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Summing Up the Arguments for Raw Milk from this Past Week in Court

Here’s a quick summary of some of the key arguments regarding the safety of raw milk, presented in court on behalf of the appellants over the past week, compiled by Raoul Bedi. Of course the case itself was not primarily about raw milk safety but rather about the rights of people to access a food of their choice, and much of the discussion in court was around various ways to look at that as well. But all the discussion about food safety can be seen as underlining the argument that a choice to drink raw milk is not such a reckless choice as has sometimes been portrayed by established “experts” in the field. So with that preamble, here is Raoul’s summary:

“1. There are numerous benefits to organic properly produced raw milk (to the highest standards of hygiene and animal husbandry)

2. The risks can and are mitigated, again with proper systems in place for health of the animal and hygiene of the farm and cold chain management

3. The risks are “De MINIMIS” (negligible) again when compared to other foods like (lettuce, turkey, oysters, chicken or eggs) and when compared to the rest of the world where 99% of the countries already allow and regulate safe raw milk for production, sale and distribution.

4. The arguments of the Ontario government, municipality of York Region, Federal government and DFO/ DFC consistently rely on old research from between 11 and 80 years and have not evolved along with the rest of the world.

They are especially deficient in the advancing field of QMRA risk analysis of which only Expert Peggy Coleman has training and was able to provide coherent evidence, affidavits explanation on.

Contrast that with the Ontario Government’s lead expert Professor Manfred Griffiths who was proven by lawyer Ian Blue (representing the appellants) to have recycled over 90% of his same affidavits verbatim from the Ontario Raw Milk Trial in 2009. So much for keeping up with times!

I would add they are absent any mention of the importance of rapid testing technology called BAX PCR RT that RAWMI trained farmers are now able to use to test all their cows onsite and within a few hours every single day, thus negating the need for expensive weekly visits of veterinarians as in the German Verzug milch system.”

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Raw Milk Charter Challenge Coverage in the Epoch Times

It will be interesting to see whether this story gets any ink in more mainstream media. Since the story first broke in the early 90s, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, The National Post, Toronto Life, CBC-TV, CTV and Global News have published a lot of stories exploring various aspects of the issues around raw milk and even running public polls in an attempt to gauge public support for legalization. One wonders what might have changed in how this issue is seen by the media. Well, at least the Epoch Times recognizes this as a significant story. Court proceedings continue today, Friday Nov. 20th starting at 10 am. Watch here on youtube live.

“This week (Nov. 17-20, 2020), proponents of raw milk legalization are duking it out with provincial and federal governments in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, under the eye of Madam Justice Shaun O’Brien.This time, the raw milk advocates have marshalled an impressive amount of scientific evidence, much of it produced within the past decade. Most of it can be read in this 700-page Application Record. The cross-examinations of the government’s experts showed that they were embarrassingly unaware of recent developments in this field.Even though raw milk can’t be sold, it can be legally consumed if you or your family own a cow. Surveys have shown that about 2 percent of Ontario residents drink raw milk. Some live on farms; others buy it on the black market. The government warns consumers that raw milk might harbour nasty germs—and indeed it might.Statistically, however, the risks pale in comparison with the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and even deaths (approximately 238 per year, the federal government says) caused by foods such as meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. All of these can be legally purchased in thousands of outlets across the country. When an outbreak of foodborne illness occurs among these products, suspect batches are temporarily withdrawn from the market. For example, so far in 2020, there have been 25 food recalls for salmonella and 2 for listeria in products ranging from eggs to parsley to alfalfa sprouts to herring, but nobody would ever dream of outlawing these foods permanently….”…

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Going into Day 4 of Court Proceedings

While the Court has been very careful to recalibrate the testimony of expert witnesses who were seen to have strong personal pro-raw-milk views, it will be interesting to see whether they will similarly recalibrate the weight they give to the testimony of experts who have strong personal anti-raw-milk views. David Gumpert’s report on the proceedings so far, suggests that John Sheehan of the US FDA may be just such a person.

Links for Thursday and Friday:

Thursday, November 19, 2020:

Friday, November 20, 2020:

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Going into Day Two of Court Hearings

David Gumpert of The Complete Patient blog has posted coverage of the start of the court hearing yesterday. Here’s a excerpt from his post:

“Three years ago, it appeared as if Schmidt was at a dead end legally, when he was threatened with extended jail time following legal setbacks in his long crusade to legalize raw milk sales in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. But he was convinced by supporters and legal experts that he should pursue a new path to legalization—one that involved seeking an exemption to the raw milk ban based on newly published scientific evidence about raw milk’s benefits, and also on the legal argument that Canadians have the right  under the Canadian Charter to consume raw milk as a matter of conscience if they believe it is essential to maintaining good health.

Ironically, Schmidt is not technically part of this latest legal push—it is being pursued by his wife, Elisa Vander Hout, along with the owner of a second Ontario dairy and a group of some 20 long-time raw milk drinkers. But in a Facebook post Monday, Schmidt stated: “There are 21 people who are challenging the law prohibiting the distribution of raw milk. They firmly believe that this law is discriminatory and goes against the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Please understand that this case is not only of the essence to milk-drinkers, but to anyone who wants to be free to make their own (informed) choices about what to eat, drink and inject into their own bodies.”…”

Read the whole story on David Gumpert’s The Complete Patient blog.

Links to Youtube live feeds for all five days of the court proceedings.

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Raw Milk is Back in Court This Week

After no news for so long, this week there is a constitutional challenge being heard in court on behalf of a group of people who are concerned about getting legal access to raw milk. Court proceedings are being streamed live. Here are the links:

Live streaming links:

Monday, November 16, 2020:

Tuesday, November 17, 2020:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020:

Thursday, November 19, 2020:

Friday, November 20, 2020:

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What Makes For Nutritious Milk?


Our Farm Our Food Coop members, in happier days, when the raw milk was still flowing from Glencolton Farms. Sadly, since raw milk packaging and distribution have been criminalized through injunctions granted a few weeks ago to Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing and to the Regions of York, Simcoe and Peel, a lot of people who need raw milk for their health and well-being — including the author of this article — are having to go without.

On Nutritious Milk

Since 2000, I have been consuming milk from a farm operated, at the time, by Michael Schmidt. Prior to consuming this milk, I had done research which resulted in my decision to choose to drink this unpasteurized milk. Based on my research, which I will document in this article, I asked Michael Schmidt two questions. I already knew his cows were at grass so I didn’t need to ask him a third question which I would have asked if I hadn’t known the cows were at grass. The two questions I asked Michael were:

1/ What colour is your butter?

and 2/ What kind of cows do you have?

His answers were “yellow” and “Canadienne” to the two questions. Based on my previous research and his answers I decided to drink the milk.

What prompted me to want to investigate milk?

Very simply what prompted me to want to investigate milk were previous investigations. The investigation which led directly to “Pottenger’s Cats” was reading a book titled, “IMMUNIZATION THE REALITY BEHIND THE MYTH” by Walene James. In her book she talked about Pasteur and the pasteurization of milk. In addition, she described a ten year study by Francis Pottenger, Jr., M.D. in which cats were fed several combinations of raw and cooked milk and meat. The investigation that led directly to reading Walene James’ book was a book called, “Confessions of a Medical Heretic” by M.D. Robert Mendelsohn. In this book, Dr. Mendelsohn recommended some other books to read. Walene James’ book was one of them. What caused me to buy and read Dr. Mendelshohn’s book was seeing him interviewed on a late night television program, probably “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. Continue reading

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The raw market; Even conservative government statistics show there are about 80 raw milk consumers per licensed dairy farm in the province


Raw milk producing cattle in the barn at Glencolton Farms.

Reprinted from The Ontario Farmer:

By Ian Cumming

IT’S ESTIMATED THAT 4.5 billion people, including the British Queen and her immediate heirs to the throne, will drink raw milk today.

An Ontario Public Health Report in 2013 estimated that 1.8 per cent of Ontario’s population, about 270,000, are raw milk consumers.

Raw milk advocate and producer Michael Schmidt, persecuted by provincial authorities for years at a cost of millions of dollars, by his own account feeds 600 of those Ontario consumers. So who provides the raw milk to the others? The 1.8 per cent of Ontario’s population cited in this Ontario study as being raw milk consumers is dismissed by most experts on the subject as being way too low for an educated liberal society with a high rate of immigration.

Even if it is too low, and not counting the 3500 dairy farm families that may be drinking their own raw milk themselves, that’s about 80 raw milk consumers per licensed dairy farm in the province.

USDA public data estimated that in 2010 raw milk consumption among its consumers was just under four per cent, double the percentage estimated by the Ontario gov-ernment for its residents.

In 13 years of data published by the United States Centre For Disease Control, there have been 121 reported food illness outbreaks, resulting in 1,571 people getting sick from consuming raw milk and the cheese manufactured from it.

Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt Out on Bail Pending Appeal in Obstruction Case, etc.


Raw Milk activist and farmer Michael Schmidt is currently out on bail after having served a few weekends worth of the 60-day jail sentence that was handed down last month in Walkerton court following his conviction on charges of obstruction of a peace officer during a raid on Glencolton Farms in October of 2015.

Michael posted the photo above on the Support Michael Schmidt Facebook page, which is where you should go to find the latest breaking news about Michael Schmidt and raw milk in Ontario. You do need to open a free Facebook account to be able to access that page.

Merry Christmas

Michael posted the picture on Dec. 25th, as a Christmas greeting to folks who’ve been following his struggle to establish raw milk on a legal basis in Ontario, these past 25 years or so.

Earlier this month, Glencolton Farms hosted a very successful Christkindl Market in support of the Edgehill School. Christmas markets are all in rage in places like Toronto, and it’s wonderful to hear that so many people made the journey out to the country to attend the Christmas market at Glencolton Farms.

Michael Schmidt’s Not the only Raw Milk Farmer in the News

Meanwhile, over Ottawa way, farmer Michael Ilgert has been working to educate people about raw milk, doing radio interviews, most recently with Evan Solomon on CFRA AM 580, and being written up in the Ontario Farmer newspaper, on account of his ongoing conflict with public health regulators, regarding raw milk.

About those Proposed Injunctions against Raw Milk

We’d heard a while back that the case of the injunctions that had been applied for against raw milk by the Ontario Milk Director and by the Region of York and other regions, was to have been decided in December of 2017.

However, the Crown asked to have the opportunity to add some more input on the case — presumably the results of Michael’s trial in Walkerton for obstruction, in which he was in the end convicted and sentenced.

So then we heard that a decision on those injunctions was expected by Jan. 5th, and then later we heard that the decision was expected between Christmas and New Years. And now it’s New Year’s eve.

Where Did all the Pictures Go?

If you see old Bovine posts with missing pictures, it’s because we made the mistake (in retrospect) of hosting those pictures on Photobucket, a site that seemed like it was catering to people who wanted to host pictures to post elsewhere.

Fast forward a few years and the management at Photobucket decides they want to start charging people $400 a year to host pictures to be posted elsewhere — something they had earlier been doing for free. Here at the Bovine, we’re running on a shoestring budget, and don’t have $400 to spend keeping our pictures up.

So for new posts, we’ve switched to as a new photo host. They were recommended to us by someone in the IT business, and so far they seem to be just great.

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Questions about Michael Schmidt’s recent conviction and sentencing…

Michael Schmidt was sentenced November 6th to 60 days of jail time for obstruction of a peace officer. Citizen Beverly Viljakainen raises some questions about whether justice was done in the court proceedings leading up to that judicial ruling.

The case has been widely reported on in the news media. Here are links to a few recent media reports:

Radio interview with lawyer Karen Selick 

Owen Sound Sun Times

Video clip from CTV London

Blackburn News

92.3 The Dock petition


by Beverley Viljakainen, November 11 , 2017

1. Why, during the 2017 obstruction of a peace officer trial, were erased e-mails between the chief investigator of the 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms and the arresting officer of the local municipal police unit deemed by Justice Minard to be irrelevant when he supposedly had no way of knowing what they contained? This when both correspondents knew they would be laying obstruction charges and in no way considered the case closed. It is quite possible that the contents of these e-mails would have provided evidence crucial to the defence’s case, especially given that the arresting officer was under the erroneous impression that the five men eventually charged were members of an organization called Freemen of the Land, information possibly used to obtain the search warrant. When the defence questioned the grounds upon which the warrant was obtained, the Justice disallowed it, saying that Mr. Schmidt was on a “fishing expedition” and wasting valuable court time.

2. Why, after several months of a criminal trial supposed to get at the truth, did someone at the Walkerton Court House instruct the Offenders Transport driver, who was taking now-convicted offender Michael Schmidt to prison in Penetanguishene, to advise its staff that Mr. Schmidt was a Freeman of the Land when there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim? The admittance staff member greeted Mr. Schmidt with, “So you are a Freeman of the Land” and readily explained how he had come to know. Continue reading

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Michael Ilgert vows to fight to the end on raw milk battle with Health Dept.

Michael Ilgert posted the following on Facebook on July 24th at 5:19 pm: 

“Hello Friends! Today I had a court appearance in Pembroke. I have been charged with 5 offences under the Health and Protection Act of 1990 by the Renfrew County and District Health Unit. Their main hard evidence is that I sold 2 (two) litres of unpasteurized milk to a woman in Ottawa that emailed me several times looking to try some raw milk. I guess she was really working for the government. They want to take me to trial, put me out of business and give me heavy fines!!

This is all based on their misguided and ignorant belief that raw milk is inherently dangerous to human health…a blatant lie! The only thing that is totally legal and dangerous to human health is PASTEURIZED milk which less and less Canadians can digest without getting severely sick.

All the while raw milk, the healthiest food on the planet, is banned in this country.
Why do Canadian health officials think we are still in 1938 while the rest of the world has moved on?
Continue reading

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