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Swat Team Conducts "Food Raid" in Rural Ohio ^ | Thu, 4 Dec 2008 | John Loeffler

Posted on 12/07/2008 3:48:32 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the “bad cop” SWAT team was relieved by another team, a “good cop” team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse

on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.

There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly supicious-looking .

Agents began rifling through all of the family’s possessions, a task that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family’s personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down. There was no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.

Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type interrogation for a 3^rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State regulation and enforcement over the nation’s private food supply.

This same type of abusive search and seizure was reported by those innocents who fell victim to oppressive federal drug laws passed in the 1990s. The present circumstance raises the obvious question: is there some rabid new interpretation of an existing drug law that considers food a controlled substance worthy of a nasty SWAT operation? Or worse, is there a previously unrecognized provision(s) pertaining to food in the Homeland Security measures? Some have suggested that it was merely an out-of-control, hot-to-trot ODA agent, and, if so, this would be a best-case scenario. Anything else might spell the beginning of the end for the freedom to eat unregulated and unmonitored. food

One blogger

familiar with the Ohio situation has reported that:

“Interestingly, I believe they [Manna Storehouse] said a month or so ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and claimed to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op. Both the owner and her daughter-in- law had a horrible feeling about the man, and decided not to allow him into the co-op and notified him by certified mail. He came back to the co-op demanding to be part of it. They refused and gave him names of other businesses and health food stores closer to his home. Not coincidentally, this man was there yesterday as part of the raid.”

The same blog

also noted that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been chastised by the courts in several previous instances for its aggression, including trying to entrap an Amish man in a raw milk “sale,”

which backfired when it became known that the Amish believe in a literal interpretation of “give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42)

The issue appears to be the discovery of a bit of non-institutional beef in an Oberlin College food service freezer a year ago that was tracked down by a county sanitation official to Manna Storehouse. Oberlin College’s student food coop is widely known for its strident ideological stance about eating organic foods. It seems that the Oberlin student food cooperative had joined the Manna Storehouse food cooperative in order to buy organic foods in bulk from the national organic food distributor United http://www.unitedbu yingclubs. com/

, which services buying clubs across the nation. The sanitation official, James Boddy, evidently contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture. After the first contact by state ODA officials, Manna Storehouse reportedly wrote them a letter requesting assistance and guidelines for complying with the law. This letter was never answered. Rather, the ODA agent tried several times to infiltrate the coop, as described above. When his attempts failed, the SWAT team showed up!

Food cooperatives and buying clubs have been an active part of the American landscape for over a generation. In the 1970s, with the rise of the organic food industry (a direct outgrowth of the hippie back-to-nature movement) food coops started up all over the country. These were groups of people who freely associated for the purpose of combining their buying power so that they could order organic food items in bulk and case lots. Anyone who was part of these coops in the early era will remember the messy breakdown of 35 pounds of peanut butter and 5 gallon drums of honey!

These buying clubs have persisted and flourished over the years due to their ability to purchase high quality organic foods at reduced prices in bulk quantities. Most cooperatives have participated greatly in the local agrarian economies, supporting neighborhood organic farmers with purchases of produce, eggs, chickens, etc. The groups also purchase food from a number of different local, regional and national distributors, many of them family-based businesses who truck the food themselves. Some of these food cooperatives have become large enough to set up mini-storefront operations where members can drop in and purchase items leftover from case lot sales. Manna Storehouse had established itself in such a manner, using a small enclosed breezeway attached to their home. It was a folksy place with old wooden floors where coop members stopped by to chat and snack on bags of organic corn chips.

The state of Ohio boasts the second largest Amish population in the country. Many of the Amish live on acreages where they raise their own food, not unlike Manna Storehouse, and sell off the extras to neighbors and church members. There is a sense of foreboding that this state crackdown on a longstanding, reputable food cooperative operation could adversely impact the peaceful agrarian way of life not only for the Amish, but homeschoolers and those families living off the land on rural acreages. It raises the disturbing possibility that it could become a crime to raise your own food, buy eggs from the farmer down the road, or butcher your own chickens for family and friends – bustling activities that routinely take place in backwater America.

The freedom to purchase food directly form the source is increasingly under attack. For those who have food allergies and chemical intolerances, or who are on special medical diets, this is becoming a serious health issue. Will Americans retain the right to purchase food that is uncontaminated by pesticides, herbicides, allergens, additives, dyes, preservatives, MSG, GMOs, radiation, etc.? The melamine scare from China underscores the increasingly inferior and suspect quality of modern processed institutional foods. One blog, commenting on the bizarre and troubling Manna Storehouse situation, observed that:

“No one is saying exactly why. At the same time the FDA says it it safe to eat the 40% of tainted beef found in Costco's and Sam's all over the nation. These farm raids are very common now. Every farmer needs to fully eqiped [sic] for the possibility of it happening to them. The Farmer To Consumer Legal Defense Fund

http://www.ftcldf. org/

was created just for this purpose. The USDA just released their plans to put a law into action that will put all small farmers out of business. Animals for the sale of meat or milk will only be allowed in commercial farms, even the organic ones.” December 3, 2008 7:09 PM file://localhost/ comment.g

John Loeffler

Western Bureau Chief

Steel on Steel Radio Program

IRN/USA Radio News

P.O. Box 3358

Hayden Id 83835-3358

Tel: 208-765-8337

Fax: 208-765-2033


Web: www.steelonsteel. com

Distributed by:

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: bob152; food; gmo; raid; socialism; survival
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How fast are we going to become a police state? 2009? 2010? Is there a pool going? Scary!
1 posted on 12/07/2008 3:48:33 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

We can expect raids like this to increase as the party of REALLY Big Government is in complete charge now.

2 posted on 12/07/2008 3:50:59 PM PST by skeeter
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

This has been posted numerous times, but keep it going.

IMO this needs major play from MSM’s like Fox.

3 posted on 12/07/2008 3:52:25 PM PST by tired1 (responsibility without authority is slavery!)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Links from the article (some were broken in the original)

4 posted on 12/07/2008 3:52:53 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Join us on the best FR thread, 7000+ posts:
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To: tired1

arrgh, I will ask the Admin to delete if it’s a duplicate. The one time I don’t search...

5 posted on 12/07/2008 3:53:32 PM PST by TenthAmendmentChampion (Join us on the best FR thread, 7000+ posts:
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Big Brother is there to protect you from everything but the one thing you really need to be protected from: Big Brother....

6 posted on 12/07/2008 3:54:02 PM PST by freebilly
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To: freebilly
“Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?”

[Who watches the Watchmen?]

7 posted on 12/07/2008 3:56:40 PM PST by Salamander (Blue Oyster Cult: The soundtrack for the revolution.)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Go raid some illegals’ houses first.

8 posted on 12/07/2008 3:56:41 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

There’s GOTTA be lotsa mo’ to this story (that’s a Mr. T/Clubber Lang expression). Because if there isn’t, some jackbooted folks are going to do some hard time.

9 posted on 12/07/2008 3:59:16 PM PST by Migraine (Diversity is great... ...until it happens to YOU.)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Morgana
So they raided Amish people?

Why not!

They are peaceful, non-aggressive people that don't have weapons....

Less chance for jack-booted thug to get his head shot off....

11 posted on 12/07/2008 4:05:32 PM PST by dirtbiker (Joe Biden has an IQ of 146 and no idea how to use it....)
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To: Calpernia


12 posted on 12/07/2008 4:05:39 PM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Time to increase my holdings in canned goods and ammo.

13 posted on 12/07/2008 4:07:16 PM PST by stockpirate (Democrat Syndrome, psychological disorder that makes victims loyal to their abusers)
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To: Migraine

you’re joking right? when has any JBT done any hard time? there are always those who can’t believe what’s been going on for some time.. those folks are the frogs in the pot.

14 posted on 12/07/2008 4:08:32 PM PST by Awestruck (Now if we can only get the rest of the "republican" leaders to stand up to the liberals.)
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To: skeeter
>"the party of REALLY Big Government is in complete charge now."

What gave it away? The sycophantic toadying of Jorge, open borders, I'll rubber stamp anything brain dead Ted hands me? Or the we'll take your pie in the sky dreams of the ever changing hopenotized masses?

15 posted on 12/07/2008 4:09:26 PM PST by rawcatslyentist (I will stand with the Muslims ~B Hussein Obomunist ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Verito Possumus~Verified Sleeper!)
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To: stockpirate

You do realise that there are anti-hoarding laws on the books going back to World War II. I also believe that there are some presidential order and directives that go into effect when FEMA is activated in an area.

Not that I think those apply to this case. This appears to be a pattern on cracking down on farm fresh foods that haven’t gone through the “Food Processing Process”

16 posted on 12/07/2008 4:10:33 PM PST by The Working Man (Any work is better than "welfare"!)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Has anybody asked Clair Wolfe if it’s time now

17 posted on 12/07/2008 4:13:06 PM PST by Charlespg
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To: freebilly
Bitter Harvest for Small Farms
18 posted on 12/07/2008 4:14:37 PM PST by Darnright (A penny saved is a government oversight)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
BIG Food / BIG Brother Alert
Yes...America, You got "your change" alright
Welcome to "Red Messiah" Obambi's AmeriKa
19 posted on 12/07/2008 4:17:46 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (just b/c you're paranoid, doesn't mean "they" aren't out to get you.. :^)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
How fast are we going to become a police state? 2009? 2010? Is there a pool going? Scary!

Well, when whole segments of our Republican base see if fine for LE agents to discharge their weapons and lie about, not file proper-required-full-AARs (because the perp wasn't a legal citizen ...after-the-fact) likely not too much longer.

This case above, appears to be on the surface, another great leap of our out of control LE agencies / Gov't on all levels.

20 posted on 12/07/2008 4:20:43 PM PST by SevenMinusOne
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