Farmer Michael Schmidt calls B.C. raw milk cosmetics battle “ridiculous”

From the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Durham area raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt and his four year old son William at his Durham area farm on Friday September 30, 2011. James Masters\The Sun Times

DURHAM – Local raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt’s appeal of a British Columbia judge’s contempt of court finding against him is based what he views as the lack of proof anyone drank his milk and lack of clarity of the court order he was found to have breached, he said Tuesday in an interview.

Schmidt said he restructured a Chilliwack, B.C. dairy farm to produce cosmetics to comply with an injunction which ordered him and others not to package and distribute unpasteurized milk for human consumption.

But Superior Court Justice Randall Wong called the cosmetics claim a “ruse” and found Schmidt and farm owner Gordon Watson in contempt of the court by violating the injunction.

Schmidt said in an interview it’s not his business what people do with the milk once he produces it. He said there’s no prohibition on drinking raw milk but “they’re (authorities are) trying to get around that by issuing these orders.”

“We tried to find a way how we can comply with the court order.”

Schmidt confirmed he has appealed Wong’s written decision was released June 5. The Aug. 26 2011 breach of the March 18, 2010 court order became the subject of a contempt hearing after the Fraser Health Authority filed a petition with the court calling for a finding of contempt and special costs.

The Public Health Act, under its regulations in B.C., deems milk that has not been pasteurized at a licensed dairy plant as a health hazard. The Public Health Act stipulates a person must not willingly cause a health hazard or act in a manner that the person knows or ought to know will cause a health hazard.

The judge handed each man a three-month suspended sentence, followed by one year of probation and granted costs to the health authority.

Schmidt said the court needed to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt before making a finding of contempt. Yet there was no evidence, Schmidt said, that anyone had drunk the unpasteurized milk in the “cosmetics,” in which raw milk was the only ingredient, the court decision said….”

Read more in the Owen Sound Sun Times.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Farmer Michael Schmidt calls B.C. raw milk cosmetics battle “ridiculous”

  1. D. Smith

    When someone sells something, whatever it may be, the seller is not responsible for what the purchaser does with the product once it leaves the premises. That is a fact even the law can’t deny. Whether the person drinks it or takes a bath in it is not up to the judge to decide. Nor is it his job to decide the safety of something, especially food.

    The judicials systems all over the world are in such a state of rot.

    • Peter

      The Judiciary might counter and say that they are attempting to uphold the spirit of the law. I’d be surprised if most people don’t see it as being an obvious ruse… an attempt to circumvent the spirit of the law by employing different label – trying to get off on a technicality. No different than all the different code words used to describe illicit drugs. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

      • D. Smith

        What I’m saying is – no matter what the “producer” is selling, the consumer is not bound by any law to do whatever he wants with that product, whether it’s a food item or a bar of soap. If you pick up a package of say, gum, does the package say “don’t chew this product and then stick it up your nose”? No, it doesn’t say that. If food labels had to state all of the things you AREN’T supposed to do with it, well, no food would be sellable. At what point do we, the consumers, become the responsible party?

        In my estimation, milk can be sold as a cosmetic or a food because it falls into either category. The court is the one circumventing the law here.

        And I won’t even start the conversation about how the drug ads on radio and tv are nothing but out and out lies. Mixing a bunch of chemicals together and then adding binders to keep them in pill form doesn’t compare to drinking milk straight from a cow, unprocessed and unadulterated. No lies have to be told about the goodness of real foods – unless the law requires producers to lie. How ironic.

  2. charles jasunas

    With all the experience Michael Schmidt has in raw milk he just has to give a glass to everyone in court and all is well. And those who don’t drink it are the problem. I read somewhere in Canada a farmer can’t even give his milk away to anyone or a fine of $250,000 and 3 years in jail is the norm! Does Harper know about this? LOL!!!

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