Justice of the Peace acquits Ontario dairyman in raw milk case
In what can be termed as a windfall for Canada's food-rights crusade, a Newmarket court has acquitted the Ontario dairyman Michael Schmidt, dismissing a line up of raw-milk-related charges against him.
The decision by Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky astounded even the defendant himself, who was fighting the legal battle for the last 16 years, and facing 19 charges related to distribution of raw milk and cheeses and public health.
Upholding the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Milk Act, the two legislations under which Schmidt was charged, Justice of the Peace Schmidt said that the verdict the case is based on the “cow-sharing” arrangement - between Schmidt and his raw dairy buffs - which is not a violation of the law.
The verdict said that Schmidt had basically distributed raw dairy products only to the joint-owners of cows – and these people knew very well that the milk they were consuming was raw - and not to the public in general.
Justice Kowarsky also noted that while selling, delivering or distributing un-pasteurized or un-sterilized milk or cream is legal, consuming such products is legal. The Justice further said that there was “no indication that the cows and milk were anything other than clean and hygienic. It is essential to note that no one ever became ill because of the consumption of the milk products.”
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