Disbelief in Amerika over no food rights

From Kristen M. on Food Renegade:

Drinking milk from your family cow not a right in 21st century Amerika?. Photo via Food Renegade

You grow a garden; you expect to be able to harvest the food from that garden and eat it. You raise a cow; you expect to be able to milk that cow and consume the milk. You raise chickens; you expect to gather eggs and eat them. It’s uncomplicated, simple, a fundamental right. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel this way if you lived under some other form of government, but here, now, in America and other democratized countries, this is what you expect.

According to Wisconsin Judge Patrick J. Fiedler, you do not have a fundamental right to consume the food you grow or own or raise. The Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the pioneers in defending food sovereignty and freedom, recently argued before Judge Fiedler that you and I have a constitutional right to consume the foods of our choice. Judge Fiedler saw no merit to the argument and ruled against the FTCLDF. When they asked him to clarify his statement, these were his words:

“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;”
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice…”

(source)

Talk about hammering a point home.

Sometimes I think I’ve woken up in a surreal alternate reality. I was raised in a patriotic glow where the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was a well-defined, well-reasoned expectation. America is the “land of the free.” I do not think this means what I once thought it meant, particularly if we have no fundamental right to drink the milk from our own cows.

Constitutional law is not my thing, but perhaps it should be. That way I could develop a more cogent argument against the likes of Judge Fielder. As it is, I simply say, “But what of liberty? What of privacy? What of the right to do with my body and my property what I see fit, so long as I do no harm to others?”…”

Read it all on Food Renegade.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Disbelief in Amerika over no food rights

  1. thebovine

    One has to wonder whether this is a case of judicial malpractice, right up there with the case of the judge who was sending young people to prison on petty offenses and getting kickbacks from the privately operated prisons who made money from incarcerating them.

    As a society we invest heavily in the integrity and impartiality of our judiciary. But when that is compromised, for whatever reason, the damage to the social fabric can be severe.

  2. Kristen, the only thing one needs to know about the Constitution is that it gives you no rights, and it has nothing to do with your rights.
    The Constitution has only to do with the very limited powers that we the sovereign states delegated to the central government. One could say somewhat inaccurately that the Constitution has to do with the rights bestowed upon government.

    Your rights are bestowed upon you upon your birth. But there are evil people in this world and you must constantly exercise your rights or you will lose them. By the very definition an inalienable right can not be taken away by any law or any government. They may be trampled but they can not be taken away.

    Perhaps we need to look to the Declaration for answers….

  3. aed939

    Yes, the constitution enumerates what the federal government can do, and the states can do everything else except an enumeration of what the states cannot do.

    I guess what the judge is saying is that there is no specific law on the books in the State of Wisconsin regarding the right of its residents to drink the milk from their own cow. On the other hand, there is a general right to pursue happiness, and I would submit consuming the foods of your choice is part of that pursiut. More importantly, the state public health agencies only have jurisdiction on food that is in commerce. They can’t regulate tomatoes that you grow for personal consumption, but they can regulate tomatoes that you sell in a market that is open to purchase to all comers. Similarly, drinking milk from your own cow does not involve the sale of milk in a public market. Therefore, the state public health agencies have no jurisdiction over herdshares.

    • You say that:

      “Yes, the constitution enumerates what the federal government can do, and the states can do everything else except an enumeration of what the states cannot do.”

      This is very untrue – the State like the Federal Government can only exercise the powers delegated to it by the people under the State Constitution. The State also CAN NOT – no matter what the State Constitution says or what laws they pass – violate the Inalienable rights of the people. (such as what foods you eat)

      So I propose to you that State health agencies violate the inalienable right to contract and the right to put into your body what you choose to put in your body. These so called State health agencies are an abomination to liberty and God given rights. They run rough shod over both.

      • aed939

        Yes, that’s right. I was referring to the US constitution. The US constitution allows the federal government to do certain things only as enumerated. Then eleverything else is left to the states (and the people) per Article 10 of the Bill of Rights. Also the federal government does not allow the states to do certain things. Now, what I left out in my original comment is, and what you note in your rely, is that the states can limit what they can do through their own constitution.

        So my point is that I guess that the judge is saying that there is nothing in the state constitution that specifically allows a person to drink the milk of his/her own cow–but then again, there is nothing that specifically allows a person to eat a tomato from their own tomato plant. But there’s nothing to explicitly forbid it either. I would interpret this as just the general right to pursue happiness.

        I actually agree with the FDA’s interpretation that a person does not have a fundamental right to *purchase* any particular food in a public market–i.e. commerce. The FDA, if it wishes, in the extreme case, can legally prohibit all interstate commerce in all foods. The also have the right to prohibit all interstate distribution of all foods *for subsequent sale.*
        Furthermore, states can do the same at the intrastate domain. But their jurisdiction only applies to food in commerce. There has to be a change in ownership of the product in a public market. A public market is where the product is offered for sale to all comers.

  4. thebovine

    I’d guess that what some are trying to pull off is a shift to a Napoleonic code model in which whatever is not explicitly “permitted”, is thereby prohibited. Is that how Codex works? Anyone?

    Of course the constitution was set up specifically to delimit the powers of government and to prevent tyranny of this sort.

  5. Are you an American? Or are you from a soviet block country or what?
    Or perhaps the product of a government school. Where ever you got it, the brainwashing worked well as you have just about everything backwards.

    BTW the FDA is a criminal rogue unconstitutional organization. No where in the US Constitution did we authorize the federal government to create such an entity. Also people do not need rights granted – only governments need to be delegated their limited powers.

  6. thebovine

    We’re from Canada, a country referred to by our prime minister as “a second-rate socialist country”.

  7. thebovine

    From a recent post on The Complete Patient blog:

    “Some Wisconsin farmers and consumers have joined to organize an effort to have the Wisconsin Judicial Commission investigate Judge Patrick Fiedler in connection with his recent decision against dairy farmers Wayne Craig and the Zinniker family. They are asking Wisconsin residents, in particular, but also non-residents, to lodge complaints with the commission over the judge’s statements that Wisconsin citizens have no right to the foods of their choice, in particular that he “is trying to take away a dairy farmer’s right to drink the milk from their own cow.” They have posted information on filing complaints.”

    http://www.thecompletepatient.com/journal/2011/9/24/heres-why-just-breaking-even-on-pasteurized-milk-sales-is-cr.html

  8. Tiny

    Is History Repeating Itself? In the late 40’s, Europe was enjoying freedom after the War, but of course the Government had the many unemployed, mostly uneducated, so the Government made them Inspectors. With-in a few Years, the Dutch were so Heavy Laden with ridiculous Laws & Rules, mostly concerning Food, that Many, Many Dutch fled to North America in the early 50’s. One has to wonder what exactly is going on behind the seen with our Government with their actions today. There seems to be plenty of uneducated judgement calls made.

  9. Pingback: Link roundup :: 9/29/11 edition « Pages Left Unturned

  10. Pingback: Wisconsin, Canada, Codex… and now a trifecta! « Pages Left Unturned

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