With guns drawn, four officers blazed into Rawesome Foods in Venice, California, and raided the walk-in cooler to find jugs of raw milk. Also seized in the early morning bust of July 2010 were blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese.
Rawesome Foods is a private food club run by nutritionist and raw-food advocate Aajonus Vonderplanitz. For a membership fee of $25, consumers can purchase unpasteurized dairy products, organic eggs, and fermented vegetables.
“I still can’t believe they took our yogurt,” Rawsome volunteer Sea J. Jones told the L.A. Times. “There’s a medical-marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they’re raiding us because we’re selling raw dairy products?”
Federal regulators said Rawesome Foods failed to obtain proper permits and licenses. According to WorldNet Daily, agents from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others confiscated 17 coolers with honey, milk, cane syrup and other products.
On the same day, a raid involving 20 agents was also conducted at a private Ventura County, California farm. It was the third time in 18 months Sharon Palmer’s farm was raided over the labeling of her goat cheese. Palmer produces goat’s milk, and raises cattle, pigs, and chickens.
Three raw milk raids occurred Wisconsin as well last month. In one case, a farmer was prosecuted for refusing to give authorities information about his customers.
Then in June, agents of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, escorted by police, raided Traditional Foods Warehouse, a popular food club in Minneapolis specializing in locally-produced foods, and two more farms suspected of illegally selling raw milk.
Since laws regarding raw milk vary from state to state, raw milk buying clubs have formed in a populous effort to buy from states where raw milk sales are permitted to out-of-state consumers, or in states where it’s illegal to sell raw milk at the supermarket. The FDA has responded by waging war across the nation on these private food clubs selling raw milk and other dairy products.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, an organization that defends the rights and freedoms of family farms and consumers, challenged the FDA’s ruling on behalf of raw milk consumers in half a dozen states. Their suit maintains that the FDA’s actions are unconstitutional.
The members of these food clubs joined for the expressed purpose of buying raw milk, so they know precisely what they’re purchasing. It should be glaringly clear these raids have nothing to do with protecting the public from the alleged dangers of raw milk — which has been consumed for thousands of years. If drinking raw milk was deadly, primitive cultures would have died out long ago.
In her article “More About Raw Milk”, Sally Fallon, V.P. of the Weston-Price Foundation says, “All outbreaks of salmonella from contaminated milk in recent decades — and there have been many — have occurred in pasteurized milk.” Fallen adds that even the 1985 Illinois outbreak affecting 14,316 people, contained a salmonella strain in pasteurized milk that was genetically resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline.
These raids are rooted in establishing power and control. As Mike Adams with Natural News points out, “The real reason why the FDA opposes raw milk is because Big Dairy opposes raw milk. Just like Big Pharma, Big Dairy has worked very hard behind the scenes to steer FDA policy in its favor. And according to some recent reports, Big Dairy is one of the primary forces trying to eliminate raw milk because it threatens the commercial milk business.”