“A farmer who has spent two decades fighting for the right to sell unpasteurized milk to willing buyers pledged to take his case to the country’s highest court Tuesday after losing an appeal against his conviction for breaking public health laws.
Speaking minutes after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, an unbowed Michael Schmidt said he would continue with his milk operation and legal battle.
“Nothing really changes for me,” Schmidt told The Canadian Press.
“Our plan is to move right to the Supreme Court. That’s the bottom line. We’re not stopping here.”
In its ruling, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a 2011 conviction against Schmidt that saw him fined $9,150 under provincial health-protection laws.
Ontario does not ban the consumption of raw milk and farmers are allowed to drink the milk produced by their own cows. However, the sale of unprocessed milk is banned on the grounds that it poses a significant risk to public health.
In its ruling, the Appeal Court said Schmidt’s method of allowing consumers to buy an ownership interest in a dairy cow was little more than a way to circumvent the rules.
“The cow-share arrangement is nothing more than a marketing and distribution scheme that is offered to the public at large,” the court said in its unanimous ruling….”