Greetings from farmer Michael Schmidt:
May I also add my voice of thanks to all of you who have sincerely rallied around the cause. It is not crucial what comes out of the press office from McGuinty what matters at the moment.
This moment of meeting McGuinty was crucial and more significant than he himself in fact imagines.
There was mutual respect, there was also the admission that he is no expert and has to rely on experts to make decisions. That itself has given us the opportunity to question the choice of experts and that it should be expanded to include those who have in fact experience how to produce raw milk for human consumption.
We will review our next steps. It was small step towards proper food rights and freedom of choice.
It was a huge step for McGuinty to in fact listen and show compassion. Continue reading
From The Canadian Press, via metronews.ca:
Michael Schmidt reads his letter to McGuinty following a Queen's Park news conference last month.
TORONTO – Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt abandoned a five-week hunger strike Friday after a brief, impromptu meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Schmidt, 57, began his hunger strike Sept. 29 after he was found guilty on 15 of 19 charges related to the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk.
Schmidt agreed to end the protest, after having lost 50 pounds on a diet of only water and lemon juice, when McGuinty walked in on a meeting he was having with the premier’s chief of staff. Continue reading
David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:
Farmer Michael Schmidt speaking at the Raw Milk Freedom Riders rally at the FDA headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland, on Tuesday of this week. Thanks to Kimberly Hartke for the photo.
“It’s been a good week for the emerging Food Rights movement.
Today, day 37 of dairy farmer Michael Schmidt’s hunger strike, he met with Ontario’s premier, Dalton McGuinty. It seems Schmidt was meeting with the premier’s chief of staff this morning, when McGuinty decided to join in. According to one report, McGuinty reiterated Ontario’s opposition to raw milk. No matter. Schmidt can now toast his achievement with a tall cool one. (Actually, word is he had a few sips of soup at lunch to begin breaking his fast.) Continue reading
A news release from Michael Schmidt’s news officer:
Michael Schmidt at a Queen's Park news conference last month with native supporter Danny Beaton.
“This hunger strike was about starting a dialogue with the leader of this province,” states farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt. “I have been on this human journey for 17 years looking for constructive dialogue, and I have been dragged through the courts for a crime that has no victims.
My aim was simple: to take this to the top and to begin a conversation with our leader, one-on-one. To meet, as equal human beings, not as Premiere and Farmer. It was because of this that I undertook my hunger strike. And this morning, I met with Premiere McGuinty, in his office, and we have begun our dialogue, and because of this, I am ending my hunger strike today. Continue reading
The Canadian Press reports that Michael Schmidt met with McGuinty and is ending his hunger strike. See story below. Image is from a screen grab from CTV site. Click image to go there.
From the Canadian Press, via CTV Toronto:
“The Canadian Press
Date: Friday Nov. 4, 2011 12:14 PM ET
TORONTO — Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt has abandoned his hunger strike after meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty today.
Schmidt began his hunger strike in late September after he was found guilty on 15 of 19 charges related to the sale and distribution of raw milk.
The Durham farmer, who has been fighting for years for the right to sell unpasteurized milk, had a meeting today with the premier’s chief of staff when McGuinty decided to join in. Continue reading
It would seem that people’s letters have had an effect. See story above.
Dear Premier McGuinty,
I am writing to urge you to meet with Michael Schmidt, who is now in his 37th day of a hunger strike to defend the freedom of Canadians to choose their own food responsibly. He defends the establishment of standards for the safe production of raw milk and is not asking for any concessions. A meeting with you, he says, will end his hunger strike while he awaits the results of your discussion.
Mr. Schmidt’s request is simple and reasonable. While I understand that you are reviewing his request, I emphatically encourage you not to wait too long: Mr. Schmidt seems prepared to die for his cause. Continue reading
From a University of Guelph study:
Raw milk -- a highly contentious drink. Photo by David Pickett.
“The Canadian dairy industry has recently begun implementing an on-farm food-safety (OFFS) program called Canadian Quality Milk (CQM). For CQM to be effective, producers should be familiar with food-safety hazards in their industry and have an adequate understanding of on-farm good production practices that are necessary to ensure safe food.
To assess their knowledge and attitudes towards food safety, a postal questionnaire was administered to all (n=10,474) Canadian dairy producers enrolled in dairy herd-improvement organizations in 2008. The response rate was 20.9% (2185/10,474). Most producers (88.7%) reported that they or their families consume unpasteurized milk from their bulk milk tanks and 36.3% indicated that consumers should be able to purchase unpasteurized milk in Canada. Continue reading