Randy Shore reports for the Vancouver Sun on the latest raw milk action outside the offices of Fraser Health in Chilliwack on Tuesday September 28th. Here’s an excerpt:
“Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt is in B.C. to pick a fight over the legality of a unique Chilliwack dairy that distributes raw milk to families that own shares in their own cows. But so far, Fraser Health isn’t biting.
Schmidt beat 19 charges in Ontario last year related to the distribution of unpasteurized milk and wants to repeat that feat here in B.C.
He told Fraser Health on Tuesday that he has taken over the Home on the Range dairy and will package and distribute raw milk to the people who own shares in the farm’s 22 cows.
The law allows the owners of cows to drink raw milk, but it is forbidden to distribute it to the public. To make his point, Schmidt served raw milk on the steps of Fraser Health on Tuesday morning, daring the health authority to stop him.
Fraser Health issued a cease-and-desist order last spring to farmer Alice Jongerden and her Home on the Range dairy for violating the Public Health Act, which forbids the distribution of unpasteurized milk and dairy products. They backed that order by securing a court injunction and finally charged Jongerden with contempt of court for continuing to operate the dairy.
Jongerden resigned as agister (livestock manager) for the cow-sharing cooperative two weeks ago to avoid a contempt conviction and to allow Schmidt to take up the fight.
“We want to force them to charge us properly,” Schmidt told The Vancouver Sun.
Schmidt claims that by issuing a cease-and-desist order and then going to court to seek an injunction to enforce the order, the health authority has not allowed the cow-share group to argue the legality of its operation in court.
“That’s how they get around giving us a proper trial,” he said.
Fraser Health spokesman Roy Thorpe said the health authority will not take any action against Schmidt for Tuesday’s protest…..”
3 responses to “Vancouver Sun on Michael Schmidt’s raw milk “drink in” yesterday at Fraser Health office in Chilliwack, B.C.”
From an earlier post on Randy Shore’s “The Green Man” blog:
“Ontario raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt will be serving raw milk in front of the offices of the Fraser Health Authority at 11 a.m. this morning, an act he hopes authorities will judge to be criminal. Schmidt has taken over as the manager of Alice Jongerden’s Home on the Range raw milk dairy in Chilliwack, the very operation that Fraser Health has been trying to close down for years.
Schmidt hopes to force Fraser Health to charge him with violating the Public Health Act and the Milk Industry Act so he can argue the merits of the case in court. Fraser Health has served Jongerden with cease and desist orders, a court injunction and charged her with contempt of court, none of which allowed her to argue that her operation is in fact legal, said Schmidt….”
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