The two SWAT team raids ordered by the FDA on Rawesome, an organic food coop in LA, represent “food safety” come home to roost, in all its vulture reality. First time, they used armed FBI; the second time, having faced such still resistance from non-resisting people, they multiplied their attack using armed LA police, Ventura County Sheriffs, the California Department of Ag and several other agencies.
People across the country are stunned and enraged, but most are not aware of the one small thing which has allowed this to occur. To understand how key that little detail is, one must go back to how “food safety” got its power and how it works its magic.
“Food safety” was promoted by Bill Clinton during the 1990s in classic Monsanto language – it would be “science-based”! Modern science could move beyond stopping contamination after the fact by being “preventive,” seeking out potential sources of contamination and eliminating them in advance. Clinton urged implementing HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) ostensibly to deal with increasing contamination by the big meat packers. But when one remembers Clinton was put in office by Tyson, one of the top meat packers, with some help from Monsanto and Walmart, something starts to smell.
It was sleight of hand. “Watch the paperwork, folks, keep your eye on the paperwork! Are you watching?” HACCP relies on a morass of rules, regulations and paperwork around pipes, temperatures, flooring, water sources, bathrooms, counter materials that is so huge and imposing and so “science-based” one has trouble noticing the one thing not included – the food itself.
HACCP eliminated inspection of the meat and substituted paperwork. The paperwork was so onerous for small operators and the system so shot full of traps (despite their producing clean food), that it shut down small slaughter houses across the country, an essential piece of any localized food system.
HACCP is applied intensely to small plants, notes John Munsell of the Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE):
“USDA blithely walks away from obvious contamination problems at the huge slaughter plants, and we must remember that the biggest four packers slaughter 88% of our feedlot steers and heifers. USDA statistics show that 93% of federally inspected plants are small, yet they produce only 10% of our meat. This means that although the big plants represent only 7% of all Federal plants, they produce 90% of our meat. This agency policy now insulates 90% of our meat from adequate inspection, while the agency intensely monitors 10% of our meat production at the small plants, which are easier enforcement prey for USDA.”
HACCP really stands for “Have A Corporate Consolidation Party” and thanks to Bill Clinton, that is just what the big meat packers did. Contamination and deaths went up; the number of slaughter houses went down.
Here is where Rawesome comes in. The Monsanto “science-based” jargon has one aim: to remove the requirement for evidence, the basis of the rule of law.
HACCP was a “science-based” injustice that worked. “Science-based” returned in gargantuan form when Hillary Clinton, candidate for president, urged a giant centralized food safety agency to control all food in theUS. She didn’t win but Monsanto VP, Michael Taylor (to whom Bill Clinton had given free rein at the FDA to introduce Monsanto’s GMOs into the food chain), came in with Obama’s transition team when Obama appointed him (avoiding appointment hearings) Czar over food safety at the FDA.
Then corporate media treated the country to corporate contamination and malfeasance stories (muckraking corporations with a corporate aim in mind) and the Democrats rammed through “science-based” control over all food and all farms in the US. Presto! Michael Taylor, Monsanto VP, was in charge of the entire US food supply, with DHS and DOD available as backup. This is a Monsanto that has hired Blackwater.
That agency is moving “science-based” to new heights. Perhaps the FDA was not pleased with being slowed down in court by some judges looking askance at shutting down people whose goods were not contaminated, letting those people return home and sell those products. In any case, the FDA wrote itself a rule (candy store time for corporations when they run agencies!) that allows it to seize food with no evidence of contamination.
Perhaps by now it is becoming apparent that evidence is key.
Monsanto has always played dangerously fast and loose with science, but with food safety, it has moved to eliminate it entirely. The FDA need only have “reason to believe” something might be contaminated, might harm people, to move forward. Sure, Monsanto has excellent reason to believe – their reason being profit, their belief being in their control of everything.
Monsanto designed “science-based” as a means to end any requirement for evidence (science) and to be rid of due process (law). They are having a field day playing at protecting the country from raw milk. Of course, it is the FDA and CDC which have kept from the public the connection between pasteurized commercial dairy products and Crohn’s disease for more than a decade, while they play out their dramatic, armed, multi-agency raid on decent people.
It is a raw milk farce since raw milk is allegedly responsible for one death in 62 years (and none in the past twelve).
But the law has been written to make evidence irrelevant. Safe milk can be seized. Its safety is not even at issue, all that matters is the FDA’s beliefs. The law becomes a thug without rules of evidence.
Monsanto has now achieved turning the justice system itself into its own personal mafia. Capone had to pay his men to rough up, terrorize, and shut down neighborhood places that competed with him. Monsanto has the FBI, the LA police, the California Department of AG and the FDA to do that for them, and the media to promote it all. Imagine if Capone could have had media saying the little guys being mowed down were a threat to Chicago’s health and that he was protecting the city.
It is both a little thing Monsanto removed, lost among the paper work, and a huge agency apparatus. Evidence. All that is needed to stop the FDA and local ag departments is to require just what the corporations removed – proof. Scientific evidence.
To demand an evidence-based (that is “science-based”) law might not be something “science-based” Monsanto would get behind since its use of science is all PR while its actions are anti-science. But for legislators to refuse to insert a requirement for evidence would be a bit awkward. Besides which, legislators were likely taken in by the sleight of hand themselves, thinking a giant agency and millions of rules meant more safety, thinking they were helping their children.
FDA raids on natural food producers and distributors expose the iron fist in the gloved hand.
For those who appreciate the profound threat to access to safe food that the Rawesome raids expose, there is much that can be done to stop the monster grunting “food safety” as it destroys safe food.
1. First and immediately, demand local and state legislators to insert into all health and food safety laws that nothing can be demanded of anyone, done to anyone, taken from anyone, or charged to anyone, without incontrovertible evidence of contamination.
2. Demand a Congressional investigation into the travesty of food safety. That would include Monsanto’s use of massive food safety powers Congress just gave the FDA to destroy safe food and terrorize people. Congress must add a section into the Food Safety Modernization Act requiring evidence of contamination before the FDA can do anything to, ask anything of, bill anyone for, take, hold or seize anything from anyone. Congress must require prior evidence be acquired via due process (including warrants). The FDA must be stopped from declaring food contaminated without evidence indicating contamination.
The USDA, the same agency wantonly releasing GMOs into the food chain, has the audacity to use “food safety” to demand a “test and hold” period for meat, something that has no impact on the big packers but spells destruction for those selling fresh raw meat or fresh milk and leaves customers seeking raw food without any. Here, too, there needs to be evidence of contamination before holding any food. (Also see the GIPSA Rules discussion.)
In demanding evidence, people are demanding due process and the rule of law.
What the FDA did twice at Rawesome makes it clear that what is at stake goes far beyond defense of raw milk, to everyone’s basic rights around choosing food, around basic rights to contracting, around basic rights to health. And the FDA (Monsanto) is arguing in court right now that the American people do not have any of those rights.
Mike Callicrate, cattleman and food activist, says, “The People’s agencies (FDA, USDA, etc.) both nationally and locally are doing the work of big agribusiness in eliminating good food alternatives…. Perhaps [the Rawesome Raid] will be the spark we need for a real food revolution!”
African Americans should recognize the clear parallel to the civil rights movement and see the severe threat now. The most essential rights of all people – to health, to food choice, to private contract – are threatened by their own government in collusion with corporations. These rights, in being about access to food, are about our right to live and thrive.
The country is looking at a civil rights battle of a dimension and seriousness never seen before in history.
The production of and everyone’s right to safe food is being unconstitutionally criminalized through Monsanto-FDA’s “science-based” removal of evidence.
Evidence is key.
You can donate to Rawesome’s defense here.
Please also support the work of Food Freedom.
Related: Cargill allowed to sell tainted turkey (but 36 million pounds recalled)
Fantastic job on this article! It mirrors all that I have said, backed, and believe! In fact, when I was talking to my husband the other day I told him, “Of course grass-roots uprising can begin a process of change in the masses. This is similar to civil rights. How do you think women got their rights? How do you think African Americans got theirs?” His response, “Yes , but that took a long time.” My response, “It did. But they didn’t have the internet and mass communication markets then!” I am sharing and spreading the word so that this might spread like wildfire to the masses, and get people active all across the nation! Rise up with one voice! This country must once again become of, for, and by the people!
Most people don’t even wash their hands-I can imagine the nastiness that was Rawsome! This article left out important points, like the reasons behind the raid. Sorry you don’ understand science. The definition of science is KNOWLEDGE btw! This is a horrible article and discusses almost nothing to do with the title.
THis is a wonderful article! This, alone, is the one story that all should read on the issue of food safety.
We need to demand the above conditions on our government to put an end to the harassment of the local food industry and small farmers.
Our rights of local commerce are being taken away each time there is a raid in the name of ‘food safety.’ We should all have the right to purchase our food from wherever we want without Big Brother watching every move and persecuting the honest, hardworking farmers and producers.
The government has bigger problems to solve! Stop the armed harassment and get back to work and DO SOMETHING TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY for a change!
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Very good article. Bravo.
Yes, very good article. Clinton was a horrible president, an evil arrogant, shameless man and a total corporate shill. It is a fact that all our presidents, still living, should be in prison. They should all be in prison for crimes against humanity. It seems to me the last president who might possibly have been worth a damn got his brains blown out.
Horrible Presidents balance budgets?Don’t think so! Horrible Presidents suspend habeus corpus!
Sorry, but this is a highly inaccurate and misleading article. I am in favor of self sufficient agriculture, and have myself been involved in a(n illegal) raw goat milk operation.
Rawls says all the listed agencies were involved in an attack; very wrong. Most of the agencies listed are “…involved in an ongoing invetigation.” If you are going to get so wound up in you rhetoric that you (perhaps) inadvertantly lie, you will at some point be caught out, and lose all credibility. Also, service of legal warrants are not usually called “attacks”.
This is also the first I have heard that the initial raid was carried out by “armed FBI”. I am not saying that is untrue … I am saying it is an unsupported assertion. As per the insert at the head of this article, “Show me the evidence”. At least name the source, if you don’t care to supply a link.
You are also the only source I have seen that claims the FDA “ordered” the raids. I know that they are, again, involved in the investigation, but is it possible that, in your hatred for the FDA you have overstepped the boundries of truth in reporting?
Some of the other allegations you really should investigate involve extremely unsanitary conditions in Sharon Palmer’s milking operation, many false representations concerning the organic nature of the eggs and meat she supplied to Rawsome,and on and on. And before you start claiming this is all a “Government conspiracy” to discredit Palmer, please do a little journalistic investigation, and you will find she has multiple previous indictments and convictions for fraud, etc. Since this is the second raid on Rawsome for the same infractions, it seems likely James Stewart, the proprietor of Rawsome, likely knew that they were in violation of California rules.
Also seems weird that, in you outrage over injustice, you never once mentioned the names of any of the three people arrested.
There are honest, law abiding organic and raw food farmers out there. Let’s save our sympathy and support for them, and not for folk who are cheating people looking for healthy food.
Bill Miller ~ you are wrong in several ways.
First, local, state and federal authorities were involved in the attack, as reported by numerous onsite witnesses. So your reference to “ongoing investigation” is irrelevant.
Second, the FBI was involved in last year’s raid per NatNews:
“As agents left the day of the raid, they informed James that he had to attend a mandatory hearing the following day, July 1, at the Baldwin Park, Cal. location of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). So James complied in good faith, bringing with him Tony Blain, an attorney and member of Rawesome, as well as another member.
“Sitting around a conference room table at HHS were representatives from the FDA, the FBI, the local health department and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.”
“Attack” is the most appropriate term when armed thugs enter private premises, with or without a warrant. You can believe that the warrant is legal all you want, but tyranny is always backed up by laws — and in this case is unconstitutional.
These criminals stole money and removed ALL the product from the shelves — far exceeding the warrant which only permitted samples to be taken. They destroyed ALL the milk, thus destroying evidence, also exceeding the warrant.
The lead agency agency is the FDA; therefore the FDA ordered the raid.
Your defense of abuse of process is shameful. If you think the writing is so far off, write your own article. I’m sure Bill Marler will publish it.
Bill, what is your exact connection to Rawesome? You seem to have some insider views. I don’t live anywhere near California and wouldn’t want to. To assert though, as you seem to, that people following the rules, regulations and licensing procedures (of government and bureaucracy) are more honest and deserving of our ‘sympathy and support’ is in itself of very large untruth, in this present day and age of government violent attack and blatant and continuous corruption and deception.
I would suggest that readers really interested in the Rawesome case, go to the Natural News site and also the David Gumpert Complete Patient blog. That Gumpert guy just goes on and on and on with his kind of insipidity and anti-melodrama. If you think yourself ‘scientific’, you might want to read his blog continually. Otherwise, I prefer the Natural News reporting by Mike Adams.
Shine bright in darkening days
that one more heart may be opened,
one more mind freed.
In prayer, no fear.
Fearless care only for truth and
cannot be threatened
by a lying jury.
Shining fearless meek
bear the hope of all,
fed by daily bread
recognizing only in person.
Words to encourage and challenge
and turned on their authors.
The trickster turns
hunger to starvation.
Truth finding love is
our only salvation.
The only way we are going to stop this criminal government’s actions is to take up arms against it. I believe that why the second amendment was enacted. That is why Obama and his ilk are trying to negate the Second Amendment. They are afraid that a revolt in this country would cost them their lives.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
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Those cops are heros! If you people knew how dangerous natural foods are you would not be whining! Monsanto will not tolerate your organic milk products. This is a corporate raid on your rights and the government is so corrupt now, that they have stopped protecting your rights and have instead sucked the phalanges of their corporate masters who get their bosses re-elected. Try voting ALL incumbents out. Even Ron Paul. All of them need to go. Only vote for middle class politicians.
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The more I hear about the FDA (etc.) raiding raw milk dairy farms, the more raw milk I go buy.
lol… me, too.
There is one thing that is crucial that no one seems to focus on. That is THE SHERIFF. He is the highest law enforcement in the county and the feds may not enter there without his permission, because federal law does not apply on non-federal land. That is why they have to take him along for enforcement whether “they” are the FDA or the IRS or the TSA or any other agency that makes “laws” in violation of Article I of the Constitution. Nail the sheriff and make him do his job of protecting the people of the county. He is directly answerable to the people. Neither science nor “science” is the issue here. The issue is applying federal law in non-federal territory. Nail that sheriff.
Excellent point, C.
Yeah demand shit from the crooks that passed the Orwellian legislation. That’ll do a lot of good.
Good grief we are truly fucked.
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Not a single dictatorship has ever stopped their citizens from having access to their food of choice. Not a single dictatorship has ever stopped their citizens from selecting their medicine of choice. Yet the US is adamant about eliminating your choices to both of these basic rights.
When Industrial False Food & Pharma Corporations can’t influence your decisions with the $50 billion in yearly advertising, they will resort to lies, when that doesn’t work, they call in their favors and pull the strings of their congressional serfs, and when that doesn’t work they call in the legal, unconscionable mercenaries with the guns.
What’ will they do next? GMO IV’s?
In 2008, 180 countries declared that their citizens have a fundamental right to food. Only one country voted against this rudimentary right. Can you guess which country that was?
How can the proclaimed land of the free and home of the brave justify such a mean spirited decision? And is it in the best interests of their citizens or in the best interests of someone else?
Instead the United States made it’s intentions perfectly clear and voted against the right to food for it’s citizens. There is no right to food in the USA, nor is there any right to food legislation pending.
Pretty simple isn’t it?
I’m wondering if the USA’s refusal to participate in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provoked the growing grassroots right to food movement and the real food revolution?
Is the war on food just beginning to heat up?
toni, the US did sign the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt drafted it.
Armed raids to control food production –just like Stalin’s Soviet Union.
THIS IS NOT A RAWSOME PROBLEM!!! Rawsome is just another victim another symptom of a broken down system that can’t be fixed through writing/phoning your House of Reps, Congress, Senate or having protests and rally’s. EVERY single problem and unconstitutional abuse is directly related in one way or other to the FEDERAL government AND the people who have been elected to protect us from these abuses are in bed with them. It is time Americans remember who hired the idiots in the first place and that we are not peons in servitude to this abusive government. WE PAY their damn salaries through our tax dollars!!! Paying them to abuse us! We need a massive grassroots effort to stop paying their salaries, stop obeying unconstitutional laws, and fire them all.
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The FDA started their tyranny in the early 80s on the American people with the green light for aspartame. At this point the FDA will represent any large corporation that will bring money in, over the interests or the health of the American people. They are way out of control and need to be stopped!
I found a petition at change.org , that is one small way to get our voices heard by Congress once the petition has enough signatures. The petition’s name is the FDA vs The people of the United States of America and the web address is .change.org/petitions/fda-vs-the-people-of-united-states-of-america.
The address is
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The federal government has waaaaaaaay overstepped its bounds which should be very limited, according to our long dead Constitution.
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“To turn the world into a dependency on staples has nothing to do with feeding the world, it has a lot to do with controlling the food supply. The United States evolved a phrase during the Vietnam war, and the phrase was; ‘Food as a weapon’; the use of food as the ultimate weapon of control. And the trajedy is, the growth of agribusiness in the US has gone hand-in-hand with the US foreign policy to deliberately create hunger locally in order to make the world dependent on food supplies, through which you can then control countries and their decision-making ability. So hunger has become an instrument of war.”
~ Vandana Shiva, physicist, from video (You Tube), ‘The Future of Food’
“Host: ‘What state does function according to what you call the minimal levels of honesty? Is there a state?’
Noam Chomsky: ‘None. States are power-centers. The only thing that imposes constraints on them is either outside force or their own populations.’
Host: ‘What will the state look like at the end?’
Chomsky: ‘At the end I think states ought to dissolve, because I think they’re illegitimate structures …As long as people… are able to free themselves from the doctrinal controls imposed on them by their self-appointed betters and mentors… they’ll continue to be able to struggle for peace and justice and feedom and limitations on violence and constraints on power…”
From the show, ‘Hot Type’ (You Tube)
“There are a number of steps that need to be taken to successfully reapply the wisdom of the tribe:
1 ) Individuals must re-establish a sense of deep connection and bondedness to the whole (in this case the planet)… and it is fortunately already occurring. It is especially important that people build direct human connections around the globe. Since the nation-states are today’s bullies, we can not rebuild the peace of the tribe unless we build a global community that stands independent of these nations… It is also essential that these connections be ‘real’, based on meaningful ties of economics and common personal interest, and not just a technique for peace.
2) Our societies need to decentralize to remove crucial pressure points. We need to replace brittle systems of hierarchical power with resilient systems of ‘network semi-dependence.’ ”
~ Robert Gilman, http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC07/Gilman.htm
excellent quotes… totally right on
Ever hear there’s always two sides to every story? James Stewart and Sharon Palmer should be arrested for fraud and endangering the public. I was on the fence of supporting Rawesome, but not anymore. FDA regulation actually makes sense in this case. Check out the expose below.
it should not be the fda’s job to be the big bullies . if Sharon palmer was selling products not as described, her customers should have demanded their money back and I am sure this would have collapsed her business. When the government gets involved it just gives us a false sense of security
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