On Jan. 4, 1996, at 8:30am, 10 FDA agents and two state troopers with drawn guns burst into the Lazare Clinic and home of officers Richard Harley and Jackie Kube in Shawnee on the Delaware, Pennsylvania.
Vice President Jackie Kube recounted the terrifying ordeal in which the armed agents burst into her home, yanked her son out of the shower, and herded everyone into the dining room, while they rifled through everything in the house, indiscriminately grabbing personal files, dietary supplements, and numerous other items not listed on the search warrant. Their warrant, which was signed by Magistrate Raymond J. Durkin of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, authorized the raiders to seize: ...Ozone/oxygen therapy devices and all accessories, topozone oil and any materials used to manufacture it, records, files, documents, receipts related to the sale and promotion of ozone/oxygen therapy devices and or topozone oil, and any other unapproved drug or device.
Ms. Kube complained that they took all her olive oil which she needs for cooking. They took the computer, peripherals, client records, all sales brochures...everything that wasn't nailed down!
No Charges Filed... No Probable Caused Revealed
Typically, no charges were filed and the clinic was not closed down. It reopened a few days later with equipment borrowed from friends. Though not owned by a medical professional, the staff includes a medical doctor and nurses.
Before opening in September 1995, Lazare had gotten approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and had a letter of assurance that they were operating legally dated Nov. 22, 1995, from the Department of Health and Human Services Center For Alternative Medicine Research In HIV/AIDS, under the review of Leanna Standish, ND, Director of Research at Bastyr University.
The clinic's staff physician was not raided. Calls by Lazare and attorney Nancy Lord, M.D. to the Assistant U.S. Attorney General had not yet been returned as of the writing of this article. Information as to what testimony or affidavits had been used to establish probable cause have not been made available to Lazare or Lord.
Staff Is Bewildered And Angered
Jackie Kube, Richard Harley, and their staff are bewildered because they had gone to great lengths to comply with all the regulations. Their patients fear being cut off from all future treatment. Bastyr University of Seattle, Washington, which is respected internationally in the emerging field of alternative medicine, had been serving as the institutional review board for Lazare's research. Attorney Lord fails to see any way in which the Pennsylvania based clinic was engaged in interstate commerce, as is implied by the FDA's actions, and questions their jurisdiction in the matter.
A Slap In Barton's Face
As the first FDA raid since Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) concluded his last FDA oversight hearing last year on December 5, 1995, this raid had Kessler's fingerprints all over it because the agents didn't just come from the local Pennsylvania offices, but instead from FDA headquarters in Rockville, MD. In sending their "calling card", the Rockville agents clearly sought to mock Congressman Barton's oversight efforts by claiming that the clinic's World Wide Web home page on the Internet constitutes "mail fraud." Thus, the raid is not just an attack on the U.S. Constitution, and on an ozone clinic, it also poses a clear threat to the inhabitants of cyberspace who are seeking the same constitutional protection that exists for other media. If you are online, please check in with me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work together to protest this gross abuse of authority.