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Top stories of 2017: #1

Top stories of 2017: #1

#1: Raw milk. Raw deal?


michael schmidt at raw milk conference 

Above, Michael Schmidt at a raw milk conference in Guelph in 2014. Photo by Peter Redman


Michael Schmidt is our news maker of the year. Originally sentenced to 60 days in jail to be served on consecutive weekends, as of this moment he remains released on recognizance pending an appeal of his conviction.

Unless an earlier appeal date is issued, he is due back in court January 15 to continue the legal battle that has gripped his life for the last 3 years or more.

Our story published on November 17 garnered a lot of attention and quickly rose to be the most-read story on our website with over 7,400 views as of this date and still growing. Shared on facebook, the post also received many shares and a number of comments both for and against raw milk and Michael Schmidt's stand.

At the time of publishing this story, an online petition to free him had garnered over 6,400 signatures in seven days with signatories calling the law outdated and unfair and saying that consumers should have the freedom to choose. At last check over a month ago, 7,500 signatures had been collected and were to be submitted to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The petition’s author, Laura Redman told us in a statement to South Grey News that milk is the only food in Canada that is illegal to sell in its raw form. In an update to her petition page, she explained, "while Michael has now received bail, the charges have not been dropped and the threat of further incarceration remains."

Raw milk is currently legal to purchase in many states across the US and in parts of Europe and personal consumption is permitted in Canada.

The 2015 raid at Schmidt’s farm became a standoff between provincial officials and dozens of raw milk supporters who refused to allow equipment that had been seized to leave the property. Justice Ronald Minard said Schmidt encouraged his supporters to stand their ground.

Skip Taylor, a spokesperson for Schmidt said Schmidt has launched several appeals including the October 19 conviction and the November 7 sentencing. 

Schmidt added that he filed an appeal to get back the $100 victim surcharge, which he has paid.

While this story was published more than a month ago, Michael Schmidt will likely continue to be news maker in 2018 as his appeal will be heard and decided upon. Many more people will also weigh in on this controversial subject.

Read our original story:

Raw milk advocate currently serving 60 day sentence


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