Here are excerpts from two stories, both appearing within the last 24 hours and both by Luke Hendry of the Belleville Intelligencer: Story 1 | Story 2
Karen Selick visits Michael's farm this past summer, and below, Michael Schmidt speaks at an Owen Sound rally last week right next to the Grey Bruce health unit Photos via the Intelligencer.
“As the legal fight over raw milk continues, an Ontario farmer and his Belleville-area lawyer are maintaining it is the provincial government that is out of line.
Michael Schmidt, who farms near Durham, Ont., is in the midst of a long court battle over his selling and distribution of unpasteurized milk.
A judge last month overturned Schmidt’s earlier acquittal on charges related to producing and distributing raw milk. Thirteen of the 19 charges were upheld. Continue reading
Lawyer Karen Selick talks to A Channel reporter yesterday at the Newmarket courthouse.
Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director Karen Selick will be a featured guest later today on CHCH television in Hamilton; she will be taking part in a panel discussion with Hamilton’s medical officer of health, and possibly a representative from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO). Sounds like we could be making history here. Tune in at 5:30 PM today, Thursday April 14th, 2011.
The story below (from the July 2010 “Milk Producer”, a publication of the DFO) makes no bones about the fact that the DFO (formerly the Ontario Milk Marketing Board) is withdrawing support specifically because the Cheese Society has expressed approval of dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and his work in advocating for legal raw milk in Ontario published an article by Michael Schmidt in their member newsletter (clarification based on comment by OCS official — see comments below):
C'mon now, we all know that Canadian consumers expect their cheese to be dyed orange... right? Picture and caption from the "Milk Producer", July 2010
“The Ontario Cheese Society’s (OCS) endorsement of raw milk advocate, Michael Schmidt, has caused Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) to withdraw its support. “It is unconscionable that the OCS continues to endorse, and even promote, the consumption of raw milk by consumers,” says Dave Nolan, DFO’s marketing logistics director. He and Wray Krompart, DFO’s marketing manager, sent letters to OCS chairman, Gurth Pretty, citing DFO’s concerns.
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is currently appealing a lower court ruling that acquitted Schmidt on 19 charges relating to the unlicensed processing, sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk and dairy products. Raw milk sale is illegal in Canada. Continue reading
Voice of the people, speaking in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder — excerpts:
“On Jan. 21, Michael Schmidt of Durham Ontario, the non-quota holding dairy farmer who formed a “cowshare” type of co-operative which allowed its members to own a portion of a dairy cow and receive “raw” or unpasteurized milk and thus circumvent the Canadian law which prohibits the sale of any unpasteurized milk or milk product, was acquitted of all charges.
In the week that followed, the phone calls to our farm started.
We received at least six calls from families unknown to us, wanting to know if they could lease, buy shares or buy and board one of our Jerseys. The quantities requested ranged from 10 litres every second day to one woman who wanted 100 litres a week -milk, butter, cheese and ice cream were on her agenda. We politely refused each request, explaining that to do so would put our quota, and thus our farm, at risk. Everyone swore they would never tell where they got it, but we chose to pass up the opportunity to make extra money. Continue reading
Here’s a report about what went down at the meeting, as well as background information, from a source who wishes to remain anonymous:
Cheese tasting plate from the conference. Photo by Jennifer Bain/Toronto Star
The Ontario Cheese Society was founded six or seven years ago as a result of an article about the severe restrictions put on by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario regarding the development of artisan cheeses in Ontario. The licensing process made it impossible for most farmers to venture into on farm processing.
In the meantime thanks to the Ontario Cheese Society, the pressure of foodies and high profile chefs, the emergence of small cheese plants has become a significant new player in the gourmet world of Ontario.
No wonder that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario had to get involved for two reasons: Continue reading
These days, Connie seems to be the one lone journalist left touting the DFO (Marketing Board) line. Here are some excerpts from her story and from the seventy-some comments that follow it:
Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt shows writer David E. Gumpert the inside of his dairy barn.
“….. So it always amazes me to hear people extolling the benefits of raw milk — the taste, the extra nutrients, the purity, blah-blah-blah.
And even though everyone from Health Canada to your local health unit will tell you that’s not the case, Ontarians are beginning to buy the argument. Several online media polls show many believe in the right to choose what they eat, safe or not. Continue reading
It’s always illuminating to read the opinions of those who are virulently opposed to raw milk for one reason or another. This latest rant from Connie appeared just yesterday in the Kingston Whig-Standard where it’s called “Raw Milk Debate in Ontario Goes On“. Here are some excerpts from that column:
Michael Schmidt shows author David Gumpert his milking parlour on the eve of the court verdict.
“The whole acrimonious debate over raw milk and so-called “food freedom” amazes me.
Ontario dairy farmer Michael Schmidt’s not guilty verdict on 19 charges of selling raw milk is also being called a victory for consumer freedom, but really it’s a defeat for public health. Continue reading