Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist
The Milk Act of 1938 made it illegal to sell raw (unpasteurized) milk in Canada. In November 2006, twenty-five armed officers staged a raid at Michael Schmidt’s farm, confiscating milk, equipment, computers and files. This film follows an activist farmer as he struggles to continue providing his “farm fresh milk” while battling authorities, preparing for his trial, and attempting to find a political solution to legally provide raw milk in Canada. The film follows the unfolding events of the raw vs. pasteurized milk “war” from both sides of the issue—from a farmer, with the courage to challenge the laws of Canada, to the powerful $6 billion milk industry. The industry argues that only pasteurized milk should be allowed in the marketplace in order to protect the public’s health—and their milk ‘brand’. Eminent research scientists present scientific facts about pathogens and milk nutrition—while Michael’s cow-share members tell their stories of raw milk’s benefits in their lives. A Medical Officer of Health explains the public health policy that is in place to protect the public from any unsafe food products, even if it does infringe on their individual rights. The Minister of Agriculture is determined to stick with the status quo—the science seems irrefutable and the politics unmovable. But, consider that raw milk is legal in all other G8 countries, including 28 US states. In California, it is readily available in stores and supermarkets. Michael travels there to visit the largest raw milk supplier in the USA, and discovers that even there the pressure to stop raw milk is fierce.
raw milk, public health policy,