Michael Schmidt has been conspicuous by his absence from the raw milk and food rights scene for quite some months now. Instead of traveling the continent as keynote speaker at conferences, he quietly tends to his cows and avoids the limelight — which leads many to wonder what is up with the mystery man. Fortunately, for those who have been wondering, this recent self-interview from Michael sheds a little light on some of the latest developments in Michael’s long, and still continuing, work in the fields of raw milk and food rights.
A rather rare interview with Michael Schmidt:
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Associate Dean, University of Guelph, the only scientist who openly said that change should and can happen if the DFO would have the courage and the political will to tackle the raw milk issue. Marie-Chantal Houde, farmer and cheese maker from Quebec, Michael Schmidt
It was hard to track you down and convince you to sit down for a one on one interview with yourself, why?
There are several reasons for the withdrawal from the public view.
The last 8 years have been very intense and dominated by the legal battles in Ontario, BC and Alberta regarding raw milk.
Besides all the legal challenges I had a lot of speaking engagements in the US, Europe and here in Canada.
This was necessary in order to raise the awareness in regards to the loss of our fundamental right to make an informed and educated choice.
Michael Schmidt handcuffed by police during a non-violent protest over a dump that was to be established over a major aquifer in Simcoe County, Ontario a few years ago. The protest was successful. Plans to build the dump were scrapped in light of community opposition.
Last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of Durham, Ontario farmer and raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt. The court’s decision found that Schmidt’s cow-share program does not exempt him from regulations concerning the sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk. Schmidt has vowed to take his case to the Supreme Court. Continue reading →
Those who read the writing on the wall, and take an interest in international trade agreements have known for some time that the end is nigh for dairy supply management in Canada. Not that raw milk makes a difference one way or another. Still many have long suspected that the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (formerly the Milk Marketing Board) have used their lobbying clout and financial resources to attempt to block raw milk from gaining any traction in legislative circles. 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.
“Toronto’s public school board is considering a plan to put television screens in the hallways of 74 high schools. For the average teenager, spending more and more hours every day in front of a TV, computer, smartphone, iPod, or videogame screen, this won’t seem like much of a change. But it is.
It begins to commercialize our public schools which are, for the most part, one of the few remaining commercial-free zones.
A report by school board staff, prepared for a trustee meeting Wednesday, touts the “student engagement opportunities” of big screens in schools – including showing school messages or the time remaining until the next class. Setting aside the fact that existing PA systems and a clock achieve the same ends, the company behind the screens—Onestop Media Group Inc. – is not an educational organization. Continue reading →
Interesting that Leona Dombrowsky, who is now Ontario’s Education minister, was Minister of Agriculture when the Ontario legislature decided not to study raw milk in response to Bill Murdoch’s private members’ bill in 2006. She would have met with DFO (Dairy Farmers of Ontario) lobbyists regarding that legislation as well. Here’s the latest on the storm that was brewing behind the scenes over the question of limiting student access to large sizes of chocolate milk in Ontario schools, excerpted from the CBC news site. Video below — Rufus Wainwright clearly regards chocolate milk as belonging in the same category as cigarettes:
“A proposal to ban large containers of chocolate milk from Ontario’s schools will not be implemented, says the province’s education minister. Continue reading →
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 →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)