Finally, Police Focus on the Real Criminals: Purveyors of Locally Produced Food

In a raid coordinated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, armed investigators raided a Venice, CA health food shop.

The dangerous criminals inside were harboring illegal substances: raw food, including milk, honey and cheese.

With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.

Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid’s target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.

Incensed that small, local organic farmers are able to produce food that is healthier and tastier than their own, BigAg has been pushing for a crack-down on the availability of sustainable, local products. Everyone from the feds to local-level politicians are listening.

Demand for all manner of raw foods — including honey, nuts and meat — has been growing, spurred by heightened interest in the way food is produced. But raw milk in particular has drawn a lot of regulatory scrutiny, largely because the politically powerful dairy industry has pressed the government to act.

I sincerely hope that these people with a criminal interest in supporting health and sustainable agriculture spend the rest of their life behind bars for treason against Capitalism.

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4 thoughts on “Finally, Police Focus on the Real Criminals: Purveyors of Locally Produced Food

  1. We just had a similar case in Minnesota, but.. in half the U.S. states, it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk. So, in fairness, they knew they were breaking the law.

    Between 1998 and 2005 there were 39 outbreaks ’caused by raw milk, resulting in 831 illnesses, 66 hospitalizations and 1 death. Those aren’t very staggering statistics, but might be if you consider that not very many people in this country drink the stuff.

    The arguments for raw milk, which usually say its healthier and kills pathogens, have been debunked, but people swear by it anyway. It’s another case of the government trying to protect citizens from their own naivety.

    Perhaps people should be able to do whatever they want. Personally, I think some regulation on food preparation and safety is absolutely necessary. Nonetheless, the point is, they knew they were breaking the law. Rather than operating somewhere where their actions are legal or changing the law, they flaunted it.

    I do illegal things too. If I were to be busted for them, though, I couldn’t complain about the enforcement; I was aware of the consequences of my actions and choices.

  2. Hello Capn!

    “in half the U.S. states, it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk. So, in fairness, they knew they were breaking the law.”

    This case was in CA, where raw milk IS legal. From the article I linked to:
    “It is legal for licensed dairies to sell raw milk at retail outlets in California…”

    The problem centered on licensing here. Well, supposedly. My opinion is that the real problem is individuals seeking a way out of supporting factory farming. There are obviously vested interests who don’t want a choice to exist.

    Factory-farmed dairy products must be pasteurized due to the incredibly toxic conditions created by that manner of farming. And even so, there are plenty of problems with factory-farmed dairy products. Learn more here:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Meat_%26_Dairy_industry#Food_borne_illnesses_.26_high_risk_meat_products

    If consumers have access to information about the potential dangers of BOTH types of milk products (local, sustainable, organic raw milk vs. factory-farmed pasteurized milk), why can’t they choose which product they want? Consumers can choose to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Most people with a double-digit IQ know that those are unequivocally unhealthy choices, but no one is trying to ban everyone from making those choices. Instead there are warning labels. And raw milk isn’t an unequivocally unhealthy choice- many argue (and I agree) that it can be a very healthy choice for most people.

    In the case of raw milk, there is much good to also be weighed on the scale. Some people have found that while factory-farmed milk creates G-I problems for them, raw milk does not have any negative side effects. Also, there are some consumers who prefer to avoid the antibiotics and growth hormones present in factory-farmed milk. Studies also suggest that raw milk can help prevent allergies and is still drinkable for people with lactose intolerance.

    Pasteurization mandates, introduced after the invention of pasteurization, were used by large-scale farms to push small-scale, local farms out of business. http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/dairy/ It seems that this tradition is continuing today.

    Here is the argument for raw milk, along with information about the thousands of people sickened by pasteurized milk:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/027111_raw_milk_health_food.html

    What’s this debunking you refer to? Was it done by entities controlled or funded by corporate farms, i.e. Big Ag? As we know, the FDA and USDA are stacked with pro-corporate employees, and any cause supported only by small, family farmers or organic farmers will not carry much political weight.

    I have yet to meet a small, organic farmer who will argue against raw milk. As a matter of fact, most of them feed it to their families.

  3. Like I said, we just went through this in Minnesota, where a whole bunch of people got sick. Every scientist that came on Minnesota Public Radio, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health, said the the claims of raw milk benefits were anecdotal and have not been substantiated by science. On the other hand, it’s scientifically proven that pasteurization removes pathogens and E. coli.

    The debunking I’m referring to is science, but thanks for your presumption.
    Scientific studies: http://www.realrawmilkfacts.com/

    Of course small, organic farmers are going to sell raw milk when they can profit $10/gallon. Big Ag. isn’t whose arguing for pasteurization, anyway, it’s health officials.

  4. “The debunking I’m referring to is science…”

    Hilarious. Science has proved the sun revolved around the earth. Then science also proved the opposite. Science changes. It’s a good way to learn about the world, but certainly not infallible, nor monolithic (e.g. “Science says this or that…”).

    Minnesotan scientists may be unfamiliar with the benefits of raw milk, but even the website you linked to above lists out benefits. The product has potential risks as well as demonstrable benefits. So can people get a warning label or something and just purchase the milk based on free and informed choice?

    “Of course small, organic farmers are going to sell raw milk when they can profit $10/gallon.”
    Yes, those family farmers just rake it in selling all of that white gold. That’s why family farmers are so rich and have such political clout. You show me a family farm that makes $10 of profit off each gallon of milk, and I’ll show you my wooden nickel collection.

    Take another gander at the LA Times article… it seems you missed the part about Big Ag leaning on the FDA/USDA for greater enforcement against raw milk, i.e. mandatory pasteurization. Which is strange, because I deliberately quoted it in my post.

    What are you arguing for? A raw milk ban? Or do we agree that raw milk should be available to consumers, as well as information about risks & benefits? That seems pretty reasonable to me.

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