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Raw milk scheme ends in three-month sentences for farmers

Raw milk is bottled by a dairy farm employee.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

Two Chilliwack dairy farmers have been handed three-month suspended sentences for selling contraband cow's milk disguised as cosmetics.

Michael Schmidt and Gordon Watson have been sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court to one year of probation for civil contempt, and will end up behind bars if they breach a court order again that bans them from selling the outlawed libation during that period.

The men package unpasteurized milk from a cow-share co-op to distribute to co-op members.

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The illicit milk was described by the Our Cows enterprise as a cosmetic product but it contained just one ingredient – raw milk.

Health Canada requires all milk sold commercially in Canada to be pasteurized, because the federal agency says the raw product contains harmful bacteria including salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.

Opponents of the regulation say raw milk has health benefits destroyed in the heating process of pasteurization.

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