FOR THE DEFENSE
THE RAWESOME RAID
AUGUST 7, 2011. In prosecuting the Rawesome defendants—if the case goes to trial—the feds may bring in their “science.”
They would focus on two points of attack. One, raw unpasteurized milk is inherently unsafe. And two, Rawesome and/or its suppliers were running an unclean operation that, even by conventional standards, broke safety laws.
Rawesome hopefully can stand on its record vis-a-vis the second charge.
Point one, the “inherent danger of raw milk,” will be adjudicated without permitting the defense team to introduce evidence showing pasteurized milk is unhealthy. Nor will the defense be allowed to cite instances where pasteurized milk was actually contaminated.
The Rawesome defense team presumably understands this. They would be very lucky if the judge gave them the green light to examine pasteurized milk in any way.
There are laws in California making it legal to sell raw milk. So on the face of it, an argument that raw milk is always dangerous wouldn’t seem to fly. But if this case is prosecuted on a federal level, all bets are off. For example, even though medical marijuana is legal in California, the feds insist it isn’t legal anywhere in the US. So a federal case against Rawesome could take on 10th Amendment implications, where the defense team is arguing for state jurisdiction, but the feds are insisting their own supremacy trumps that. Feds win.
Mike Adams, at naturalnews.com, has received information that Rawesome defendants could be prosecuted for a wide range of “environmental crimes.” Mike states this is not certain. He’s keeping an eye on the situation.
What would these environmental crimes be? They would fall under the general category of endangering health. For example, by “spreading contagious germs” in the population, through the sale of milk that has not been licensed as safe by federal standards.
Sometimes—and I have seen this happen in an LA courtroom, in a federal trial where the issue was the sale of nutritional supplements—the whole procedure is a slam-dunk for the feds, because the ONLY issue allowed in evidence or debate is: did the defendant violate a federal law or regulation? If the answer is yes, the trial is over.
The defense team needs to figure out whether things will go this way. If so, they’ll have to find some very bright strategy before the judge opens the case.
One of the best defense tactics is public pressure, because sometimes the feds will back down in the face of it and settle the matter without a trial, on a lesser and minor charge, to save face and avoid blowing up the story beyond their ability to control it.
None of what I’ve detailed so far is fair, just, or rational. Those issues went into the wind the morning of August 3, when agents of the FDA, the US Dept. Of Agriculture, the CDC, and LA County sheriffs entered Rawesome and took the place apart.
The presence of the CDC and the Dept. of Agriculture indicates, of course, that there will be extensive lab studies done on the milk samples confiscated. And with lab tests, there is always the possibility of fraud or pseudo-science.
(At 1m33s into the video, a witness reports: “They’re leaving product out in the sun…. Our food is [now] technically contaminated by heat damage…. [Coolers have been left open by the agents since 7:15am. It is now 12:42pm]” (emphasis added)
(Another witness at 2m49s in the video, addressing what appear to be plain clothes FDA and USDA federal agents: “You know that food has been in the sun (*). You can’t test that food; it’s been in the sun. It’s ruined.” [(*) Note: The food became exposed to the sun for long periods due to the actions of the federal agents]. Continuing, another witness… “Yea, did you guys leave [(our) previously refrigerated food] [out] in the sun so that when you test it, it will test [as being] ‘bad'”?)
Fraud means the labs will report serious contamination where none existed. Pseudo-science means the tests used to determine whether there was contamination are generically deceiving—resulting in a conclusion of contamination based on irrelevant factors.
For example, the PCR test can be used to detect the presence of microbes, based on amplifying, to an extraordinary degree, tiny fragments of what may or may not be germs at all—blowing them up and then (incorrectly) claiming them as evidence of massive presence of infectious substance.
This was employed in the recent Swine Flu fraud, where such minute amounts of viral material (if it was viral at all) were grossly magnified and then pronounced as the cause of virulent illness. In fact, the original bits of material analyzed were insufficient to initiate any illness whatsoever.
RAW MILK CAUSES DISEASE
RAW MILK SPREADS GERMS IN THE POPULATION
RAW MILK UNSAFE
These and other similar tag lines or headlines are what the defense should be ready for. (For example, see FDA spokewoman Siobhan DeLancey‘s statement regarding the safety of raw milk made to New York Times reporter Ian Lovett (published by the New York Times on 8/4/2011, “Raw Food Co-op Is Raided in California”))
They would do well to find California scientists who can explain, at trial, why there is a law in this state allowing sale of raw milk in the first place. In a jury trial, the jury can at least watch state experts pitted against federal experts.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the feds, if the trial is delayed, begin to reassess its presumption of overwhelming victory, particularly if the defense team, through the press and public outcry, begins to make its case. Although federal prosecutors have good track records in courtrooms, they sometimes bulldoze cases beyond the boundaries of their evidence, because the pressure that forced them to bring the cases in the first place flowed from political interests above them. (See the Barry Bonds trial, as well as the strange ending of the Roger Clemens case.)
So far, one charge has been brought against James Stewart, the founder of Rawesome: processing and selling unlicensed raw milk. Stewart pled not guilty. If the feds want to make a full-blown example of Stewart, they will bring other charges as their lab tests come in.
But that first charge speaks to the strategy I mentioned above. “You violated a provision requiring licenses? Guilty.”
Now, unless we are dealt surprises, such as investigations of the financial records of Rawesome turning up irregularities, or any misrepresentation by Rawesome to its members, what I’ve described here pretty much covers the waterfront.
One can argue all day long about whether raw milk is safe, but the fact is Rawesome is a private club, and its members agree to buy the milk. If the feds decide to skirt that issue, chances are the judge will deny Rawesome the opportunity to argue that private clubs and their agreements take precedence over regulations governing businesses.
As I’ve said, the defense has to anticipate a quick and nasty verdict, based solely on a literal reading of regulations and laws and an accusation that Rawesome disobeyed them.
If you can lure him out of retirement in Wyoming, your man for a trial or for gaining press and public attention, is attorney extraordinaire, Gerry Spence. He’s an ultimate game changer.
Over the last 35 years, Jon Rappoport (site, twitter) has gained a reputation as one of the most relentless medical investigative reporters in the world. Nominated early in his career for a Pulitzer Prize, Jon has written for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. His is currently the associate producer on a film in progress, American Addict, detailing the effects of pharmaceuticals on the US population.