Is a $9,000 fine for selling raw milk appropriate? — asks a CBC poll

From Community Team on CBC news:

Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, shown drinking raw milk outside a Newmarket court Friday, has been fined $9,150 for distributing and selling raw milk. (Jasmin Seputis/CBC)

“An Ontario dairy farmer guilty may be experiencing the bitter taste of defeat after being fined $9,150 for selling and distributing raw milk.

In September, an appeal court found Michael Schmidt of Durham guilty on charges related to the production and sale of unpasteurized milk.

It’s illegal to distribute raw milk in Canada — unless it’s to the farmer’s immediate family.

Schmidt remained defiant on Friday, toasting his sentence with a glass of raw milk. He said he plans to appeal within 30 days and will not pay the fine.

“I’d rather go to prison than pay the fine and that’s a matter of principle,” he said. “If I pay the fine, then this is almost like an admittance of guilt.”

He has said previously that the fight is not about milk, but about respect for the individual’s right to make choices without government interference.

It’s legal to drink unpasteurized milk, but selling it is against the law because of the risk of E. coli, salmonella and listeria.

After the September ruling, we asked the CBC Community whether they thought raw milk should be legalized in Canada. 92 per cent of the over 2,000 respondents voted “yes.”…”

Read more and cast your vote on cbc news.


Filed under News

10 responses to “Is a $9,000 fine for selling raw milk appropriate? — asks a CBC poll

  1. Annie Bartley

    What will they do with that money>>?? Make more stupid laws? Pad some idiots pockets? Pay someone to pose as a customer??

  2. Sue

    The real crime is allowing corporations who victimize and damage us, go free with no punishment. I can legally, and with full knowledge that I am doing so, drink alcohol excessively and smoke tobacco which puts hundreds of health damagiing chemicals into my body, yet I am not permitted to legally consume the amazingly health giving beverage of unpasteurized milk. Many who are intolerant to pasteurized milk, not only tolerate, but thrive on the unprocessed version. We do not elect governments to take away our right to properly nourish ourselves and our families when their judgment at the same time allows us to legally poison ourselves. Show me the statistics that prove raw milk is more dangerous causing greater loss of life than legally available cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs.
    Then we might be able to have meaningful dialogue!

  3. Raoul

    According to this CBC poll, it looks like 18% of the population decides the rules against raw milk for 100% of us ?

  4. Lyndon

    Clearly $9,000 is not enough. If the government really wants to stop the raw milk operation the fine should be much more: $50,000 or $100,000. Something more crippling to the operation. If I were a raw milk dairy farmer getting fined $9,000 I’d sell a cow or two, pay the fine, and keep on going. Besides, two calves would probably be born in the spring!
    So, $9,000? It must be some sort of statement of “your in trouble but we don’t really care.” I’m glad our government is so concerned about public health.

  5. jhoe

    Lyndon ,i can undersand your concerns, but the fact is the courts DO NOT want to get involved ,as u can see by this ruling.I think this is great,it will allow new farmers to get into an untapped market of growth.It sets the fines at level that farmers can afford and stillmake money.Ican see 40to50 new raw milk suppliers setting up in the GTAarea wher the supply can not keep up with the demand.The judge in this case needs to be thanked and also Mr.Schmidt for all his hard work for bring the right to market raw milk in ont. and soon the rest of Canada.Once the puplic have the right to choose raw whole milk they will not except the other processed water or what they call milk!We all will be better for the pure taste of raw milk and the farmers that will PRODUCE it!$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • Lyndon

      Well… I meant it as a sort of sarcastic joke. Personally I’m thrilled it’s only $9000. I think that if the government wanted to stop raw milk the fine would be much higher (you can get fined more than $9000 for smoking in some public spaces). So, I happen to agree with you, they’re making a payable fine that would allow a farmer to continue.

  6. Some laws are archaic and downright stupid. The one against selling raw milk is in this category. It is contrary to our natural progression toward buying and consuming organic foods.


  7. BC Food Security

    Win or lose , the goverment wants to get money out of you for “providing the service ” of policing and harassing you ! This is the same stunt in the Natural Health Products business as well minus the court appearances. A small food supplement business is now mired in red tape and has to pay thousands of dollars for research , first-time and yearly DIN numbers and anything else they can throw at you ! You can’t expect the taxpayer to pay for enforcement and regulation and useless bureaucracy right ? This being all said , I still think that $9000 is a lenient fine . I am glad it was not more and doubt it could have been less given the mindset of the Judge and the parameters he currently has to work with . Our next hope is direct political action leading to a final victorious change of those parameters. That being said , even if Raw Milk is permitted in some limited form , I would not be surprised if Health Canada imposed all kinds of onerous regulations and “fees” to police and “self-police ” the industry . It is all PART OF THE GAME as they say !

  8. James

    Do you know what (Farm Lease) means? This is something everyone needs to study very closely.. If you were to do this, your future troubles with the law would just go away..

    I would say (George Gordon Law School) has a very close system as well. You can down load hundreds of free audio at his sight.

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