Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson convicted of contempt of court in BC “Home on the Range” raw milk case

Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson, on the steps of the BC court house.

Ontario raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt and BC raw milk pioneer Gordon Watson were found guilty today, on charges of contempt, by Mr. Justice Wong of the B.C. Supreme Court. The charges relate to an order dating from March 18, 2010, given to former “Home on the Range” cowshare farm agister Alice Jongerden to cease and desist the farm’s raw milk operations.

Subsequent to this order, Michael Schmidt was said to have taken over as agister of the farm which was reconstituted as “Our Cows”, the products of which were labeled as cosmetics and “not for human consumption”. In his judgement, Justice Wong said:

“In September of 2010, Mr. Schmidt advised Tim Shum, Regional Director of Health Protection for the Fraser Health Authority that he had taken over the operation of the Home on the Range farm under a “new business model” which was to call the product a cosmetic. Further, Mr. Schnurr, on behalf of Mr. Schmidt in this meeting stated that these cosmetic products have only one ingredient. Mr. Schmidt further advised that he was going to apply to Health Canada to have it declared a cosmetic. He sought clarification of the position of Fraser Health Authority regarding his new cosmetic. Mr. Shum provided that advice in a letter dated October 4, 2010 which advised Mr. Schmidt to “cease and desist from the production and distribution of raw milk whether it is labeled as a cosmetic product or not and that he comply with the March 18, 2010 B.C. Supreme Court Injunction Order….”

Gordon Watson, cowshare member of the former Home on the Range cowshare, and Michael Schmidt, at speaking engagement in the United States, where he is currently not allowed to travel.

Justice Wong concluded that:

“[169] Both respondents, Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson are guilty of civil contempt. 

[170] Both respondents are sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3 months suspended with a probationary period of 1 year.

[171] Any repetition of this contempt during the probationary period will trigger the imposed sentence imprisonment of 3 months.

[172] The petitioner is entitled to special costs on a joint and several basis against both respondents.”

Read the full reasons for judgement here.

Here’s an earlier story about the February 2013 court case that led up to this judgement.

Michael Schmidt at a raw milk rally in Vancouver in November of 2011. Photo Tirra del Guidice


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13 responses to “Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson convicted of contempt of court in BC “Home on the Range” raw milk case

  1. kurt

    we live in a country where you can buy cigarettes & alcohol, fast food full of sugars & fats, junk food laced with caffeine & more sugar, over the counter medicines to make any concoction for any malady, there are food recalls almost every day, food that has been inspected and deemed safe by the CFIA. Why can’t we make a choice for ourselves about what food to buy and from whom . If we know the producer and are satisfied with the conditions of production and handling, then it should be our choice. My nephew can’t drink store bought milk, gives him the shits & cramps. Doctors told him he was lactose intolerant, he can drink fresh milk from their jersey, doctors & experts explain that ! I know the answer.

  2. Sally_Oh

    “Convicted” of a raw milk crime. Surely the judge will wake up one day and smack himself.

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  4. I grew up on a dairy farm with raw milk. Was better for me than this white treated stuff they pass off as milk that makes me sick.

  5. Elizaberh Lawry

    I grew up on raw milk! I’m 65 and have no alergies and I am very healthy.
    This is all about politics!
    The judge should drink the raw milk and maybe would have bigger and healthier brain!

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  7. I once thought that the government officials would be “reasonable” and the courts would come to our aid. I now know that was delusional thinking. The only way through, is to fight for our food freedom.

    I vow to cut my hair myself until raw milk can be legally sold in Canada. I will send the money I would normally spend at the hairdresser’s and give it to the Canada Constitution Foundation. (If you live in the US the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund also protects farmers from oppressive government regulation.)

    I’m making an open invitation to other women and men who believe in food freedom to make the same pledge:

  8. Did anyone notice exactly when we lost all our freedoms when it comes to personal choice re: healthy natural foods and supplements??

  9. We lost our rights insidiously….slowly over time as we disengaged from our farmers and blindly began to trust national brands and the FDA that regulates ( sleeps with ) them. We lost our rights as we dollar voted for shelf life….trading away GUT LIFE in the greatest Faustian deal with the devil ever made unconsciously or as a subject of being numbed down or dumbed down by the cheap food media machine that attempts to train us all

    • kurt

      well said Mark, that’s exactly how it happened, how do we gain it back. We grow/produce much of our own food, including milk ,but many today have little access or opportunity to do so, it’s also time consuming

  10. emmanuel

    Can anyone give a contact info for Michael Schmidti I really would love to pay for a shared cow I hate fake milk from nofrills I want the real thin, please somebody help me with some info

  11. Shelli

    Has anyone started a petition on this? There are tons of Canadians going to the states to buy there raw milk that would sign a petition. (unfortunately the $19/gallon price tag in Canada makes the raw milk here unaffordable for families) but lots of us want the right to buy it in Canada for only slightly more than what we pay for it in the States and the only way that will happen is if we have the right to openly buy it here. Start a petition right across Canada! I will sign it and so will most of my family and friends….just gotta find someone to spear head it. I gave the idea, someone else hopefully will run with it 🙂

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