Tag Archives: opinion

Milk with the shelf life of nuclear waste

From the Owen Sound Sun Times:


Natural milk (from bovine) is acknowledged to be one of the most beneficial, nutritious food source there is, when taken from the cow under reasonable sanitary conditions and immediately cooled to prevent increased bacterial activity.

As in the consumption of any bovine product, approved herd health certification must be obtained. The open-ended declaration that “raw milk” is hazardous to ones health is a blatant fallacy.

The sale of natural (raw) milk is illegal. Why?

Today’s milk is being sold as “natural”. It is not. Continue reading


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The DFO and the raw milk “nuts” — seeking common ground for discussion

When MPP Bill Murdoch put forward his private members bill in the Ontario Legislature back in 2006, proposing to study the issue of raw milk, it became clear that the chief opposition to re-opening the question of raw milk at the legislative level, arose from the “The Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO)”, and their two lobbyists, Hill and Knowlton.

The DFO (formerly the Ontario Milk Marketing Board) runs the quota-based supply management system which limits production to ensure predictable market prices for milk and milk products in Ontario.

You might wonder what possible common ground there could be between an organization like the DFO and a bunch of raw milk “nuts”. Well, to start with, we’re all “nuts” about milk. Unlike a lot of people these days, we strongly believe that it’s neither unnatural nor unhealthy for human beings to drink a substantial amount of bovine milk and to eat milk products.

Next, we all believe in the family farm. Ontario’s quota system has had the effect of keeping production units smaller than in say, California, where 5,000 cow farms are not unusual and where increases in scale are necessitated by low prices paid to producers. In order to be confident in the quality of the product, raw milk fans like to know that there’s genuine human responsibility at work in the production process, which is really only feasible in a smaller scale of production — like the family farm. Continue reading

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Readers set John Doyle straight on what’s what with raw milk

John Doyle’s flippant dismissal of raw milk in his Globe and Mail column yesterday got a lot of readers backs up. Two of them posted extensive rebuttals in the comment section of yesterday’s post on the Bovine in which they challenge his assumptions and dismantle his “arguments”. I know some people have also written to John Doyle directly to express their displeasure with his public misrepresentation of the raw milk issue. If you’d like to add your voice, his email is jdoyle at globeandmail dot com. But please also post your reply as a comment on the bovine. We like comments. We like them a lot!

Talking about comments I might have expected there to be more of them on the CBC site. As of this morning there are only two, and one of those is mine.

There were a few comments posted on John Doyle’s column as it appeared on globeandmail.com

Two of the most insightful comments come from what looks like “the real” James McLaren:

James McLaren from Ottawa, Canada writes: Hey John, why don’t you do an editorial on the hypocritical and discriminatory way that raw milk is singled out for derision when our society permits everyone to poison themselves, if they so wish, with alcohol, tobacco and fast food? Why doesn’t the government step in and ban these too? Continue reading


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Speak up at the “Raw Milk Crusader: Michael Schmidt” discussion forum on the CBC Documentaries web page

That would be the forum set up for comments around Norman Lofts’ film — originally titled “Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist”, which will be shown tonight (Tuesday October 28th) at 10 pm on CBC Newsworld.

Here’s the link for the page they’ve set up around Norman Lofts’ documentary and in case you have trouble finding it, here’s the link directly to where you make your comments. And it looks like you don’t have to wait for the movie to air to start commenting. This is what I wrote for my opening comment, already yesterday; we’ll see whether it gets through moderation:

“I’ve been drinking raw milk on and off since 1975 and I fed it to my children while they were growing up. I’ve worked on dairy farms, both conventional and organic, and I noted that all the farmers on these farms also drank their milk raw. Never in all this time have I known of a single case of milk induced illness. I do however, know many people who’ve stopped drinking milk – now we’re talking store-bought pasteurized homogenized milk – because of a variety of acute or chronic reactions, which are generally labeled “milk allergy” or “lactose intolerance”. What’s more, I know of some individuals who got these labels and over time found that they could not only tolerate, but enjoy, raw milk. I guess that means they were not so much allergic to the milk as they were to the processing. Continue reading


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Owen Sound Sun Times tones down its rhetoric over raw milk evangelist

I suspect the Sun Times caught some flack from local readers over their wholesale adoption of the government/DFO position on the Michael Schmidt raw milk case, as illustrated in their editorial from earlier this week. See our post Owen Sound Sun Times no longer shines on Michael Schmidt’s raw milk“.

In its latest editorial, dated Saturday, the Sun Times adopt a more conciliatory tone, although they remain critical of Schmidt’s approach.  See excerpts below:

This is by Phil McNicoll and is titled “Schmidt needs to switch gears in raw milk debate”:

I am not one of those people “old enough to remember the days before pasteurization” of milk became a matter of law in Ontario and resulted in a dramatic drop in the infant mortality rate in the province.

But for a crucial year in my childhood I drank raw milk every day and coincidentally experienced a growth spurt that likely rivalled that enjoyed by any child since homo sapiens first started walking upright on the earth. Continue reading


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Americans “too insular and ignorant”; what about Canadians?

This is a slightly more polished presentation of the text of a couple of comments I made today on the Michael Schmidt story on CBCnews.ca. The comment count there now stands at 358.

CBCnews.ca seems to be the most active and intelligent Canadian forum discussing the Michael Schmidt case, this time around at least. To my knowledge, no other website has anywhere near 356 comments on this topic. And no other major media website that I’ve seen is still accepting comments on this story.

I find comments like Bernie Bailey’s (on this site) most helpful in shedding light on the machinations behind the scenes in the dairy industry.

As a fan of raw milk myself I periodically try to understand the mindset of those who oppose it. And I’m coming to think it’s something very deep, having to do with the Cartesian split between man and environment. People who are still living in that mode, either consciously or unconsciously, go for the scientific dogma about killing germs and such, whereas others of us, who have perhaps more or less moved on from that limited point of view, see ourselves and nature as something approximating one-ness. Thus the decreased paranoia about germs and the concern about the “side-effects” of trying to kill them — i.e. that you essentially “kill” the goodness in the milk while you’re at it. Continue reading

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Owen Sound Sun Times no longer shines on Michael Schmidt’s raw milk

I hear they’ve got a new editor in the local paper in Michael Schmidt’s neck of the woods, and the paper is now as staunchly anti-raw-milk as they seemed to be pro-freedom-to-choose last year. Coincidence? Or is “someone” yanking their chain? Anyway, I’m sure you’re all dying to see what they wrote about the latest kerfuffel down in Newmarket. Here it is; they call it “Michael Schmidt should stop flauting the law“:

“The Ontario government does not have the capacity to ensure that unpasteurized milk is safe to distribute. Michael Schmidt does not have the right to pick and choose which laws he wishes to obey.

It’s time the Durham-area farmer gave up his raw-milk crusade and got back to farming, or whatever other legal, gainful employment he chooses to pursue.

Schmidt was found guilty yesterday of contempt of court for disobeying a court order that he stop selling raw milk.

He has not yet been sentenced. But in a typically flamboyant gesture, the raw-milk advocate asked the judge to impose “the highest penalty you can find.” Continue reading


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The Ubyssey on “lacteal secretions”

The Ubyssey is a paper/website run by students from the University of British Columbia (UBC). It’s a hoot to read their take on raw milk in the passage below, excerpted from their October 20th, 2008 editorial titled “Tasty Teat Transgressions”:

“No person shall sell the normal lacteal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of the cow, genus Bos, or of any other animal…unless the secretion or dairy production has been pasteurized…”

This newspaper has, historically, come out in favor of legalization. Abortion. Marijuana. Alcohol. Gay marriage. Prostitution. Sodomy. And so today we’ll add yet another to our list: Unpasteurized milk. Continue reading

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Udder Hypocrisy — Gina Mallet

This is excerpted from “The Appetizer” section of the “National Post” website, October 20th, 2008, by Gina Mallet:

“Raw-milk activist Michael Schmidt was found guilty Monday for not adhering to a court order to discontinue production and sale of unpasteurized cow milk. Gina Mallet reacts:

Talk about hypocrisy! Michael Schmidt’s raw milk has never been found to have listeria or e coli, none of his customers have turned up in intensive care. People who buy raw milk know there’s an outside risk of a pathogen in unpasteurized milk.

But no one who ate the listeria laced deli meat and now, the e-coli burgers from a North Bay Wendy’s knew they were dicing with death when they ate processed and fast food.

So why hasn’t the government banned deli meats and fast food burgers? Continue reading

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Shut down your livelihood for 2 years while we get around to hearing your case

The following is excepted from a comment I made on The Complete Patient blog, where another commenter was wondering what was going on with the Michael Schmidt case. So I had to add my 2 cents worth. While generally on this blog, we pretty well stick to reporting the facts, in this piece, since it was “a comment” I’ve indulged in a little more “editorializing” than usual.

“… From what I’ve read around the web, Michael Schmidt is unique in not allowing himself to be cowed by the actions of governments. He’s telling the press that he intends to keep right on fulfilling his contractual obligations to cowshare holders. i was in court with him today and when the discussion came round to sentencing, Michael asked the judge to give him the maximum sentence. However the judge declined to allow him to “throw himself on the sword of York Region for political reasons”.

The really nasty thing about this recent court case (for contempt) is that it can’t address the fundamental things he was charged with nearly two years ago now. That’ll be in January 2009. Meanwhile, according to the court order that he ‘s now convicted of violating, he’s essentially supposed to have shut down his livelihood for what, for two years, while the courts get around to processing his case. Continue reading

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