There are roughly two dozen clandestine raw milk cowshare operations in Alberta — Michael Schmidt

The following excerpts are from a story in the Edmonton Journal Nov. 9 by Karen Kleiss titled “Farmer Brings Crusade for Raw Milk”:

Raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt brought his fight to legalize the distribution of unpasteurized dairy products to Alberta on Monday.

“I am here to mark this day as a turning point,” Schmidt told supporters on the steps of the legislature. “A turning point because we the farmers, we the consumers, we as concerned people of Canada are officially rejecting those who pass regulations without respecting our fundamental rights.”

It is illegal to sell raw milk in Canada, but Schmidt and his supporters say raw, unpasteurized milk is healthier than pasteurized supermarket milk and perfectly safe.

They believe modern food safety regulations and production standards are the product of intensive lobbying by food corporations, not a concern for public safety.

“Raw milk has become the focal point in the food rights battle across North America,” he said.

“Raw milk is wrongly and intentionally targeted, yet the real danger of today’s food lies in the industrialized food system, which is sanctioned and supported by bureaucracy and therefore government.”

Schmidt, a farmer from Ontario, arrived in the province two weeks after Alberta Health Services inspectors seized raw milk from Judith Johnson, a farmer who operates a cow share near Wildwood, about 120 kilometres west of Edmonton….”

“….Johnson says the milk seizure happened around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, when she arrived for Bible study at Edmonton’s Freedom Church of God with her van loaded with raw milk for cow-share holders.

A man approached and asked if he could buy milk, she said, but she explained he had to purchase a cow share, but also indicated she had milk with her. Minutes later the inspectors arrived.

“Three men come up to me and they start basically yelling at me harshly,” she said. Johnson said the inspectors insisted she open her van and she protested. During the confrontation she alleges her leg was injured and the inspectors tried to force their way in.

City police were called.

“I told the police officer (what happened), he kind of mocked me, like he didn’t believe me,” she said.

He, too, insisted she hand over the milk, which she maintains was a violation of her rights.

Alberta Health Services declined to comment while the incident is under investigation, referring calls to police. Police said they attended the scene, but no charges were laid as it was not a police matter.

One week after the seizure, Alberta Health Services inspector Glenn Jenkins issued an executive officer’s order requiring that Johnson and Pudlow cease operations.

Alberta agriculture spokeswoman Nikki Booth said the province later tested the seized milk and found it was unsafe for human consumption because of the high levels of bacteria. She said the province maintains that raw milk is not safe to drink and has no plans to change Alberta laws….”

“….Schmidt’s supporters, however, say raw milk has the power to dramatically improve human health.

Gay Edmonds-Lang suffered for more than two decades with chronic health problems and tried every conventional and alternative therapy she could find. When she adopted a raw foods diet, her health improved.

“Between the raw milk and the other raw foods, I get far more nutrients,” she said Monday. “I got off hundreds and hundreds of supplements, my health is steadily improving over the last two or three years, and the fibromyalgia, for instance, which was severe, is now mild.”

Schmidt said there are roughly two dozen clandestine cow shares in Alberta.”

Read it all on the Edmonton Journal.


Filed under News

5 responses to “There are roughly two dozen clandestine raw milk cowshare operations in Alberta — Michael Schmidt

  1. thebovine

    From a story by the same author in the Calgary Herald:

    “Raw milk campaigner Michael Schmidt visited the Alberta legislature Monday to protest what he calls a “violent crackdown” on a cow-share operation in Alberta.

    Schmidt, a biodynamic farmer, is leading a movement to legalize unpasteurized milk in Canada.

    He says modern food safety laws that ban the sale of raw milk reflect intense industry lobbying and not a concern for consumer safety.

    “GMO crops, pesticides, fertilizers, drugs and hormones are all part of the corporate-controlled food chain,” Schmidt said on the steps of the legislature. “Food safety measures for industrial food production have become the death call for most small farms, small butcher shops, small dairies and small bakeries.”

    In January, he took his fight to court and won the right to continue operating a raw milk co-operative in Durham, Ont.

    The Alberta cow-sharing operation at the centre of the controversy is one of roughly two dozen in the province, Schmidt said, most operating underground….”

  2. thebovine

    Two dozen cowshare operations in Alberta alone! Alberta is a province with a relatively small population, where the major pre-occupation seems to be making money in the oil industry. If a province like that has two dozen cowshare farms, imagine how many there must be all across Canada.

    It’s a Mooovement!

  3. Joanne McDonald

    I live in Lethbridge, AB & I would like to know of the cowshare’s in Alberta?

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