An interview with Canadian raw milk farmer and advocate Michael Schmidt:
Michael Interview with Michael
Michael as the summer begins to fade many are wanting to know what has happened the last 4 months.
I returned from the international conference on raw milk in Prague with the desire to slow down my travels.
In the plane I added up all my flights of the last 12 months related to food rights and raw milk issues: I covered over 75,000 km in the air. That was a shock and a wake up call.
I suddenly began to realize why my energy, my grounding, my focus and my social life suffered. After all I am a farmer who needs the feet on the ground.
At the same time these travels were necessary and important and crucial considering what is at stake.
If you follow the news across North America in respect to Agricultural issues, food issues and food rights issues, you will notice the increasingly violent crack downs by state agencies on farmers and private food clubs on both sides of the border.
I have been criticized for calling these actions a war, however by now nobody will dispute anymore the fact that the Government is at war to destroy fundamental rights related to basic human rights.
Access to food is a basic human right.
Providing healthy food is a moral obligation.
Farming is one of the most dignifying and profound professions and yet it has become the symbol of a new form of slavery.
The dangerous combination which links more and more corporate money and Government policies has created similar conditions in North America as Stalin has done in the 40’s in The Soviet Union.
We soon will experience the total destruction of our traditional rural community and our ability to feed ourselves.
The shelves and the bellies are full why would the majority even bother to question the current policies on food and farming?
That’s the scary part in this scenario. The majority of people have become so used to over-eating and wasting food without spending thoughts and energy thinking about the future.
The destruction of our farming culture is deeply concerning and likewise the loss of our eating and food culture Is disturbing to say the least. I never ever imagined such a fast destruction of our local communities through Government policies.
It is insanity that farmers are under such regulatory scrutiny and corporate America can mass produce food with no regards of inner quality and ability to produce safe food
What do you want to change?
People need to wake up to the fact that they have lost the control over their food. As long as you conform to the “status quo” you will not realize what is going on in the world until it is too late.
I put all my efforts into Educating, teaching, encouraging, supporting each other and not backing down despite uniformed Government agencies.
We are closer to a dictatorship than the most want to believe.
Tell me about your travels.
You may remember that I got involved in the former Home-on the Range cow share operation to prevent a total shutdown. That required a lot of thinking, restructuring, and negotiation. I am proud to say that we were able to maintain a similar cow- share model but based on cosmetics. We currently dealing with Health Canada to find a proper long term solution in BC
Alberta has been another legal challenge where I had the chance to help to prevent the worst and in fact resolved the entire legal nightmare for the farmer. That itself took 5 or 6 trips.
I also spoke at many conferences in North America and Europe on the topic of food rights.
I was happy to participate just two weeks ago in the Summer Institute for Liberal studies where I gave a lecture on the issue of how we can use the courts to defend fundamental rights.
I also just recently spoke at the Conscious Food festival down town Toronto.
Everywhere the same scenario: most people do not have a clue how controlled the food supply is in Canada.
How about Prague?
Prague was a worthwhile experience because there was a real scientific discussion about the merits of raw milk based on research.
No fear mongering no scare tactics just a wonderful exchange of the burning question; why can people experience positive effects when drinking raw milk?
A simple question with a constructive follow up.
Ton Baars the research director of this conference is in fact setting up a follow up study on our by now famous calf study.
What do you see how the scenario will unfold in the near future?
I do expect that we will lose the appeal. Why? Because I think the appeals judge will look at the ruling of Justice Kowarsky in a more conservative and traditional way and not with such a broad and liberal approach as Kowarsky did.
How would that effect your work?
As strange it might sound it would advance the entire cause. People will get very upset and agitated. Many more people drink raw milk from cow share operations than 6 years ago. We have not seen an increase of any food borne illnesses due to raw milk but continue to see major food borne outbreaks from industrialist food systems.
A negative ruling will activate people.
A positive ruling will give people the assurance that our courts are in fact working to protect our rights under the Constitution.
Once again either way we will not lose.
No doubt that they want to display their control power, but we can creatively resist in a peaceful way.
I will defend our chosen path with whatever it takes.