FDA tells consumers “you’re breaking the law” but we’ll go after the farmers

The latest from The Complete Patient blog;

When agent Jim Roettger of the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture was caught on video confiscating raw milk last December in suburban Minneapolis, he could be heard at one point telling a complaining consumer to bug out. “I don’t have to respond to your questions. You’re not part of this investigation.” In other words, we may be taking your milk, but it’s none of your business if we bring the wrath of the law down on your farmer supplier.

I get the same feeling reading through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s response to the FTCLDF federal suit challenging the agency’s prohibition on interstate sale and distribution of raw milk. I’ve gone through the FDA’s response several times during my travels since it came out a couple weeks back, trying to make sense of it beyond its legalese—after all, the FDA rarely reveals much about its real strategy, except when forced to in legal confrontations like this one….”

“….Also interesting is that the FDA makes sure there are no ambiguities in its contention. “Not only do direct shipments across state lines to consumers constitute interstate commerce, but…a person who purchases unpasteurized milk in one state with the intent to take it to another state (either for personal use [emphasis added]or to distribute to others) is engaging in interstate commerce.”

But, benign dictator that it is, it has has chosen not to enforce that interpretation of the law, the FDA then states. Of course, the agency doesn’t put it that way, suggesting instead that its approach is to “make efficient use of agency resources” by targeting farmers who distribute raw milk across state lines. It refers to “enforcement discretion” in its decision not to target consumers. “Producers and distributors of raw milk in interstate commerce…have been the object of the agency’s enforcement action,” it states, and cites several cases in which it has either sought prosecution or sent warning letters to dairies….”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “FDA tells consumers “you’re breaking the law” but we’ll go after the farmers

  1. cheryl hadden

    “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’.” (Martin Luther King – Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)”

    The one thing I’ve learned about the original bootleggers, THEY CAN’T CATCH OR CONTROL EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.
    They are forcing everyday people to become criminals for trying to do the best for themselves and their families.
    Of course, the only way the FDA and the other agencies could ever keep up would be to hire more people. Inspectors, raiders, enforcers, drivers, lawyers and a bunch of clerks to keep up with all the new paperwork.
    A whole new kind of law enforcement crew will have to be formed to catch people daring to traffic in raw milk.
    It’s a pretty much useless endeavor, but it will get the economy rolling again.
    Which is good. And even more new jobs and business will erupt all over the nation in response to the needs of the people.
    Just like booze, people will go to any length to get it.
    The people will hire or become bootleggers and milkrunners to get the contraband to the people. Everybody will need new cars designed to hide and keep raw milk cold, plus containers to ship it in. These cars must be fast and all souped up. These will have to be hand fitted and maintained by mechanics.
    Raw milk prices will go up, farmers will make more money selling milk than corn and the supply will increase because more farmers are selling raw milk. I mean, wouldn’t you be a dairy farmer if there were no controls on price and you could charge the current rate of $6-12 a gallon? No more $2 milk that tastes like cow sweat and is just about as nutritious!
    There will be new speakeasy and milkbars, blackmarket milk shops, and converted warehouses with cold storage to keep the milk chilled till delivered.
    There will be a great need for delivery men sneaking containers of milk to senior citizens, and boys on the street corners slinging disposable packets of raw milk to school kids and Makers of the disposable packets will make a fortune, especially if they can design a packet to slip neatly under clothes.
    If it’s anything like the days of Al Capone, everybody but the Feds will make money, more money than if the allowed raw milk to be sold freely.
    Liquor has never been the same and has always made big money, even more when it was banned.
    And since the FDA and the rest of the Fed alphabet hasn’t learned a thing from the past, I say, yeah, go ahead and ban raw milk.
    The really neat part is that there are more than enough unemployed people willing to work like this!
    I know I surely could use the money making and selling it would bring in.

    “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’.” “(Martin Luther King – Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)”

  2. thebovine

    You’ve got a point there Cheryl. Look at what government bans have done to the popularity of Cannabis, for instance. Despite all the war on drugs rhetoric, I doubt they’ve made a dent in the demand or the supply. All it’s done is to undermine people’s respect for the law — you know, the consent of the governed.

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