From Derek Amba at the National Post:
Farmer and raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt has launched another hunger strike. in his nearly five-year legal battle to make Ontario the only province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk. Photo: Aaron Lynett/National Post
“Farmer and raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt has launched another hunger strike in his nearly five-year legal battle to make Ontario the only province to legalize the sale of unpasteurized milk.
The move comes after the Ontario Court of Justice on Wednesday found Schmidt guilty of selling and distributing raw milk and raw-milk products. In a 77-page decision, Ontario Justice Peter Tetley convicted Schmidt of 15 of the 19 criminal offences charged under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act.
In January 2010, Schmidt was found not guilty of 19 charges related to his cow-share business. This week’s decision essentially reverses the acquittal and now Schmidt may face fines, but is unlikely to see jail time. Continue reading
From Linda Nguyen in the Vancouver Sun:
Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt of "Glencolton Farms" and "Our Cows" cowshares, with Alice Jongerden, former agister of "Home on the Range" cowshare in Chilliwack, B.C. Photograph from the Vancouver Sun. Photo was taken at a raw milk "drink in" outside the offices of Fraser Health.
“TORONTO — The Ontario Court of Justice on Wednesday found rural dairy farmer Michael Schmidt guilty of selling and distributing raw milk and raw-milk products — the latest development in a nearly five-year legal battle with the province about consumers’ rights to the illicit liquid.
In a 77-page decision, Ontario Justice Peter Tetley convicted Schmidt of 15 of the 19 criminal offences charged under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act.
“It’s not really about me,” said Schmidt at his 100-acre farm in Durham, Ont., shortly after receiving the ruling late Wednesday.
“It’s about the principle. Do people in fact, have the right to make the proper decision, to have a cow in order to get their milk? That frustrates me because apparently we don’t have the right here in Canada to do that.” Continue reading
From Paul Jankowsky, in the Owen Sound Sun Times:
Dr. Hazel Lynn, MD, FCFP, MHSc - Medical Officer of Health, Grey Bruce Health Unit
A 1994 health inspector’s order that directs Michael Schmidt to stop “manufacturing, processing, preparation, storage, handling, display of unpasteurized milk and milk products” remains in effect even though three charges against the Durham-area farmer for breaching the order in 2006 have been dismissed, Dr. Hazel Lynn, the medical officer of health for Grey Bruce, said Thursday.
Whether the health unit will strictly enforce the order as Schmidt attempts to appeal other convictions related to his raw milk business remains to be seen, Lynn said.
In a ruling released Wednesday, Justice Peter Tetley overturned the findings of a justice of the peace, who in January dismissed all 19 charges laid against Schmidt in 2006 related to the production and distribution of raw — or unpasteurized — milk. Tetley convicted Schmidt of 15 charges but dismissed those relating to the 1994 health inspector’s order. Continue reading
Food Rights Declaration as result of the latest appeal ruling against Michael Schmidt — September 29, 2011
Michael Schmidt talks to supporters and media at last Tuesday's news conference
Agriculture has been the backbone of Canada. History has taught us that a healthy Agri-culture is able to feed all the people and therefore creates a healthy and socially stable enviroment.
At the turn of the last century 70% of our Canadian population was actively involved in farming.
Today we have only 2% of the poulation left working on farms and 80% of them have to have another job to keep their farm going.
The average age of today’s farmers is 56 and hardly any young farmer can afford to start farming.
Corporate farming has taken over food production and multi national corporations control most of the farming inputs, food processing and distribution.
Food safety regulations and production standards are passed based on intensive lobby powers by those who control the current food chain. Continue reading