Ontario raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt loses conviction appeal

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TORONTO - Ontario's top court has slapped down an Ontario farmer who has long championed the right to sell and drink unpasteurized milk.

The court upheld a 2011 conviction against Michael Schmidt that saw him fined $9,150.

In its ruling, the court said Schmidt's "cow-share" scheme — in which consumers supposedly bought an ownership interest in a dairy cow — was little more than a way to circumvent public-health rules.

Schmidt has been involved in a 20-year battle to make unpasteurized milk available to non-farmers.

The province has always insisted the unprocessed milk poses a significant risk to public health.

The Appeal Court said it saw no solid evidence to refute that view.

Geographic location: Ontario, TORONTO

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