“A controversial and defiant dairy farmer north of Toronto has been convicted on multiple counts of selling raw milk to his customers.
Michael Schmidt, who has been fighting a battle to deal in unpasteurized milk at his Grey County farm ever since it was raided by government officials in 2006, was convicted on 15 of 19 charges after the Ontario Court of Justice reversed a lower court decision to acquit him last year.
Shortly after Schmidt’s acquittal, the province and the Grey Bruce health unit appealed the decision.
Justice Peter Tetley on Wednesday rejected Schmidt’s argument that selling raw milk to customers who are aware of any health risks was his legal right.
Schmidt, who was convicted of contempt of court in 2008 for continuing to deal in raw milk after being ordered not to while he stood trial for the 2006 charges, remained defiant Wednesday after hearing the verdict.
“I feel sad (and) disappointed that this is what might spark a real resistance against industrial food production,” said Schmidt, who has long touted the health benefits of raw milk. “We have recalls and recalls and recalls of government (inspected) food. And here, there has never been a case of someone getting sick or dying.”
Schmidt also said he will appeal this decision and said he’d continue to deal in raw milk — even if it means going to prison.
“There’s no stopping,” he said. “Nothing will stop me. If (going to prison) is necessary to wake people up, then that’s what has to happen.”…”