Swat Team Raids Food Co-op in Rural Ohio
- VDW: Swat Team Conducts Food Raid in Rural Ohio
Thu, 4 Dec 2008
On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered
the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the
family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on
parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to
8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were
quite traumatized. At some point, the "bad cop" SWAT team was
relieved by another team, a "good cop" team that tried to befriend
the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food
cooperative called Manna Storehouse
on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.
There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of
them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly
supicious-looking <http://steveandpaul arunyan.blogspot .com/>.
Agents began rifling through all of the family's possessions, a task
that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every
private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed
on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and
they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were
not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was
taken, including the family's personal stock of food for the coming
year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were
taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was
virtually shut down. There was no rational explanation, nor
justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.
Presumably Manna Storehouse might eventually be charged with running
a retail establishment without a license. Why then the Gestapo-type
interrogation for a 3^rd degree misdemeanor charge? This incident has
raised the ominous specter of a restrictive new era in State
regulation and enforcement over the nation's private food supply.
This same type of abusive search and seizure was reported by those
innocents who fell victim to oppressive federal drug laws passed in
the 1990s. The present circumstance raises the obvious question: is
there some rabid new interpretation of an existing drug law that
considers food a controlled substance worthy of a nasty SWAT
operation? Or worse, is there a previously unrecognized provision(s)
pertaining to food in the Homeland Security measures? Some have
suggested that it was merely an out-of-control, hot-to-trot ODA
agent, and, if so, this would be a best-case scenario. Anything else
might spell the beginning of the end for the freedom to eat
unregulated and unmonitored food http://www.westonap rice.org/.
familiar with the Ohio situation has reported that:
"Interestingly, I believe they [Manna Storehouse] said a month or so
ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and
claimed to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op. Both the
owner and her daughter-in- law had a horrible feeling about the man,
and decided not to allow him into the co-op and notified him by
certified mail. He came back to the co-op demanding to be part of it.
They refused and gave him names of other businesses and health food
stores closer to his home. Not coincidentally, this man was there
yesterday as part of the raid."
The same blog
also noted that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has been chastised
by the courts in several previous instances for its aggression,
including trying to entrap an Amish man in a raw milk "sale,"
which backfired when it became known that the Amish believe in a
literal interpretation of "give to him that asketh thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" (Matthew 5:42)
The issue appears to be the discovery of a bit of non-institutional
beef in an Oberlin College food service freezer a year ago that was
tracked down by a county sanitation official to Manna Storehouse.
Oberlin College's student food coop is widely known for its strident
ideological stance about eating organic foods. It seems that the
Oberlin student food cooperative had joined the Manna Storehouse food
cooperative in order to buy organic foods in bulk from the national
organic food distributor United http://www.unitedbu yingclubs. com/
, which services buying clubs across the nation. The sanitation
official, James Boddy, evidently contacted the Ohio Department of
Agriculture. After the first contact by state ODA officials, Manna
Storehouse reportedly wrote them a letter requesting assistance and
guidelines for complying with the law. This letter was never
answered. Rather, the ODA agent tried several times to infiltrate the
coop, as described above. When his attempts failed, the SWAT team
Food cooperatives and buying clubs have been an active part of the
American landscape for over a generation. In the 1970s, with the rise
of the organic food industry (a direct outgrowth of the hippie back-
to-nature movement) food coops started up all over the country. These
were groups of people who freely associated for the purpose of
combining their buying power so that they could order organic food
items in bulk and case lots. Anyone who was part of these coops in
the early era will remember the messy breakdown of 35 pounds of
peanut butter and 5 gallon drums of honey!
These buying clubs have persisted and flourished over the years due
to their ability to purchase high quality organic foods at reduced
prices in bulk quantities. Most cooperatives have participated
greatly in the local agrarian economies, supporting neighborhood
organic farmers with purchases of produce, eggs, chickens, etc. The
groups also purchase food from a number of different local, regional
and national distributors, many of them family-based businesses who
truck the food themselves. Some of these food cooperatives have
become large enough to set up mini-storefront operations where
members can drop in and purchase items leftover from case lot sales.
Manna Storehouse had established itself in such a manner, using a
small enclosed breezeway attached to their home. It was a folksy
place with old wooden floors where coop members stopped by to chat
and snack on bags of organic corn chips.
The state of Ohio boasts the second largest Amish population in the
country. Many of the Amish live on acreages where they raise their
own food, not unlike Manna Storehouse, and sell off the extras to
neighbors and church members. There is a sense of foreboding that
this state crackdown on a longstanding, reputable food cooperative
operation could adversely impact the peaceful agrarian way of life
not only for the Amish, but homeschoolers and those families living
off the land on rural acreages. It raises the disturbing possibility
that it could become a crime to raise your own food, buy eggs from
the farmer down the road, or butcher your own chickens for family and
friends bustling activities that routinely take place in backwater
The freedom to purchase food directly form the source is increasingly
under attack. For those who have food allergies and chemical
intolerances, or who are on special medical diets, this is becoming a
serious health issue. Will Americans retain the right to purchase
food that is uncontaminated by pesticides, herbicides, allergens,
additives, dyes, preservatives, MSG, GMOs, radiation, etc.? The
melamine scare from China underscores the increasingly inferior and
suspect quality of modern processed institutional foods. One blog,
commenting on the bizarre and troubling Manna Storehouse situation,
"No one is saying exactly why. At the same time the FDA says it it
safe to eat the 40% of tainted beef found in Costco's and Sam's all
over the nation. These farm raids are very common now. Every farmer
needs to fully eqiped [sic] for the possibility of it happening to
them. The Farmer To Consumer Legal Defense Fund
was created just for this purpose. The USDA just released their plans
to put a law into action that will put all small farmers out of
business. Animals for the sale of meat or milk will only be allowed
in commercial farms, even the organic ones." December 3, 2008
Western Bureau Chief
Steel on Steel Radio Program
IRN/USA Radio News
P.O. Box 3358
Hayden Id 83835-3358
Web: www.steelonsteel. com
Swat Team Conducts "Food Raid" in Rural Ohio
Linda Hunnicut - grannywarrior@...
The USDA just released their plans to put a law into action that will
put all small farmers out of business. Animals for the sale of meat
or milk will only be allowed in commercial farms. December 3, 2008
We have been ranting and raving for years about the abuses of the
USDA and the Federal Government against small farmers and people who
would actually like to eat real healthy foods without all of the
additives and commercially inflicted hormones and growth additives.
Every piece of processed food you put into your family's body is
allowed to be altered by the Government to make it more profitable
for the large corporations. Most of these additives are horribly
wrong for the human consumer . They induce more production in the
animals, more fat, more steroids, more antibiotics and less actual
nutrition. We are being slowly murdered and if not dying our brains
are being affected by these additives. Our children are suffering
from diseases that were unknown 30 years ago.
Their intelligence is being reduced ! Allergies , ADD, ADHD, and on
and on. We are allowing the government to make Zombies out of us.
With the lack of healthy foods and the TV constantly keeping us
entertained so we don't think about the very important things we
should be thinking about we are slowly slinking into oblivion. A vast
pit we will not be able to dig out of .
Just take a pill you will be ok?
Keep the Drug industry healthy !
Watch TV for only a few minutes and you will see dozens of ads for
all kinds of cures ( not cures but only medications which will
alleviate the symptoms of illnesses) mostly with side effects which
are worse than the actual illness or disability.
Did you ever wonder why there are so many ads for Viagra? Could it be
that the males in our world now are being sterilized and impotent on
purpose? If a persons body has to have help to have Normal Sex then
something is definitely wrong. From all of the ads you would think
that Sex is the main reason to live? When did it become the most
important factor in a relationship?
I can guarantee you that the small farmer, organic farmer and
gardener that raises their own food does not have this problem. You
won't see any Viagra on their night stand. Their only problem would
be they are bone tired from actually working all day. They also don't
need sleep aids to fall asleep at night.
Keep on feeding your babies formula, it is good for them and
soooooooo easy. It also is made of mostly SOY which was prescribed
for me during menapause to help my body make more estrogen? Now if it
does that for my body why wouldn't it do the same in children? Males
with low testerone means a society that is docile and easily
controlled. Ever notice that it is the women who are actually getting
out and fighting more so than the men now? ( I am not talking about
the farmers who are not consuming vast amounts of Soy every day.
Those men seem to have no problems being a male.) I am not putting
all the blame on Soy but it could be a part of the problem. What ever
happened to Mothers' milk? Goats milk? even the old baby formula your
Grandmother made on the stove out of evaporated milk, water and a
little plain Karo syrup?
How many effeminate Farmers have you seen ?
Google NAIS and join some of the many groups that are fighting for
your food safety and their survival against the huge corporate
organizations which are taking over the control of all of the food
industry. It could mean your very life and certainly has the future
of your family's health at stake.
Most of the diseases that afflict us today can be cured by simply
eating the right foods, stopping the imput of chemicals into our
bodies, and you will find that the food grown in your back yard or on
a small farm tastes alltogether different from the canned variety out
of the grocery stores. You may just develop a taste for real food.
Food that will nourish your body not tear it down.
Find someone with a well and drink their water, people on wells will
share it doesn't cost them a monthly bill to have chemicals put into
their water to make it safe to drink? No Flouride, No clorox, but
real minerals we all need every day in a form we can digest.
Join the small farmers and ranchers, refuse to eat the products from
the huge feed lots and commercially poisoned farms.
And as always start storing up supplies for your family. The time
will come and soon I am afraid that Food will be the weapon we will
be totally controlled with.
He who controls the food supply has the power !
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