It looks as if we won’t get to see the modern-day version of the 1920s Scopes Monkey Trial over evolution that Mark McAfee envisioned for raw milk.

In an email with the subject line, “We surrender,” and in a comment following my previous post, Mark announced that he won’t challenge the U.S. government’s civil suit against him and his company, Organic Pastures Dairy Co. He said he made the decision partly on the advice of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which had previously been involved in helping him settle a possible criminal case over Organic Pastures’ sale of raw milk in states outside California.

With the FTCLDF unlikely to want to represent him in the civil suit, Mark decided discretion is the better part of valor. “We know when to fight…and when not to fight,” he told me last evening. “I’m not going to spend $10,000 a month to fight the FDA.”

Mark said he is taking a significant step toward settling the civil suit by ending sales this week of unpasteurized colostrum in neighboring Nevada. This had been a major bone of contention by the government. Mark describes his motivations further in the comment.


Local law enforcement officials have begun to give their side of the Manna Storehouse raid last week–to a friendly media outlet. The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria does its best to paint law enforcement in the best light, but as Dave Milano notes in his comment following my previous post, it has holes:

–“They blocked every effort to get information.” The only “blocked effort” described is the Stowers ordering two health department inspectors off the property, which Katie described to me as well. But there is a big difference between government regulators being asked to leave private property, and returning to execute a search warrant with weapons-waving law enforcement officers. And there is nothing in the Chronicle-Telegram article about any reasons being offered the Stowers.

–“They had one uniformed officer…All we did was secure the residence…” Was it one armed officer or several, as in “we”? A residence or other building is typically “secured” by heavily armed security personnel or soldiers.

–“There were no guns held to anyone’s head.” Maybe not literally, but were guns drawn? Guns waved? The family ordered into a living room and held for hours against their will?

The reporter obviously didn’t want to press the case.