food police

On August 3rd, Rawsome Foods, a Los Angeles area private raw foods buying club, was raided by an armed SWAT-style combined-force team of agents from the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

The “crime” the authorities were acting upon was “conspiracy” related to the sale of unpasteurized raw milk products—specifically raw goats’ milk and cheese.

NaturalNews reported that the raid was conducted like a “terrorist operation,” where the agents immediately went after Rawesome’s cash and then began vandalizing and destroying the store’s entire inventory. Feds not only seized cash and raw milk supplies (most of which was dumped down sink and sewer drains) but also mangos and other fresh organic produce. The raid, said the report, was “an act of economic terrorism” against a legitimate, ethical business selling wholesome, healthful products to a group of happy and satisfied members.

On the same day, Healthy Family Farms, a sustainable, pasture-based farming operation in Santa Paula CA, was also raided by SWAT teams. Healthy Family Farms is Rawsome Foods’ supplier of the goat milk. “We raise all our livestock on pasture,” said a spokesperson for the farm. “We raise all of our animals from birth. We do not feed any of our animals soy, choosing instead to feed animals as they are designed to be fed. This results in healthy, sturdy animals needing no hormones, antibiotics, or other artificial ‘enhancements.’ We harvest our animals humanely by hand before they are delivered to the farmers’ markets. We never freeze our products.”

Rawsome Foods’ founder James Stewart and Healthy Family Farms’ owner Sharon Palmer were arrested and charged under sections of the California Penal Code Section 182a. James was handcuffed, was not read his rights, and was stuffed into an unmarked car. While agents said they would leave behind a warrant, it is unclear if such a warrant existed at the time of the raid or if such warrant is even complete.

Additional charges may also be pending, including a charge of ‘mislabeling cheese’ against Sharon Palmer. A third person, Victoria Bloch (who is the LA County liaison for the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit nutrition education organization) was also arrested. Each was held on bail reportedly exceeding $120,000, with no possibility of using bail bonds. Law enforcement has made the illegal demand that if they could come up with the money to cover bail, they must disclose to authorities all sources of that money.

At a subsequent hearing, the defendants were allowed to bail out of jail, but only under the condition that they give up their First Amendment rights and refrain from talking to anyone about the case. NaturalNews said that this gag order is “an effort by the California court system to try to quell the rising tidal wave of public outrage against the armed government raids against a raw dairy farm and private buyer’s club—a raid that many people who witnessed it described, in their own words, as ‘government terrorism’ against the People.”

Raw foods proponents contend that pasteurization of milk and cheese creates “dead” products; raw milk and cheese, by contrast, are “living” foods that have near-miracle effects on people’s general health. Many raw foods advocates believe that the industrial food supply is being purposely degraded in nutritional value by irradiation and adulterated with additives with the intention of “dumbing-down” the population and fostering an array of chronic health conditions to enrich the pharmaceutical and health care industries. They often point to the successful efforts of Monsanto and other industrial food production companies to criminalize organic farming and, using novel laws surrounding their patented genetically-modified seed strains, to curtail traditional food production all over the world. “The Obama administration, which has already gone out of its way to promote yet more GMOs in the food supply, is now overseeing government-sponsored terrorism against the health food movement,” they say.

What is going on?

I first realized corporate control of the nation’s food supply had gone too far with the introduction of two bills being pushed through Congress, HR 875 and S 425, through which organic farming would be criminalized through under the guise of “food safety modernization.” These bills are backed by giant food companies Monsanto, Cargill, Tyson, and ADM, and have 40 congressional sponsors. (Stan Greenburg, a political strategist and husband of the lead House sponsor, Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut, is on Monsanto’s payroll). The bills are so broadly written, even backyard gardens and orchards would fall under the government’s authority.

Yesterday Paco and I had a very interesting conversation about these developments. “Things are never as they seem on the surface,” he said and offered his perspective.

“Why would the CDC and FDA be involved in this raid?” he asked.

“What most people don’t realize is that radiation emissions from Fukushima are far higher than what we are being told by the US and Japanese governments.”

A blogger who reads local Japanese news sources to get Fukushima information before it is distorted by the controlled media says the damaged power plant is releasing 154 terabequerels of radiation per day, and that much of it is being carried on the winds to California where it contaminates grass food sources eaten by dairy animals.

California is the biggest milk-producing state in the US, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. California officials are screening milk produced in the state for signs of radiation contamination transmitted by grass-eating dairy animals, said Howard Backer, interim director of the California Department of Public Health, at a March press conference.

California authorities are reassuring residents that any radiation drifting across the ocean from Japan’s earthquake-damaged nuclear reactors will not pose any health threat. At the same time, Paco said, the government has been downplaying the importance of EPA contamination limits (which do not allow drinking water to contain more than 3 picoCuries per liter of radioactive istotopes like iodine-131 and cesium-137), and is relying instead on FDA standards (which allow up to 4,700 picoCuries of iodine-131 in a liter of milk and up to 33,000 picoCuries of cesium-137).

“Iodine-131 decays with a half-life of 8.02 days,” Paco said. “Pasteurized milk has a much longer shelf-life than raw milk. My guess is the real reason the government is coming down so hard on the raw milk people is that they want pasteurized milk used so the isotopes have more time to decay to lower levels.

” But the government isn’t telling the truth because they don’t want people in California to panic about all the radioactive pollution that’s literally raining down on them.”

Paco reminded me that an estimated 4,000 children and adolescents developed thyroid cancer after consuming milk contaminated with radioactive iodine-131 after the explosion and meltdown at the nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “The effects in California could eventually be much greater,” Paco said.

I would never have made this connection, but Paco did. He’s a damned genius.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to the Gandharvas performing “Milk Ocean”


6 Responses to “food police”

  1. 1 jlee
    August 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    What about the previous raid on Rawesome? 30June2010
    That raid was conducted very much the same way.

    • August 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Yes, I read about that raid and that it was very similar. The Feds must have a great desire to get these people… or, at least, someone in authority does. If you’re doing something as outrageous as criminalizing the growing of tomatoes in your back yard, it must be difficult at times to keep the troops in line. Even obedient cops question authority. At the very least, the fallout theory would conveniently provide a cover story to motivate the SWAT teams. But this is just a theory.

  2. August 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Fight to take back your food. I urge everyone to join the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. This is the group that takes legal action when these kinds of events happen. http://www.ftcldf.org/

  3. August 11, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Dan, Do you have links to the bills mentioned? At the library of Congress on-line, I’m coming up with different bills than the ones discussed. I might be doing something wrong within the search. On Care2 a search on “S 510” brings up a lot of linked news stories but one commenter states S 510 is a hoax. ??? http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php

  4. 5 Christy
    August 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    People that are selling real food without artificial hormones, enhancements, etc get arrested and treated like a threat to society, but people selling poison in foods don’t get punished?? What is wrong with the government?? They are going after the wrong people. Being from California, this is just ridiculous

  5. 6 Cliff Ginty
    September 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Nicely put from a fantastic blogger

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