Ethan A. Huff
November 11, 2011
It is the latest case of extreme government food tyranny, and one that is sure to have you reeling in anger and disgust. Health department officials recently conducted a raid of Quail Hollow Farm, an organic community supported agriculture (CSA) farm in southern Nevada, during its special “farm to fork” picnic dinner put on for guests — and the agent who arrived on the scene ordered that all the fresh, local produce and pasture-based meat that was intended for the meal be destroyed with bleach.
For about five years now, Quail Hollow Farm has been growing organic produce and raising healthy, pasture-based animals which it provides to members as part of a CSA program. And it recently held its first annual “Farm to Fork Dinner Event,” which offered guests an opportunity to tour the farm, meet those responsible for growing and raising the food, and of course partake in sharing a meal composed of the delicious bounty with others.
But when the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) got word of the event and decided to get involved, this simple gathering of friends and neighbors around a giant, family-style picnic table quickly became a convenient target for the heavy hand of an out-of-control government agency. And Monte and Laura Bledsoe, the owners and operators of Quail Hollow Farm, were unprepared for what would happen next.
SNHD official Mary Oaks raids picnic without cause or warrant, orders destruction of dinner food
Laura Bledsoe explains in a letter to her guests written after the fact that two days prior to the event, SNHD contacted the farm to say that, because the picnic was technically a “public” event, the couple would have to obtain a “special use permit,” or else face a very steep fine. Not wanting to risk having the event disrupted, the Bledsoes agreed to jump through all the demanded legal hoops even though their gathering was really just a backyard picnic.
But the day of the event, an inspector from SNHD, Mary Oaks, showed up and declared that all the food the Bledsoes would be serving was “unfit for consumption,” and that it would have to be destroyed. Though there was no logical or lawful reasoning behind this declaration, and the Bledsoes had complied with all the requirements, Oaks insisted that the food be discarded and destroyed using a bleach solution.
One of the so-called reasons for this action included the fact that some of the food packaging did not contain labels, even though labels are not necessary if the food is eaten within 72 hours. Oaks also cited the fact that some of the meat was not US Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified, that the vegetables had already been cut and were thus a “bio-hazard,” and that there were no receipts for the food (which was all grown on the farm, not purchased from a grocery store).
You can view pictures of the event, as well as video footage of Inspector Oaks raiding the party, at the following link:
Unaware of their rights, the Bledsoes initially complied with Oaks’ unlawful demands and destroyed the food. But shortly thereafter, Laura’s husband Monte remembered that they had an emergency contact number for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) on their refrigerator.
Shocked that they even had to resort to this desperate measure, the Bledsoes called FTCLDF for advice and spoke with General Counsel Gary Cox, who instructed them to ask Oaks for a search and arrest warrant, which of course she did not have. The Bledsoes then asked Oaks to leave the property, upon which she allegedly stormed off in anger and screamed that she was going to call the police.
Police eventually arrived, but unaware of why they had been called and what the alleged crime was, they, too, left and offered their apologies to the Bledsoes. Fortunately, the Bledsoes were able to improvise with the chef to create a whole new meal for their guests, which ended up turning out to be a type of blessing in disguise, according to Laura.
The entire shocking incident serves as a reminder to know your rights when it comes to food and health freedom. Without a proper search or arrest warrant, so-called health inspectors or law enforcement officials have no business on your property. And if they ever try to pull a stunt like what happened at Quail Hollow Farm at your gathering, you have every right to demand that they vacate your property as well.
Sources for this article include:
Be sure to read Laura’s full account of the raid here:
And check out the video footage captured at the event, including footage of SNHD inspector Mary Oaks, here:
This article was posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 at 3:46 am