Raw Milk Activist Michael Schmidt Sentenced to Probation/Fine

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

Michael Schmidt, Canadian farmer, longtime raw milk activist, and Board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation, received a sentence of one year probation and a fine of $9,150 from Ontario Judge Peter Tetley during formal sentencing today.

The sentence follows a September 2011 ruling which convicted Michael on 13 of 19 charges and reversed a lower court’s decision to acquit him and that he did indeed have a legal right to provide cowshare owners with raw milk.

There has been an avalanche of public requests for leniency to Judge Tetley in recent days with hundreds of emails and faxes to his office. The flood of support was so large that a post on this blog requesting such supportive emails, faxes, and letters was taken down to spare Judge Tetley’s secretary any further difficulties.

Judge Tetley acknowledged that the public support which packed the courtroom was a testament to his character.

“(Mr. Schmidt) is a man of principle,” Tetley told the court. “He’s willing to fight for his principles. There’s a lot to admire about Mr. Schmidt.”

Judge Tetley continued by saying, “The present legislation (on raw milk) is inconsistent, at best,” said Tetley, explaining that it is not up to the courts but the government to change current laws.
Schmidt’s lawyer says she plans to appeal the sentence.

Michael has assumed nothing short of folk hero status in Canada in recent years due to his courageous fight for the fundamental right to provide raw milk to consumers in his local area since 1994 when his farm was first raided by government officials.  Michael recently ended a 37 day hunger strike when an overwhelming outpouring of public support persuaded Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to meet with him and discuss furthering the issue of food choice in Canada.

Michael’s next hurdle is a contempt of court charge on December 5, 2011 in Vancouver with regard to a British Columbia cow share operation.

* Michael’s legal defense fund could use your support. Please click here to donate to this worthwhile cause.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: Raw Milk Farmer Fined, Placed on Probation, Montreal Gazette


Comments (23)

  1. It is quite a paradox that more and more exceptions are added as far as artificial things in organic food are concerned while these unreasonable restrictions are regularly placed on healthy products of local farmers. I am a great fan of local farmers and their products which I think can under no circumstances be replaced by genetically modified products. What I like in particular is bio meat. It has recently been on the rise but it still needs a lot of promotion. I was lucky to find some great places such as The Healthy Butcher, Fresh From the Farm, Cumbrae’s in Toronto where you can get healthy and high-quality meat which not only eases your conscience as far as the treatment of animals is concerned but it also has a much more positive impact on your health and lifestyle. But when I read about the actions that the government together with other authorities are about to take I get the impression that the future of local farmers and organic food is under serious threat and we should all do something about it.

  2. Ditto to Beth.
    Governments have become so corrupt being lobbied by Big business and Big Pharma that only we, the ordinary people must now work at turning the whole sick system around and once again insist upon government for the people, by the people, not the corrupt shambles that our government has become .
    Hurrah for people of principle like Michael Schmidt.

  3. Citizens in Canada, the U.S. and other countries must mobilize to change laws. Waiting and hoping for the court system to rectify things is unwise; we need to rectify the underlying root of the problem by changing the laws. It’s like healing underlying gut issues with proper nutrition in order to heal disease.

  4. Canada doesn’t get it. They should take a cue from the European countries they emulate so strongly, not us. France is one of the European nations that has raw milk vending machines, thereby supporting traditional sustainable farming, a healthy citizenry, rural economies and the type of meaningful food security that comes when thriving small family farms dot the landscape.

  5. I am totally in support of the raw milk movement, as a fellow Canadian raw milk drinker. I do know though, that Michael’s cow share program has descrepancies and that was a big reason the aquittal was overturned. Very unfortunate.

    The judge himself said he’s not against raw milk and knows many people, including some in his own family, who drink raw milk. I thought that was pretty cool. He could’ve used the opportunity to blast raw milk and its supporters and he did not. Kudos to him. He also said current laws are inconsistent and need reform. So, that was postive as well.

  6. @Keturah: A different rule of law for the nobles and the peasants apparently? The queen also made sure Prince Harry and Prince William had raw milk delivered to their boarding schools by the way. I wrote a blog post about this awhile ago. Just goes to show that this whole thing is about money and control of the food system .. not in any way about food safety!

  7. Is Michael Schmidt a Sovereign or a Slave? Does he not have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness so long as he does no harm? Who defines the terms of how he lives his life – himself or the State? By what authority does the Canadian court system have to dictate how he conducts his business? How can they or the FDA dictate what we can or cannot consume?
    Raw milk consumers need to be educated on how to deal with the courts and assert our human right to healthy foods. Canadian Dean Clifford shows us how he dismantles presumptions in court of our role as servants of the government. Time to turn it around.

  8. Keturah Knapp via Facebook November 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    We here in Canada have the privilege of being the ONLY country in the G8 to ban raw milk entirely! BUT our queen drinks the stuff.

  9. Vikki Kay via Facebook November 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The world is mad. So many problems in this world and they choose to spend their money and time persecuting this man.

  10. To me, this is a greater issue than just having the freedom of eating correctly (despite what others think). This is about the freedom of managing your own property as you wish, being the legal owner.

    Those people that bought the cow share should likewise be capable of doing whatever they wish with their financed assets. Wall Street seems to be allowed to do this and turn the globe on it’s proverbial head. But Bill next door cannot do it for raw milk?


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