Rawesome Foods Owner Released on Bail After Raid
[Update, 08.09.11: NaturalNews reports that as a condition of their release, the Raw Milk Three are subject to a gag order that prevents them from speaking about the case.]
Desiree N. Williams / Flickr Raw milk at an organic co-op.
After being frog-marched out of his raw milk speakeasy in a Wednesday morning raid then spending the night in jail, Rawesome Foods owner James Stewart was released yesterday on $30,000 bail under the condition that he cannot sell unpasteurized dairy without a license. (His bail was originally set at $125,000.)
Stewart and two others, Healthy Family Farms owner Sharon Palmer and Weston A. Price Foundation liaison Victoria Bloch were also arrested and each held on $60,000 bail. Bloch has been released and her bail was dropped, but Palmer's arraignment has not yet been scheduled, we're told.
Palmer may be considered a flight risk given that in 2000 she and her partner Edward Rostami were arrested near the U.S.-Mexico border as they fled to avoid prosecution for a real estate swindle.
While it's legal to manufacture and sell unpasteurized dairy products in California, licenses and permits are required. The 13-count indictment against Stewart, Palmer and Bloch alleges they sold raw milk and other raw dairy products without the proper permits and health safeguards.
The raid and subsequent arrests sparked outrage among organic food and raw milk advocates, who protested the actions today outside the courtroom where the Raw Milk Three were arraigned.
We'll keep adding details as we get them.