The Raw Milk Controversy

Two gallons of raw goat milk for our personal use

On August 3rd, a private food club called Rawesome in L.A. was raided by multiple agencies. The manager of the club, James Stewart, his assistant, Victoria Bloch, and small farm owner, Sharon Palmer were arrested. Palmer supplies the club with fresh eggs and chicken. Bloch was the only one allowed out on bail under her own recognizance. Stewart was let out on $30,000 bond and Palmer’s bail was set at $60,000. Palmer’s farm has been raided 3 times in the past 2 years. The last time her farm was raided, Rawesome was raided the very same day. In that raid, authorities came in with guns drawn like they were taking down a meth lab.

So what were they thrown in jail for? For allegedly selling raw dairy products without a license and running a food club without a permit (yet private food clubs generally don’t need permits but recently that hasn’t stopped officials from shutting them down). Raw dairy products that the club members were fully aware of being raw. In a previous raid, authorities also confiscated raw honey, which isn’t illegal.

This isn’t an isolated case. In May an Amish farmer and the private club he was supplying raw milk to. They charged him using the Interstate Commerce Clause because he was delivering raw milk across state lines. However, as argued by the members of the private club, the milk was not purchased and was therefore not considered commerce.

The raids are becoming more frequent and many times are made on private buying clubs and cooperatives.

Raw milk isn’t without it’s risks, but the same can be said about any food. Recent food recalls including ground turkey, beef, peanut butter, spinach, sprouts, strawberries and eggs made people sick. Pasteurized milk can also make people sick. The corporations that produce these toxic foods aren’t forced by the FDA to recall the products. Yet here they are confiscating raw milk from private clubs, cooperatives and cowshare owners.

I drink raw milk. I drink raw goat milk which is 100% illegal to sell in California unlike raw cow milk which can be sold with the proper license. I’m not scared of getting sick from my goats’ milk.  I believe people should be allowed access to raw milk if they choose to drink it. Cigarettes and alcohol are perfectly legal and not only dangerous to those that partake but also can be dangerous to those around them. A drunk driver can kill someone and second hand smoke can negatively effect the health of others (I should know, I developed asthma growing up from second hand smoke and someone passing me by while smoking can prompt an attack). But raw milk is strictly regulated if not illegal in some states. Why not put a Surgeon General warning on it and allow it to be sold?

Something tells me big ag has something to do with it.

There’s a movie that was just recently released called Farmegeddon by director Kristin Canty. Here’s the trailer:

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