Michael Schmidt’s Saskatchewan raw milk workshop covered by the Regina Leader-Post

Thanks to Jana for the news tip. The following is from a story that appeared today in the Regina Leader-Post, written by Tim Switzer:

Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt was in Regina on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, at St. Mary's Anglican Church to talk about legalizing the sale of raw milk. Photograph by: Troy Fleece, Leader-Post

“Michael Schmidt says it is high time the Canadian government launched a review of its laws over the distribution of raw milk.

The Ontario farmer, who was speaking in Regina on Sunday, has long argued that farmers should be able to distribute raw (unpasteurized) milk to consumers who want it, even going to court over the matter in his home province.

Schmidt was acquitted of selling raw-milk charges in January. The milk from his farm went to co-owners of the cows in a cow-share co-operative.

In Canada it is legal to drink raw milk, but illegal for farmers to sell it.

According to Health Canada’s website, the rules are in place because raw milk can contain bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria, which can lead to anything from vomiting and diarrhea to kidney failure, miscarriage or death.

Schmidt did not argue that some milk destined for the pasteurization process contains bacteria, but said the problem is that the government associates raw milk with unregulated milk. On his farm, milk is regularly tested for bacteria, as are the cows and their fecal matter. There are also guidelines for the cows’ living conditions and food.

“It’s high time for a review of the legislation and (to) get away from the emotional debate,” Schmidt said Sunday before addressing local residents interested in cow-share operations.

That is part of the reason Schmidt launched Cow Share Canada, an organization that offers to teach and accredit farmers to distribute bacteria-free raw milk.

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/life/Ontario+farmer+wants+review+milk+distribution+laws/3932373/story.html#ixzz17MEUjs2R

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