Raids on Farms and Private Food Distributors Increasing

A recent Grist article details the disturbing increase in federal, local, and state agency raids on producers, distributors, and yes, consumers, who are producing, selling, and buying local food products. The raids are presumably related to efforts to increase food safety oversight, but the targets seem to often be small, local producers and private distributors selling value added products that consumers are increasingly demanding, such as grass fed meat, fermented foods, pasture-raised eggs, raw milk, and honey. The increasing frequency of these raids has sparked outrage from farmers, consumers, and local food providers. According to Grist, The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund which documents these incidents and provides legal help for those caught up in them is deeply concerned about this trend, and the willingness of Judges to serve warrants on small farm and food operations. The article goes on to offer tips to those concerned about such raids which include using caution in selling to strangers, being prepared to take video of the raids, reading search warrants carefully, taking down names of agents involved in the raid, and backing up essential electronic data, since personal computers are often confiscated. 

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