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

Last update: July 27, 2021


The 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 the dairy cartel is 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 an economic threat and a regulatory headache.

Below is a chonology of the main events of our quest

Click also on Wikipedia for a good summary of the issues and links.


We 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 then!

We 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 Briefing 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.

As yet we have not received adequate responses to these inquiries. We will post further updates here as they develop.

The 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.

In 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 here).

Further research 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”.

In March 2004, we attended Health Canada’s public workshop on Legislative Renewal (click 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. Later, in September 2004, a Legislative Renewal coordinator verbally agreed to amend the wording accordingly.

At 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 experience.

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.

We 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 here)

We met with Health Canada April 4, 2005. Sally Fallon, President 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. Click here for a meeting summary.

The 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.

We 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.

On September 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 future.

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 or cows.

This being 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.

In November, 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. Click here and click here to read the article

The Ontario Farmer ran a newspaper story on December 27, 2005 about raw milk in Britain. Click here

Larry Kupecz undertook initial steps towards a novel foods application, but after some months decided it would be too difficult for him to proceed at this time.

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.

On November 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. Click 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 Windsor 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 version.

It’ll 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 licence.

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.

On November 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.

On November 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.

On December 1, 2006, I was interviewed on CBC radio. Click here

On December 6, 2006, the Green Party of Ontario issued a press release supporting the creation of a safe raw milk distribution system. Click here

On December 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.

On December 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.

In January, 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 our organization.

I spoke to the RPA 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 here) 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.

For years 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.

November 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.

Before 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.

After 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.

In 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. Click 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.

Two people die in Massachusetts from listeria in milk that was properly pasteurized. Click here. So 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.

There was an online petition that was organized but it was taken down sometime early in 2008. Click here

We began 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 here.

We reconnected 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 here.

At Michael Schmidt's pre-trial hearing, James McLaren had prepared a draft Petition 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.

On 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.

I 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.

Prior to engaging either the ombudsman or taking action against the DFO, an email was sent to the Premier of Ontario to clarify government policy. Click here.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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.

In 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.

On 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 here.

On 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.

On December 2, 2009, we launched the paper version of our Ontario Raw Milk petition. For a Word version click here and 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 days.

On December 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 consumers. Click here.

On 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.

On 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 respond. Click here.

On February 11, 2010, the government appealed Michael Schmidt's acquittal. Click here for the text. The trial date for the appeal was set on a later date for February 8, 2011.

On June 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 court.

On 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 issues.

On 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 safelly. Click here and click here.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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 documents, click here.

On 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 to court.

On 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. Click here for the text of his decision. Michael's lawyer announced her intention to appeal this verdict.

On 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.

On 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 position.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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. Click here for the text of the motion to appeal.

On 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.

On 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 here for the new evidence motion. Click here for the lawyers' affidavits.

On 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 be considered.

On 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.

On 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.

On 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 here. For Michael, it's business as usual.

On 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.

On 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 here. Click here. Click here. Click here. Click here.

In 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.

On 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.

In 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 here.

In August 2017, I purchase hygienic raw milk from a vending machine in England. Click here for the YouTube video. I bring home a litre on the plane and intentionally advise the airport customs officer without raising an eyebrow..

On 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.

On 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 here.

In February, 2018, 19 raw milk consumers and two raw milk producers file a 704-page charter challenge against the Attorney Generals of Ontario and Canada. 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. Click here.

In 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.

In 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 here. In October, 2018, the court denies them intervener status because it would compromise their impartiality as regulatory bodies if they take sides. Click here.

In 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 here. In February, 2019, they win. Click here.

On 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.

On 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.

On May 4, 2020, Michael Schmidt provided an update that the court hearing for the charter challenge was rescheduled for November but with COVID, even that could be cancelled. He also said the lawyers were excited because they cross-examined all the government's expert witnesses; there were six of them including John Sheehan of the FDA. When asked, none of the expert witnesses could point to any study which proved raw milk was more dangerous than pasteruized milk. Michael said the idea raw milk is dangerous is a fiction that was made up.

On August 1, 2020, the Weston A. Price Foundation posted an excellent summary of the issues brought forward in the charter challenge to the ban on the sale and distribution of raw milk reported above. Click here

On December 3, 2020, Elisa van der Hout provided an update that the court hearing for her charter challenge was conducted two weeks ago. She said a court decision can typically take from 4 to 8 months, although it might be longer. She also said there is a gofundme page to help pay for their considerable legal fees and to also post relevant updates. Click here

On February 11, 2021, Justice O'Brien ruled against the charter challenge to Ontario and Canada's dairy laws. Click here. Raw milk advocates are being oppressed by dairy farmers who successfully argue in court for mandatory pasteurization to protect their economic interests yet they can legally access and drink their own raw milk. This is unfair.

Since dairy farm families can legally access raw milk and those with a medical need can’t, I inquired if this was discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. It isn’t. The federal Human Rights Commission replied to me on June 14, 2021. The Act only applies to goods that are generally available and then someone has to be denied those goods by someone because of their disability. This wouldn’t apply to those with a medical need for raw milk.

The next logical court proceeding would be to copy Regina versus Parker (click here), where where the Court found that the prohibition on cannabis was unconstitutional because there was no exemption for medical use. This paved the way for the legalization of cannabis. We now need a “raw milk Parker,” someone who is medically disadvantaged without raw milk, to come forward to initiate a replica charter challenge. Please send us a comment if you can help with this.