Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt vows to fight conviction for selling raw milk — Vancouver Sun

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.”

In Canada, it is illegal to market, sell, distribute or deliver unpasteurized milk or cream. Yet it is legal for farmers and their immediate families to drink raw milk or to use it to make cheese.

Canada is the only G8 country to ban the sale of these products, which some argue have greater health benefits than the available pasteurized milk….”

Read more: http://www.canada.com/business/Ontario+dairy+farmer+Michael+Schmidt+vows+fight+conviction+selling+milk/5477701/story.html#ixzz1ZRHyXyKP

17 Comments

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17 responses to “Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt vows to fight conviction for selling raw milk — Vancouver Sun

  1. thebovine

    Interesting that the coverage of this story in Postmedia’s flagship paper the National Post has been tepid, to say the least.

  2. alim:manji

    Why is Michael fighting with them? That’s like fighting with Walmart over their corporate policy that employees can’t consume alcohol at work – what has it got to do with you? Absolutely nothing. You are not making any demands of the government, so by what authority are they trying to control your behaviour? You are 100% responsible for your own actions, and the consequences thereof (liability), and you are thus free to do whatever you like. Hurt someone and you’ll pay the price. Hurt noone, and noone, not even the government, has any claim against you. PERIOD.

    • melissa bee

      alim:manji, “what has it got to do with you.” ??? did you read the article? the ruling is that he is *not* free to do whatever he likes. he’s a dairy farmer. “In Canada, it is illegal to market, sell, distribute or deliver unpasteurized milk or cream.” that’s why he’s fighting with them. he hasn’t hurt anyone. he’s simply produced and sold raw milk to consumers who want it.

  3. my choice

    Not everyone would want to have a cash business and do it illegaly. The law is the law whether right or wrong in our opinion. Stooping to their levels does not accomplish anything. If it is not yet apparent that you cannot beat “them” and its really worth losing peace on your own farm, your family, and you want to starve that is YOUR freedom of choice. There are not enough educated/enlightened people that will make this sacrifice nor risk going to jail nor have the money to do this. Are all the city folk you feel responsible to get this raw milk to willing to starve, leave their job, go to jail?
    Reality is no one will die or get sick if they DON’T get their raw milk. We are the “only” living mammal that drinks milk after we have been weaned and we are supposed to be the “intelligent” specie? We were given soil, seed and the plant for health. You are wrong. In Canada or anywhere…anyone can get their own cow, goat, cat, dog and drink milk raw in the privacy of your own domain. I sure human would never expect another human to go out on a limb or break the law for a choice of something I want to eat or drink. Each person should take responsibility for themself. In other words pay the price to get out of the city, big paying job, learn how to work the land and survive. Use your freedom that we still have to live how you want. We are small, stay that way and they will not feel threatened. In their ignorance and brainwashing they are paid to do this they actually believe they are protecting “others”…they are just doing their job. That is their right freedom to choose how to work and survive. We in Canada should be so thankful we have had this freedom. Control is because of fear and dishonesty. Not to worry..the little people do see thru it and are making informed choices. Right is right. ” They” don’t speak our language and are not willing to learn a new one to understand.

    • Maybe you would like to come to our farm and tell our pigs and lambs and goats and dogs and cats and chickens and calf’s that have all been weaned that they should not be drinking milk any longer. They can’t get enough of the stuff. I might add that our dogs won’t touch store bought milk. Come to the farm and watch the pigs go crazy when they see me on the way back to the house from the barn with the evenings milk.

      And further, who cares? I love raw milk and will drink it until I die! It’s as simple as that, it’s my right.

      One of the many points is that city folk need to start standing up for their food rights, and maybe they do need to start loosing things, or being sent to jail to make them understand that their rights are being taken away slowly but surely.

      It only takes one man to start the ball rolling. Perhaps Michael is that man. One mans stands against the government and for what’s right, starts another man and a woman, which in turn starts small groups of people who will organize and start standing for their rights.

      It only takes one!

    • melissa bee

      “Reality is no one will die or get sick if they DON’T get their raw milk. We are the “only” living mammal that drinks milk after we have been weaned and we are supposed to be the “intelligent” specie?”

      you’re simply uninformed. one of the best things you can do for your health is to get off the pasteurized dairy. raw milk will kill pathogens, including ecoli, salmonella and listeria. sally fallon reports people recovering from lyme disease by drinking raw milk. many people with allergies benefit from drinking raw milk.

      pasteurized dairy from industrial dairy farms is produced by unhealthy cows that are fed gmo grains and pumped full of pharmaceuticals. it contains fecal matter, blood and pus, and lacks vitamins. virtually ALL low fat dairy contains oxidized cholesterol which is DIRECTLY linked to heart disease, and there is no requirement to label it as such.

      check out schmidt’s experiment ‘a tale of two calves,’ where one calf was raised on pasteurized milk and one on raw milk. they they butchered the calves, and looked inside. first of all the the calf raised on pasteurized milk was much smaller, the testicles were 60% of the size of the raw milk calf, the liver and kidneys were pale and yellow, and the insides of the calf were like mush. whereas the raw milk calf had good organ integrity. you can see the pictures here: https://thebovine.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/the-tale-of-two-calves-one-calf-got-raw-milk-the-other-pasteurized/

      if people want to drink that poison, they have every right to. likewise, people who wish to consume raw dairy from responsible dairy farmers who feed their cows green grass should have every right to do that.

      as far as the tired argument that we are the only mammals that drink milk past weaning age … we are the only mammals who do ALOT of things, like read, write, cook our food, and wear shoes.

    • “We are the “only” living mammal that drinks milk after we have been weaned…”

      You’ve been reading vegan propaganda.

      Truth is, just about any omnivore or carnivore would love to consume milk, given the choice. Ask any house cat if they’d turn up the opportunity for a nice bowl of milk!

      Truth is, humans are simply the only species intelligent enough to make such a wonderful, nutritious food available to itself. It’s also the only species intelligent enough to adjust their climate through the use of clothing, drive cars or fly airplanes, or to listen to music from thousands of miles away, or listen to singing of people long dead. Any of these things are equally “unnatural” to drinking milk.

      So before you spout such gibberish again, I suggest you strip naked, get rid of your car and stereo, and see how you’re received by other living mammals of your own species.

      • my choice

        no .not reading.not uninformed .actually out there doing.and living in harmony with nature and animals..growing my own raw & fresh plant food building up my immune so I don’t have to resort to fixes like raw milk to recover from any disease. Disease and pathogens live in the environment we provide internally by choices of “food” we eat. I do have access to my own fresh milk but don’t and it isn’t the main reason I have animals.There is not many places I would drink raw milk from either. A human can heal with other methods other than milk. Real soil grown food is available and not against the law. I agree milk can be healing etc and if you really want it then get your own animal..feed it and depending on what its fed will be in the end result of the health of the milk.
        Michael is one of the few producers that raise animals in a natural environment and the raw milk from them is good quality. Pasturizing bad milk (conventional dairy with drugs, sick animals, calves don’t even get colostrum or moms milk)does not make it good. People are sick from ingesting the gov’t appoved products. They are so far from the real deal.
        All toxins go into the fat..that ends up in the cheese. So drinking raw milk from unhealthy or sick animals is not wise in my opinion. Whey is easiest to digest ( & pigs and chickens love that!) Too much fat or excess of a good thing is not good for animal or human. Depends also on your take on health. We have a digestive system that can handle more than milk. You could not live on milk alone. Neither could an animal. BUT..you can on real food.(without the milk) naturally grown and eaten in its natural state. This is not a debate ..nor raw milk its about freedom to choose. To each their own. Its like the alcoholic or smoker or meat eater saying it doesn’t hurt me..its good for me I need it I want it. We can tell ourselves and believe anything. This then should help understand our law & policy makers .
        Common sense tells me when I observe animals (ruminants) in a natural environment ( not one that man is their”caretaker” and makes the decision what they need) as they wean themselves and eat the food intended .. The cow, goat etc. eats grass to produce the milk. Its easy to fool animals .they will eat what you offer if they are deficient and imbalanced. For each mammal specie human, cow, horse etc. the components were created for that animal…like would you feed your cow your own human raw milk? so it makes sense to drink milk from cow, horse for human food? that was intended to grow a calf/horse until its ruminant is working and chews its cud with grain, grass? Yes a calf still with its mom will continue to suckle until eventually the cow dries up (natural wisdom)..but it is eating hay, grass etc..not just milk..the milk was provided as food until the digestive system is working.
        What I see is not that the policy makers are saying no one can drink raw milk. (because people can and do) .its the selling and distributing..isn’t it similar to that whack weed? illegal..even have sensor planes trying to
        scout out in fields? ..but many smoke it… if sick can get it thru doctor and oh yes a biotech company down east has the rights and is manufacturing it…all about the money?!!! While you may want your raw milk, most believe its not good for them and they would not buy it…so legalizing it
        would put a lot out of business .

    • nedlud

      @my choice:

      The system (of government) is totally corrupt and is geared to funnel the product of people’s lives and hard work into the hands of greedy pigs. It is a system of larceny, extortion, rape and murder.

      You are a blathering idiot for not being able to see this.

      You are the sort who could exist in a 6 by 10 dog kennel and think yourself free, as long as you saw others in a 6 by 8.

      Utterly assinine.

      nedlud

  4. “Canada is the only G8 country to ban the sale of these products…”

    It appears to me that some sort of free-trade agreement action could be taken here. All we have to do is get some other G8 trading partner covered by some trade agreement to begin importing raw milk to Canada, and when it is stopped at the border, to sue under free trade agreements.

    There is Big Money in this. As we’ve discovered by being on the wrong end of the softwood suit, a country that wields free trade agreement violations can sue for millions. That aught to attract someone, no?

    If free trade agreements can keep Canadian GMO products out of Europe, and can keep milling and wood products businesses out of Canada, surely it can be used to break the corporate milk monopoly? Use the corporatistas rules against them!

    Don’t know if Karen can comment on such a strategy…

    • Karen Selick

      It’s an interesting and novel idea, Jan. Unfortunately, the field of “free trade agreement law” is so complex that I really have no expertise in it at all. (That in itself is ironic, isn’t it, that free trade should be so complicated?)

      • nedlud

        @Karen Selick:

        It’s called ‘sophistry’ and it is what politicians and lawyers specialize in.

        They specialize in it for the pleasures and trivial (ego-centric) yet costly and totally destructive pursuits (idle vanity, worhsip of mammon) of their masters, the uber wealthy. The uber wealthy, who in turn reward said politicians and lawyers for their loyalty in this regard….

        ….it is as sick as the world is old.

        Try to understand.

        nedlud

  5. Vesanto

    Michael Schmidt should just go vegan.
    Then he can be well nourished, support the planet, avoid sending spent dairy cows to the slaughterhouse after their use is finished, and support his own health!
    Vesanto

    • Troll alert!

      Why the heck are you bothering to read a website devoted to raw milk? It’s because you are a trouble-maker, and you do responsible, thoughtful vegans a disservice.

      You know absolutely nothing about Michael Schmidt’s dairy operation, nor about his health. And I could list a couple dozen reasons why veganism (as practiced by many vegans), is harmful to the planet.

      I have nothing against vegans. I’m sure your opinions would be welcome on any of a large number of websites that cater to vegans. But I have a huge problem with people like you telling others how to live their lives.

      I appreciate the freedom of expression tolerated by the moderators of this site, but I would welcome the careful deletion of postings that are obviously contrary to the purpose of this site, and that are troll-baiting to the raw milk enthusiasts this site has been built for.

  6. what happened to people not honoring each other’s rights to be free? what good are laws if they limit our freedoms? whether you understand the health benefits of raw milk or not is irrelevant…..it’s about our personal rights to choose what we put in our own bodies and contract with our local farmers. If we don’t stand up for that right, then we don’t have it. The only reason women have the right to vote in the USA is because they made claim to that right and stood up for it. We choose our rights, not the government. Go Michael!

  7. I hope his hunger strike exclude raw milk. Be careful Micheal we need men like you.
    I find it confusing that the supreme court of Canada can legalize a safe injection site for ilegal narcotics in Vancover base on the rights of the drug users, yet we cannot consume raw milk and have no right to do so. Can someone explain? What if I developed an addiction to raw milk? Would I be granted the same?
    Attention needs to be brought to this issue. The real question now is how do we do this.

  8. Sue Clinton

    A government’s role is not to parent it’s citizens. Accurately informed, it is the responsibility of the individual to choose for themselves what is and what is not good for them. That which is of the utmost importance is that we are given accurate information, which unfortunately at this point in time we are not receiving. Raw milk is in fact, extremely healthy.

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