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Rawesome Foods Raid: The Insanity of the U.S. Legal System

For the last several years, there’s been a big stir in the news about raids on raw dairy farmers.  On August 3rd, 2011 the latest raid at gunpoint conducted by the L.A. Sheriff’s office, the CDC, and the FDA occurred on the premises of Rawesome Foods, a buyer’s club in Venice, CA.

The picture at the left is a still from a video taken showing an FBI agent raiding Rawesome Foods in Venice, CA from June of 2010. This is the second time this business has been raided by federal agents.

This is just another brick in the wall of our loss of rights to purchase clean, healthy foods that are not adulterated by the industrial food industry.

The raids and arrests of private citizens that occurred this past week on the Rawesome premises – and also on farms all over the country – are above and beyond the jurisdiction of the law.  These types of maneuvers are commonly associated with the production and selling of dangerous controlled substances, not organic food.  The choice we have as citizens to purchase and eat the foods we want to put in our bodies should be our right, and no government agency should be allowed to take that choice away from us.

Rawesome is a private buyer’s club and has legally binding, contractual agreements permitting them to sell to buyers who have chosen to buy organic food and raw milk. One of the main issues surrounding this case is the herdshare or boarding contracts for dairy goats, and this is not the first time dairy goat farmers in the state of CA have experienced this issue.

Federal agents confiscated $10,000 worth of raw milk and $30-40K of produce. They also destroyed property and buildings in the process. And yet, this business is a private entity which sells shares to members, so these individuals who are purchasing food from Rawesome are all owners. Yes, owners. They don’t need permits to pick up their own food that they have contracted and paid to take away. It is ridiculous and unacceptable that business owners should be jailed and have their private property and products confiscated and destroyed.

Watch this video showing the loss Rawesome incurred during this raid:

The FBI also took all the cash on the premises, which totalled over $9,000:

The fact that the buyer’s contract, which was legally binding, has suddenly been declared void by the very government which approved it in the first place is a big issue. According to the law, lacking permits is a misdemeanor, not a felony. When wrongful prosecution and miscarriage of justice happens, it puts the entire foundation of our legal and economic system in jeopardy, and this is something all citizens should be up in arms about. The way our government, which is supposed to be following laws created by the people for the people,  has been conducting itself over these matters has got to stop.

It’s also important to note that no one in this incident has become sick or died from eating foods sold from Rawesome Foods.  This year, Cargill, a multi-national conglomerate company recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey from store shelves. 76 people were sickened back in March of this year (2011) and one person died, and yet the recalls didn’t occur until July. So far, the only thing happening is a “lengthy” investigation, but no government raids.

How is it that any company selling a product proven to contain Salmonella is allowed to continue selling it for any length of time and not have their doors closed? This kind of thing has been occurring over, and over, and over again in the industrial food sector. Yet, none of these companies are out of business nor facing prosecution in court.  Ironically, mainstream health sources and supporters of the U.S.  food system proudly proclaim that our food supply is one of the safest in the world.

Please watch this interview on MSNBC with Organic Pastures Mark McAfee. Mark McAfee has operated the largest raw, organic, grass-fed dairy in the nation for 10 years, and has never had a pathogenic issue during that span of time. Thousands and thousands of willing and satisfied customers have supported his business and provided their families with wholesome, clean food because Mark cares about delivering a safe and nutritious product to his customers.

If you would like to take action and do something about this situation, please check out the following links:

Real Food Rights

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
Farmageddon – director/producer Kristy Canty is a sustainable farm advocate and a mother who wants to make a difference in the future of sustainable family farms

Send your letters of complaints to these entities, a list complied on Sandrine Hahn’s Nourishing Our Children Facebook page.
Join the social media revolt over the government raids and make your voice heard!
Government data proves raw milk is safe – The Healthy Home Economist
Why our family chooses raw over pasteurized milk – Agriculture Society

5 replies on “Rawesome Foods Raid: The Insanity of the U.S. Legal System”

All they have to is declare food a controlled substance. From their perspective, problem solved.

Can you confirm that CDC was involved? I have a copy of the complaint and the CDC is not mentioned.

Although I cannot validate or deny any information made on the report you have, I belong to a blogger’s group called Real Food Media. We work closely in the food activist community and with organizations such as the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Many of our group have been reporting on this event since last week. One of the Real Food Media bloggers, founder Ann Marie Michaels, spent two days on the scene and was eyewitness to the raids taking place. There have been numerous other eyewitness accounts of the various members of the CDC, FDA, and FBI at Rawesome Foods.

You can find many, many reports all over the Internet discussing the multi-agency involvement of these entities. Here’s one from The Healthy Home Economist:

and Cheeseslave (Ann Marie Michaels’ blog):

Both of these have information about the CDC being present at these raids, as do many other blogs and news sources.

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