Michael Schmidt, Canadian farmer and longtime raw milk activist, 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.”
Schmidt’s lawyer says she plans to appeal the sentence.
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
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.
I was happy to read yesterday that Michael has no intention of paying the $9,150 fine. He said that if he paid it, it would mean that he was guilty which he is not.