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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