Tag Archives: law

Another look at the laws about raw milk

Contrasting Ontario Laws and Acts about Raw Milk in Courts with other Major Jurisdictions (Part 2)

by Raoul Bedi, BASc

I – Introduction :

Last week we listed some of the major acts, laws and regulations being cited by Crown Lawyers in the latest manifestions, in the form of the 2 applications listed below, in the never-ending case(s) against Organic Raw Milk and its adherents, consumers, supporters, co-op members, farmers and producers in Ontario and Canada. For brevity’s sake we gave only the relevant sections from the Ontario Milk Act and Milk Regulations to begin with .

We then observed, in Newmarket Court, the Crown Lawyers for Gavin Downing, director for the Milk Act, and the York Region Municipality, systematically work through all of those major acts, one by one in great detail, stating first which sections were violated, what they say and mean, and then the evidence (from myriad affidavits, discovery and testimony) to support their claims of violation, and punishment(s) sought.

In addition to all the Acts and Regulations listed last week and again today, the Crown’s Legal team consisting of 4-5 lawyers, also cited 6-10 examples of Case Law which we will not list here. Of interest was the fact that they cited case law from England to justify the enforcement of certain bureaucratic regulations, and the need for concomitant restraining orders where they have been continually violated.

The SUPREME IRONY here is that they failed to cite the most important Laws and Statutes of all , from the United Kingdom , namely that Fresh, Organic Raw Milk from Grass-fed cows is 100% legal and freely available from Her Majesty the Queen’s homeland . Please see https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/farmingfood/dairy-guidance/rawmilkcream#toc-4

How can this be one might ask ? Continue reading

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1. Did Justice Tetley usurp the role of prosecutor (Michael Schmidt appeal)

Justice Tetley was the last judge to rule in the Michael Schmidt raw milk case. He found Michael guilty on several counts and sentenced him to pay a fine.  Michael Schmidt will be at Osgoode Hall July 26th seeking leave to appeal Justice Tetley’s ruling on his raw milk case. The following is one of several points of law being raised in the appeal, and is from the Appellant’s factum.

Michael Schmidt speaking about raw milk and food rights.

(ii) Questions of Law Alone

44. The following questions of law are raised in this appeal:

(a) Was the applicant denied natural justice and a fair hearing by the actions of Justice Tetley who in effect usurped the role of prosecutor in the appeal?

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What’s happening at Queen’s Park while Michael Schmidt continues with his hunger strike for food freedom?

From Denis Langlois in the Owen Sound Sun Times:

Michael Schmidt speaking today at a rally in Vancouver.

“….”I am asking simply for dialogue. I’m not asking for any concessions,” Schmidt said Tuesday in a telephone interview while participating in a rally in Washington, D.C.

“My condition is there is a dialogue started to get advice on how we can move forward from this stalemate.”

Schmidt began his hunger strike on Sept. 29 to push for a “well-educated dialogue” with McGuinty “about the issue of food freedom and responsible food freedom choice.”

Schmidt said he is for the establishment of standards for the safe production of raw milk and has “no problem” with health unit inspectors keeping an eye on raw milk production. Continue reading


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No right to milk for Canadians, eh?

From Manda Aufochs Gillespie, in the Vancouver Observer:

“Hey Canadians, you have no right to drink milk says the Ontario Court of Justice. Specifically, the judge overturned an earlier court’s decision to allow informed consent for cowshare members to drink raw milk in Ontario, saying” “The entitlement to consume milk, raw or otherwise, is not a Charter protected right.”

This declaration by a Canadian court came just on the tail of a similar declaration in a Wisconsin court which ruled that people in that U.S. state “do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice….”

These attacks on food freedom are the most recent saga in the ongoing legal battle about the constitutionality of raw milk. In the U.S., that battle is fought state by state, with the majority of states allowing it in some form or other—either for sale on the grocery store shelf (like across the border in Washington state) or for sale only through a co-op structure where a person becomes a partial owner of a cow. In Canada the battle is moving from the provinces to the national stage. “Canada is the only G8 country to ban the sale of [raw milk] products, which some argue has greater health benefits than the available pasteurized milk,” according to the National Post. Continue reading


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Is recent Rawsome raid the first raw milk case involving criminal charges?

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

“Everyone seems to have an opinion on what the Rawesome situation represents, but it may be we’ll have to watch the legal proceedings unfold to fully understand what’s happening. Remember, the three people charged in connection with the Rawesome case are now in the criminal realm, which has important implications (aside from the fact that they’ve already been thrown in jail.)

This is the first criminal case involving food rights that I am aware of. Everything else has been in the civil arena, where the rules of evidence are less strict, and the stakes not as high. I read where James Stewart could potentially be looking at eight years in jail if convicted of all charges.   Continue reading


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Government, law, and sharing food through private clubs and markets

From Shareable Magazine, via Sightline Daily:

“…The Health Department didn’t show up when I made dinner for my neighbors last night. Fortunately, our health and safety laws don’t usually dictate how we prepare food in our personal and private realms. But humans have a natural tendency, an urge to feed each other, and the shareable food movement is taking that to new levels—levels that bring up some legal curiosities.

“The Underground Food Movement” has become a thing lately. It’s a foodie’s utopia in Oakland these days, where I’ve snuck off to meals at “underground restaurants” and sampled urban homesteaders’ goat cheeses and preserves. Continue reading

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New law to allow raw milk classes in VT

From VTdigger.org:

“Rural Vermont celebrates Governor Shumlin’s signing of S.105, the “Dairy Class Law,” that protects farmers and re-instates the right of Vermonters to control the foods that they eat.

Nearly five months after suspending raw milk dairy classes in response to a Notice of Warning letter indicating that raw milk dairy classes were illegal, Rural Vermont is excited to announce that a successful collaboration between farmers, legislators and the administration has resulted in the passage of a law that solidifies farmers’ ability to sell raw milk and protects the rights of Vermonters to learn about and make raw milk dairy products in the privacy of their own kitchens. Continue reading

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Hiding how factory food is grown “behind closed doors”

From a New York Times editorial:

People are getting more sensitive to the ethical dilemmas involved with what can easily be seen as systematic torture of other species for corporate gain. In this picture (from Tumblr) , rabbits are restrained for "scientific" testing of chemical products. Will pictures like this soon be verboten?

“A supermarket shopper buying hamburger, eggs or milk has every reason, and every right, to wonder how they were produced. The answer, in industrial agriculture, is “behind closed doors,” and that’s how the industry wants to keep it.

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Backyard Chicken-keeping in Toronto

From “Update on Toronto Chicken Law” blog:

There is finally a feeling of optimism among chicken-keepers and chicken-supporters on the issue of legalizing backyard hens in the City of Toronto.

It is important to understand how the process of changing a bylaw works, and thus the chart. Right now the chicken file is in the Policy Development phase. The next step is a written report. Once the report is written, it will go to one of the Committees, likely the Licensing and Standards Committee. The Committee can then recommend, amend or reject the proposal (50% vote in favour is required). Continue reading

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Texas farmers to sell raw milk at farmers markets under new bill

From Heather Nolan at Beaumont Enterprise.com:

Kelvin Edwards refrigerates dairy products made from raw milk at the Pure Milk Farms in Winnie. Edwards sells the dairy products to visiting customers, but hopes for the state's approval on a proposed bill that would allow him to sell the goods at farmer's markets. Guiseppe Barranco/The Enterprise Photo: Guiseppe Barranco / Beaumont

Pure Milk Farms owners Kelvin and Yolanda Edwards – self-described city folk with no farming background – have been in the raw milk business since 2007, when they started milking and selling with only one cow.

They moved from their 10-acre farm in Alvin to a 30-acre farm in Winnie in March 2009 and have since expanded their herd to 20 cows, one bull and close to 40 chickens. Continue reading

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