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08-Jan-2018

We lost: Schmidt


A ruling prohibits the distribution of unpasteurized milk products

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

BY LYNNE TURNER FOR SOUTH GREY NEWS

“Justice Sutherland has rendered his ruling. We lost. No raw milk for anybody.”

Michael Schmidt posted the above message on his personal Facebook page on Friday afternoon, January 5 in response to an injunction granted by the Newmarket judge.

The injunction to York Region and the province of Ontario, under the Milk Act, that prevents the Durham area farmer and raw milk advocate from distributing unpasteurized milk products through his cow-share operation.

“This is not a ruling against me. It is against all those who need their milk,” Schmidt posted on Monday morning, following a radio news story that claimed the ruling was against him personally.

“I don’t understand that the press never get it right,” he posted.

Schmidt has been fighting for more than 20 years for the right to distribute unpasteurized milk and cheese. The products can be legally purchased in many states in the U.S. and in parts of Europe but is illegal in Canada where only personal consumption is allowed.  

Hundreds of people have become part owners of both Schmidt’s farm and cows in the cow-share operation which allowed them to get the products. If the co-op continues, Mr. Schmidt and the families involved could face criminal charges.

The injunction allows only people who actually live and work on the farm, located just outside Durham, to consume the raw milk products.

In October Schmidt was found guilty of obstructing a police officer following a raid that took place in 2015 by provincial officers who were reportedly gathering evidence relating to the production and processing of raw milk. 

In November he was sentenced to 60 days in jail, to be served on weekends.

However, he has been released on recognizance as a result of a pending appeal, scheduled for January 15. 

Southgrey.ca named Michael Schmidt its newsmaker of the year for 2017.


 


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