Tag Archives: Jessica Leeder

Ontario appeal court rules against raw milk dairy farmer Michael Schmidt

From Jessica Leeder, in the Globe and Mail:

“The future of Canada’s most prominent raw milk advocate has turned sour.

Dairyman Michael Schmidt was found guilty of 15 out of 19 charges related to distributing unpasteurized milk from his farm in Durham, Ont. The verdict, written by Mr. Justice Peter Tetley of the Ontario Court of Justice, reverses a decision made last year by a justice of the peace, who acquitted Mr. Schmidt of the same charges.

It is unclear what the decision means for the future of Mr. Schmidt’s farm, a cow-share operation in which raw milk and related products are provided to about 150 shareholders. Raw milk from the farm is not sold commercially. Continue reading


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“Food Policy” emerges for the first time in this Canadian election campaign

From Jessica Leeder, in the Globe and Mail:

“For the first time in Canadian electoral history, the edible is political.

Each of the country’s federal parties have included strategies in their electoral platforms that, to varying degrees, highlight food as a distinct priority separate from agriculture.

The Conservative policy, announced Sunday, most closely resembles a traditional agriculture policy, with its focus on efforts to sustain the family farm and boost exports, while the Liberals and New Democrats aim to foster unprecedented co-operation between government departments dealing with the production, distribution, sale and consumption of food. Continue reading

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Global “honey laundering” affects U.S.

Jessica Leeder writes in The Globe and Mail:

STICKY SITUATION: A Chinese beekeeper checks honey production at his bee farm in Jiyuan city, central Chinas Henan province. (Photo: ZUMA Press) Caption from Mother Nature Network

““If we lose our honey industry in the U.S., there’s going to be massive food shortages like we haven’t seen before,” said Richard Adee, a South Dakota beekeeper who owns 80,000 honeybee colonies, the largest operation in the U.S. Continue reading

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Playing chicken with the egg scare

Here’s an excerpt from Globe and Mail food reporter Jessica Leeder’s take on “Massive egg recall opens window on inhumane farming”:

What's it about, the chicken or the egg? Photo via Globe and Mail.com

“If anyone stands to benefit from the most sweeping egg recall in America’s history, it is the chickens.

Animal-welfare advocates waging an ongoing war to free caged birds have seized on the U.S. recall of half a billion eggs over fears of salmonella contamination as evidence that common industrial egg-producing systems are not only inhumane, they pose a real threat to food safety. Continue reading


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Raw milk fight becomes a symbol for food freedom — The Globe and Mail

This story, by Jessica Leeder, was published in the Globe just before the January 21st not-guilty verdict was handed down in Newmarket court. Now that that verdict is being appealed by the Crown, the points made in this article take on a new relevance. Excerpts:

Michael Schmidt in his milking parlour -- Deborah Baic, Globe and Mail

“Chewing a hay lunch, Svetlana, Viola and Leah display a bored calm in their wide, brown eyes. Their glazed looks belie the burgeoning legal war over the product of their udders.

These unassuming dairy cattle have become symbols of a growing international food rights movement fuelled by mistrust of the industrial food system….”

“….The Schmidt case, which began when his farm was raided in 2006, has captivated food rights academics and advocates in Canada and around the world who argue the court’s decision will ripple well beyond the raw milk community. At its crux, they argue, the case is really about the extent to which consumers should be free to buy foods, however rarefied, and whether constitutional rights stretch as far as the grocery basket, farmer’s market and the people who own shares in – but do not live on – food producing farms. Continue reading

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