Authorities, Including FBI, Raid Aajonus Vonderplanitz’ CA Buying Club and Raw Dairy Herdshare in New Buying Group Assault; He Orders Staff to Stay Open, Ignore Red Tag

Aajonus VonderplanitzThe food police have increased the heat on private providers of nutrient-dense foods, raiding and shutting down Rawesome Foods, a Venice, CA, buying club run by raw-food advocate Aajonus Vonderplanitz.

In addition, the authorities have gone after a nearby goat dairy Vonderplanitz has a herdshare arrangement with–one they raided a year-and-a-half ago, run by Sharon Palmer.

Vonderplanitz is a celebrity of sorts in the emerging raw-food movement, which encourages consumption of not only raw dairy, but raw meat, fish, and vegetables as a means of ensuring good health and countering disease. He travels the world running workshops on the raw food diet, and is understood to have been out of the country yesterday when the raid was conducted by a collection of agents; he reported to several associates Friday afternoon that the raiding party included agents from the Los Angeles Police, city and county health departments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Involvement of the FBI in a food buying club assault would be a first.

The raiding party confiscated dairy products and honey. By Friday afternoon, he had ordered his staff to open the buying club, and ignore the red tag placed on the property to signify its shutdown.

Most immediately, the legal reason behind the shutdown was the absence of a permit from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to operate the buying club, according to the text of the shutdown order reproduced on a site.

It’s difficult not to think that the raid on Vonderplanitz’s buying club isn’t an intensification of the pressure on private food groups nationally, including the case against Max Kane in Wisconsin, the four buying clubs in Massachusetts, and more recently the shutdown of the Traditional Foods Warehouse in Minneapolis.

Vonderplanitz is one of the earliest supporters of raw milk, having fought crackdowns in California during the 1980s in Los Angeles. He was an early investor in Organic Pastures Dairy Co., and has provided legal and research documents supporting raw milk to farmers fighting regulators in various parts of the country. He says he used a raw diet to help him recover from terminal cancer when he was in his 20s. Max Kane credits the Vonderplanitz diet with helping him recover from Crohn’s disease.?

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15 Comments on "Authorities, Including FBI, Raid Aajonus Vonderplanitz’ CA Buying Club and Raw Dairy Herdshare in New Buying Group Assault; He Orders Staff to Stay Open, Ignore Red Tag"

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Bob "BubbaBozo" Hayles
July 2, 2010 3:25 am

The regulators may have made a huge mistake here…and if they will make one more they will have the biggest can of whup-ass opened on them you can imagine.

If they will crack down on Mercola as well you won’t believe the firestorm that will erupt.

Agree with them or not, Vonderplanitz and Mercola have a HUGE following, and concurrent crackdowns in a close timeframe might be the best thing that could happen to benefit nutritional choice.


Karen James
July 2, 2010 3:54 am

Aajonus Vonderplanitz? How dare he run around looking so, so, so healthy? Why can’t he eat food from Wal-Mart like everyone else?

Whatever Mr. Vonderplanitz is doing, he is obviously doing it right.

Karen James
July 2, 2010 5:10 am

I honestly can’t stop laughing after reading today’s post, David.

We have John "Jelly Belly" Sheehan from the FDA and Tom "Tub O’ Lard" Vilsack from USDA telling everyone what they should eat. Then we see Mark McAfee and Aajonus Vonderplanitz, two of the studliest men in America, telling us what they eat to stay healthy. And surprise, surprise…their advice is different than what Jelly Belly and Tubby are recommending.

Gee, such contradictory advice. Whose recommendations should I follow?

Concerned Person
July 2, 2010 10:49 am

8 more illness found in Colorado making a total of 24 people who may have become ill from drinking raw milk. Im waiting to hear from Blair. This time 2 pathogens are involved, but Im sure there will be continued creative stories as to why it couldnt possibly be the milk that made these people ill.


milk farmer
July 2, 2010 10:55 am

cp, don’t you find it a bit odd that the ‘incidences’ attributed to raw milk seem to be coming more frequently lately? As are the crackdowns on distributors of nutrient dense foods….there is no such thing as coincidence (pun intended)

There is a campaign against raw milk by the authorities, and it sure seems that tptb are trying real hard to create a problem here. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is really going on….

Concerned Person
July 2, 2010 11:38 am

The first creative story is by milk farmer. It is estimated that 1% of the population drinks raw milk but somehow 11 times this year people who became ill with a foodborne illness also were drinking raw milk and it was the only common food consumed. I use to be disgusted by the denial, but now find it entertaining (well actually pathetic) as to the desperate measures that are psychologically taken to avoid the truth. Bottom line, cow or goat shit is getting into raw milk and it is making people ill. And so much for the theory that consuming raw milk will boost your immune system and prevent a foodborne illness.

I anxiously await the next creative story.


Milky Way
July 2, 2010 11:48 am

milk farmer,

From an epidemiological point-of-view, it is odd that there are 24 illnesses among 43 households/herdshare members (using preliminary numbers reported). Nothing is impossible in biology, but coincidence seems pretty unlikely if the only thing these sick people have in common is being a member of the herdshare and drinking raw milk from that farm. Does the bowling league or the Elk Lodge in Boulder have a similar attack rate among their members? No…


Concerned Person
July 2, 2010 11:51 am
Blair McMorran
July 2, 2010 11:56 am

We are still gathering information about the outbreak here in Colorado, as well as farm practices. We need more information, including the health dept. records. Our prayers go out to the child in the hospital (today’s report was that he was in critical condition), as well as the (growing count) of people who have endured the misery of Campy.

More later,

Concerned Person
July 2, 2010 12:41 pm

Blair, I was harsh before with my comment about looking in the mirror the next time there is an outbreak. I was trying to make you see the seriousness of all of this. Denying raw milk outbreaks hurts everyonethe farmer and the consumer. My heart goes out to the farmer running the goat share program and to the family with the child in the hospital. When I hear critical condition, I think HUS. I hope not. I send my prayers.


Don Wittlinger
July 2, 2010 5:32 pm
Whats the FBI doing in my milk?
HMM Since the FBI was unable to find and gave up on the search for the missing $50 billion dollars that Bernie Madoff hid somewhere and now has turned their attention to fighting the real criminals in America those that dare to drink raw milk shall they be anymore successfull?
Will the FBI be involved in the future coming raw milk farm raids and surely there will be more.
Maybe the CIA and the National Guard will be called in to protect us raw milk fools from ingesting a bad germ since we have rejected the "good stuff" provided by the kings table via the CAFOs?

Shana Milkie
July 2, 2010 8:09 pm

Let me add my sympathy for the people affected by the Colorado goat milk outbreak, especially for the child in critical condition. All of us raw milk advocates who "have two brain cells to rub together" can only feel compassion for others’ illness. Sure, let’s investigate the causes and let’s improve inadequate farming practices if that’s what the cause is. I think that goes without saying.

Jeremy Johnson
July 2, 2010 8:48 pm

Karen James,

That comment about contradictory advice was awesome. Mind if I quote it elsewhere?

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