In an exclusive telephone interview with the Bovine Tuesday night, Michael Schmidt gave his version of the events around the raw milk demonstration / news conference outside the Fraser Health offices in Chilliwack B.C.
Michael said that although no email had been sent out to local members of Home on the Range cowshare regarding the event, many of them did show up to show their support. However they were outnumbered by the many newspaper reporters and TV crews covering the event. Media in attendance included CTV, CBC, Vancouver Sun and Chilliwack Times.
As has been published elsewhere, Michael Schmidt had spent quite some time the previous day unsuccessfully trying to arrange a meeting with responsible people from the Fraser Health unit to have a frank discussion of the situation there vis a vis raw milk and regarding his own involvement. As of Tuesday morning, nothing had come of that, and it seemed Fraser Health had further insulated themselves from contact by hiring security guards to prevent Michael Schmidt or any of his supporters from entering the office building while the “drink in” was in progress.
At the event, three options were on offer. Those were: pasteurized store-bought milk, windshield washer antifreeze, and raw milk. It was pointed out that the first two in that list were completely legal to distribute and drink. Some members of the media took the opportunity to taste raw milk for the first time. Michael Schmidt argued that if this raw milk was REALLY such a health hazard, officers from the health department office should have come out and laid charges.
By Tuesday evening, however, it seemed officials at Fraser Health realized that they would have to come to terms with this new reality of Michael Schmidt’s involvement, and a meeting was arranged with Tim Shum, head of enforcement, at the Fraser Health office in Vancouver. Following the meeting there seemed to be agreement that Fraser Health would communicate their position in writing regarding any future regulatory action against the raw milk cowshare and that legal questions would be properly argued in a court of law.
After the meeting, Michael Schmidt jetted to New York where he will be a featured speaker at a Biodynamic Conference in Spring Valley.