Skip to comments.Raw Food Co-op Is Raided in California
Posted on 08/11/2011 6:57:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Raw food enthusiasts fit right in here, in the earthy, health-conscious beach communities of Venice and Santa Monica, along with the farmers markets, health food stores and vegan restaurants.
But this week, the police cleared the shelves of Rawesome, an establishment in Venice Beach, loading $70,000 of raw, organic produce and dairy products on the back of a flatbed truck.
And then, on Thursday, James Stewart, the proprietor, was arraigned on charges of illegally making, improperly labeling and illegally selling raw milk products, as well as other charges related to Rawesomes operations. Two farmers who work with Rawesome were also named in the district attorneys complaint.
Though it is legal to sell unpasteurized milk products in California, Rawesome, which has operated in Venice for more than six years, never obtained a license to do so or, indeed, any type of business license.
Lela Buttery, a trustee at Rawesome, said it had no license because it was not a store. Instead, she called it a club. Club members paid an annual fee, which allowed them to peruse the produce, milk products and honey on Rawesomes shelves, which they paid for $7 for a pint of raw goats milk to cover the cost of production. Members also signed waivers to signal they understood the risks of consuming raw food.
Rawesome is staffed by volunteers, who take home food for their efforts, and no one, Ms. Buttery said, is making money from his or her work there.
The raid on Rawesome has riled people here who say that unpasteurized milk is safer and healthier. About 150 raw food advocates gathered at the Los Angeles County Courthouse on Thursday to oppose the crackdown.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Didn’t we just yesterday have an article extolling CA as one of five states most unfriendly to business?
Let them sell it. It’s not being advertised as something it isn’t. I personally wouldn’t drink raw milk , but that’s just me. I should have that choice. The folks should at least have a business license though
This is appalling. Why doesn’t the government crack down on something that’s actually dangerous, like illegal aliens.
Which very unhealthy activity should your government protect you from?
1) engaging in anal sex with an HIV-infected man
2) riding the same bus as an illegal alien with a drug-resistant strain of TB
3) drinking raw milk sold by a farmer who practices strict sanitary practices
2 of the people taken into custody were held with bail amounts in excess of 20,000. For raw milk.
The co-founder was held for 4 days before his attorney could get his bail reduced to 30,000; and a total gag order. He’s not allowed to speak about the occasion at all.
This is the second time Rawesome foods has been raided by armed SWAT teams. There are vidoes of the first raid on youtube showing officers walking through the co-op with guns drawn and raised to firing position.
“Control the oil, you control the nation. Control the food, you control the people” H. Kissinger
Can you believe they have TIME for this? 20 agents raided A ONE WOMAN dairy farm..!
I WONDER why we have budget over-runs, you know?
This sort of harassment of food co-ops has been going on for years, it didn’t just start. It has the look of an unholy alliance of federal regulators with large agribusiness. Federal agencies have been writing rules that are convenient for agribusiness and very hard on small farmers. This includes mandatory ID tags on livestock and requiring that they use centralized slaughterhouses. The battle against raw milk goes back decades.
There is a necessary concern to prevent food-borne pathogens but it shouldn’t require the elimination of small producers and specialty raw foods. Small producers are usually vastly more hygienic than industrial scale agribusiness.
The police seriously don’t have anything better to do with their time than raid coops selling raw milk?
Sounds to me like they need to fire a cops, since they’re obviously overstaffed, and repeal a few stupid laws, since they’re obviously overlegislated.
The food chain/supply is under attack by the Feds. Safety is not a blip on their screen; it’s all about control and eventually, if we allow it, starvation.
Cows must be milked. There is no way they will eliminate dairy cows. If they try to totally subvert the ag industry, we will go back to having small neighborhood dairies where, if you are known, you will be able to purchase milk right out of the bulk tank. BYOB and you will know they are clean. It is the best tasting milk, cream and homemade butter you can imagine.
Lord, maybe we can even bring back the small
family-operated neighborhood cheese factory.
Milkeasies. Back to the future.
Actually, it sounds like the owner has a lawyer, with the ‘club’ aspect she should have been covered legally, at least according to MrR (attorney).
If it were a tax issue, then the bartering may have been an issue.
Yep. Truthfully I couldn’t care less now if the “system” collapses. I’m fairly self sufficient, live in a ‘rural’ town; lots of cattle, homegrown foods etc.
Really, all I keep thinking is ‘bring it on’.
There is a family right here in Missouri that were ‘raising’ rabbits; they took great care in their stock but the feds stepped in a couple of months ago and slammed them with fines for operating a breeding operation, not having the appropriate licenses etc etc. They are now almost bankrupt from the attorney fees they are having to pay; not to mention the huge fine that has been levied against them. Our stellar senator, Blunt (R), has basically indicated that the USDA knows best. So these folks are now out of business with their lives nearly ruined and it’s not over yet.
It’s all about “control”.