Fallout from the Rawsome raid in L.A. — building code “safety” infractions and Missouri cheesemaker shut down, while Iowa egg recaller continues to ship eggs

Excerpt from the latest David E. Gumpert posts on The Complete Patient blog:

Coming soon to a Rawsome near you?

“James Stewart, manager of Rawsome Foods in Los Angeles’ Venice district, has been having a nightmare–“that they’ll come and bulldoze this property.”

“This property” consists of one forty-foot and two twenty-foot shipping containers that have been refurbished into a funky food distribution center used by the 1,500 members of Rawesome, which is a private food club.

He’s been studying the August 18 “Substandard Order” received from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, and for the life of him, can’t figure out what the exact appeal process is, or the date by which he needs to file an appeal. Nor can he get a straight answer from the department.

“Today could be the day–we could be shut even though we’ve done nothing wrong,” and even though there hadn’t been a peep from any city agency in the two years that the structures have been on the vacant lot. Stewart says he was led to believe that, because the containers are temporary, they aren’t subject to the same building regulations as a permanent structure.

In the meantime, Rawesome has continued to serve its members, opening yesterday as scheduled.

Now, Stewart appreciates that the “Substandard Order” isn’t about building codes or safety, It’s about politics, and The State made a strong political statement with its guns-drawn raids June 30 (on Rawesome and nearby Rawesome herdshare farmer Sharon Palmer) that included practically a batallion of food and health regulatory agencies at the city, state, and federal levels. “I’m under full attack,” he told me….”

Above excerpt is from David’s Sept 2, 2010 post on The Complete Patient blog. Read the whole thing here.

And the passage below is from David’s August 31st, 2010 post on The Complete Patient blog:

Gradually, the various follow-up assault roles of The State agencies involved in the raid on Rawesome Foods are becoming clear.

A few days ago, we learned that the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety was assigned to harass Rawesome about building safety codes.

Now we learn that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has been assigned to do lab tests of all the food stolen, er, seized, in the June 30 raid. That information came to light a via a press release issued by CDFA saying its lab “detected” listeria monocytogenes in two varieties of raw-milk cheese from a Missouri producer, Morningland Dairy.

The dairy, which has been selling raw cheeses nationally for thirty years, has never had an illness from its cheeses, its general manager, Denise Dixon, told me. Indeed, the FDA, in a separate press release, in which it said the Morningland cheese was taken from Rawesome, states that no one has become ill from the supposedly contaminated cheese. (The FDA censors reviewing the draft press release must have missed that statement.)

The matter of listeria monocytogenes in foods has become a contentious issue in the raw milk world, especially in New York state, where agriculture officials have made numerous findings of listeria monocytogenes in raw milk over the last five years, without any individuals becoming ill. Within the scientific community,there has been much debate over the last twenty years over whether trace amounts of listeria monocytogenes really are any kind of health threat, since the bacteria are considered pervasive, and illnesses quite rare.

In the meantime, tiny Morningland Dairy, with six employees, has essentially become caught up in the dragnet growing out of the assault on Rawesome Foods by State agents with guns drawn. Now that they carried out such a huge hit on a small private organization, the agencies are under pressure to show “results.” So the city of Los Angeles started with health code violations and moved on to building violations; California is devoting huge resources to examining all the food and finally, to the agents’ collective relief, I am sure, has a “bingo” in finding a few listeria cells in Morningland cheese.  And Morningland has been pressured to recall all its cheese from the first of this year, and prohibited by Missouri officials (presumably recruited by FDA) from shipping any cheese–in effect, shut down. In the authoritarians’ view, just a minor casualty on the road to sterile food.

Now, as I understand it, the huge DeCoster egg operation that has sickened 1,200 people with contaminated eggs since May, continues operations. …”

Read that whole post on the Complete Patient blog here.

Bulldozer picture from this website.


Filed under News

13 responses to “Fallout from the Rawsome raid in L.A. — building code “safety” infractions and Missouri cheesemaker shut down, while Iowa egg recaller continues to ship eggs

  1. nedlud

    The less they paid me for my milk, as everything else rose in price, the less I could do anything about the maintenance (let alone improvement) of the infrastructure of this little farm, though I worked harder and harder and harder every year, it seemed. The more the ‘infrastructure’ fell apart, from lack of money, the more they penalized me. The more they penalized me, the less I had for infrastructure. Not to mention my own life. Finally, THEY decided I was fit no more to be a dairy farmer…

    This could be the story of hundreds of thousands of small dairies everywhere.

    It was definitely part of my story. All the royal little bureaucrats (the maid-servants and man-servants) just toed the royal party line, the one given to them by the Master Bureaucrats, saying and doing the same things to me over and over and over and over and over. ‘

    Damn you, Organic Valley, damn you USDA, damn you Mn Dept of Ag, damn you NFO….damn you MOSA. You all claimed to be on my side, you all LIED!!!

    epitaph of a dairy farmer

  2. Jessica

    Please can I get the Rawsome Email adress!

  3. Anonymous

    first off, im not a milk enthusiast raw or pasturized, people aren’t supposed to drink milk after infancy, but you have the right to sell raw milk regardless. you need to appeal as soon as possible before they take any more action. they say raw milk is bad for you and dangerous, but the pasturized milk you can buy in stores causes all sorts of health problems, like osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. pasturized milk is just as dangerous if not less. im sure you can make a petition as well..

  4. thebovine

    Jessica, we don’t have that email address here. But you could become friends with Aajonus Vonderplanitz on Facebook and ask him yourself.

  5. Safetyforchildren

    Who will protect our children from these predatory unsavory back-alley merchants selling unpasteurized milk?! Listeria can kill. I want to know my children are safe from sick depraved greedy predators like Rawsome !

    • bobby wetstein

      this is not about politics at all. this is about stewart screwing everybody. this is about stewart being in baed with the Healthy family farms, which farm is a huge scam. search for yourself, this whole thing is not about politics!!

      Hi, healthy-food lovers,
      We have in-house problems at this time. We do not like to share our laundry with you but there are details about the quality of our foods that affect all Rawesome-Club-of-Venice-California members. For those of you who are not Rawesome-Venice members please disregard this. Thank you.

      Today, we received a report from independent investigators. It saddens us to have to bring this to everyone’s attention but it affects our health and well-being. All o f you know that James Stewart runs Rawesome Club of Venice. Because of inconsistency of food quality, we had a firm investigate one of James Stewart’s suppliers, Sharon Palmer of Healthy Family Farm. She supplies so called pastured organic non-soy and non-GMO-fed chicken and eggs, and until recently raw goats-milk products and meats. We have signed documented evidence that most of the chickens and eggs she had been selling us for years are bought from standard commercial egg and meat suppliers that were not organic and not soy-free. Also, we have evidence that Palmer does not use organic feed for the few chickens she had raised from as long as 2 years ago up to 2 months ago.

      Several of us called the irregularity of her chickens and eggs to James Stewart’s attention several times in at least 2 years and requested that he buy chickens from a reliable source but he refused. Since James Stewart claims to get the best foods that he can for Rawesome members, why wouldn’t he get them from the responsible and reliable Amish farmers with whom we are already contracted?

      The answer to that is even more saddening: Mr. Stewart told another investor of Healthy Family Farm that he, James Stewart invested $700,000 of his own money (made from profits from Rawesome) and he wants the profits of the chicken and egg sales that is $10,000 monthly. It deeply troubles us that Rawesome members have been deceived and usurped by James Stewart and Sharon Palmer. It lacks integrity and care for Rawesome members and their rights to healthy food and honesty about them. It is a crime that we, Rawesome members have been eating non-organic soy-fed chickens and eggs by our standards.

      The raw goat’s milk and cheeses we got from Rawesome until several months ago were also supposed to have come from organically-fed goats at Healthy Family Farm and Sharon Palmer. The investigative report states that testimony from past employees at Healthy Family Farm, declared that Palmer fed her goats non-organic feed and that Mr. Stewart was told. Mr. Stewart got angry with them and told them they were lying. Why would they lie? They helped raise the money to finance Healthy Family Farm. They raised that money to fund the farm because James Stewart and Sharon Palmer promised to raise the best-quality organically-grown products for Rawesome members. They used cheap feed, bought commercial products, doubled the prices and made bigger profits.

      Sharon Palmer faces many problems with government agencies, and she decided to dispose of her goats and only sell chickens and eggs that were not organic. Rawesome now gets members goat’s milk from our contracted Amish Farmers. The investigative report states that Palmer was and is a convicted felon of fraud on several counts. At least 2 of the incidents of fraud involved talking out loans on elderly peoples’ homes, taking the money and letting the elderly people be evicted for non-payment of loans. She has defrauded Rawesome members with Mr. Stewarts knowledge and complicity.

      Those are not the only incidents regarding falsely presenting foods as something they are not. For about 2 years, James Stewart sold pressed oils as raw, pressed under 105 degrees F. When our president questioned him about the temperatures, James Stewart got angry and told everyone that Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz was a jerk and trying to sabotage Rawesome. However, Aajonus simply tries to protect people’s rights to healthy food, including his. He tries to make producers prove their claims for their products. James Stewart insisted that he had put a heat-gun on the cold-pressing machine and heat on the oils were all under as low as 80 F. and not above 105 F. Two years later, Aajonus happened to be present when the oils were pressed. Using James Stewarts’ heat-gun to test the oil, two of the 3 oils were from 124 – 171 degrees F. Only then did James Stewart change the signs that those oils were not pressed below 105 F.

      Now that we have evidence of fraud by James Stewart regarding goat’s-milk products, chickens and eggs, all Rawesome members must make him face accountability. We have poisoned ourselves with soy, non-organic and possibly GMO and antibiotic toxicity because James Stewart assured us we were eating “completely organic, non-soy-fed and non-GMO” chickens, eggs and goat’s-milk products from Healthy Family Farm/Sharon Palmer. Is it appropriate for us to insist that James Stewart get another source of chickens and eggs, such as from the Amish?

      We will make the report available to those who doubt any statements above. We realize that the above is more than you may have wanted to know but it is better that you know the details before collect your eggs and chicken from Rawesome Club Venice . There is more about James Stewart and his attorney that a RTCHF-representative will issue within 12 hours. Like all of the Rawesome members, we are people just trying to be as healthy as we can.
      Right To Choose Healthy Food
      Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz, President
      Jeff Slay, Vice President
      Louis Cangemi, Secretary

    • raw

      You have the right not to buy raw milk for your children if you feel it is not appropriate or present a risk. Very simple. Other people have other belief. Why call these merchants such derrogatory names. The people buying are adults capable of deciding what is best for them and there children. Such fear and negativity. Smile be happy.

    • david

      IMPOSTER ALERT!!! this ‘safetyforchildren’ imposter is EXACTLY what you’re up against, folks — some sick Karl Rove type lying liar posing as a ‘concerned parent’. THEY WILL STOP AT NOTHING. Unreal

  6. Luke

    How can I get a hold of the President or VP of Rawesome? I would like to discuss Healthy Family Farms. Thanks.

  7. thebovine

    Sorry Luke, can’t help you with that one. Maybe David Gumpert knows. Look up his The Complete Patient blog — it’s in our blogroll.

  8. Margaret Bartley

    Hmm. Wonder how many millions of dollars LA taxpayers paid for this boondoggle.

    When will people wake up, and start electing politicians that serve their interests, not some fascist agenda?

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