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Raids are increasing on farms and private food-supply clubs
Grist ^ | 14 July 2010 | David Gumpert

Posted on 07/14/2010 12:49:09 PM PDT by Lorianne

When the 20 agents arrived bearing a search warrant at her Ventura County farmhouse door at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday a couple weeks back, Sharon Palmer didn't know what to say. This was the third time she was being raided in 18 months, and she had thought she was on her way to resolving the problem over labeling of her goat cheese that prompted the other two raids. (In addition to producing goat's milk, she raises cattle, pigs, and chickens, and makes the meat available via a CSA.)

But her 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, wasn't the least bit tongue-tied. "She started back-talking to them," recalls Palmer. "She said, 'If you take my computer again, I can't do my homework.' This would be the third computer we will have lost. I still haven't gotten the computers back that they took in the previous two raids."

As part of a five-hour-plus search of her barn and home, the agents -- from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Ventura County Sheriff, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture -- took the replacement computer, along with milk she feeds her chickens and pigs.

While no one will say officially what the purpose of this latest raid was, aside from being part of an investigation in progress, what is very clear is that government raids of producers, distributors, and even consumers of nutritionally dense foods appear to be happening ever more frequently. Sometimes they are meant to counter raw dairy production, other times to challenge private food organizations over whether they should be licensed as food retailers.

The same day Sharon Palmer's farm was raided, there was a raid on Rawesome Foods, a Venice, Calif., private food club run by nutritionist and raw-food advocate Aajonus Vonderplanitz. For a membership fee of $25, consumers can purchase unpasteurized dairy products, eggs that are not only organic but unwashed, and a wide assortment of fermented vegetables and other products.

The main difference in the two raids seems to be that Palmer's raiding party was actually much smaller, about half the size of the Venice contingent: Vonderplanitz was also visited by the FBI and the FDA.

In the Rawesome raid, agents made off with several thousand dollars worth of raw honey and raw dairy products. They also shut Rawesome for failure to have a public health permit, though the size and scope of the raid suggests the government officials might have more in mind. Regardless, within hours the outlet reopened in defiance of the shutdown order.

Earlier in June, agents of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, escorted by police and also bearing search warrants, raided and shut down Traditional Foods Warehouse, a popular food club in Minneapolis specializing in locally-produced foods. They also raided two farms suspected of illegally selling raw milk. And in a national first among such raids, agents searched a private home and made off with computers; the family's offense appears to have been that it allowed one of the raw dairy farmers to park in its driveway to distribute raw milk to area residents who had ordered it.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has declined comment on such raids, saying they are part of an ongoing investigation into raw milk distribution in the state in lieu of eight illnesses in May linked to raw milk.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has launched three raids over the last three months on the dairy farm and farm store of Vernon Hershberger, near Madison. The day after DATCP agents placed seals on his fridges storing raw dairy products in July, Hershberger cut the seals, and announced he was going to challenge the agency's contention he needs a dairy and retail license to sell his products. Obtaining such licenses would be problematic, though, since Wisconsin prohibits sale of raw milk, except "incidental" sales, and defining "incidental" has been a bone of contention for many years. In any event, Hershberger contends he sells only to consumers who contract privately for his food.

What's behind all these raids? They seem to stem from increasing concern at both the state and federal level about the spread of private food groups that have sprung up around the country in recent years -- food clubs and buying groups to provide specialized local products that are generally unavailable in groceries, like grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, fermented foods, and, in some cases, raw dairy products. Because they are private and limited to consumers who sign up for membership, these groups generally avoid obtaining retail and public health licenses required of retailers that sell to the general public.

In late 2008 and early 2009, the representatives of state agriculture agencies in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois met via phone conferences with representatives of the FDA to map a plan for targeting raw-milk buying clubs in the Midwest. The meetings came to light after Max Kane, the owner of a Wisconsin buying club who was subpoenaed by Wisconsin authorities for the names of his customers and suppliers, obtained email accounts of the sessions via a Freedom of Information request to Wisconsin's Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection department. (Kane has since been prosecuted by Wisconsin authorities for contempt of court for failing to give up the names; his case is under appeal after he was found guilty last December.)

Now, the Midwest program seems to have gone national, and the recent spate of raids suggests a quickening pace and broadened scope. While most raids before the Midwest government meetings had been related to raw-milk distribution, some, like a December 2008 armed raid of Manna Storehouse, an Ohio food club near Cleveland, have been about licensing issues. In that raid, armed law enforcement officers held a mother and eight young children being home-schooled at gunpoint for several hours while they searched the home and food storage areas. A legal challenge to the raid by the family is still tied up in court.

The current uptick has Pete Kennedy of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund concerned, not only about the spreading of the raids, but about the seemingly easy willingness of judges to hand out search warrants. While the U.S. Constitution's fourth amendment suggests judges should exercise tight controls over search warrants ("no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."), Kennedy observes, "I haven't seen an agency turned down yet" over the last four years in requests for search warrants connected with raw milk and other food production and distribution.

Given that the targets of search warrants don't get a say in court as to whether they should be issued, legal experts and those who have been raided say the most that food producers can do is take steps to prepare themselves to weather the raids as best they can.

Here are five suggestions they offer:

(excerpted)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: 2manylaws; 2muchgovernment; donutwatch; farms; fda; foodclubs; foodsupply; jbts; lping; raids; rapeofliberty; rawmilk
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1 posted on 07/14/2010 12:49:11 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne
Big brother government......give ya everything you need and reserves the right to take everything you have.

Vote out the RINOs, vote conservative ALL the time....not the lesser of two evils.

2 posted on 07/14/2010 12:54:52 PM PDT by servantboy777
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To: Lorianne

I was recently talking to my oldest son, who is financially savvy.

I asked what would be a good place to move my stock investments.

His recommendations:

1. Your own livestock for meat, dairy, and eggs

2. Heirloom seed stock

3. Gold

4. Ammunition

He is not a tinfoiler, either.


3 posted on 07/14/2010 12:55:33 PM PDT by Westbrook (Having children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Lorianne

Well, you can’t have people who aren’t dependant upon the industrial agribusiness supply chain. Government needs everyone dependant so they are pliable.


4 posted on 07/14/2010 12:55:35 PM PDT by highlander_UW (Education is too important to abdicate control of it to the government)
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To: Lorianne

the agents — from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Ventura County Sheriff, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture — took the replacement computer, along with milk she feeds her chickens and pigs.

You’d think that LA would have real crimes to deal with.


5 posted on 07/14/2010 12:56:15 PM PDT by freedomfiter2
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To: Lorianne

If you control the food supply. You control the people. All part of the plan.


6 posted on 07/14/2010 12:57:45 PM PDT by 506Lake (Study your history; not the news media.)
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To: Lorianne

One of the reasons I gladly pay my taxes is that I appreciate a strong government that can protect me and my family from these operations that are poisoning the population at an alarming rate.

Oh, and /s


7 posted on 07/14/2010 12:58:10 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: highlander_UW
Plus they have so many stormtroopers on payroll now in various interdepartmental capacities, they need to have playdates for them.
8 posted on 07/14/2010 12:58:13 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: Lorianne

all this over raw milk?


9 posted on 07/14/2010 12:58:28 PM PDT by griswold3 ('Regulation and law without enforcement is no law at all)
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To: Lorianne

Here in NC I recently heard of one of these buying clubs that transports unpasturized milk products (and other stuff) across state lines to NC. It was stated that they come from “Amish farms up north” that supply the club. I told the person promoting the club that I think one would be taking one’s life into one’s hands if one chose to consume such unpasturized products.


10 posted on 07/14/2010 12:58:53 PM PDT by rhoda_penmark
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To: Lorianne

“these groups generally avoid obtaining retail and public health licenses required of retailers that sell to the general public.’

The gov’t mafia isn’t getting its’ cut.


11 posted on 07/14/2010 1:01:03 PM PDT by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir!)
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To: Westbrook

Your son is smart.


12 posted on 07/14/2010 1:01:44 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: griswold3

All this over control of the food supply.

Can’t have the peasants able to feed themselves, now can we?


13 posted on 07/14/2010 1:02:09 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: Lorianne

This is crazy. I better not say what I was going to. I’ll get banned and a visit from the feds.


14 posted on 07/14/2010 1:02:50 PM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: TruthConquers

I’ve got 40 acres capable to fully sustain me and mine for quite some time. (just put 145 -out of 150- in the freezer)


15 posted on 07/14/2010 1:04:54 PM PDT by griswold3 ('Regulation and law without enforcement is no law at all)
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To: caver

Here, let me say it in a roundabout way for ya:

“Claire, it’s getting close to time, now, isn’t it?”


16 posted on 07/14/2010 1:05:30 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: griswold3

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the EPA declared that spilled milk was hazardous waste? No I’m not kidding.


17 posted on 07/14/2010 1:05:45 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Lorianne

Way too many Federal employees where they are not needed..... These idiot Feds should be shifted over to ICE to raid illegal immigrants. Of course that will never happen. They rather bother honest American farmers and food clubs than deport invaders or bust up drug traffickers


18 posted on 07/14/2010 1:06:36 PM PDT by dennisw (History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid - Gen Eisenhower)
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To: griswold3
Raw milk is really good & good for you.

Once you know this, you will know many other things.

You will see how crappy and awful the standard crap that is offered to us is, on many levels.

Metaphorically speaking, it would be the end of the New World Order.

Go raw milk, Go!

19 posted on 07/14/2010 1:07:16 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: griswold3

I wish that I could say the same.

These will be very troubled times.
IF Obaba’s desires come to fruition, total control over food will be coming. They are going after non retail groups, first.


20 posted on 07/14/2010 1:10:04 PM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: Westbrook

I’d substitute “medicine” for “gold”, but yeah.


21 posted on 07/14/2010 1:10:14 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: rhoda_penmark

Well now, that’s the consumer’s choice is it not? It’s getting so that the only people who have a choice in this country are pregnant women.


22 posted on 07/14/2010 1:10:34 PM PDT by abigailsmybaby ( I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did. Yogi Berra)
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To: Lorianne

Raise and consume all of the raw, unpasteurized, unwashed, organic, fertilized-with-human-waste and ground placenta stuff you want. As soon as you start selling it, you have become a public nuisance. If one baby dies from E. coli from drinking unpasteurized milk, you have just become a murderer.


23 posted on 07/14/2010 1:10:57 PM PDT by CholeraJoe ("What did the English ever give you? Muffins and a burnt White House. ")
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To: RobRoy

So, you LIKE bloody diarrhea?


24 posted on 07/14/2010 1:11:20 PM PDT by rhoda_penmark
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To: massgopguy

“EPA declared that spilled milk was hazardous waste”

Nope, missed that. Was it on FR?


25 posted on 07/14/2010 1:12:44 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: rhoda_penmark

I’m not knocking you, but I grew up on a dairy farm. I consumed raw milk from about 2 to about 18. I had no problems. It’s good stuff — way better than that pasteurized pond water you buy in the store.


26 posted on 07/14/2010 1:14:39 PM PDT by old3030 (I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look.)
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To: Lorianne; hiredhand; Lurker; ChocChipCookie

We grow our own an barter with others for that we still need ....


27 posted on 07/14/2010 1:16:14 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Lorianne
You must be completely dependent upon Big Food.

We don't like independence when it comes to anything.

Besides, Big Food makes big campaign contributions.

28 posted on 07/14/2010 1:16:52 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: Lorianne
California....Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois....Ohio.....

Hmmmm.....what's the common denominator in this intrusive big government problem......


29 posted on 07/14/2010 1:17:08 PM PDT by OB1kNOb (When all else fails one must, "Release the Kraken!")
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To: DBrow

From last month.


New EPA Regulations Have Dairy Farmers Crying Over Spilled Milk
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2532500/posts


30 posted on 07/14/2010 1:18:36 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Remember in November. Clean the house on Nov. 2. / Progressive is a PC word for liberal democrat.)
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To: rhoda_penmark
I told the person promoting the club that I think one would be taking one’s life into one’s hands if one chose to consume such unpasturized products.

While I would agree that there are standards to be met, raw milk is the best tasting, best for you version of milk there is. When I was a kid, I drank raw milk from the cows on my grandparents' farm. It's all in how healthy the cows are, and how clean the operation is. Both of which my grandparents knew first-hand. All I cared about was the tall, cold, really tasty glass of milk.

31 posted on 07/14/2010 1:19:18 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Liberal Logic: Mandatory health insurance is constitutional - enforcing immigration law is not.)
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To: dynachrome
The gov’t mafia isn’t getting its’ cut.

BINGO!!!!

I grew up upstate NY and we always bought our produce and eggs from locals. Lots of people had a little stand in front of the house with whatever they had just harvested. Heck, paying for the stuff was usually on the honor system.

32 posted on 07/14/2010 1:23:00 PM PDT by Tucsonican
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To: pandoraou812
But her 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, wasn't the least bit tongue-tied. "She started back-talking to them," recalls Palmer. "She said, 'If you take my computer again, I can't do my homework.' This would be the third computer we will have lost. I still haven't gotten the computers back that they took in the previous two raids."

Sounds like the daughter of someone I know. You really need to get her some firearms training. She's going to need it in the world that's coming.

33 posted on 07/14/2010 1:24:48 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Westbrook
4. Ammunition

I would move Ammo higher up the list, if you have ammo you can have the rest if needed.

Sell gold buy lead.

34 posted on 07/14/2010 1:25:25 PM PDT by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: Lorianne

As each day passes the facists get more and more out opf control. They understand one thing and one thing only.

First they came for our unborn children and we did nothing...God help us all.


35 posted on 07/14/2010 1:26:08 PM PDT by stockpirate ("I am a Muslim first, an American second." Barack Obama Dreams of My Father)
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To: Lorianne

The real enemies of this government:
1 — Armed Christians (Ref: The Huataree Militia Incident.)
2 — Foo producers (Ref: This article.)

Er, not a good trend, IMO. Remember that Russian Communism killed MILLIONS by starvation.


36 posted on 07/14/2010 1:26:57 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: IYAS9YAS
Boy, it's tastes great!

Good , real old fashioned food keeps you extreeeeeemly healthy , velly bad for nazi-pharma, pills sales would go down, can't have that, send in stormtroopers.

37 posted on 07/14/2010 1:27:47 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: griswold3
all this over raw milk?

No, it's all about CONTROL.

This too will be solved when the next civil war begins.

38 posted on 07/14/2010 1:27:56 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Tucsonican
Heck, paying for the stuff was usually on the honor system.

I can think of three farmstands in my immediate area that still operate on the honor system. In fact I can't think of one that is manned.

Sure beats fighting the crowds when I used to go to the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

39 posted on 07/14/2010 1:29:40 PM PDT by mplsconservative (I stand with Israel.)
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To: unixfox

Shades of the Whiskey Rebellion!


40 posted on 07/14/2010 1:30:30 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: IYAS9YAS

But yours wasn’t coming 600 miles on a truck, was it?


41 posted on 07/14/2010 1:31:16 PM PDT by rhoda_penmark
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To: Lorianne

“The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has declined comment on such raids, saying they are part of an ongoing investigation into raw milk distribution in the state in lieu of eight illnesses in May linked to raw milk.”

Real or Bullqueeze?


42 posted on 07/14/2010 1:31:32 PM PDT by Grunthor (I like you but when the zombies chase us, I'm tripping you.)
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To: Squantos
We grow our own an barter with others for that we still need ....

We are moving more and more that direction. We have 70 chickens, and trade eggs for just about anything. We are working on being 100% self sustaining in 5 years.

43 posted on 07/14/2010 1:32:15 PM PDT by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: norraad

I would love to have a supply I knew was ok to use. I want to start making cheese and they say that the best is made from raw milk products. We used to drink lots of it as kids when we’d visit my Great Uncles farm.


44 posted on 07/14/2010 1:32:32 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: Lorianne

"We Will Keep the Kulaks Out of the Collective Farms!"

45 posted on 07/14/2010 1:32:43 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; Allerious; ...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
View past Libertarian pings here
46 posted on 07/14/2010 1:32:49 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Lorianne

pre-season for the Bolshevik-style Food Requisition Teams


47 posted on 07/14/2010 1:33:54 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: rhoda_penmark
But yours wasn’t coming 600 miles on a truck, was it?

Nope - 60 yards in a bucket, though... ;-)

48 posted on 07/14/2010 1:34:01 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Liberal Logic: Mandatory health insurance is constitutional - enforcing immigration law is not.)
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To: Lorianne

It would seem that the government has declared war on the citizens of the USA.
If it’s a war that they want then it’s a war they shall have.

Are these white farmers perhaps?


49 posted on 07/14/2010 1:34:06 PM PDT by muddler (Obama is either incompetent or malicious, and it makes little difference which.)
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To: TruthConquers

What happened to the kulaks in the ‘20s?


50 posted on 07/14/2010 1:36:44 PM PDT by Zippo44 (Liberal: another word for poltroon.)
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