Home The Issue and Events Federal and Provincial Legislation Why There Is a Demand for Natural Milk
Where Sale of Natural Milk Is Allowed Methods of Production

From: James McLaren
To: dalton.mcguinty@premier.gov.on.ca
Cc: info@ombudsman.on.ca
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 2:55 PM
Subject: Information request

On November 21, 2006, the government arrested Michael Schmidt for distributing raw milk to cow owners. Through a process called agistment, legally acceptable since the 1300’s, he was in reality taking care of their cows and returning them their raw milk. He was arrested because Ontario refuses to acknowledge in law that raw milk can be produced in such a way that it is safe for human consumption, as it is in every European country (except for Scotland) and in many US states.

Currently, Ontario law curiously permits dairy farmers and cow owners to legally consume their own raw milk but prohibits them from distributing it to others without pasteurization. It was on this basis that the government arrested Michael Schmidt and interfered with this right of cow owners to their own private property under agistment.

On November 29, 2006, Premier McGuinty publicly addressed the arrest which destroyed a livelihood and violated the private property rights of many Ontarians. "If you want to engage in the mass distribution of milk to millions of children and Ontario families on a daily basis, the very best and safest way to do that is to ensure that it's pasteurized. That's been the best advice we've received for a long time and I would see no reason why we would move away from that.”

Therefore, I request the Premier to provide all the information that he or any government department or agency had in support of his conclusion that the current dairy system in Ontario is the best and the safest, and because these words are superlatives, what it was the Ontario system was compared to, and on what basis.

James McLaren, C.A.