Federal and state teams arrest people at gunpoint, destroy food, and seize assets—all because they’re afraid of unpasteurized milk and cheese. Please don’t let them trample the Constitution this way—a new Action Alert!
On August 2, there was an armed raid on Rawesome Foods in Venice, California, conducted jointly by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may recall that we reported about a similar FDA raid on the same co-op last year.
Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.com, broke the story last week, and we thank him for his excellent and continuing coverage of this issue. He reports that armed teams were deployed with guns drawn, law enforcement ordered all co-op members out of the store, seized all the cash in the register, then handcuffed the co-op’s founder, James Stewart, and placed him in an unmarked car without reading him hist rights.
Then authorities seized $70,000 in raw organic food—raw milk, cheese, yogurt, and fresh produce—and poured an estimated 800 gallons of milk down the drain, though there was no evidence that any of the products were contaminated.
Two others were arrested as well: Sharon Palmer, owner of Healthy Family Farms, and Victoria Bloch, the LA County liaison for the Weston A. Price Foundation. They were charged with the production and sale of unpasteurized goat milk, goat cheese, and other products without the proper permit; and with “mislabeling cheese.” They were also charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Unpasteurized dairy products are legal in California, but the Los Angeles District Attorney says that applicable licenses and permits are required. This is a specious claim. As Mike Adams points out, Rawesome does not need a license because it is not a public store, but rather a private club or co-op whose members actually own a percentage of the cows, goats, and farms that produce the raw dairy. The state of California is trying to regulate it as a public grocery store, when it is instead a private buyers’ club. The facility is used only as a distribution point for the products that the members already own.
All three of those arrested have been released from jail after posting bail, but only on condition that they give up their First Amendment rights and refrain from talking to anyone about the case—specifically, from communicating in any way, verbally or nonverbally, about the government raids conducted against them.
The public has responded with outrage. A public protest was held in front of the LA County Courthouse; this, together with the global attention the raid has caused, may have been responsible for the swift reduction in James Stewart’s bail—from $123,000 down to $30,000.
Bye-bye, Constitutional Rights?
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