Michael Schmidt fined $9,150, placed on 1 yr probation today in Newmarket

Story from Linda Nyugen, Postmedia News in the Montreal Gazette. This is up fast. The verdict was announced barely two hours ago.

Michael Schmidt talks to reporters outside the courthouse today in Newmarket

“NEWMARKET, Ont. — An Ontario dairy farmer was fined $9,150 and placed on a year’s probation Friday for making and providing raw milk and cheese through a cow-share business.

Michael Schmidt was found guilty on appeal last September on 13 charges related to the production, sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act.

An earlier court decision in January 2010 had acquitted Schmidt of all the charges.

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.

Schmidt admitted he supplied raw milk to 150 families through a cow-share business in which he sold $300 memberships for partial shares in 26 cows he keeps at Glencolton Farms, about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Toronto.

He argued raw milk has greater health benefits than pasteurized milk and that consumers should have a right to decide what to put in their bodies.

Ontario Justice Peter Tetley acknowledged the more than 60 people in the courtroom Friday were a testament to Schmidt’s character.

“(Mr. Schmidt) is a man of principle,” Tetley told the court. “He’s willing to fight for his principles. There’s a lot to admire about Mr. Schmidt.”

Read more: http://www.canada.com/health/milk+farmer+fined+placed+probation/5767742/story.html#ixzz1ekOjJyVC..


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24 responses to “Michael Schmidt fined $9,150, placed on 1 yr probation today in Newmarket

  1. Royce Hamer

    It is a sorry state when the citizens of Canada are set upon by various levels of government and their enforcers. The level of corruption in all levels of government has reached the saturation point and must change. When industry controls the government and sets the rules (laws) then we no longer have an elected government but a group of paid for persons of no value to the citizens of that country. Raw milk as a right for any one that wishes it. The only alternative is to pasteurize the mother’s breasts to make these corrupt people satisfied. End Government Corruption now and that includes the courts.

    • onslowfarm Martin Roth

      Great Comment i totally Agree Welcome to the controllt Canadian System Its getting more Bad now then the former UDSSR Multinational Controll In Nordamerica . Controll over Everthing also this means also are FOOD Whe EAT ! SAD CANADA where are whe GOING?

  2. Initial reaction: bad news.

    Obviously, a $1 token fine would have been the best outcome.

    But, Michael willing, a more draconian rebuke would have caught a lot more attention. Again, Michael willing, I would have rather seen jail time! THAT would have attracted attention! (I’m willing to go there too, Michael!)

    The strategy seems to be to put him out of business financially, and avoid creating a martyr.

  3. All I can say is PATHETIC. Makes me ashamed to say I am Canadian when it is so obvious that our “elected” politicians answer to the dollars of the lobbyists and not to the people that put them in office in the first place. Shame, Shame, Shame on you Justice Tetley. Can’t see the momentum that has started come to an end anytime soon. This issue is not about to go away quietly….. We are the ONLY country in the G7 still making raw milk illegal. WAKE UP!!!!

  4. Correction….G8 not G7…I believe I forgot about Russia….EVEN THEY ARE MORE EDUCATED THAN OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HERE IN CANADA!!!

    • Bryan

      I don’t know about all the G8 countries, but I know you’re wrong about the U.S. The FDA is even more fascist than Health Canada if you can believe it. Their list of draconian accomplishments is astonishing. Regarding raw milk, the FDA and their henchmen have conducted a number of raids. Against Rawesome Foods they went in, ACCOMPANIED BY HEALTH CANADA OFFICIALS no less (learning the ropes?), with guns drawn, and all caught on video. You can google it or just go to http://www.backwoodsandsurvival.com/GBBResearch1.html#OverAuth and scroll down to “FDA” and to “Health Canada”. Lots of great links there exposing these two CORRUPT entities.

  5. Bill Anderson


    I’m sorry to read about the sentencing. I hope you are still in good health and good spirits.

    I am reminded of the old civil rights hymn… we shall overcome.

  6. jhoe

    What a joke,Mr.Schmidt must be laughing all the way home to the farm.He has made the judge,heath unit,MNR look like monkeys at the Ontario zoo,i have to give him credit.He even tells the judge,o by the way i gave the farm andcows away and have no income except for hand outs.Smart,even the judges family drinks raw milk and see,s nothing wrong with it. All i can say is any farmer that want to sell raw milk to the public should start right away,with blessings from the ONTARIO JUSTICE SYSTEMand Mr.Schmidt

    • John

      jhoe. I think I understand the frustration, but I believe this case is progessing through the legal process much as one might expect. The Ontario authorities seem to have chosen a low-key (hands off) approach by not intervening in the continued distribution of raw milk (for quite a number of years while this case was being considered). My guess is that this will continue until either there is a case of illness related to raw milk consumption in the Province (hopefully not HUS) or the final judgement is delivered. But, I’d doubt they could totally ignore a flush of new raw milk suppliers and the associated risks.

  7. This will not stand -when honest men are made criminals and the criminals (usually in government positions) run free – it is time for drastic changes in the social order.

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
    John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

  8. charles jasunas

    I’m joining cowshare canada right now . So thumbs down with this stupid illegal raw milk crap. When everyone is going to demand this basic right and get justice only then they’ll see how backward this law realy was. All because of supply management. It’s time to let the milk farmers to do the supplying.

  9. El Duende

    Crazy world. I grew up on raw milk. I have no allergies, no health problems because of it, and what’s more, I became intolerant to dairy products after beginning to drink pasteurized dairy products. These crazy laws only push out the clean family farm and force pasteurization on the intense large, dirty farms. Sad… I own my own goat now so can obtain my own unpasteurized goat milk. In the City no less.

  10. ButterBuddy

    Hey JHoe,
    You seem like a nice guy. You should be rooting for us who support the best parts of traditional farming, combined with some modern improvements. Do you want to get your milk from a big free-stall barn where the cows tails have all been cut off for convenience? How far should man go to force cows into a model of farming based only on profit and increasing quantity of production? The bigger farms get, the more likely that they are purely money-oriented in their goals.

    You talk about “scam”. If someone gets a law passed to say that you can only buy one kind of food, I call that the scam. What if there was a law against buying raw eggs, that you could only buy powdered scrambled egg powder? Such a law would give a commercial advantage to egg powder companies, but to me, that’s an abuse of what laws are meant for. Laws ought not be used for giving commercial advantage. If we speak of scams, that’s what I would call such a law. Such a law has nothing to do with justice.

    Just like in many areas of life, it’s important to get back to quality over quantity. If you’ve read this website thoroughly, you know by now that a dairy farm with grass-fed/hay-fed cattle (no grain or corn feeding) avoids creating a flourishing environment for dangerous levels of pathogens in their manure — E coli 0157 H8, for example. Besides a scrupulously clean milking area, the general health of the farm matters also, so that any potential hazards are reduced or absent.

    I think if the cowshare model gains acceptance, people are not going to join any new cowshare unless the farm operation is credible, monitored by experienced persons, and open to scrutiny. As you probably are aware, Michael Schmidt has warned about the dangers of not doing cowshares properly, hence Cow Share Canada is intended to educate about and uphold necessary standards.

    When the focus is not money, and instead it’s on a more ethical treatment of the land and animals, and food production, the appreciation of quality becomes more important. People intelligent enough to develop a new approach to sustainable organic farming equally don’t want to degrade the nutritional value in the milk by processing it for shelf-life in stores. We eat too much processed foods already, which Health Canada seems to overlook in the case of pasteurized, over-processed milk products.

  11. SA

    I found the sentencing interesting yesterday. I found Judge Tetley interesting. He praised Michael’s character and commitment to the cause. Yes, he admitted he had to do his job and impose a sentence, but it did not seem to me that was out of a sense of regret or forced duty, but out of a sense of respect for our current laws and his position. I think a person can see merit in opposing sides, even if he/she has a personal view. A judge, also, ideally should not be swayed by his/her personal convictions. Tetley, appeared to encourage Michael to further his fight against what he admitted to be possibly frail laws, and in the end lessened Michael’s fines considerably. Michael had been charged with millions of dollars in fines, and Tetley reduced the fines to only $9000. It is not an absolution, but is worth taking into consideration.Another point of interest is, as I understand, that the prosecution was only asking for approximately $14,000. Regardless, of bestowing praise, lessening fines, and hope in change; farmers, and ex-farmers such as Michael (who ironically must be having raw milk distributed to him illegally now!) should not have to endure the attacks on their livelihood, nor the material and personal costs in order to fight back . They have been violated by the government.
    Additionally, Michael was told not to continue his current dairy operation, but Michael has already stopped that. ARC is a co-operative that is no longer operated by Micahel, so being a member of this co-operative, I feel assured that ARC and Glencolton will continue.
    Cheers to the next step along the way!
    Shirley Ann

    By the way; What is Michael on probation for? If he was distributing raw milk, is he being permitted to stop for a year, but then may start up again after the year is out? I missed out in understanding the probation bit.

  12. Well, I am uploading video from Michael’s Queen’s Park Rally as well as the sentencing yesterday Nov 25, 2011 at the Newmarket Court – Please go to You Tube: rawmilkklimwar : I was pleased to see the courtroom full of supporters and many standing outside who could not get in…. the police did not allow people to stand in the court room, we were all squished on the benches. Also I was taken aback by the searching and having to put bags through a scanner just the same as at the airport… this is shameful and does not reflect well on our so called “SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT” – we allow the AUTHORITIES to dumb people down with bad food, vaccinations, flouride in the water, and what is called EDUCATION. It is no wonder that our young men end up in criminal court… they fell trapped with no way out – but some are rallying – with the Occupy Movement – and WE ALL need to develop some backbone as someone from the Landowner’s Association said. So onward and upward….

  13. SA

    Correction to earlier entry: Apparently, the Crown prosecutor Alan Ryan asked the court for a fine of $10,400 and probation, not $14000 as I stated in my comment above.
    The fine is ludicrous. The more I reflect on this, the more ludicrous I find it. Considering the amount of money the government has spent to fight Michael Schmidt, and the continued false and biased presentation of the dangers of consuming raw milk by health and legal authorities… if the health dangers are so great, a fine of $10,400 is meaningless and it is absolutely ludicrous. It is more than ludicrous…it is a crime what is being done by the legal system and the government to Michael Schmidt, his family, and farmers in similar situations across the country.

    • BC Food Security

      SA : You are right the government is saving its “own face ” by fining Mr.Schmidt. All the millions of dollars spent stalking and bullying Michael should have been spent on hiring little University Graduates specializing in Public Policy to study the regulations in so-called civilized countries that permit Raw dairy distribution through Farmgate, herdshares or retail sales. Instead we have barely started the process of even beginning to maybe find a solution ! Still I am glad the judge was somewhat “lenient” compared to the parameters he is permitted to work with . I hope a change of heart has started although it may not be fast enough for most of us .

  14. Shirley Ann: The prosecutors asked for $15,400. I pointed out in my written submissions that 5 of the convictions were overlapping offences; in other words, MIchael was convicted of both selling and distributing for the same bottle of milk. The prosecution was forced to agree that the law does not permit double punishment for the same act. He conceded this in the courtroom, and the judge also agreed with me.

    On 5 of the remaining charges, the crown was seeking $1,000 each but the judge ordered $750 each.

    The purpose of putting Michael on probation is to make it easier for them to later put him in jail. The law already forbade him from distributing raw milk, but did not permit imprisonment as a penalty. Now he is under a court order (the probation order) to comply with the law, and violating probation is an offence that does permit imprisonment.

    • SA

      Thank you Karen for clarifying this, and thank you for you efforts in this legal battle.
      Since Michael is not the operator of ARC, nor lives on the farm, how can the court legally find him guilty of violating probation, when ARC continues to distribute raw milk to its farm share holders?

      • The court based its decision on the facts that existed at the time the charges were laid in 2006. That was the only evidence before it, except for Michael’s testimony on November 25, 2011. For the future, enforcement officers will have to consider whether Michael’s ongoing activities warrant a charge of breaching probation. Nobody will know until they see what Michael actually does.

  15. jhoe

    I think the courts are saying ,go a head with selling raw milk to the public because we have more important things to deal with!With this ruling it set THE BAR for fines very low,after all what is 9150.00 for 5years of sells,likely in the range of 500,000.00,plus the cow share fee of another 75,000.00. Like i said earlier anyone wanting to start a business selling raw milk in ont. needs to start right away! With the demand for raw milk out stripping the supply ,anyone starting can build a very profitable business.Based on numbers ,i can see at least 50 new suppliers milking between 40 to 50 cows serving the G TA.NOW is the time to start because Michael has proven it can be done!Never mind the officals are afraid to deal with it,it is time to startthe RAW MILK MOOVMENT and give people the choice they deserve.

  16. I don’t know about you jhoe but a $9150.00 fine would be enough to destroy many people like me. 10 times over.

    We have to get to the root of this and the root is that all people from all countries have a God given Inalienable right to choose what they put in their bodies.

  17. Since you can not edit a post; Let me add that our owners passing a law saying that now the slaves can drink raw milk – is NOT the way to go.

    This approach turns a God given right into a permission that can be taken away at any time. Think about it for a minute.

    The correct approach is to both repeal all laws that interfere with this Inalienable Right and also to recognize and define in a Constitution the limited nature of government and the Inalienable Rights of the citizens along with methods to control the monster.


    The operative concept is: limited government. Government is not our God nor our master. It is an institution created by us for the purpose of protecting our rights. Not trampling over then at each and every opportunity.

    I keep repeating myself because the fluoride damaged minds of the slaves have a very hard time understanding this basic truth.

    • SA

      inalienablewrights: I value your printed statements in your post, and I think to be strongly worth considering and working from as a basis. (I would not go along with everything in your attachment…but let’s leave that alone for now).

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