Raw milk advocate enters hunger strike after 15 charges upheld in appeal court

From Dylan C. Robertson, in the Toronto Star:

Raw-milk crusader Michael Schmidt, shown on his dairy farm near Durham, has embarked on a hunger strike after his battle to sell pastuerized milk hit another legal hurdle. KEITH BEATY/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

“After armed raids and thousands of dollars in legal fees, dairy farmer Michael Schmidt is on a hunger strike after his fight to legalize the sale of raw milk hit another hurdle.

Schmidt was informed Wednesday afternoon that he’d been convicted of 15 provincial offences relating to the sale of unpasteurized milk. He could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, including $5,000 for each day he continues to distribute his milk.

Schmidt, owner of Glencolton Farms near Durham, Ont., started his hunger strike Thursday night. He’s consuming just one glass of his own cows’ milk per day to start a public debate on food regulation.

“We need to sit down and think about what is the role of government in our life,” said Schmidt. “The government allows plenty of other things allowed that are detrimental to our health.”

He also noted that many foods have health risks, citing the 2008 listeria outbreak that killed 20 people who had consumed tainted meat.

Though it is an offence to sell raw milk, farming families can legally drink their own cows’ milk and make cheese. Schmidt gave away his milk through a “cow-share” program where people who invested in the farm would receive milk.

In January 2010, a justice of the peace deemed the cow-share program an attempt to operate within the spirit of the law, noting that only consumers aware of potential risks were involved. On Wednesday, the province won an appeal of the case….”

Read it all on the Toronto Star website.


Filed under News

2 responses to “Raw milk advocate enters hunger strike after 15 charges upheld in appeal court

  1. thebovine

    So far this time around it seems the Star has the most complete coverage of the raw milk news. And in the last week of an election campaign, too! That’s impressive.

  2. We drank raw milk for many years in West Virgina and it was wonderful.

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