Raw milk farmer loses bid
OTTAWA—The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from an Ontario farmer who has long championed the right to sell and drink unpasteurized milk, but he says “it’s not the end of the road.”
The top court’s refusal to hear Michael Schmidt’s case—as is usual, it did not provide reasons—means his 2011 convictions of 13 charges under the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act that saw him fined $9,150 stand.
The Ontario government maintains the unprocessed milk poses a significant risk to public health, but Schmidt insists there’s no evidence anyone has ever fallen ill from his milk.
He and his supporters argue raw milk offers health benefits.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the road at all,” Schmidt said from his farm in Durham, Ont., south of Owen Sound.
“I think it was a ruling on a very specific case, a very specific situation,” he noted.
“I think it will become much more a political issue now than a legal issue.”
Ontario does not ban the consumption of raw milk and farmers are allowed to drink the milk produced by their own cows.
Earlier court decisions have found that Schmidt’s method of allowing consumers to buy an ownership interest in a dairy cow was little more than a way to circumvent the rules.