update: November 5, 2019
government and its agencies, in the face of massive documentation
contained in a charter challenge, cease to proclaim in court that
hygienic raw milk is a health risk. They now claim that introducing
and regulating the sale of hygienic raw milk would require significant
regulatory/policy work and cost (that is unless hygienic raw milk
was exempted from quota like sheep and goats milk).
can buy hygienic raw milk in every G7 country except Canada. Some
have vending machines, click
here. Then again, none has a pricey monopoly to protect,
which in Ontario first got traction by piggybacking on mandatory pasteurization
legislation. And that's why there's no hygienic raw milk in Canada
because it upends the cornerstone of supply management i.e. mandatory
Dairy farmers have a lot to lose and they'd rather disrespect everyone
else's consumer rights than have to rethink supply management or exempt
hygienic raw milk from quota.
all-in cost (land, buildings, equipment, feed and animal) to put a
cow into production is about $10,000. The cost for the right to sell
the milk from that cow (i.e. the quota under supply management) is
$25,000. A hundred cow dairy farm costs $1 million but the quota costs
$2.5 million. So a dairy farmer selling hygienic raw milk at the farm
gate skips out on paying the $25,000 and that's what they're really
fighting for ... the protection of their investment in artificially
high prices for their monopoly. Think Uber and taxi licences. And
there's also quotas for dairy transport trucks and for dairy processing
plants, just as expensive, that the farm gate seller bypasses and
thereby creates a regulatory headache.
is a chonology of the main events of our quest
also on Wikipedia
for a good summary of the issues and links.
TAKEN TO DATE
originally began our initiative hoping to legalize the retail sale of
raw milk just in Ontario, and on November 2, 2001 met with Bob Bishop
(then General Manager) and Peter Gould (now General Manager) of the
Dairy Farmers of Ontario, our provincial dairy regulator. Raw drinking
milk for them was what they call a "niche market product"
(like Kosher, Organic or Omega-3, etc.), which they were in fact willing
to consider for introduction to the provincial market. However,
in order to do this, the prevailing health laws, both federal and provincial
would have to be changed, since both sets of laws prohibit the
sale of unpasteurized milk, unless it is to someone who will ultimately
pasteurize it. They said if we got the health laws changed, they would
consider raw milk as a niche market product.
This lead us
to discussions with the federal and provincial departments of health. We learned
that dairy laws are administered in a joint federal-provincial manner,
and that at the federal level, there are also inter-departmental
consultations required as well. We also learned the federal health laws
establish a national minimum safety standard which all provinces must adopt
(or agree to in advance prior to consenting to a change), although any province
is free to establish a higher standard if they so choose.
In order to
better represent our cause at a national level, we decided to form a citizen's
coalition called the Natural Milk Coalition of Canada. We have two executive
members already very well experienced in dealing with federal health laws, as
they formed in 1979 the original Ottawa opposition to the school-yard
spraying of 2-4D. And look how far this opposition movement has developed since
have learned that there is a regulatory procedure to follow in order
to make the kind of change we require to the law. Our federal
department of health, Health Canada, requested we make a submission
explaining why we believe unpasteurized milk is healthier than
pasteurized milk, and how can you make unpasteurized milk safe for consumers.
On March 19, 2003 we filed our Health
Canada submission and later its 1-page internal
Summary. And on April 24, 2003, we filed an Addendum.
We await the government's response once they evaluate them.
Subsequently, we communicated
verbally and by email with Health Canada on three important inconsistencies in
the law and in their policy. These are:
How is it that raw foods of animal
origin and liquor are sold in violation of Section 4, since they are all
acknowledged as harmful.
What is the rationale for singling
out milk from all other raw foods of animal origin and preventing consumers from
sterilizing it themselves.
What is Health Canada’s position on
health warning labels given that any food which bears one directly violates
Section 4, because it is then identified as harmful and cannot be sold.
yet we have not received adequate responses to these inquiries.
We will post further updates
here as they develop.
National Post ran a newspaper story on October 25, 2003 about raw milk
that mentions James McLaren and this website. Click
here to read it.
On September 29, 2003, I telephoned
our contact in Health Canada to ask about the progress. She said that the
required organizational sections were studying our request. She could not
estimate a time frame for completion of their study and their formulation of a
response. She did say that my legal observations had been forwarded to their
lawyers. I said I would call in a few months to inquire again.
January 2004, we received verbal confirmation from an Ontario government
official that it was legal to sell raw milk for animal consumption.
She explained that an underlying assumption with all government milk
legislation in all jurisdictions was that it was for human consumption
and that therefore raw milk sold for animal consumption was outside
the scope of milk legislation. When we asked her by email for a written
confirmation of this, she declined (click
indicated it would be best to avoid the word “animal” and instead use the
word “pet” since “animal” includes livestock, which is covered by
federal feed laws. Therefore, a seller of raw milk for pet consumption can
protect himself by labeling his jars with, “For Pet Consumption Only,
Unpasteurized” or alternatively, “For
Animal, Non-Livestock Use Only, Unpasteurized”.
March 2004, we attended Health Canada’s public workshop on Legislative
here). They were seeking public participation in their amalgamation
of several pieces of legislation into a new Canada Health Protection
Act. It has a modernized definition for food but has retained the old
definition for a food hazard. We have objected to this because the old
definition of food hazard allows Health Canada to declare any food to
be a hazard and to ban it, as they have done with raw milk. A modernized
definition would prevent this.
in September 2004, a Legislative Renewal coordinator verbally agreed
to amend the wording accordingly.
this workshop, we were fortunately seated at the activists’ table and
made several excellent contacts. One was the Friends of Freedom (click
here) which is attacking Health Canada on their classification
of food supplements as drugs. We decided to join forces and align ourselves
under this umbrella group, thus benefiting from their knowledge and
In July, 2004 we
contacted Health Canada regarding our submission and were advised they are
nearing completion of a formal response, and mainly require the approval of
higher-ups prior to release.
also prepared a draft court claim embodying all the Charter arguments from our
submission. However, when our new associate, the Friends of Freedom, reviewed
it, they advised of an entirely new line of legal argument available – federal
jurisdiction of raw milk is unconstitutional. This must now be researched prior
to release of our draft court claim.
On October 17, 2004, Health Canada issued
their response to our submission and rejected our request. On December
14, 2004, we countered back, proposing a joint study of a sizeable Canadian
raw dairy farming operation and requesting a meeting with them. We cc'd the
Minister's office in our reply. (Click
met with Health Canada
4, 2005. Sally
of the Weston
A. Price Foundation,
attended and made the main presentation. Marcus Koenig presented the
status of raw milk in Switzerland. John Sorchen presented a $30 home
pasteurizing pot he uses because he dislikes the taste of commercially
pasteurized milk. James McLaren presented a one-page summary of all
the issues from a Canadian context.
here for a meeting summary.
discussion which followed showed that we had been approaching Health
Canada in the wrong manner. Health Canada is divided between the food
side and the drug side, but they appear to look at things in a similar
manner. Applying to legalize the sale of raw milk needs to be viewed
as if one were applying to have a new drug introduced into the market.
You need things like microbial laboratory tests, detailed production
procedures, draft regulations, etc. but not epidemiological data, i.e.
rates of infection in the general population.
now feel confident that we can make an application to Health Canada
that stands a good chance of success. If not, then the work that we
would do, would provide even stronger court evidence because we already
have sufficient epidemiological data to counter Health Canada’s
belief in exclusive mandatory commercial pasteurization. Sally Fallon
has kindly offered her support going forward. We will now prepare a
framework document for iteration with Health Canada prior to writing
another submission and spending any money on lab work.
We engaged Health Canada
in a series of e-mails and on May 13, 2005, they provided us with a
framework for resubmission including references to current standards
for such submissions. We are now coordinating our efforts with the Weston
A. Price foundation to develop a resubmission document which will be
iterated with Health Canada as we progress. As yet we have no estimated
timeframe for completion.
13, 2005, I met for a second time with Health Canada to discuss in more
detail the key elements of our resubmission, including what will be
the most expensive element, the lab tests. I was given good general
information appropriate for where we are. They again reinforced their
open door policy and as before, graciously extended their offer to discuss
and iterate at anytime our proposed framework prior to us spending any
money or resubmitting. Click
here for a summary.
Next, I contacted
the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) to tell them they had ill advised
me four years ago when I met with them on November 2, 2001. They had
advised me they would consider raw milk as a niche market product if
I would go and get the health laws changed. As a result of my recent
meetings with Health Canada, I now know this is the DFO's responsibility,
not mine and I so advised them. I will follow up with them in the near
As a result
of the second Health Canada meeting above on September 13, 2005, I realized
that our resubmission framework could include process control elements
as well as lab tests of finished raw milk products. This being the case,
then it is quite conceivable that separate raw milk applications would
have to be made based on the type of farm animal, i.e. sheep, goats
the case, I contacted Larry Kupecz, president of the Ontario Dairy Sheep
Association. Larry was very pleased with the excellent progress I had
made since we last spoke and immediately we agreed to join forces to
prepare a resubmission specifically for raw sheep milk and if it happens
to cover other animals that will be a bonus. Larry says that the dairy
sheep community is small in numbers and well organized in Canada. He
also has access to possible funding groups and to key people that would
help make a dairy sheep application a success.
I was interviewed by the Ontario Farmer newspaper, which reported on
our progress in their November 22, 2005 edition. In their December 5,
2005 edition, they also reported the details of a meeting I attended
with dairy sheep and goat producers to further our raw milk initiative.
here and click
here to read the article
Ontario Farmer ran a newspaper story on December 27, 2005 about raw
milk in Britain. Click
undertook initial steps towards a novel foods application, but after
some months decided it would be too difficult for him to proceed at
Following Larry’s decision,
I decided in August, 2006 to again approach the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
I spoke to Peter Gould, now the General Manager, and reminded him of
the statement made to me in our prior meeting of November 2, 2001, that
the DFO would be willing to consider raw milk as a niche market product
if I were to change the health laws to permit the sale of raw milk.
I told him that it took me four years to find out that it was not up
to me to change the health laws, but it was up to them. All they had
to do was file a novel foods application with Health Canada demonstrating
the safety of raw milk and the application would go forward. The federal
government would take the lead in changing provincial health laws. Peter
asked for some documents to pass along to their research group who would
look at the issue.
21, 2006, Michael Schmidt’s farm was raided and Michael was charged
with distributing raw milk and operating a milk plant without a licence.
Michael had a cow sharing program which legally turned consumers into
producers, thereby permitting them to consumer their own raw milk.
here and click
here to read the summons. Note: (1) Michael
is charged with operating a milk plant without a licence, not for producing
and selling raw milk; (2) the case is Regina vs Schmidt - Regina (Queen
Elizabeth) not only drinks raw milk, she sells it to the public at her
Farms; (its sold only direct to walk-in
customers so its not advertised over the internet - call them at 011-44-1753-623-800
to confirm); (3) the emblem for Grey County where the court is, says,
"Beautiful...Naturally" yet they want to ban "natural"
milk and force us to drink an adulterated and artificially vitaminized
be very interesting what the courts have to say about Michael’s
private contracts extending to cover the bottling of an owner’s
unprocessed raw milk. If they decide against Michael, this could mean
that any farmer who puts his own raw milk into any container for personal
consumption, could be charged with operating a milk plant without a
One of the
more interesting comments I noticed was why hasn’t the government
shut down all the Mennonite raw milk operations in Ontario? Looks discriminatory
to me. The Mennonite’s have been processing raw milk for themselves
and others for a lot longer than Michael Schmidt. I know of one person
who sold such products from a retail store in the early 1980’s.
28, 2006, I spoke to Peter Gould, General Manager of the DFO, to get
an update on the DFO’s position. Peter advised me that their Board
had decided not to pursue raw milk because they felt they could not
make it safe enough. His response indicates the Board is the real decision
maker. I am therefore considering making a request to speak to the Board.
29, 2006, Michael Schmidt held a press conference in Toronto at Jamie
Kennedy's restaurant. I attended at his invitation. He had wanted me
to speak but we had never met in person and due to a mix-up he was not
advised that I had made it in.
December 1, 2006, I was interviewed on CBC radio. Click
December 6, 2006, the Green Party of Ontario issued a press release
supporting the creation of a safe raw milk distribution system. Click
7, 2006, Premier McGuinty’s government turned down Bill Murdoch’s
private members bill to examine and debate the raw milk issue. For a
“liberal” government to turn down the examination and debate
of such an issue is unbelievable. As was pointed out in the debate over
the proposed bill, people are already consuming raw milk and some are
going to get sick who would otherwise not under a regulated system and
the government would be responsible.
11, 2006, I contacted Dave Hope, the chair of the Ontario Farm Products
Marketing Commission whose website says they represent all the stakeholders
in dealing with marketing boards. However, Dave advised me they are
accountable to the government and must conform to their policy, which
is anti-raw milk.
2007, I contacted the food safety unit of the Ontario Dept. of Health
and spoke about setting up a second milk supply system for safe raw
milk. Their main concern was how to handle this from a food safety perspective
given the number of raw milk infections they have on file. They are
open to receiving a proposal showing how raw milk could be produced
and sold in a safe manner. We are preparing this now. Our idea is to
propose a self-regulating industry body called Natural Milk (Ontario)
which would oversee its members who would sell directly to consumers
and cannot advertise. However, before doing so we must lobby the Dept.
of Agriculture to obtain a quota exemption for the cow producers in
I spoke to
in England about their milk
quota system. They have two quotas - wholesale and direct sales. Wholesale
quota is like what's here in Canada where a producer sells to a processor,
but unlike Canada, they also permit dairy farmers to sell directly to
consumers (this is what we want) provided they have direct sales quota.
They sell 14 billion litres of milk annually and of that direct sales
are 172 million litres, about 1.2% of the total. I asked the gentleman
how much of the 1.2% would be unpasteurized versus pasteurized. He said
they don't have statistics on that. I asked him to take a guess. He
said maybe 1 or 2% was unpasteurized. So raw milk sales in England amount
to a miniscule 1 or 2 one-hundredths of one percent of the total market.
The RPA also publicly confirms this on their website that raw milk sales
are one one-hundreth of one percent of all milk sold (click
and its towards the bottom of the 3rd paragraph. I think we can safely
go forward in Canada with a direct sales model and rightfully request
a quota exemption due to the volume.
In March 2007,
the raw milk portfolio was shifted to a new manager in the Ontario government
who pointed out that the Ontario mandatory pasteurization law is contained
in a statute (rather than a regulation) and it would require a motion
of the Ontario legislature to change. We agreed nothing politically
was likely to change before the next election because the Ontario legislature
recently voted down Bill Murdoch's private members bill to examine raw
milk. This brings to a dead end all our efforts to seek a change through
the bureaucracy because any initiative would simply be voted down by
the government. This signaled the need for us to shift and become activists.
In April 2007,
I was invited to attend the second meeting of the Food Rights Alliance,
a group of individuals dedicated to legalizing the sale of raw milk
and in assisting Michael Schmidt with his legal defence. Plans were
developed to move forward on both of these fronts.
my partner has been saying that drinking raw goat milk makes her breasts
larger and firmer and when she stops they go droopier. She used to take
a breast supplement which had the same effect but she stopped because
of the cost. Shortly after, she started drinking raw milk and found
it worked just as well. In June 2007 we met with another lady who recently
started drinking raw cow milk who confirmed the breast enlargement.
The implications could be quite significant for the success of our initiative.
Michael Schmidt has agreed to open up his network for a larger study
to be undertaken.
21, 2007 was the first anniversary of the raid on Michael Schmidt's
farm. A press conference and demonstration was held at Queen's Park.
I spoke at the press conference as the consumer advocate along side
Michael, Randy Hillier, MPP and Judith McGill, a cow share owner.
the press conference, I requested the DFO's support for the right of
individuals to purchase raw milk directly from a dairy farmer, provided
appropriate health controls are implemented. Instead, the DFO Board
said they support the mandatory pasteurization of raw milk. Click
here for their email of
November 1, 2007. By making such a statement, they are clearly stepping
outside their mandate, and shirking their responsibility under the Milk
Act, "to stimulate, increase and improve the producing of milk
within Ontario." It also identifies the DFO as the key central
figure in opposition to raw drinking milk.
At the press
conference, I asked Bill Murdoch, MPP why it was that his private member's
resolution of last December to form an all-party committee to examine
the issue of raw milk was defeated. He said it was a whipped vote, meaning
it was not a free vote but Premier McGuinty ordered his party members
to defeat it. He said in all his 17 years in office he had never seen
a whipped vote on a private member's bill or resolution (the difference
being that a bill requires 3 readings whereas a resolution passes on
1 vote). Bill said McGuinty was trying to gain the dairy farmer vote
in his riding and hopefully displace Bill from office since dairy farmers
hate Michael Schmidt because he's selling milk without quota. As well,
McGuinty was trying to cause friction between Bill and the Women's Institute.
Bill explained that the Women's Institute was responsible for championing
Ontario's 1938 mandatory pasteurization law after their leader's son
died from a milk borne pathogen. Bill said he had to do damage control
by visiting all the chapters of the Institute in his riding and assure
them he was not trying to eliminate the existing system.
the press conference, Premier McGuinty said the best advice he's received
is that unpasteurized milk is unsafe. However, his own senior bureaucrats
have told me the only impediments to implementing a raw milk regime
are funding and the optics of now allowing something you once said was
harmful. As explained above, it's obvious McGuinty is listening to the
DFO's self-serving rhetoric and trying to grab dairy farmer's votes,
rather than serving the needs of the people. If it's a question of votes,
the number of dairy farmers in Ontario is in steady decline while consumers
demanding raw milk is on the rise.
their email of November 1, 2007 noted above, the DFO refers to the Dairy
Farmers of Canada (DFC). It was pointed out to us that sometimes the
DFC acts as a "good cop" to the DFO when its been acting as
a "bad cop". We thought it was worth a shot and fired off
a couple of emails.
here. On January 4, 2008,
we wound up speaking with Rejean Bouchard, a policy director, who had
no real sympathy for our position on raw drinking milk and felt that
a complaint to the Competition Bureau had only a minimal chance of success.
people die in Massachusetts from listeria in milk that was properly
much for the process of pasteurization which
is supposed to eradicate listeria
and which is the only process approved in Ontario to make milk safe.
was an online petition that was organized but it was taken down sometime
early in 2008.
the documentation to escalate the issue by formally asking the DFO to
initiate the process for a second set of dairy production practices
for Raw Drinking Milk. They refused to meet with us, so we escalated
to their governing body, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission,
who also refused to help out. Alerted the Ontario Ombudsman. Click
with the Federal Department of Health and the way is still open for
a safety assessment of raw milk, provided somebody gives them something
to look at. Click
Michael Schmidt's pre-trial hearing, James McLaren had prepared a draft
for Intervener Status and
presented it to the prosecuting lawyers and the media.
A final version is being prepared for submission at a later date.
July 30, 2008, Quebec announced a new category of raw milk - safe enough
for the production of all raw milk cheeses, not just those aged for
at least 60 days. This ends the Canadian debate on the safety of raw
milk for direct human consumption. Click
here to see the new regulations and go
to Division 11.6.
called Health Canada about this Quebec initiative and they said they
were preparing to amend the Food and Drugs Act to include the new Quebec
regulations on raw milk cheeses. This would allow other provinces to
also make the new raw cheeses. I suspect the real reason is to permit
Quebec to export their new cheeses to the rest of Canada. I then asked
about the new category of safe raw milk but they did want to admit that
it was safe enough to drink raw, which it has to be. I then did some
basic research and formally challenged them. Click
here for the details.
to engaging either the ombudsman or taking action against the DFO, an
email was sent to the Premier of Ontario to clarify government policy.
November 26, 2008, I petitioned the court to intervene in the upcoming
trial of Michael Schmidt, to argue the Charter issues for Michael and
to bring a counter-claim against the DFO. The court refused and directed
that separate legal actions were proper.
January 26, 2009, Michael Schmidt's trial commenced, testing the legality
of cow sharing and the Charter rights of producers (not consumers) of
raw drinking milk.
August 31, 2009, Michael Schmidt’s trial judge announced that
he would release his decision on January 21, 2010. He would first rule
on the legality of cow sharing and if Michael wins this, he would not
then rule on the Charter issues.
Fall 2009, we researched filing an “information” under the
Provincial Offences Act against the DFO for violating its own charter
to supply consumers with every dairy product they would otherwise have
in a free market, and against the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission,
the DFO’s regulator. This research is still pending.
October 30, 2009, we activated an online petition for Ontario residents,
since we are working with a lawyer to ensure that if the petition is
ignored by the Ontario authorities, legal proceedings can be started
to compel them to perform their statutory duty. Click
November 17, 2009, the litigation director of the Canadian Constitution
Foundation, Karen Selick, LL.B., announced their support and representation
for our cause. Click
here. She was speaking at a press conference
held at Queen's Park for the third anniversary protest of the raid on
Michael Schmidt's farm. The Foundation will represent both Michael Schmidt
as a producer and James McLaren as a consumer of raw drinking milk.
December 2, 2009, we launched the paper version of our Ontario Raw Milk
petition. For a Word version click
for a .pdf version click
here. If you live in Ontario, make copies
and spread it around - YOU CAN HELP! This petition conforms to the rules
set out by the Ontario Legislature (click
here) and consequently the Legislature
will be required to file a response to the petition within 24 sitting
9, 2009, Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
refused to meet with our lawyer to discuss the issue of raw milk for
January 21, 2010, Michael Schmidt won at court. He was acquitted of
20 charges of selling and distributing raw milk. His cow-share program
was found to be a legal way for consumers to obtain a legal product,
specifically raw milk. Click
here for the judge's decision.
February 8, 2010 our lawyer sent a request to meet with the new Minister
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carol Mitchell. She didn't even
February 11, 2010, the government appealed Michael Schmidt's acquittal.
here for the text. The
trial date for the appeal was set on a later date for February 8, 2011.
24, 2010, our lawyer was in the Ontario Court of Justice to argue a
motion regarding Michael Schmidt's appeal to include Charter arguments
for consumers. The judge set a future date of October 21, 2010 to try
this motion. The judge also set a future date of August 30, 2010 for
other housekeeping matters, one of which was to seek a consensus whether
the appeal could be split between cow-sharing and charter issues, as
was done in the lower
August 30, 2010, our lawyer was in the Ontario Court of Justice for
pre-trial planning. A trial date for Michael Schmidt's appeal was set
for February 8, 2011. Regarding the October 21, 2010 hearing to include
charter arguments for consumers, a date of December 2, 2010 was set
for the judge to deliver his ruling thereon. There was no resolution
on the issue of splitting the appeal between cow-sharing and charter
October 14, 2010, we formally requested the assistance of the Ontario
Ombudsman to compel the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission to
perform their statutory duty of conducting research into dairy production
procedures that would produce raw milk of sufficiently high quality
that it could be safely consumed raw without pasteurization, unlike
the current procedures which require pasteurization for milk to be consumed
October 21, 2010, we attended the Ontario Court of Justice for pre-trial
planning for Michael Schmidt's appeal. The judge decided he would try
both the cow-sharing and the charter issues together in the appeal.
He also heard arguments for and against the expansion of the number
of charter arguments to be considered at the appeal, including charter
arguments for consumers. He will release his summary decision on this
by mid-November and his full ruling on December 2, 2010.
December 17, 2010, the appeal court judge gave his permission to include
the charter arguments of two consumers in the appeal of Michael Schmidt,
one for health reasons and one for religious reasons. Because the judge
was late with this decision and because the prosecution wishes to cross-examine
the new witnesses, the date for the appeal hearing was delayed.
January 21, 2011, the author of this website, James McLaren, appeared
for cross-examination in the appeal proceedings of Michael Schmidt.
Mr. McLaren represented consumers and their Charter right to consume
raw milk for health purposes.
April 13, 2011 the appeal hearing of Michael Schmidt's successful lower
court decision took place. Arguments were permitted for Charter rights.
One important item was the confirmation of the right of ordinary Canadians
to consume raw milk but no practical way for them to obtain it. The
decision of the appeal court judge will be made on July 8, 2011. For
an excellent summary of the proceedings and for copies of the court
June 16, 2011, the judge for Michael Scmidt's appeal announced a delay
of his decision until September 16, 2011. He also mentioned that his
decision would be forwarded to the lawyers and no one needs to come
September 28, 2011, the judge for Michael Schmidt's appeal reversed
Michael's earlier acquittal and found him guilty on 15 out of 19 charges.
here for the text of his decision. Michael's lawyer announced
her intention to appeal this verdict.
September 29, 2011, Michael Schmidt began a hunger strike which will
end if Premier Dalton meets with him to discuss the type of raw milk
that is fit for human consumption without commercial processing.
October 6, 2011, Dalton McGuinty was re-elected as the Premier of Ontario
with a minority government, losing his former majority. This creates
an opportunity to bring additional political pressure on the Premier
because the opposition parties have enough power to overturn any government
October 28, 2011, on day 30 of Michael Schmidt's hunger strike, Conservative
MPP Randy Hillier and Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara formed a bipartisan group
to pressure Premier Dalton McGuinty into meeting with Michael.
November 4, 2011, Michael Schmidt ended his 37 day hunger strike after
meeting with the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty. Michael feels
there is now a real prospect for change.
November 25, 2011, the judge for Michael Schmidt's appeal issued his
sentence - a fine of $9,150 and 1 year probation for Michael. Click
here for the text of the judge's Reasons For Sentence.
December 19, 2011, Michael Schmidt's lawyer filed
a motion to appeal the conviction of Jutice Peter Tetley, an appeals
court judge of the Ontario Provincial Offences Court who overturned
Michael's earlier acquittal from Justice Paul Kowarsky.
here for the text of the motion to appeal.
February 10, 2012, a hearing was granted in the Ontario Court of Appeal
for Michael Schmidt to ask for leave to appeal his conviction by Justice
Peter Tetley. The date was originally set for April
25, 2012 but was later delayed until July 26, 2012.
July 26, 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal granted Michael Schmidt leave
to appeal his conviction made by the appeals court of the Ontario Provincial
Offences Court. The date will be set later, likely in a few months.
Michael's lawyer also introduced fresh evidence that pasteurization
may not neutralize the harmful effects of toxins produced by the E.Coli
bacteria in raw milk, even though it does neutralize E.Coli. Click
for the new evidence motion. Click
here for the lawyers' affidavits.
December 16, 2013, Michael Schmidt announced to the media that his court
date with the Ontario Court of Appeal will be February 5, 2014. He explained
this date was later than expected because he had requested new evidence
February 5, 2014, Michael Schmidt made his appeal to the Ontario Court
of Appeal. The decision of the court will be released at a later date,
possibly in a few weeks time.
March 11, 2014 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision and
dismissed Michael Schmidt's appeal. Click
here for the court's decision. Michael
intends to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
August 14, 2014, without giving any reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada
decided it will not hear an appeal from Michael Schmidt of his lower
court convicions. Click
Michael, it's business as usual.
October 2, 2015, local police and 20 Ontario officials of agriculture,
natural resources and finance raid Michael Schmidt's farm. The members
of his farm co-op (formed in 2010 and called Agricultural Renewal Co-op
(ARC)) then show up and form a blockade. A deal was reached where the
officials unloaded everything they collected and left the farm. As a
consequence, on November 23, 2015, Michael Schmidt and four men are
charged with obstructing justice.
January 22, 2016, York Region and the Milk Director of Ontario file
an application for an injunction against the distribution or sale of
raw milk and to criminalize those who transport raw milk or advocate
its consumption. They file 1,228 pages of court documents. Click
2016, Our Farm Our Food (OFOF) is incorporated as a consumers’
co-op. It buys the equipment and cows from Michael Schmidt's ARC farm
co-op, leases space from ARC and hires ARC to look after its cows and
milk production. Michael is not a part of OFOF but his wife is, Elisa
van der Hout.
September 26, 2016, OFOF is granted intervener status during the hearing
for the injunction noted above. On September 27, 2016, Elisa van der
Hout and Michael Schmidt withdraw from the hearing, claiming the proceedings
are not about justice.
April 2017, I prepare a 133-page affidavit to accompany Michael Schmidt’s
response to the application for an injunction noted above. I state DFO
is in breach of the Milk Act because, to prevent monopoly abuse, DFO
is obligated to supply consumers with any dairy product that would increase
sales and that would include hygienic raw milk. Click
August 2017, I purchase hygienic raw milk from a vending machine in
here for the YouTube video.
I bring home a litre on the plane and intentionally advise the airport
customs officer without raising an eyebrow..
October 19, 2017, Michael Schmidt is found guilty of obstructing justice
during the October 2, 2015 farm raid noted above. He is sentenced on
November 7, 2017 to 60 days in jail to be served on weekends. On November
22, 2017 he is granted bail after serving 8 days and released pending
outcome of his appeal.
January 5, 2018, Justice Sutherland issues a wide-ranging injunction
against the sale or distribution of raw milk by anyone in Ontario.
Before this, infractions were subject to a fine. Now with a court
injunction, a violation could result in imprisonment, although not
in a criminal record. Click
February, 2018, 19 raw milk consumers and two raw milk producers file
a 704-page charter challenge against the Attorney Generals of Ontario
The applicants include Elisa van der Hout but not her husband, Michael
Schmidt. He estimates the document would be at least
5,000 thousand pages long if you include the referenced backup studies,
available to the court upon request.
February, 2018, I speak to an official from a department which oversees
DFO in the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture about the concept in my 133-page
affidavit noted above, that DFO is in breach of the Milk Act by not
legalizing and supplying hygienic raw milk. I was told this process
would require the coordination of many government departments both federal
and provincial and would involve significant resources which would be
subject to government funding constraints and approval. This is my first
time hearing this argument as opposed to the health risk of consuming
hygienic raw milk.
September, 2018, DFO and DFC petition for intervener status in the charter
challenge noted above. They tout their new line of defence, funding
constraints as opposed to health risk which they abandon in the face
of the massive documentation in the charter challenge. Click
October, 2018, the court denies them intervener status because it would
compromise their impartiality as regulatory bodies if they take sides.
November, 2018, DFO and DFC appeal their denial of intervener status
in the charter challenge noted above. Click
here. The Attorney Generals of Ontario
and Canada support them. Click
February, 2019, they win. Click
June 18, 2019, Michael Schmidt provided an update that the government
has been in delay mode since February - asking for more time to study
this and time to find an expert witness for that. They've yet to reach
even the discovery phase. Case management tries to set timelines and
timeframes and January/February is the current target for the constitutional
hearing i.e. the actual trial.
November 5, 2019, Elisa van der Hout provided an update that DFO is
now a full participant in the charter challenge and is taking the lead
in the fight against hygienic raw milk
(notwithstanding DFO breaches section 2(a) and 3(1)b of the Milk
Act by denying consumers an available dairy product).
The parties are now in cross-examinations. DFO has issued many
responding affidavits. The trial is now expected in May.