eating-what-we-choose

Raw Milk Public Interest Soars As Politics Escalate

As Trial Nears for One Farm, the Supporters Take Action on Raw Milk Public Interest Policy and Access

Toronto, Canada– September 23, 2016—Raw milk itself is on trial, say supporters, at a Monday September 26, two-day hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice. The past year has seen an unprecedented rise in consumer awareness, demand, and action to obtain this food. Raw milk drinkers cite a number of reasons for drinking raw milk from health reasons and taste, to political. For some immigrants, raw milk is a staple food in their native country.

The Ministry of Health does not think anyone should be able to access raw milk or drinking the beverage. The hearing will be held in the court building at 50 Eagle Street, West, Newmarket, Ontario.

In January of this year, York Region, The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry Health filed an application to get an injunction against the distribution or sale of raw milk against Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Glencolton Farms, Agricultural Renewal Coop and anyone who provides, distributes or recommends raw milk. The hearing is to determine if the applications can be converted into an action. If successful, this would change the dynamics of the procedure from a hearing to a proper trial. People interested in procuring raw milk want this case to appear before a jury. Our Farm, Our Food Coop, one of the many organizations in support of consumer choice, has filed a motion to intervene as an added party to the proceedings, which would give all members a voice to defend their right to the foods of their choice.

Elisa Vander Hout, spokesperson for Agricultural Renewal Coop, says that “In response to the court action instigated by various health units and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, mothers, fathers, pastors and other interested parties, have filed over 70 affidavits with the court to show the public interest in this case,” claiming, “it is not as simple as the crown implies.”

“These court proceedings give the public a voice. The message is loud and clear: people want access to the foods of their choice and demand respect for that. Canadians don’t want the government conducting armed raids on innocent, peaceful farmers to take away food choice,” Elisa adds.

On September 20, 2016, a petition was presented to the House of Commons to change the policy on raw milk. The government will review the petition, and issue a response to the 5000+ public supporters who signed it. The petition was in the top 20 ever for the official petition site.

Petition creator Cory Harris says “This petition represents a small sampling of Canadians interested in food choice and food security. Supporters have sent thousands of individually written letters to the Minister of Health asking the government to modernize their position.

Dozens of organizations representing millions of Canadians have signed a letter to Minister Jane Phillpott citing the science and research supporting our request. After 22 years of requesting progress on the raw milk issue, we expect to see constructive dialogue and change.”

Our Farms, Our Foods Coop is a 200 member cooperative formed for the purpose of boarding personal cows with a responsible dairyman. The group is just one of the many interested stakeholders in the petition to the Canadian Parliament. For additional information on raw milk www.realmilk.com

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Urgent Update on Glencolton Farms

To survive the government harassment, Michael and Elisa of Glencolton Farms make an urgent appeal for legal defense funds.

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt on food freedom

As the Canadian government continues their targeted harassment of Michael Schmidt, farmer at Glencolton Farms, the legal cases continue through the Canadian court system. Michael Schmidt’s 23 year-battle with the Canadian government has entered a new chapter. This time, the Canadian government has taken a new approach by targeting all consumers of raw milk in addition to the farmers.

 

 

Agents harass Michael and Elisa and other farm owners while raiding Glencolton Farms

In this video, that is sure to make your blood boil, Canadian agents threaten peaceful farmers while farm co-owners express their opinions in October of 2015.

Current Court Battles

In February of 2016, the Provincial government filed an application for injunction against Michael Schmidt, his wife and son and, for the first time, all the herdshare members or anyone involved in distribution including property owners who allow their space to be used as a drop site for Glencolton Farms.

At a past court hearing on March 16, 2016, the court set a date in September for the final hearing on the applications. Since that time, Michael and attorneys for the coop have successfully argued for a separate hearing on the motion to have a jury trial. It is unlikely that this case will be heard as soon as September. Whether it happens sooner or later, Michael Schmidt and the Canadian people need your support to continue this fight and to set a beneficial precedent.

Michael and Elisa recently sent out a message to their supporters reminding them that legal fees are necessary and should be shared by all with an interest in Glencolton Farms or raw milk from any source. Since this case will be watched throughout Canada and the US, it is imperative that those of us who care about food access and the farmers who feed us also take note and contribute where we can.

Letter from Michael and Elisa to supporters:

(For additional information and background on the case, the Bovine has comprehensive coverage of the cases and actions against food freedom related to Glencolton Farms.)

June 2016

Dear Supporters,

By now you must know that Government is very serious to shut down any attempts of people to make an informed choice about their milk, their food and their individual relationship to their farmer and farmer to their shareholders.

This battle is going on for me now over 22 years. I have been in and out of court so many times that it is impossible to even count. Endless nights are spent on formulating defence, filing papers, responding to new threats.

Our beloved farm has been the focus of at least 3 major raids with up to 25 armed officers.

I have fines of over 100 000 dollars hanging over my head, got a jail sentence in BC for helping a raw milk farm there.

We are now in our last round. There is so much at stake that we at Glencolton Farms might as well pack it in unless supporters of food freedom understand that we cannot do it alone.

We are willing to fight. But we are not willing to worry 24 hours a day how to pay the lawyer to defend that last action.

We keep shelving out money, some money comes in from some members and a trickle here and there from other farmers. That is NOT enough.

We are not able to continue this fight unless we know that everyone will do ALL you can to raise legal funds.

We don’t have the money either, but we have to keep paying and paying and paying out of our last resources.

We are asking all our supporters and all those who want food freedom to please step up:

10 dollars a week, or 50 dollars a month or 500 dollars in one shot.

Unless we raise these funds we will have absolutely no chance of succeeding.

So we might as well pack it in now put a for sale sign up and look back in 10 years how we have miserably failed to bring about positive change.

Thank you for your support. It is through a true community and through our efforts together that we will succeed. Please donate directly to our legal expenses here.

The time is now

Elisa and Michael

Note: if you are donating from the US, the exchange rate is currently to our advantage; your generosity will go further in Canada. Thank you

To learn more about raw milk and other nutrient dense foods, visit westonaprice.org

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