The arm of the law came down on a cow co-operative in British Colombia names Chilliwack, naming local farmers Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson for civil contempt of the supreme court.
The courts handed out three month suspended sentences to Schmidt and Watson, who were warned that they could face jail if they continue to breach a court order prohibiting them to sell raw milk in the course of the next year.
Marketing raw milk as cosmetics
Schmidt recently took over a raw milk producing farm that supplies products to co-operative members in the Vancouver metro area. It had been claimed that the supply of this milk side-stepped Canada’s total ban on raw milk sales because they were co-op members.
Since taking over the farm, Schmidt has tried to sustain the business by selling the raw milk products under the name ‘Our Cows’, marketing the products as cosmetics and not as food, according to a report in the publication CTV British Colombia.
British Colombia Health Authorities sounded the alarm bell after Schmidt applied to Health Canada to market the unpasteurized dairy products under the name ‘Cleopatra’s Enzymatic Milk Lotion’, sold for its skin care properties.
Raw milk 'not intended for human consumption'
Schmidt told the Supreme Court that the products were not intended for human consumption, but when questioned over the fact that the product line only contained one ingredient – raw milk – his argument became less than water tight.
“In this case, distributing raw milk as a purported cosmetic product was patent lip service and ruse to distribute raw milk for human consumption,” the supreme court wrote in the official papers relating to the case.
Canada is currently one of the few countries in the developed world where it is illegal to sell raw milk products in any form, and the only country within the G8 where the practice is completely outlawed.