|The Weston A. Price Foundation
| Contact: Kimberly Hartke, Publicist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FTCLDF Joins Buckeye Institute in Manna Storehouse Civil Lawsuit to Defend Liberties Against State Intrusion
December 23, 2008–On December 17, 2008, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) joined the Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in filing a civil lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Lorrain County Health Department for an illegal raid on the residence of the Stowers family in La Grange, Ohio. The complaint claims that the Stowers’ due process, equal protection and other constitutional rights were violated when their house was raided by representatives from various state and local governmental agencies, including the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Click here to see complaint. The Stowers, who operate a private food cooperative known as Manna Storehouse, were the target of a raid of their personal residence by sheriff deputies and Department of Agriculture personnel, several of whom had guns drawn and who treated the Stowers family like drug dealers. According to the report of the sheriff’s department, one of the deputies even snatched a cell phone out of the hand of a teenage son who was attempting to call Mr. Stowers at the time. In addition, the complaint alleges the governmental authorities confiscated all of the Stowers’ personal food intended to provide for and nourish them all through the winter months.
“We joined in this suit because it furthers the mission of the Fund, which is to protect and defend the rights of farmers and consumers to have direct commerce with each other free from governmental interference and harassment,” said Interim FTCLDF President Pete Kennedy.
Kennedy said “We hope that the Lorrain County Court of Common Pleas recognizes that government is overreaching in this case and is basically engaged in intimidation tactics to frighten people into believing that they cannot provide food for themselves.” FTCLDF General Counsel Gary Cox said “this is an example where, once again, the government is trying to deny people their inalienable, fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice. The purpose of our complaint is to correct that wrong.”
The complaint also seeks a preliminary injunction against the Department of Agriculture and declarations stipulating that Manna Storehouse and the Stowers are not a “retail food establishment” under Ohio’s Food Safety Code. As a private cooperative, Manna Storehouse is exempted from the Food Safety Code.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was launched on the Fourth of July, 2007. The Fund promotes and protects farmers’ rights to sell farm foods and raw milk directly to the consumer. The creation of the Fund was sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which promotes buying food directly from local farms. Several Weston A. Price members are members of the Manna Storehouse buying cooperative, and now find their food supply disrupted. Click here to view the Fund’s website http://ftcldf.org.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nutrition education non-profit (501c3) which advocates a return to nutrient-dense foods and a diet rich in animal fats from grass-fed animals. Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and president, is a highly respected consumer advocate for natural, whole foods and small-scale, mixed-species, pasture-based farms. The Weston Price Foundation actively promotes grass-fed meats, pasture raised chickens, eggs, fermented vegetables, organ meats and raw milk for their nutritional benefits.
Grass-fed animal foods contain higher levels of nutrients, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K, and will not contain the contaminants routinely found in the products of industrial agriculture. Compared to pasteurized milk, raw milk is easier to digest and less likely to cause allergies; its nutrients are more bio-available.
The organization has 10,500 members worldwide, and 400 local chapters, 17 of which are in Ohio. The Foundation is named for Dr. Weston A. Price, DDS, author of the nutritional classic, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The Foundation offices are in Washington, DC. Their websites are: www.westonaprice.org, and http://www.realmilk.com/.