UPDATE: Raided By the FDA for Selling Raw Milk and Farm Fresh Foods : The Renegade Health Show #725

Monday Dec 20 | BY |
| Comments (38)

About 6 months ago, the Rawsome Co-op in Venice Beach, CA was raided by the FDA…

After following this story for a while, I wanted to talk to co-op co-founder Aajonus Vonderplanitz after the fact to keep the story alive and see what has transpired over the last 6 months or so.

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What do you think about all this?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

To read more about Aajonus Vonderplanitz, please click here: http://www.wewant2live.com/

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Craig says:

    sounds like they are trying to reword their business plan to avoid laws.Who knows i guess they did that with marijuana in some states but they went from a medical change in law to accept the loop hole Besides changing the laws, are getting your own cow for your own consumption. I do not think they are going to beat the Government.

  2. Lorien says:

    I understand what they are doing completely. As he said, it’s just like leasing a car. I can pay someone to maintain my car and even drive me around in my car if I wish, leased or not. So they are not going around the law, they have found a way within the law to do what they want. However the FDA has acted outside the law for a long time. Many govenment agency’s do. It will be interesting to see how these folks fare.

  3. nick says:

    It is the FDA Big pharma and agra that are paying off politicians to reword our right to buy healthy food. the FDA needs to focus on large producers–particularly the CAFOs–not waste its time creating harsh new regulations for small farmers and businesses.
    The senate just passed a bogus amendment onto the Food Safety Act that gives the FDA more power to put small farmers out of business because of record keeping there is no appeal process this was attached to some unrelated last-minute legislation on recycling! If people keep their head in the sand and allow and trust the government to provide safe and healthy food they are in for a rude awakening!!

  4. Austin says:

    Sorry to bust the scene (yet again, its because of the government…), but the commerce clause strictly states that producing anything for personal consumption falls underneath federal regulation, since producing your own food effects the national market. Sort of ridiculous if you think about it. Especially since this personal-> national market link was established by the government trying to enforce price fixes on wheat in the 1930s… Under this “authority” they have the ability to regulate nearly any and all types of human activities (not just producing resources). They can regulate activities that consume resources… They could go as far as regulating the # of kids you have since this would effect the national market. This open-ended law needs to be brought down. I actually wrote up a bunch of logical arguments against this law (since i was angry that the federal government uses this law as a reason that federal law trumps state law when it comes to personal marijuana production / consumption). The federal government is getting way too big and this bully needs to be chopped down to size. To see my notes about commerce clause & related laws/ regulations go here http://www.iseenews.com/commerce.html – sorry that the notes are soo jumbled, but i hope that this helps all of you who are fighting the good fight. keep it up!

  5. Joseph DiMasi says:

    I think that this is some of the saddest events going on in our country. Absolutely insane, and mind-boggling that it seems to perpetuate in plain sight… but few seem to know or care. Wow…

  6. Krista says:

    Sorry to be such a pessimist, but the FDA currently is getting away w/raiding 7 year old’s lemonade stands. If that doesn’t scare the pants off of everyone who reads about it, then things will have to get much, much worse in order for the average American to finally say they’ve had enough. And if the heat gets turned up slowly enough, that may never happen. It’s a really depressing thing to have to witness.

  7. Teresa Jackson says:

    I’m all for keeping the small farmer. What’s really scary is the fact that companies like Monsanto are using GMO seed in these big industrial farms. There has not been enough time and study to see what the effects of this GMO seed does to people or animals over a period of time. In my opinion though it can’t be good. I read an article of a farmer that had an organic farm, and every year he would keep some of his organic seed for the next years crop. A train carrying some Monsanto seed (not well covered) passed through his land and some of the seed blew into the farmer’s crop. Monsanto people came onto his land and because some of his seed was now mixed with Monsanto’s, Monsanto won in court the farmer’s whole crop, seeds and all.The court system is broken badly and is in need of a fix. The gov. is supposed to be for the people, not the big corps. They are nothing more than prostitutes, selling judgement to the highest contributer.

  8. Gerry says:

    oops I thought you and Ann were vegans- in which case, why would you worry about the difficulties raw milk and egg producers are having? When if comes to selling animal products- the more trouble, the better, as far as I’m concerned. I am surprised you don’t feel that way too. reply?

  9. James says:

    I thought the raids in California and other states back east were all conducted by state food and drug agencies not the federal (FDA) though? Is it an important distinction?

  10. nancy says:

    Number 7 comment is complete ignorance…everything is connected – whether we be vegan, raw, or otherwise…still connected!

  11. Carol Sue says:

    The FDA and government has way too much power.
    Senate Bill S-510 Food Safety Act was unamiously passed in the Senate (which was a surprise to many) and goes back to the House of Representatives tomorrow 12/21/10 for a final vote. I don’t know if the Senators actually read all of the bill or even took the time to think about the ramifications. Maybe they eat McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken? Or maybe they didn’t want to take the time needed to investigate as most want to leave Washington for the Christmas Holidays. I’ve repeatly contacted my Senators and House Representative to voice my opposition. I receive back a cordial letter acknowledging their receipt of my contact. And that’s it……. They vote the way THEY want even though THEY work for us. We need more citizens to get involved and make the necessary changes in government on a Federal and State level.

  12. James says:

    Gerry, I’m sure the issue and concern is about food freedom. In the end the laws and agencies aren’t slowing down animal products, they are just requiring those animal products to be pasteurized. They are limiting your freedom to get products that are healthier, free from pasteurization, and not denatured. Don’t you want it to be up to you what you buy and consume instead of limiting your choices to only illness causing products that are produced with no concern for the fragile proteins found in raw milk or for the added hormones, pesticides, or if the animals are fed GMO grains?

  13. RW says:

    The Government is taking away everyone’s freedom one step at a time! If we do nothing we may end up with no freedoms as a prisoner and subject of the ‘State’.

    First They Came for the Raw Milk, And I Did Nothing…..

    Just as in this famous quote:

    Then they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    So when will ‘they’ come after the part of freedom you care about?

  14. bryan says:

    The old part of me would have would have thought that only some sort of subversive or violent resolution would ultimately be the solution to these types of issues. Let’s be honest this is taking place in virtually every aspect of the “civilized,” cultures all over the world as far as any type of government regulated anything… The new part of me KNOWS the only solution is my choices & prayer & faith.


    The most important… LOVE!!!

  15. LL says:

    RW you are so right. I escaped from a country where our family farm was confiscated by the government, then they asked my father how to operate such a large farm because they had no idea and the people of the land starved. I am very sorry to see events in this country go in the direction from where I escaped.

  16. RJ says:

    Thank you, Kevin!
    The FDA also raided my favorite place in Minnesota, a few months ago. They are back open…but I was told to call before driving out, just to be SURE they are open. They sell alot of “non-animal” products also…I learned how to make kombucha from a woman who teaches at my local food coop and also sells her wonderful kombucha at Traditional Foods of Minnesota.

  17. Chris Armstrong says:

    almost every book of wisdom from every culter contains strong language about each individuals responsability to mantane there free morle agency , RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF CHOICE . unless we do so we choose to be slaves .

  18. Darlene Santano says:

    Interestingly enough, I read about this raid on Mike Adams’ website. The raid was indeed illegal because the shop is a private “members only” club and is not open to the general public – therefore they do not require a permit to operate.

    There is a case here in Canada involving Michael Smith, a farmer from Ontario who sells raw milk to persons who own shares in his cows. In a court case the Judge decided to interpret a particular statute to suit the needs of his situation and concluded that Health Canada “assumes that raw milk is unhealthy without any proof”. Michael Smith provided that proof by doing his own testing of the milk for pathogens. It was found to be clean and free of any harmful pathogens. The Judge decided in Michael’s favour in this case and concluded he did not break the law. Good to see that some Judge’s are reasonable and fair in their interpretation of the law! I firmly believe one day raw milk will be allowed to be sold in Canada to those who want it. It’s court cases like this one that only prove how safe raw milk is if it’s properly handled and tested!

  19. Rhonda D says:


    Kevin & Annmarie Great info. See What happens when Fed’s are in fear of losing control of the market that means loss of $$$$$$$$.

    Just like the rulers of olden days instill fear and you gain total control.

    We need all need to wake up and take note of what is going on in our communities.

    Freedom to choose!

  20. Lori Shecter says:

    Everyone needs to email this to everybody they know. Spread the word and educate. So many people have know idea!!!

  21. Angel Ward says:

    what do I think? uuugh do you want to hear it? I absolutely hate our government, its transforming into a Nazi nation, everything they do is brainwashing and brain deadening us… they make me sick…literally, poisoning our children, for the sake of…duh duh duh….MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Christina says:

    This is right around the corner from my house. A frowns of mine was selling her homegrown wheatgrass juice here to members after she beat cancer and went on a raw food retreat. This is not just about animal products. It is about taking control of our own health, having healthy options to choose from, and supporting local small businesses. Good grief! They raided with weapons in hand over MILK people!!!

  23. Pat Zahn says:

    I own goat shares at a local farm where I get fresh goat milk and kefir. I sometimes hesitate to tell people. I want them to be successful, but I don’t want them to be shut down on some trumped up charges. Honestly, why with all that’s going on in the world today, why the government has to pay attention to this…

  24. Garrett says:

    We are witnessing the unfolding of a full-scale police state. This is not hyperbole.

    It is hard to imagine that after 8 years of the most depressing and mind-numbingly illegal and unethical and overtly criminal Administration in the recent history of our country that what followed next would simply be business as usual, a continuation of those ideals, philosophies, and programs.

    We are experiencing Bush’s Third Term… and there is no end in sight.

    They say that ALL politics is local. So, we simply MUST make a huge difference in our local communities. And when a hero steps forward and gets slapped by the Big Machine… we all need to gather together our support.

  25. vitamin b12 says:

    It makes me glad I don’t live in the USA. Your country has gone completely mad and it seems that no-one can do anything about it. The Pharm companies have top positions in the FDA and have probably bought off most politicians. It’s a very sad state of affairs. They go after these farmers and co-ops while many big food companies are allowed to poison the population.

  26. Bonjour kevin,

    did you get a summer hair cut ? Yes, it is the first winter day but it s still hot in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

    Well the French government try to control the price of wheat or milk but it could never ask the farmer to burn his products on his backyard. It would be a revolution in France.
    Maybe you should stop to consume processed foods and goods labelled by the FDA ?
    Dr. Jerome

  27. Dee says:

    So if we want true healthcare reform in this country, it must address the FDA and the people that are hired to work there. It must reform the FDA.

  28. Diane says:

    Unbelievable. It’s all about the money and power. But it is comforting to know that there are good people out there fighting for what is right. We WILL win.

  29. Debra says:

    OMG the pharmaceutical and big food companies are like the evil empire!!! Unbelievable! Aajonus Vonderplanitz is a hero!!! Thank you Kevin for bringing attention to this story. This should be on national news.

  30. Karen says:

    I was just watching “Lord of the Rings” #3. The people rose up and won. Let’s get our act together and do the same!

  31. Evelyn says:

    Let’s face it, the government and its agencies have become big brother. That is our fault! We have voted in people who are not looking out for the people’s best interest. We are a republic, not a democracy and these tactics take away our rights to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The politicians have sold out our country.

    Our forefathers designed our constitution and America as a republic so as not to be oppressed by government. A Democracy allows the people to vote for a representative that we think will represent us (as a minority) and our interests, but ultimately we have given those representatives (the government)the right to dictate what is best for us. That was never the intention of our forefathers.

    A republic allows us to vote for a representative permitting them to only have limited power of making the rules.

    Ultimately, a republic is “We the people” and we have the rights under the Constitution to overpower our government’s dictate. They are supposed to be working for us, not for their own interest or the interest of Big Business, Big Pharma or Big Agra. So, as of today, our government (composed of lawyers and former Big Agra, Pharma and Business leaders) rule under a democracy making “We the People”, our republic and our forefathers a mockery!

    We need to take our country back from these money grubbing, self interested officials we call our government. That is how we let our small farmers, small business or individuals to thrive. We need to do something other than hope things will change. By the way, Rome did fall under a democracy, that’s why it fell.

  32. Eve says:

    Funny, I just went there for the second time Saturday!

    I wanted to experiment, see how raw dairy felt in my body. But the raw milk I had bought in stores was so-so, and the raw butter tasted weird.

    This place claims to get their milk & butter from Amish farms. Flavor-wise, it is AMAZING! Light-years better than what I’d bought in the store.

    The first thing I noticed with the milk, I never liked to drink regular milk because it felt like it “went sour” in my mouth as soon as I swallowed. (I still bought it sometimes to put in tea or other stuff.) Raw milk doesn’t have that sour effect at all. It definitely feels different in my body, like something my body recognizes. Their raw butter is what every butter wishes it could taste like. Saturday I bought “honey cream kefir” which is unbelievable on baked yams, and feels very live.

    I do think the government acts out of what they think is protecting the public. But their policies are often misguided/flawed. I do think some of that comes from the top, where the incestuous hiring of former high-level agrobusiness/big pharma puppets begets policies that aren’t about the people these agencies seek to protect.

    But most of the public is so poorly informed – we are an intellectually/politically lazy and numbed-out populace for the most part – so bad ballot measures get passed when they shouldn’t. When comments here talk about “fighting” this stuff, I think – how? I’m informed, I write letters but only when an organization I belong to e-mails me that it needs to be done. Most of us are too busy or just plain don’t know HOW to “fight the power”…except with our dollars, which is something.

    Which leads me to a speculation about this coop. I love it, I worry it may disappear. The thought that an Amish farmer spoke the undrugged, organic cow’s name, patted her side as he knelt to milk her is vastly comforting to me.

    BUT – the butter is $16 a pound! (on top of the membership fee) So I can see how the FDA would assume there’s a profit.

    And there is NO documentation anywhere on the premises – no photos of what this Amish farm looks like, no written description nor confirmation of the pastoral images I have of the milk’s origins. No explanation for how milk from people who don’t use modern technology winds up in plastic bottles sealed by a machine. (I assume the coop people pick it up in bulk and package it themselves, but how would I ever KNOW this to be true?) For $16 a pound, don’t I have the right to a little more than the word of the person taking my money?

    It’s easy to get all up in arms and say this is 100% the evildoing of a government agency, but I think we have to look at the situation from their point of view to figure out how we – and the coop – might better avoid these raids and preserve our right to healthier food choices.

    And Gerry – you have about as much chance of converting the world to Veganism as Dawkins has of convinving the whole world to just stop having religion. This really is about choice. You wouldn’t want the government forcing you to eat what they see fit, would you?

    As for “no animal in nature drinking another animal’s milk”, that’s only because no lactating mother animal would allow it! Except in cases of interspecies adoption. i have numerous photos of mother dogs nursing their puppies – AND a baby tiger, or a mother cat with a tiny puppy feeding along with her newborn kittens. Not to mention the famous b&w photo of the farmer milking his cow, who has the teet turned so he is squirting milk into the open mouth of a cat 5 feet away, sitting up on its hind legs, begging…

    I’m still deciding about milk, but we have to get away from follish or unfounded arguments.


  33. Ed Tolliver says:

    What is happening in our country is truly frightening.

    The comment about feeling sorry that the US is following in the footsteps of LL’s former country is telling. Here is a person who lived first hand what we are drifting into. That insight should be chilling.

    The French doctor’s comment that France would rise up if the government tried to do what our government is perhaps a good wake-up call.

    Jerry’s comment about causing trouble for anyone who raises animals for food is a good thing is absolutely frightening! I eat healthy meat and I will defend my right to do so. Does that make me a spawn of satan? When we forget we all have the right to live our lives as we choose, then everyone’s rights are in danger.

  34. It is absurd that raw milk and raw milk products are unavailable/illegal for those of us who want it without having to use legal loopholes.

    I investigated purchasing raw milk and cream for my family, but the nearest farm that offered the herd sharing option is an hour drive round trip and the milk would cost about 4 times as much as the milk in the stores and cream would be even more expensive, not to mention that I would have to pay a couple hundred dollars a year to have the privilege of purchasing raw milk.

    Raw milk, currently, is basically illegal and when you can find a way to purchase it, it is very inconvenient and cost-prohibitive.

    I wrote to my local state representative recently to urge him to allow the legal sale of raw milk in retail stores. I got a form letter back saying that his term was nearly up and to forward my concerns to the incoming person (whom I have to way to contact).

    I think “illegalizing” the retail sale of raw milk is based on greed, ignorance and unfounded absurdity and I will continue to support getting it legalized.

  35. Brianna says:

    @Gerry. I think you may be missing the point of this interview. It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is. The problem is that REAL food, produced by the individual for individual consumption, is coming under fire. Sounds like the government is overstepping their bounds, and we need to be concerned because food is a basic human right. If I would rather grow my food instead of buy it, that is certainly my own right. If I’d like to share my food with someone who is hungry. That is certainly my right as well.

    I have to remind myself of this next fact all the time, to keep myself from getting too stressed out: WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. A government OF the people, FOR the people. As long as we are not afraid to let our voices be heard, we will continue to enjoy our freedoms. I think we can take comfort in that thought.

    Thanks for the information, Kev & AM! As always, much appreciated.

  36. Allen Frankel says:

    I have been a raw food vegan since early 2006 and even though I do not eat raw dairy, eggs, meat and fish, I believe that people have the constitutional right to drink raw milk. Since each of us makes up the government, the government must take a neutral position and allow people to eat what they desire as long as they do not harm others. Parents really need to teach their children to eat properly — NOT the government, especially federal agencies like the FDA that have too much vested power.

  37. jackie says:

    The situation is terrible. I know a farmer who sells his produce and raw milk and milk products to his cow share owners. Last year or so, while driving with his truck to make deliveries, the state police or whoever it was (don’t remember exactly who) stopped him, confiscated the truck full of products, his cell phones, etc. claiming that the milk wasn’t safe or didn’t meet certain specifications. To condense the story, they eventually had the milk tested and it was better quality than the current pasteurized milk on the market!! It was pure harassment. All his customers had to fill out long forms and report any sickness they had experienced which might have been related to his products. It was ridiculous. Thankfully he is back in business, but I don’t know how much $ he lost with legal bills in order to defend himself; I’m sure it was a lot. Shameful.

  38. It has been so difficult to get fresh raw milk here in Florida (for our pets because it is illegal to sell for human consumption!). We have one local business that sells it, but the authorities like to randomly come in and make paperwork demands and the like that keep shutting them down!

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