Word on the street — “Isn’t it great that raw milk is now legal in Ontario?”

We’ve heard that several times over the past month from folks who’ve been loosely connected with the raw milk scene in Ontario.

Ha. This story is from 2010. Rule 1: Check dates before posting. Screen grab from FB.

The trouble is, it’s just not true. Well, to be more accurate, it seemed to be true for a while following the January 2010 acquittal of Michael Schmidt on all charges relating to the 2006 raid on his Glencolton Farms. And that’s the era that this recently widely circulated Toronto Star news story is from. See frame grab from Facebook above.

However, since that acquittal, the Crown has appealed the case. Some jurisdictions in the United States, for instance, wouldn’t allow the appeal of such an acquittal. They call it “double jeopardy” down there. They consider it being tried twice for the same offense. However, in many jurisdictions in the United States at least, dealing in raw milk is not outlawed the way it is in Canada. Not to mention Europe and many other countries around the globe where raw milk is an accepted minority taste.

So, back to our story. The Crown appealed the acquittal. Michael was tried again, and this time he was convicted. Then he was sentenced. And then he requested leave to appeal the conviction. Apparently it’s not automatic that you can do that. It depends on the merits of your case or something. Anyway, the judge at Osgoode Hall must have thought Michael had a pretty good case, so he allowed him to appeal. That appeal hearing is scheduled to start February 5th, 2014. So you could say Michael has been convicted. Or you could say the case is in legal limbo. But you couldn’t really say that raw milk is now legal in Ontario. Although you could look around and see that no effort is being made to prosecute the many purveyors of raw milk who have sprung up in the wake of Michael Schmidt’s popularization of the drink.

And then there’s the ongoing legal case around Our Cows in Chilliwack B.C. in which Michael is also involved. AND the Shropshire sheepnapping conspiracy charges. See story below, and see Montana Jones’ “Save Our Shrops” FB page for ongoing coverage.

Read that January 2010 story from the Toronto Star here.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Word on the street — “Isn’t it great that raw milk is now legal in Ontario?”

  1. I saw that erroneous FB post in a few places, tried to correct it before it got out of hand. As for double jeopardy (being tried more than once for the same crime), it is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which makes it illegal in all states. However, like all laws, it can be interpreted broadly or narrowly. We saw in Minnesota, in the raw milk case of Alvin Schlangen, he was acquitted by a jury in Minneapolis in 2012 on charges of selling raw milk and other foods without proper licenses, and then tried again in another county, on essentially the same charges. His lawyer objected based on double jeopardy, and the judge ruled against him, said he could be tried. He was, and this time, last spring, was convicted. The judge and prosecutor clearly didn’t want any more to do with the case, and he was slapped on the wrist, and is back to doing what he was doing before.

  2. charles jasunas

    I believe we’ll see raw milk in Canada in the near future. The vast number of people who want the best food on their table are going to make a big splash. The waves will engulf all those who oppose this RIGHT !!

  3. All supporters are encouraged to attend the court on February 5th, 2014 at Ontario Court of Appeal at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto http://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/en/ .

  4. Referring to the Truehope vs. Health Canada (Bovine March 28th,2011) The Judge as I recall, Stated that Truehope if they obeyed the Cease and Decease Order by Health Canada, and someone had died because they could no longer get their medication then Truehope could be charged for Manslaughter because they contributed to the person’s death.
    Now considering the amount of people that are dying of Asthma each year in Canada, and the amount that have gotten better by drinking Raw Milk, could a Raw Milk Producer be charged with Manslaughter if that the Raw Milk Consumer’s Asthma return (because their source was stopped by Health Officials) and the asthmatic person died. Hope the 3 Judges in Ontario consider this.

  5. The way I weigh the case of the Illegal Milk is the same as Truehope.
    * Harm avoided ( by allowing the consumption of Raw Milk) is clearly and unquestionable greater than the harm inflicted.
    * No reasonable alternative but to disobey Ontario Health.

    • BCFoodSecurity

      I like your idea ! Perhaps we could ask all those medical marijuana dispensaries that are showing up across Canada (and the US) to keep and sell raw milk in their fridges !
      Seriously , it is ridiculous that we have to always find these ridiculous loopholes in order for some watered down form of personal food freedom to be possible here.

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