CANADA: 'Raw milk' farmer fined, placed on probation
Posted: November 26th, 2011 - 6:10pm
Source: Montreal Gazette
NEWMARKET, Ont. -- An Ontario dairy farmer was fined $9,150 and placed on a year's probation Friday for making and providing raw milk and cheese through a cow-share business.
Michael Schmidt was found guilty on appeal last September on 13 charges related to the production, sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk under the province's Health Protection and Promotion Act.
An earlier court decision in January 2010 had acquitted Schmidt of all the charges.
In Canada, it is illegal to market, sell, distribute or deliver unpasteurized milk or cream. Yet it is legal for farmers and their immediate families to drink raw milk or to use it to make cheese.
Schmidt admitted he supplied raw milk to 150 families through a cow-share business in which he sold $300 memberships for partial shares in 26 cows he keeps at Glencolton Farms, about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Toronto.
He argued raw milk has greater health benefits than pasteurized milk and that consumers should have a right to decide what to put in their bodies.
Ontario Justice Peter Tetley acknowledged the more than 60 people in the courtroom Friday were a testament to Schmidt's character.