk debate is gearing up again in the United States where some 28 states allow its sale, including one which allows stores to stock it. Thinking about the issue now, I’m wondering if the ban against it is wrong….”

“…..Over the past decades, government- funded testing has virtually eradicated diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis and BSE from Canada’s registered dairy farms. They are now running herd tests for Johne’s ( pronounced Yonie’s) disease with Glengarry being one of the first counties to go through it. The only possibility of these diseases still being around in cattle would be in a small, non-quota holding herd or a backyard cow which has escaped the testing. Unlikely but, I suppose, possible.

So, if the demand for raw milk is there, as is witnessed by the calls we received, should the sale of it not be allowed? Is it not an infringement of one’s rights to not be allowed to consume what one wants? Over the past years a variety of contaminants have been found, and with deaths reported and recalls issued, in everything from spinach to processed meats, yet they are still available. So why not raw milk?

Going one step further, tobacco products are openly sold and used and yet they have been scientifically proven to kill thousands yearly from an assortment of cancers, costing our health care services dearly. So should modern day raw milk be banned? Or should its sale be regulated? That is the million dollar tax question….”

Read the whole thing on the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

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