From The Happy Homesteader blog:
Criminalization of food may cause cows everywhere to have to go underground!
“Michael Schmidt, farmer and real food activist, is a man to be admired. Since 1994, Schmidt’s been persecuted by the Ontario government. His crime? Producing and selling milk and cheese that is not pasteurized.
In Ontario – as in the rest of Canada, it is illegal to produce, sell or distribute raw milk or cream. It is however, legal for farmers and their families to consume these products, and that does not make much sense to me. Continue reading
Michael Schmidt raises a glass of the good stuff after sentencing Nov. 25th in Newmarket.
Thanks to Karen Selick for the link to Justice Tetley’s “Reasons for Sentencing” (Nov. 25th) on the Canadian Constitution Foundation website. We’ve also added it to the collection of permanent links on the top right of the home page. Continue reading
Canadian Press story, via the Kitchener-Waterloo Record:
Flanked by supporters and television cameras, the self-described Godfather of raw milk, Michael Schmidt, raises a toast following his sentencing last Friday in Newmarket court.
“NEWMARKET, ONT. — Raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt was handed a $9,150 fine and one year of probation Friday on convictions related to selling and distributing unpasteurized milk.
In an interview after the sentence was handed down in a packed Newmarket, Ont., courtroom, Schmidt said he would not be paying the fine.
“I’d rather go to prison than pay the fine, and that’s a matter of principle,” he said. “If I pay the fine, then this is almost like an admittance of guilt.” Continue reading
From a news release sent out today:
Farmer Michael Schmidt at yesterday's food rights rally at Queen's Park.
On September 28th, 2011, Justice Peter Tetley reversed a lower court decision, on appeal from the Province, finding Michael guilty of 15 charges arising from a raid on his Durham area farm, on November 23rd 2006.
The court acquittal which this decision reversed was handed down in January 2010 and was hailed by food rights activists across the continent for its recognition of consumers’ right to engage in private cowshare contracts with farmers.
Since his acquittal, Michael Schmidt has become a leading figure in North America for his raw milk and food rights advocacy. Michael has intervened in raw milk cases in B.C. and Alberta, and developed a training and certification program for farmers, Cow Share Canada. Continue reading
From a recent Toronto Star editorial:
“Louis Pasteur was right — and so is an Ontario court ruling against the distribution and sale of potentially dangerous raw milk. Self-described advocates of “food freedom” may lament the finding against Grey County dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, and he vows to appeal. But public safety must come first.
The ruling by Justice Peter Tetley reverses an earlier, ill-judged decision that had allowed Schmidt to continue his raw milk operation on grounds that the farmer’s “cow share” cooperative did not violate health and safety regulations. While the sale of unpasteurized milk is banned in Ontario, farmers are allowed to drink their own product. Taking advantage of that, Schmidt had people buy a share of his cows and obtain raw milk as a result of their investment. Tetley didn’t accept that marketing dodge, and rightly so. Continue reading
Lawyer Karen Selick and farmer Michael Schmidt talk to the media immediately after the appeal hearing,April 13, 2011.
NEWMARKET, ON: The Ontario Court of Justice has advised that the decision pertaining to dairy farmer Michael Schmidt and the distribution of raw milk will be sent electronically to the lawyers involved on Tuesday, September 27 at 4:00 p.m.
Mr. Justice Peter Tetley apologized for the delay.
Michael Schmidt will receive the decision electronically from his lawyer, Karen Selick, shortly after she receives it. Mr. Schmidt will hold a news conference immediately upon receiving the decision. Reporters are invited to the blue bus where cowshare owners from the Toronto area typically pick up their milk on Tuesday afternoons. The bus will be located in the parking lot of the Christian Community Church, 901 Rutherford Road, Vaughan (west of Bathurst Street, north of Highway 7). Mr. Schmidt will be present until 7:00 p.m. Continue reading
Farmer Michael Schmidt talks to A Channel reporter. That's lawyer Karen Selick in the background.
The Province of Ontario’s appeal of Justice Kowarsky’s January 2010 acquittal of raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt began yesterday at Newmarket court with Justice Peter Tetley presiding.
Shortly after the courtroom door was unlocked at 9:30 am, the small space was fully occupied — with reporters, a few legal types, an observer from the Ministry of Health, but mostly with raw milk supporters of various sorts. As a dozen more people arrived over the course of the morning, accommodations in the pew-like benches went from full to packed, bringing the audience total to about forty. Continue reading
Defense attorney Karen Selick, of the Canadian Constitution Foundation sends the following note:
The appeal will be heard at the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, at 50 Eagle Street. This is NOT the same location where the trial was held. The security measures at this courthouse require everyone to go through a metal detector as they enter the building. The room is courtroom 100, downstairs. That is a fairly small courtroom and it is possible that some spectators may not be able to find seats. The presiding judge will be Justice Peter Tetley.
The date is Wednesday, April 13. The starting time is 9:30 a.m. It will probably take all day.
Download the defense factum here in pdf format.
Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt emerges from the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket around noon yesterday along with a few of the many cowshare members who were there in support of legal raw milk, and Michael's lawyer, Karen Selick (right) of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
At 9:30 yesterday morning, cowshare members, friends and legal counsel were down in the basement of the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket with raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt, attempting to find out in which courtroom the case was to be heard. Continue reading