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Police Begin "Guns Drawn" Raids on Organic Food Stores in California
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Uploaded on Aug 2, 2010
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In a shocking development, police begin "guns drawn" raids on organic food stores in California. George speaks with an owner of Rawsome, a Venice beach organic food store caught up in one of the raids. The coverage of this story by the Los Angeles Times caused a firestorm online with many groups concerned about abuse of police powers and unnecessary safety regulations concerning the consumption of organic and raw foods.
Some people balk at restrictions on selling unprocessed milk and other foods. 'How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?' one says. Regulators say the rules exist for safety and fairness.
With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.
Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid's target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.
"I still can't believe they took our yogurt," said Rawesome volunteer Sea J. Jones, a few days after the raid. "There's a medical marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they're raiding us because we're selling raw dairy products?"
Such battles have had a chilling effect on some retailers. Whole Foods Market used to carry raw milk and raw milk products in California and three other states. But in March, the chain pulled all but a few cheeses off its shelves. Part of the reason, it said in a statement, was "the realities of the very high additional costs for liability insurance ... because of the potential risks from selling unpasteurized milk and milk products."
Rawesome was born of consumer frustration. In 1998, James Stewart — a vegetarian who drank raw milk — couldn't find the stuff in Southern California grocery stores. So he started making road trips to dairies in northern California and to Whole Foods in San Jose, which at the time carried raw milk. Word spread. Family and friends wanted it too. http://surviveandthrive.tv/ http://surviveandthrive.tv/
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