Press Statement [from Michael Schmidt] regarding recent inappropriate anti raw milk actions by Government agents in Ontario:
Government Agencies of Ontario on behalf of certain interest groups has been trying lately to jeopardize and undermine the current legal standing of cow shares in Ontario.
Michael Schmidt’s acquittal on all charges relating to the Milk Act and the Health and Promotion Act has created concerns within the dairy industry, and related Government Agencies.
For seventeen years Schmidt’s repeated efforts to engage in a constructive dialogue with all agencies involved have fallen on deaf ears despite that Canada is the only G8 country with a raw milk prohibition.
After his acquittal Schmidt immediately founded Cow Share Canada Inc. to establish guidelines and logistics for the education, training and accreditation of Cow Share operations in order to provide cow share members with quality standards for the production of raw milk in Ontario.
He created Cow Share College with the help of Tim Wightman the leading Cow Share specialist in the US and trained so far over 25 farmers. This is, along with testing and inspection, a requirement in order to get accredited as a “legal cow share” operation in Ontario.
Several weeks ago cow share operators send raw milk samples into the Government funded food lab to be tested for food safety purposes. Their request was denied with the explanation that only licensed dairy farms are allowed to test their milk in this lab.
After detailed inquiries and requests for information by the President of the National Farmers Union of Ontario, the Agri Food Lab at the University of Guelph admitted that they had been ordered from above to deny testing to cow share operations. Sean McGivern the NFU Ontario President forced a review of this non-existing policy and resolved the matter within a few days. This once again shows that this issue is all about power and control and not about food safety.
Recently Paul and Cathy Noble became the first farmers to receive their accreditation from Cow Share Canada. Subsequently they got flooded with requests for memberships.
Last week 5 Government agents tried to enter the farm, which was denied. They threatened the farmers couple that it would be in their best interest to meet with them and discuss their illegal activity.
After many unsuccessful attempts by Paul Noble to reach them they informed the Nobles in the evening before the proposed meeting day that “it was not necessary to meet anymore”. Most likely because they heard that immediately after the news broke of their failed intimidation attempt that a major support rally was to take place at the farm.
Despite very bad weather many supporters and cow share members showed up for the rally, confirming their willingness to stand and protect their farmer with whatever it takes.