CLR Feb.3, 2010 interview by Andrew Rezmer with Celebrity Raw Dairy Cooperative Farmer Michael Schmidt
This interview was coordinated and sponsored by Raoul Bedi of the Vedic Harmony Centre (www.biofield.ca ) , and a purveyor of Conscious Media products and Green solutions since 1983 .
This is not an exact verbal transcription.
For the live verbal recording please go to www.consciouslivingradio.org and click “Past shows” .
Or go to
The Saga of Michael Schmidt of Glencolton Farms in Ontario’s 20 year battle with Ontario government officials.
His crime: Providing Fresh Raw or Real Milk to private shareholders. The saga started in 1994. Because the laws restricted commercial access to Raw Milk in Ontario , Michael developed a shareholder system where consumers directly owned the cows . Initially 200 families were involved in this cowshare agreement. In the 1994 legal battle Michael lost 400 acres of land due to high legal costs leaving him with only 100 acres to farm. Over a 12 year period he rebuilt his farm and dream. At that point his farm was raided again . This time by 20 armed officers. A lot of people threw their weight behind his battle for justice. It took 3 years to go to trial. The judge determined that he was not guilty and acquitted him of ALL charges .
Question: Is this not more than a battle about unpasteurized milk ?
Answer: Yes, we have to understand that we are on the verge of a catastrophe in regards to our food system. We have an extreme corporate oriented farming system which is now moving us into total food control. In the 1950’s and 60’s we had the fight for civil rights, in the seventies we had the fight for women’s rights, and now we have the food rights and food freedom movement.
Q:What is behind this whole food control issue ?
A : We find that 4 major seed companies now control the entire agricultural industry with Monsanto as the leader. They control food production through GMO production. It is an integrated system of control .Whereby they control the farmers work from the very beginning during the seed planting process to the very end at harvest time .The independence of the farmer is completely gone. It is really a new form of slavery .This goes even further because now the consumers have no choice. So we have a total loss of freedom and control all the way from those who grow the food to those who buy the food. There is indeed a food rights movement that has crystallized over time as a counter reaction. This was not so clear to me in 1994. But in 2006 when my land was raided by armed officers I made a clear intention that this must stop . I started to clearly resist non-violently and peacefully. That launched an awareness right across North America that something is very, very wrong when a law-abiding, tax-paying organic dairy farmer gets raided for no reason. The Ontario court ruling last week said that the government has no business or say in a private contract between a farmer and cowshare owner . However I believe the government will fight this recent ruling “tooth and nail” .We have a very strong dairy lobby in Canada. They have total control of all aspects of dairy production in Canada. It is not like that in most of the US. In 28 states raw dairy farming ,production and distribution is permitted to varying degrees. Here (in Canada ) it is an absolute “No,No” . On one hand you have the aggressive and monopolistic dairly lobby and on the other hand you have the health ministry clamping down ,equally aggressively, on farmers who work outside the system.
Q: We have to increase our listeners awareness about the issues and supply them with good information BUT also give them something that they can actually implement in their life. What can the average individual do to help change this situation ?
A: That is an interesting question . The first step is to retrain our brains and get out of the mode of strictly being consumers. We must wake up to the idea of becoming “partners in food production”. People need to become directly involved and can do so in various ways. For example , they can become physically involved by occasionally directly taking part in the physical activities and work at the farm. This may not always be physically possible or practical. Secondly , we must and can develop cooperative structures of production which give consumers a direct stake in the food production process. This is really the most ethical form of investment. This makes total sense as compared with investing in some oil company that is damaging the environment or exploiting other nations and peoples.
Question : I recently attended a workshop where the facilitator said we must transform from consumers to creators. So we must now take the initiative to cocreate our food source. We have influence, whether it be with our money and know-how, to support and assist our farmers to grow the best, safest, most nutritious food with minimal environmental impacts.
Answer: We must use our money and invest directly in our food production process. We must stop being passive consumers. The current corporate structure is turning us into “perfect slaves” . We blindly eat whatever we can get. There is an old saying that “we are what we eat ” . If the food we eat is dead food then the ability to think for ourselves decreases. Thus the corporatization of our food supply also becomes a weapon to control the masses. “If we control the food we control the people ” were statements made by the US elite and government US officials in the early 20th century.
We have never been so close to total control of the population using food as now !
Q: What structures are currently in place to counteract this corporate control ?….”