From Global News — “Mon, Aug 18: Raw milk advocate talks about how plans to continue to fight for the right to drink and sell unpasteurized milk.”
“OTTAWA—The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from an Ontario farmer who has long championed the right to sell and drink unpasteurized milk, but he says “it’s not the end of the road.”
The top court’s refusal to hear Michael Schmidt’s case — as is usual it did not provide reasons — means his 2011 convictions of 13 charges under the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act that saw him fined $9,150 stand.
He will, however, continue his crusade to provide people who wish to buy raw milk with the unpasteurized product. The Ontario government maintains the unprocessed milk poses a significant risk to public health, but Schmidt insists there’s no evidence anyone has ever fallen ill from his milk, and he and his supporters argue raw milk offers health benefits.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the road at all,” he said from his farm in Durham, Ont., south of Owen Sound. “I think it was a ruling on a very specific case, a very specific situation. I think it will become much more a political issue now than a legal issue.”…”
“Schmidt said the attempt to have the case heard at the Supreme Court was driven by the cow share members who always felt they had a right to speak during the court process.
“They had been refused to be heard as an entity,” said Schmidt. “Because it was a contractual arrangement between the farm and them, in a court case they should have standing as intervenors.
“That got denied in the courts before, so they tried really hard to get that intervenor status and basically they didn’t want to hear it and it never came to it that they would be heard.”
Scmidt said from a legal point of view, there is no further step “at least in this round of legalities.”
“The only step is if there is new court actions initiated by the province,” said Schmidt. “I am not sure if they plan to do that or if it would be more advisable to now find a political solution to the whole issue.”
Schmidt said the demand for raw milk is growing across Ontario and the public health agencies are discussing how to deal with that demand. He said across the U.S. and around the world, more and more jurisdictions are legalizing the sale and distribution of raw milk.
He said the laws don’t need to be changed, but a regulatory body can be formed to establish guidelines around the production of raw milk.
“I think it is very simple that when people own a cow or own park of a farm they should have that fundamental right to make that decision,” said Schmidt. “In a way the safety issue is a moot point for me. It is the way you deal with it.”…”