Raw Food Co-Op in Venice raided and shut down :( - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, my lovely raw food co-op in Venice (los angeles) was apparently raided by government officials (with guns drawn) and closed. This is an amazing raw food membership club where everything was available from amish raw milk to grass fed beef to raw goats milk yogurt and raw honey. The guy who ran it went to unbelievable lengths to get the absolute highest quality food imaginable in this place. I knew it was too good to last.. Now I have NO source of raw milk anywhere in los angeles except Organic Pastures (yuck) and I have to go to the farmer's market to get it. This sucks! This was the sign that was on Rawesome's door last week:

NOTICE OF CLOSURE
For violation(s) of California Health and Safety Code and/or Los Angeles County Code

Violation(s):
"Cal Code 114381 Title 8 8.04.945 - Operating a food facility without a valid public health permit"

BY ORDER OF THE
HEALTH OFFICER, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

DBA SITE NUMBER
RAWSOME FOODS 991297

SITE ADDRESS
665 ROSE AVENUE, VENICE

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DISTRICT OFFICE PHONE NUMBER
FOOD & MILK 626 430-5400

ISSUING ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST Date
Le Cavalier 6/30/2010

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#2 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Rawesome is fighting this; they will be suing in Federal Court for its members right to healthy food. It was open for business as usual on Saturday, July 3, with no incident. The raid was way, way over the top, with members and volunteers being held at gun-point for five hours. If you want the latest update, PM me and I will copy it to you.

Rawesome is the most awesome place, we are members even though we live in Colorado, and will be supporting them in whatever way we can.

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#3 of 27 Old 07-06-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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Rawesome is fighting this; they will be suing in Federal Court for its members right to healthy food. It was open for business as usual on Saturday, July 3, with no incident. The raid was way, way over the top, with members and volunteers being held at gun-point for five hours. If you want the latest update, PM me and I will copy it to you.

Rawesome is the most awesome place, we are members even though we live in Colorado, and will be supporting them in whatever way we can.
Uggghhhhhhh this ticks me off!!!! I hope they win. Wish there was more I could do

Ok so how can you be members if you in CO? PM me I live in AZ during the winter so maybe If they get up and running again I can get some raw goodies
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#4 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Uggghhhhhhh this ticks me off!!!! I hope they win. Wish there was more I could do

Ok so how can you be members if you in CO? PM me I live in AZ during the winter so maybe If they get up and running again I can get some raw goodies
They are up and running! We are members to support what they are doing and every few months my DH makes a trip to LA, to stock up on some goodies. Also, being a member enables you to order direct from the members' farms which is what we do. There is a location in CO (Aspen, but that is four hours away from us unfortunately), so maybe they have a location in AZ.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson
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#6 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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How could they be operating without a valid health permit?
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#7 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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How could they be operating without a valid health permit?
Because it is a private members club and the members don't believe in those "health" permit regulations. Before joining and even entering the premises you have to sign a membership agreement that includes the following:

Quote:
I, _______________________________, attest that as a member of this club, I demand access to food that
1) is produced without exposure to chemical contaminants such as industrialized pesticides, fertilizers,
cleansers or their gases; 2) is not subjected to artificial temperatures above 99 degrees Fahrenheit (F.), dairy
not below 42 degrees F., and meats not below 38 degrees F. ; 3) is complete with its natural unadulterated
enzymes intact; 4) may contain microbes, including but not limited to salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter,
listeria, gangrene and parasites; 5) the cows are grass-fed and the goats are pastured; 6) fowl are free-range
outdoors and not fed soy products; and 7) the eggs are unwashed and may have bacteria and poultry feces on
them.
.
I fully understand that these features represent a different paradigm for food preparation, storage and safety
than those that are currently enforced by all local, state and federal government agencies. As a member of
this Club, I fully trust its administrative members to ensure that the preparation, handling and packaging of
the food obtained through this Club meet the standards I set forth above. I affirm that no government
regulations apply to our products and that regulatory agencies have no jurisdiction over any of our products I
obtain through this Club.
.
Because the standards currently enforced by government agencies cause industrial chemical contamination
whose effects on my health may be severe, immediately or cumulatively, and have the effect of denying me
access to the quality of milk and other foods I require to improve and maintain my health, I reject those
standards and any attempt by any government agency to regulate food production, preparation, packaging or
labeling for this Club. I affirm that any government-agency would exceed its authority if it were to require
members of this club to testify on any such matters. Also, in case of any government-proceeding relating to the
application of government standards or interference to this club, I will be available to testify about any activities
by government employees that overreach their authority, including trespass, conspiracy and kidnapping (false
arrest).
If you don't agree with the above, you don't become a member and don't consume their food. Personally, I was more than comfortable signing it.

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#8 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Guess the gov doesn't think that qualifies to exclude them from needing the permit.
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#9 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow - this is such good news! I'm going to head over there today. I thought for sure they would be closed indefinitely but so glad to hear they are open. Thanks!

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#10 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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I affirm that no government regulations apply to our products and that regulatory agencies have no jurisdiction over any of our products I obtain through this Club.

Is this imagined to carry some sort of legal weight?
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#11 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I affirm that no government regulations apply to our products and that regulatory agencies have no jurisdiction over any of our products I obtain through this Club.

Is this imagined to carry some sort of legal weight?

Do government regulations apply to what you grow in your backyard, and what you may share with friends and family? We are consenting adults, who want to consume raw milk and other products that may not meet arbitrary regulations that were put in place to suit the interests of agri-business and the big dairy industry that doesn't want the consumption of raw milk to gain a foothold in this country. I grew up on raw milk and drank it for 20 years without ever having a problem but in our obsession with sterilzation i now cannot buy it in many states. Yet, cigarettes are for sale everywhere. yeah, that makes sense.

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#12 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Do government regulations apply to what you grow in your backyard, and what you may share with friends and family?
So, the co-op produced all of its own food and gave it away to members without additional charge? Otherwise, this is apropos of nothing.

That's not my point, anyway. One can affirm, as a waiver, that one has been apprised of certain risks, and one can affirm one knows that food items have not been subject to government inspection. Characterizing the assertions that "no government regulations apply" and "regulatory agencies have no jurisdiction" as "affirmations," though, is simply meaningless.
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#13 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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It may not hold up to legal scruitiny, but does that mean you believe the government should deny people access to the food they choose?

If not - how else does one protest? Laws like this are changed not because people write petitions, but because people go ahead and DO the thing (sit at the front of the bus! hire a midwife! drink raw milk!). People re-examine it and think "you know what, this law is wrong." They don't do that just because someone WAITED until the law was changed.

If vaccinations and circumcisions are legally required, do you think we should all just comply and maybe write a letter to the editor and hope it changes?

This government regulation is simply unethical. And people believe we live in the land of the free. I was never anything like a libertarian but I'm getting absolutely sick of the heavy hand the government has in our personal, private lives - all to support corporations of course.

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#14 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and I'm actually very pro-government because I believe that government done right (by the people, FOR the people) can restrain corporations from running rough shod over us and improve our quality of life (fire departments, schools, roads, public works, labeling standards, labor standards, etc). But when government is in bed and controlled by industry (as has been the case with the department of agriculture) and the regulations become more about protecting corporations and not people, that is when we need to stand up and fight back. I really commend the people at Rawesome for putting their necks on the line. The previous poster was right that that is how laws get changed.

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#15 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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They are up and running! We are members to support what they are doing and every few months my DH makes a trip to LA, to stock up on some goodies. Also, being a member enables you to order direct from the members' farms which is what we do. There is a location in CO (Aspen, but that is four hours away from us unfortunately), so maybe they have a location in AZ.
That's great they're up and running

I'll have to check to see If there's an AZ location, thanks!
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#16 of 27 Old 07-07-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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It may not hold up to legal scruitiny, but does that mean you believe the government should deny people access to the food they choose?
Not in general, no, but I do understand why food safety laws were enacted in the first place. So:

4) may contain microbes, including but not limited to salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter, listeria, gangrene and parasites....

Aside from the fact that gangrene per se isn't a microbe, yah, I'm afraid I do think the government should put its bootheel on the neck of the trade, real or potential, in gangrenous flesh as foodstuff.

[ETA.--I forgot to ask whether anyone knew exactly what these guys were busted for. The stories I'm finding are quite vague.]

[ETA2.--Aha, "Cal Code 114381 Title 8 8.04.945." Sorry for missing this.]
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I think people should be able to buy raw milk.

The (small) chance that it may contain microbes that may harm me is nothing compared to just about anything else we consume legally. Cigarettes, alcohol, chemical sprays, ecoli in meat, on spinach etc etc etc. Life happens.

I do think regulation can be useful, but in this instance regulation is now interfering with consumption of foods that pose little relative risk to consumers.

And sassing about gangrene not being a microbe? Most people don't know that gangrene is a condition caused by c. perfringens (among other things), but they do know that gangrene is horrible. Which is probably why it was listed. Parasites aren't a microbe either. It looks as though it was an ill constructed sentence, at worst. The sassing is silly.

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#18 of 27 Old 07-08-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Not in general, no, but I do understand why food safety laws were enacted in the first place. So:

4) may contain microbes, including but not limited to salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter, listeria, gangrene and parasites....

Aside from the fact that gangrene per se isn't a microbe, yah, I'm afraid I do think the government should put its bootheel on the neck of the trade, real or potential, in gangrenous flesh as foodstuff.
And what about cigarettes?
Alcohol?
Heck, automobiles? How many people die EVERY DAY in a car accident?
How about the government outlawing white flour and sugar? They cause health problems for ALL of us.

When you have consenting adults who understand the risks, is it ethical for the government to intervene? And here's the real issue - what if we don't all agree on what is "risky"? We have a forum of people who do many things most people consider "risky" but who they believe is actually SAFER. Cosleeping. Not vaccinating. Homebirth.

What right does the government have to decide what is safer for us? What right does the government have to decide that an unwashed egg is safer than a washed egg whose protective membrane is stripped away and now is potentially open to various contaminants?

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#19 of 27 Old 07-08-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I think people should be able to buy raw milk too, that doesn't change the fact that just because I sign a piece of paper stating I agree with such practice, doesn't mean that gov is going to agree it's an exception. That is all.
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#20 of 27 Old 07-08-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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Not in general, no, but I do understand why food safety laws were enacted in the first place. So:

4) may contain microbes, including but not limited to salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter, listeria, gangrene and parasites....

Aside from the fact that gangrene per se isn't a microbe, yah, I'm afraid I do think the government should put its bootheel on the neck of the trade, real or potential, in gangrenous flesh as foodstuff.

[ETA.--I forgot to ask whether anyone knew exactly what these guys were busted for. The stories I'm finding are quite vague.]
Otto you are coming from a whole different paradigm of health, I get from every post of yours I have read you are very much a skeptic of all non mainstream health and healing matters. Please understand, there are people who have no fear of these things, even gangrenous flesh, not that it sounds all that appetizing, so please do not feel the need to protect us from ourselves, we really do not want or need it. The members of Rawesome reject all those "health" and "safety" regulations, which we should be free to do; again, this is a private buying club and the members take total responsibility for their actions. They do not need or want government health "protection". We are not uneducated idiots.

Rawesome members and volunteers were held at gunpoint by Federal and County health officials and police for five hours, actually two individuals identified themselves as FBI and Canadian government agents. Why? All for this:

ILLEGAL FOOD FACILITY violation of CAL Code 114381 and violation of Title 8 LA County Code 8.04.932. Both carry first offense fines of $100. I guess you aren't looking in the right places.

They need the FBI for this? Overkill for an offense with a $100 fine don't you think? This kind of OTT heavy handed government action has occurred in other places to both co-ops and individuals. We are no threat to anyone, all we want is the right to eat the food we deem to be healthful. No wonder there are some that think there is a conspiracy going on here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna
I think people should be able to buy raw milk too, that doesn't change the fact that just because I sign a piece of paper stating I agree with such practice, doesn't mean that gov is going to agree it's an exception. That is all.
This is why Rawesome will be suing the goverment.

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#21 of 27 Old 07-08-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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No fear of gangrenous flesh? You're pushing it.
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#22 of 27 Old 07-08-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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No fear of gangrenous flesh? You're pushing it.
No fear, in that it would cause disease in my body. Have you not heard of high meat? I don't think this is available at Rawesome though. Please remember, this is a whole different paradigm of health, if you can't agree with their terms then you wouldn't become a member of Rawesome. However, it is extremely doubtful that Rawesome would be selling meat with gangrene, the meat comes from highly ethical farms (owned by the members). However, do you not feel it is my right to consume whatever food I choose?

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#23 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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Rawesome members and volunteers were held at gunpoint by Federal and County health officials and police for five hours, actually two individuals identified themselves as FBI and Canadian government agents. Why?
This very salient question is indeed why I forgot that the original post identified one of the local statutes. It's shaping up for me into a weird story.

As for being able to eat whatever one knowingly (or a reasonable approximation thereof) chooses for oneself, sure. I did not, however, note any codicil in the Rawsome oath regarding the nature of the transitivity of this relationship. It's the thin edge of an old wedge, and for someone like myself at a far remove, there seem to be more questions than answers available. (One that comes readily is oversight of slaughter and butchering, and, yes, I'm aware of the lack of USDA mobile abattoirs.)
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After reading Gumpert's "The Raw Milk Revolution" I'm so fired up about this issue. It really is insane that so much govt. money, time, effort, and energy is being put into preventing people from eating whole, unprocessed foods of our own choosing. There are sooooo many better things they should be focusing on. Its just madening.

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#25 of 27 Old 07-09-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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This is the second raid of this type that I've heard of

I'm lucky in that we can grow most of our meat, veggies, raw milk etc but I really feel bad for the families who can't. I can't even imagine what it would be like to worry about a raid like this just for helping other families that choose to live the same way at their own risk.
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#26 of 27 Old 07-10-2010, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As for being able to eat whatever one knowingly (or a reasonable approximation thereof) chooses for oneself, sure. I did not, however, note any codicil in the Rawsome oath regarding the nature of the transitivity of this relationship. It's the thin edge of an old wedge, and for someone like myself at a far remove, there seem to be more questions than answers available. (One that comes readily is oversight of slaughter and butchering, and, yes, I'm aware of the lack of USDA mobile abattoirs.)

Otto - are you aware of how many people have DIED in this country from eating contaminated meat and dairy products - products that are blessed by our USDA and all of its pathetic ability to oversee factory farming, slaughter and food handling? More than have been injured from raw milk, that's for sure. I feel safer consuming eggs, dairy and meat from farmers who take care in its production and provide a healthy and humane existence for their animals. I spent years working in government, and these agencies, particularly USDA are OWNED by Agribusiness. Most of the people working there come from Monsanto and big dairy. They are doing their bidding, pure and simple. That is all this is about. Americans need to demand that government agencies regulate industries, not work for them.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-22-2010, 05:02 PM
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Here is a good article from David Gumpert that more clearly lays out Vonderplanitz's legal strategy. Intriguing for sure and definitely (to my ex-lawyer ears) sounds like it has a more solid grounding in property law.
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