Leading American raw milk journalist David E. Gumpert, contrasts the Michael Schmidt story to the messy aftermath of the Rawsome food club raids in California. Here’s an excerpt from his The Complete Patient blog:
“It is never a simple matter for a defendant who has lost to the government to convince an appeals court to take another look at the case, whether in Canada or the United States. But on Thursday, the lawyer for Canadian dairy farmer Michael Schmidt convinced an appeals court to re-examine his conviction on 13 counts of violating the province’s dairy laws.
This was the case that Schmidt won three years ago, when an Ontario judge ruled that Schmidt’s cowshare was truly a private organization, whose members could put themselves outside the bounds of the public food regulation system.
The government convinced an appeals court to reverse Schmidt’s exoneration—something that couldn’t happen in the U.S., which bans double jeopardy (being found guilty later on charges you have previously been found acquitted of).
So Schmidt appealed the reversal, with his lawyer, Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitutional Foundation, arguing there has been an absence of legal precedent to adequately guide the judges in the case. She also argued that cases thus far have contradicted each other.
The government vehemently opposed having the appeal heard, maintaining that there was no important public interest to be served….”
CBC News is running the Canadian Press story. While giving the simple facts of the story in the usual terse and cogent news style, the CP’s, like most raw milk news stories, includes the obligatory paragraph paying obeisance to pasteurization:
“Health Canada warns that raw milk contains several harmful bacteria including salmonella, E. coli and listeria and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, miscarriage and even death. All milk in Canada has been pasteurized since 1991.”
Editor’s comment: That statement about “all milk in Canada” sounds more than a little questionable. What about all those 89% of dairy farmers who drink their own milk raw? And what about the underground trade in raw milk that’s been going on since who knows when? “All the milk in Canada” indeed.
The Owen Sound Sun Times is Michael Schmidt’s hometown newspaper. Here’s a snippet of their coverage:
“Michael Schmidt will be allowed to appeal the convictions related to his distribution of raw milk to members of his cow-share operation.
Schmidt said Thursday the right to appeal was granted after a hearing earlier in the day.
“We won, we won the go-ahead that the Court of Appeal will actually listen to us,” he said.
“It was very clear. The judge sided with us right away and said yup, there’s absolutely no question that this is of importance, of public importance, and legally significant to get clarification with regards to the interpretation of the law,” Schmidt said.”
Bayshore Broadcasting took the opportunity to review a little of the history behind the Michael Schmidt saga. Click here a page with an MP3 file of their report
Toronto Star — Schmidt wins right to appeal. The Star is the only paper we’ve seen that reported the following:
“The case will be heard by a panel of three judges — something Schmidt thinks will work in his favour….”
Toronto Sun had a lot to say about the story, including a few words on the wanton spending of taxpayers’ money:
“Investigating and prosecuting Schmidt for almost two decades has cost millions. During one raid, 24 officers from five different government agencies searched his rural property. “Why are police forces raiding farms? Don’t they have better things to do than that?” he asked….”
f people would like to show their appreciation for what the Canadian Constitution Foundation is doing for Michael Schmidt and food freedom, their renewed financial support would be welcome. This case takes a lot of resources to handle. Donate here: