Federal agents subjected a farmer to harassment and warrantless searches simply for producing raw milk, but a county sheriff took the farmer’s side and blocked federal agents from the property – and the sheriff is now speaking out.
The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) took the actions four years ago simply because the farmer was providing raw milk to an organic food co-op. The story is receiving renewed coverage because the Indiana sheriff, Elkhart County’s Brad Rogers, wrote a 600-word explanation for a local newspaper as part of his “Ask The Sheriff” series. Off The Grid News previously reported on the dispute.
Among the many examples of state power run amok is when armed law enforcers descend on small farms to carry out a war on food freedom.
Last month, 20 officials from the ministries of agriculture, natural resources and finance in Ontario, Canada raided Michael Schmidt’s milk farm with the help of local police. They began removing equipment and computers, intending to confiscate them for the crime of providing raw milk to people who freely choose to drink it.
– Dairy farmer acquitted on three of four charges in raw milk trial (Journal Sentinel, May 25, 2013):
Baraboo — Dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was acquitted on three of four criminal charges early Saturday morning in a trial that drew national attention from supporters of the raw, unpasteurized milk movement.
Jurors in Sauk County Circuit Court deliberated about four hours, until nearly 1 a.m. Saturday, before returning a verdict of guilty on one charge of violating a holding order placed on products on the Hershberger farm following a raid there in the summer of 2010.
The 41-year-old farmer faces up to a year in jail and $10,000 in fines on that conviction. A sentencing date will be announced later, Judge Guy Reynolds said.
Hershberger was found innocent of three charges that included operating an unlicensed retail store that sold raw milk and other products; and operating a dairy farm and dairy processing facility without licenses.
Hershberger’s supporters have said he was targeted for prosecution because he sold raw milk directly to consumers through a private buying club with several hundred members.
– Iowa on verge of legalizing raw milk; resistance to food tyranny is rising (Natural News, March 1, 2013):
Iowa is on the verge of legalizing raw milk sales from dairy farms, and legislation has been introduced for that purpose. Raw milk is currently illegal to sell across most of the United States of America, the “land of the free” where freedom has been systematically crushed by oppressive government. Cuba doesn’t outlaw raw milk. China doesn’t outlaw raw milk. Even North Korea doesn’t outlaw raw milk. Raw milk is legal to buy, sell and drink in Peru, Ecuador, Panama and most Central and South American countries. But in America, the FDA mandates that all milk be pasteurized, and this obscenely ignorant rule has resulted in a pandemic of milk allergies, digestive disorders, milk-caused autoimmune disorders and also the criminalization of raw dairy farmers.
– You know you’re no longer living in a free country when… (Sovereign Man, Jan 29, 2013):
You know you’re no longer living in a free country when the government tells you what you can and cannot put in your body. Or when an unelected board of bureaucrats and corporate insiders can confiscate the assets of hardworking small business owners.
Yet these have become par for the course in the Land of the Free.
The latest bout involves a family-owned raw milk operation in Missouri that was decimated last week by the heavy hand of government, courtesy of the State Milk Board.
Of course, this isn’t even an actual government agency, but rather one of more than 200 such committees in Missouri which wield tsarist authority over their domains.
State Milk Board members include both state bureaucrats and corporate leaders from the milk industry. How convenient that a few big producers are given unelected, absolute authority to torpedo a raw milk competitor…
And so, last Friday, farm inspectors arrived to confiscate 18 tons of cheese that Morningland Dairy had produced from raw milk. They were met by a small crowd which had gathered to show support for the family… and to denounce these agents of government for carrying out an immoral act on innocent people.
It was all captured on video, including the police response.
You have to respect what these people were doing. They stood to face their enemies and peacefully demonstrate against abuse of power. They even tried to convince government agents to stop participating in the wholesale destruction of liberty.
– Shock claim – NaturalNews exclusive – LA ‘authorities’ in Rawesome raw milk raids were impersonating public officials (Natural News, July 19, 2012):
Documents and testimony obtained by NaturalNews allege the following: The Rawesome Foods armed “raw milk raids” and prosecution of James Stewart and Sharon Palmer were carried out in part by law-breaking private citizens pretending to be lawful government authorities. Those individuals — who have been operating under false labels such as “district attorney” or “LAPD officer” — may conceivably be liable for millions of dollars in civil and criminal damages for their actions which technically may be described as:
• The armed robbery of Rawesome Foods, including theft of cash
• Willful destruction of private property
• Criminal kidnapping of James Stewart
• Violation of the civil rights of James Stewart
… and other crimes to be described later.
This all stems from the fact that in California, all state “officials” must have sworn and signed oaths of office on file in order to qualify as duly empowered state officials. This is written right into the California Constitution, Article 20, Sec. 3, which states: (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_20)
– California Food Police Gone Wild: LA County Health Enforcers Conduct Door-To-Door Raw Milk Confiscation Operations (Natural News, May 17, 2012):
In a bombshell revelation of the depth of the food police state that now exists in LA County, California, NaturalNews has learned that the LA County health department has unleashed door-to-door raw milk confiscation teams to threaten and intimidate raw dairy customers into surrendering raw milk products they legally purchased and own.
According to Mark McAfee (see quotes below), both LA County and San Diego county have attempted to acquire customer names and addresses from Organic Pastures (www.OrganicPastures.com) for the sole purpose of sending “food confiscation teams” to customers’ homes to remove the raw milk from customers’ refrigerators. Using both phone calls and home visits, these teams intimidate customers and try to force them to give up their milk.
These revelations have surfaced in a recorded NaturalNews interview with Mark McAfee, the founder of Organic Pastures and a food rights advocate. Here’s what he told us:
LA County health enforcers go door to door, demanding your fresh milk
– Ventura County on raw milk rampage: After destroying Rawesome, other raw milk operations now targeted (Natural News, Mar 29, 2012):
Perhaps the best investigative reporter covering the raw milk industry today is David Gumpert, writing for www.TheCompletePatient.com – a site covering food safety, raw milk raids, regulation and much more. All NaturalNews readers would do well to put his site on your reading list. Late last night he posted a showstopper article containing two extraordinary revelations about raw milk:
• In Wisconsin, the primary dairy insurance provider has ditched raw milk dairies, sending them a letter that essentially declares they will have no insurance coverage if they sell raw milk.
• After destroying Rawesome Foods (which is being physically deconstructed right now), the Ventura County Health Department is now targeting other raw milk distribution centers in California. As Gumpert writes:
[The county] has threatened to interfere with a private food club in that area just north of Los Angeles that distributes Organic Pastures milk. The health department officials first said to a food club volunteer manager that there was concern about whether the milk was going to be stored. When that turned out to be a non-issue, since the milk is nearly immediately distributed to members, the “concern” suddenly shifted to whether the club needs to be registered as a retailer.
Read the full account at:
An agenda to destroy real food in Ventura county
– Rawesome Foods’ James Stewart arrested in $1 million warrant (UPDATE 2) (Natural News, Mar 3, 2012):
Rawesome Foods defendants James Steward and Sharon Palmer were ambushed in California court yesterday when they appeared for a preliminary hearing about the multiple felony charges that have been ludicrously placed against them for engaging in farm-fresh food production and distribution. In court, they were ambushed with a $1 million arrest warrant (James) and a $2 million arrest warrant (Sharon), then handcuffed and marched away by agents of the corrupt state.
This appears to all be part of California’s open war on family farming and real food. Observers present at the hearing described the ambush as something “done out of pure unadulterated intimidation” by a rogue government that has abandoned all law.