Gov’t should back off personal choices

This editorial excerpt is from amarillo.com . The full title is: “On the edge of common sense: Government should back off personal choices.” Who knew they’d been protesting for raw milk rights down there in Texas too? This piece is written by Baxter Black who is apparently a veterinarian and a cowboy poet. Now a veterinarian ought to know a thing or two about milk, and milk pathogens, don’t you think; yet here he is saying people ought to have the choice. Enjoy:

“The news has been filled recently with protesters demanding to be able to purchase raw milk, the American Medical Association warning that home births are not safe, and desperate cancer victims reserving the right to buy alternative “cures” not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

My father was born in 1918 in his mother’s bedroom, drank raw milk and was raised in a family that used a variety of homemade or traveling medicine man’s potions to cure what ails you.

Farmers plowed with teams, had no indoor plumbing, chewed tobacco and worked like dogs in the field. The average life span of a man born in 1918 was 52 years. Significantly, among the causes of death were physical injury, infectious diseases and childbirth, for both the mother and the baby.

Over the years, science, medicine, an easier lifestyle, air conditioning, pasteurization, preservatives and laws to ensure drug companies prove their products do what they claim, have changed our lives and almost doubled our life spans.

But, does the government have the right to insist you have your baby in the hospital, drink pasteurized milk and prevent you from taking unapproved natural supplements to treat your cancer?

The answer is no. Just like they have no right to stop you from smoking, riding your motorcycle or your bull, or playing football without a helmet. In the beginning of the last century, “caveat emptor” ruled.

“Buyer beware” was the code of business. Consumers were not protected from salesmen.

Over time, as we increased our knowledge of disease and human health, the government began to intervene – pasteurized milk to prevent tuberculosis; licensing of medical personnel, doctors, nurses and midwives; establishing the FDA to protect the public; Occupational Safety and Health Administration to safeguard employees; warning labels on cigarettes and alternative medicines; inspecting meat, automobiles, and soil testing sewage drain fields before construction.

These interventions were designed to protect you from your neighbor. But the government does not, in my opinion, have the right to protect you from yourself….”

Read the whole thing

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