Tag Archives: David E. Gumpert

News from raw milk “obstruction” trial

On his Complete Patient blog, David E. Gumpert has published a comprehensive roundup of the state of the two pending legal cases regarding raw milk at Glencolton Farms:

“In one action, Schmidt and Elisa VanderHout face the threat of court proceedings from an injunction to “enforce” the ban on “distribution” of raw milk. Michael and his wife, Elisa, argue that the milk act does not apply to the shared ownership arrangement that governs the operations at Glencolton Farms.

The submissions for the injunction case are over. A ruling from the judge could come any day on whether or not he will grant the injunction from York Region and the Ontario  Ministry of Agriculture. If granted, the ruling will move  the prosecution into criminal proceedings (contempt of court) to any farmers, mothers, community leaders, etc. who participate in a milk drop or handle raw milk for human consumption. In the case of Glencolton Farms, the farm is a cooperative structure, which means that many members own the farm and benefit from everything that the farm produces. This case in Canada is an important one to watch as the ruling—either way–will significantly affect what foods Canadians have access to and how the regulatory agencies and courts will target individual farmers and producers.

In a second and more dramatic case, Schmidt continues his trial on the charges of obstruction of a peace officer . These charges, against Michael and originally four other men, stem from the raid on Glencolton Farms by Glenn Jarvie and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in October 2015. During the raid, the government confiscated computers and some documents before 80 farm owners, friends and neighbours showed up and blocked the driveway. Farm members stood in the cold driveway at the farm, blocking the government vehicles from leaving as long as the trucks had the farm owners’ property in them. Only five people were charged. Over the course of the hearings for the obstruction charges, all were dropped except the charges against Schmidt and two other defendants.

Schmidt provided a recent video update where he speaks about the bureaucratic mishaps that have him labeled as a Canadian “terrorist,” in the words of at least one law enforcement person involved in the court proceedings. The irony of this is that Michael is a firm advocate of peaceful resistance. The entire time Michael has stood up for his rights as a farmer and for the rights of consumers to procure the foods of their choice from the producer of their choice, he has done so with an emphasis on non-violence.

Just after he gave that update, Schmidt was back in court. During that court proceeding, after a particularly agitated exchange between the defendants and the judge, a spectator left the courtroom and said aloud that the court proceedings were not seeking the truth or justice. This led to the court police assaulting the man, giving him injuries that led to his being taken to the hospital where he was released after treatment later that day. Schmidt provided another video update about the incident….”

Read it all on “The Complete Patient” blog.

The obstruction trial is set to continue in Walkerton on July 28th, August 4th and August 25th of 2017.

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Canada – first to criminalize raw milk?

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“After 23 years of unsuccessfully chasing down raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt via raids and court trials, the Ontario government seems finally to have settled on its version of the “nuclear” option: Its minions are seeking an injunction against the sale and purchase of raw milk, an action that could well have the effect of criminalizing all distribution and even consumption.

The injunction seems likely to be invoked by an Ontario judge next week after arguments next Monday and Tuesday, predicts Schmidt. The effects of the injunction will be immediately chilling, he explains, because implementation of the injunction will come with a proviso that Schmidt and the 150 members of his coop pay all legal and court costs associated with the government demand for the injunction, a cost that Schmidt has no illusions about: “I can guarantee you it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”…” Continue reading

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Raw milk disinformation in the media and what you can do about — new book

From David E. Gumpert, on the Biodynamics blog: “I know I’m not the only supporter of food choice who is frustrated because much of the news in the mainstream media about raw milk seems to be negative and often inaccurate. I know I’m not the only one who is tired of complaining and wants to do something about it. But do what? There is clearly a dearth of accurate information being presented by the media about raw milk. Many of the articles that are written are confusing and inaccurate. For example, in December Time Magazine reported on a CDC study that said outbreaks involving raw milk had quadrupled over the most recent six years. “This Is One Health Trend You Don’t Want to Try,” headlined the Time article. Continue reading

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U.S. Embracing a Raw Milk Future

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“Last month, while visiting at a small ag and liberal arts school in upstate New York to give a talk, I got to tour its well-run conventional dairy of more than 300 cows (and a 50,000-gallon bulk tank—pictured at left). It serves as an on-campus training facility for students at the school, the State University of New York in Cobbleskill.

I also got to meet with a dairy professor.  I didn’t expect a lot of encouraging words, given the school’s focus on conventional dairying, and how I predicted in my talk at the school ongoing upheaval in the food world, symbolized by the raw milk revolution.  Continue reading

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Michael Schmidt, Montana Jones, CFIA Sheep-napping “Show Trial” is already attracting international interest

American raw milk journalist and food rights champion David E. Gumpert is following the case with interest, as evidenced by a recent post on his “The Complete Patient” blog. See excerpt below:

“In Canada, Stage Set for Food Rights Show Trial”

Michael Schmidt. Photo via Complete Patient blog.

“That sheep-napping case involving Canadian farmers Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones is turning into a major criminal and political drama.

If you’ll remember, this case stems from a 2010 dispute between the Canadian government and farm owenr Montana Jones over whether her rare Shropshire sheep should be slaughtered because they were supposedly exposed to the serious disease, scrapie. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, insisted the sheep needed to be slaughtered to determine for certain whether they harbored scrapie. Jones insisted there was no evidence they did, and sought to negotiate a compromise whereby her farm would be quarantined for up to five years to be certain.  Continue reading

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Raw milk crackdown in Italy now!

Europe, and Italy especially, have long been the land of the free when it comes to raw milk access. Thousands of raw milk vending machines in Italy alone have been in trouble free operation for ages now. So why the crackdown now?

From Sarah Kent, in the Wall St. Journal:

“Andrea Verlicchi, an Italian Web designer, used to leave his apartment in the mornings, stroll to a nearby vending machine and fill his recyclable glass bottle with fresh, raw milk.

“The milk is great,” said Mr. Verlicchi, like drinking it “directly from the cow.”

Vending machines that dispense fresh, unpasteurized milk have proliferated in Italy and throughout much of Europe in recent years. The stainless steel mechanical fridges can be found in supermarket parking lots, town squares and on roaming milk-mobiles. According to a “milk map” website designed by Mr. Verlicchi there are currently around 1,300 machines in Italy alone. Continue reading

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FDA the odd man out on raw milk?

Of course Canada’s not mentioned here. Still, David E. Gumpert reports some fascinating news from the wider raw milk world. From his “The Complete Patient” blog:

“A few weeks ago, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency came out with an eye-opening report on raw milk. This agency, the UK’s equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, acknowledged and accepted, at least on a minimal basis, the reality of raw milk, including the following:

* The FSA sought out the opinions of more than 100 raw milk consumers via “an innovative consultation event” on “options for controls for RDM (raw drinking milk).” “The overarching conclusion from the event is that there is an appetite among producers and current RDM consumers for increased consumer access to RDM…” Continue reading

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