Monthly Archives: February 2013

CFIA changes the status of a reportable disease; now what about Scrapie?

From Karen Selick, on The Justice Report:

The CFIA decides that formerly reportable disease, Anaplasmosis, will henceforth no longer be a reportable disease. So now what about Scrapie? Click image to learn more about the disease.

“Montana Jones today brought to my attention an interesting article (“CFIA to give up on wiping out anaplasmosis”) published at, a website that provides daily news on agriculture topics to Canadians.  Here’s the link.   

I’ve never heard of anaplasmosis before, but the article makes it clear that, like scrapie, it has been classified as a “reportable” disease under Canadian law until this latest announcement.  Anaplasmosis is apparently caused by a parasitic micro-organism and has been detected in wild animals (deer) as well as in cattle, sheep and goats.

Anaplasmosis shares the following additional characteristics with scrapie: Continue reading


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Monsanto vs farmer over seed saving

From Charlotte Silver, on Aljazeera:

“During last week’s oral testimonies before the United States Supreme Court, a 75-year-old soybean farmer from Indiana faced down Monsanto, as he challenged the biotech giant’s aggressive and frequently criticised pursuit of patent infringement cases. Continue reading


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“Carry On Milking” — devotees of the raw white stuff will not be cowed

From Joe Shute in The Telegraph:

Hey Joe, where you going with that milk in your hand? From the Telegraph’s original caption — Joe Shute is not convinced by the taste of raw milk at Borough Market Photo: Rii Schroer

“Lunchtime at London’s Borough Market. And, for somebody flogging a product marked with a government health warning, Tony “the raw milkman” is doing a roaring trade.

“That milk there is fresh from last night,” he tells me in between customers. “And you are buying it straight in central London. It is 12- to 18-hours-old. It is creamy, but not fatty. It is proper stuff that you can actually taste.”

The stuff in question has caused quite a stir. Continue reading


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Big dairy lobbies for aspartame in milk; that’s one more reason to drink it raw

From the Activist Post:

“Two powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label.

The FDA currently allows the dairy industry to use “nutritive sweeteners” including sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of their products. Nutritive sweeteners are defined as sweeteners with calories. Continue reading


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Vernon Herschberger in court again in May for raw milk charges in Wisconsin

Via the Activist Post:

Update (2/22/13): We would like to encourage readers to take 1 day out of their busy schedules to show your support for Vernon Hershberger by attending a pre-trial hearing that is now set for March 18, 2013 at 1 PM at Sauk County Courthouse, 515 Oak Street Baraboo, Wisconsin.

A flyer can be downloaded here, courtesy of, printed out and shared with your friends, posted around town, or plastered on the university bulletin boards. Get active and raise awareness to the plight of this peaceful farmer who never injured anyone. Get started waking up people in your neighborhood with this flyer and the article below which provides details of Vernon’s case and other updates about the legal proceedings. Continue reading

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Elk banished after falling for cow

From Wendy Cox, CP, via The

100 MILE HOUSE, B.C.—Somewhere east of this Cariboo community wanders an enormous bull elk, stripped of its six-point antlers and a misplaced attraction for one of Greg Messner’s cows.

The elk, a loner that had been turning up at the century-old 100 Mile Ranch to check out Messner’s herd for three years, was relocated earlier this month for its own safety and for the probity of the cow.

“He stuck around for a couple of days the first year,” said Messner, whose wife has had the ranch in her family for its entire history. Continue reading

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So what’s happening with Michael Schmidt, raw milk, and the sheep?

Michael Schmidt outside Newmarket courthouse in 2008. What a long strange trip it’s been.

Michael Schmidt has just completed six days of trial in BC on contempt of court charges. Here’s his report: Part 1Part 2

On the sheep-napping conspiracy front, Michael is scheduled to appear in court in Cobourg, Ontario on March 27th for the hearing of that case. Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt reflects on the Little Chilliwack Dairy Court Drama, part 2

Michael Schmidt continues with his review of the BC raw milk trial. Part 1 is here, if you missed it.

Photos from the operetta Milk Trial by Jury

I returned home to Ontario on a West Jet red eye flight. I was relieved that Nobody around me noticed, that I was out on bail for conspiracy to kidnap sheep. 

Lawyers worked frantically to make sure that I can continue to play my role in the six act drama of our “little Chilliwack dairy”. No doubt it would be the best scenario in the “Hunt for Michael Schmidt” if I  would be punished and locked up for 45 days as Susan Beach demanded before the “Sheep Heist Trial” even starts.

What an honor to travel 13500 km in less than 12 days to be on the BC stage of justice.

[Editor’s note: Michael had to return to Ontario after Act 3 of the trial, in order to obtain permission to go again out of the Province, since his original permission had been for only been for the trial’s anticipated duration of Feb 13-15th, and now it seemed the proceedings would take a few days longer than planned for.] Continue reading


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Michael Schmidt reflects on the Little Chilliwack Dairy Court Drama, part 1

From the operetta Milk Trial by Jury. Not a photo from the recent raw mik trial in BC.

I cannot stop thinking about Susan Beach our counterpart acting, yes acting, lawyer for Fraser Health in our recent court proceedings in BC.

We met the first time at the door of courtroom 208 in New Westminster BC. Yes it was before the curtain call. I walked up to her and introduced myself expressing my gratitude to finally meet her face to face.

She did smile and proceeded in anticipation that finally the controversial ” little Chilliwack dairy” could be forced into compliance, so it seemed.

The curtain rose and all the actors in their place bowed their head as the judge entered the courtroom.  Continue reading


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B.C. raw milk trial news roundup

Raw-milk activist Michael Schmidt arrives for contempt of court charges at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on February 13, 2013. Photo by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG – Click pic for story.

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“I had contact with both Schmidt and Watson as the trial wrapped up, and they were encouraged that the judge allowed the trial to go on for six days instead of the scheduled three days, and seemed genuinely interested in the freedom-of-speech and other aspects of the defense. The prosecution seemed unnerved by all the judge’s questions and his decisions to allow pretty much all evidence the defense wanted to introduce. Unfortunately, a decision isn’t expect for at least three months, the judge indicated….”

More on the Complete Patient blog.

And from the Canadian Consumer Raw Milk Advocacy Group:

“More details coming, but we just received news that the raw milk trial is now over.  And the result is that the judge is withholding judgement until after the BC election.  Now isn’t that an interesting political position!

Raw milk drinkers in BC – now is the time to phone or email your MLA and ask them to support a change in BC raw milk laws….”

More on the Canadian Consumer Raw Milk Advocacy Group blog.

From Hella Delicious:

“After hearing Fraser Health lawyer badgering Michael Schmidt for over an hour mainly abut him being an owner of Our Cows as well as whether raw milk was the only ingredient in the cosmetic. I understood why Gordon Watson later stated he preferred not to take the stand. The Fraser Health lawyer likes to get rabid, Michael sure took a lot of flack for us Our Cows members for us this morning. I must say I was pretty glad I wasn’t the one sitting in that witness box. One interesting thing she kept insisting was that Michael Schmidt had never told Fraser Health that he was not the owner. Both Mr Shum and Mr Rice had stated in their testimonies that they had been given the corporate structure of Our Cows and CowShare BC (but they hadn’t bothered to actually look through it).

At some point the Judge got really pissed off and told Watson to sit down. It is still hard to tell what he (Judge Wong) thinks of it all, sometimes he seems like he will see it all with an open mind, sometimes I wonder if he will throw us a curve ball. He seems to be a guy who takes justice seriously and he really does seem to genuinely be appreciative of the fact that Gordon Watson is representing himself, so I find that to be a good sign.

Beech (Fraser Health) brought up the topic of Watson being seen publically drinking raw milk, which it turns out was raw milk brought in from Washington state so it had nothing to do with the cowshare. A question was also raised as to whether Watson was currently a member of Our Cows or not.

Beech was soon back to badgering Schmidt as to whether he is the owner of Our Cows or not. This all just seems rather nuts to all of us since it has been explained on many occasion that all of the members are the owners and Michael Schmidt is there as a consultant and liason for us and has no legal connection to the cows whatsoever….”

More on Hella Delicious blog.

From Jennifer Saltman, in The Province (same story as the lead picture is from):

“A Chilliwack dairy farm’s claim that it is distributing raw milk products as cosmetics is “a ruse,” a Fraser Health lawyer argues.

“This is not really about cosmetics,” Susan Beach told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Randall Wong Wednesday. “It’s all about raw milk and raw milk advocacy.”

The health authority was in a New Westminster courtroom asking that Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson, who are agisters at the dairy, be held in civil contempt of court.

In January 2010, Fraser Health sought a permanent injunction against Home On The Range and its agister — a person who takes care of livestock — Alice Jongerden for producing and distributing raw milk products.

The dairy operates a cow share, with about 450 households jointly owning the herd of 25 cows and receiving dividends in the form of raw milk….”

Read more in The Province.

The Province story is one of the few examples of coverage of this story that we’ve seen in mainstream media. If readers are aware of other examples, please post links in the comments. Thanks, – ED.

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