Ethan A. Huff
May 13, 2010
Recently the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to protecting family farms and their customers from unconstitutional government intrusion, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its unconstitutional ban on the interstate sale of raw milk. The case is one of the largest the FTCLDF has ever initiated, particularly against the FDA which has been leading the unlawful crusade against raw milk for many years.
Ironically, in 1987 when the FDA first established guidelines that restricted interstate raw milk sales, the agency did so reluctantly at the behest of a court ruling prompted by a consumer group. Things have changed dramatically since that time, as the agency now aggressively leads the charge to disrupt and eliminate all raw milk sales wherever it can.
The FDA, USDA, and other local public health officials have shifted their tactics in recent years as well, targeting consumers who purchase raw milk rather than farmers who sell it. A recent case of this involved an unlawful search and seizure by Georgia officials who forced a man to destroy 110 gallons of raw milk from South Carolina that he was delivering to customers who had already paid for them.
The crux of the case alleges that the FDA is overstepping its constitutional bounds by banning interstate raw milk sales. Customers who travel to nearby states to purchase raw milk are doing so legally, but once they cross the border back into their home state where sales are illegal, they are essentially being forced to break the FDA’s rules, which themselves violate the constitutional right to travel, the constitutional right of privacy, and the substantive due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Whenever it is challenged on its position regarding raw milk, the FDA typically does not have much, if anything, to say in response. The agency typically resorts to an outdated, deceptive slideshow presentation available on its website that supposedly indicts raw milk as being unsafe for human consumption. This is besides the fact that its rules violate the U.S. Constitution.
Statistical data actually reveals that raw milk is far safer than not only pasteurized milk, but also a lot of other processed foods that are implicated foodborne illness outbreaks. Lunchmeat, for instance, has a far worse track record of being contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and E. coli than does raw milk. The FDA has yet to participate in an honest debate concerning these facts.
Additionally, the FTCLDF case presents alternatives to the FDA’s existing policy, including simply requiring labeling that indicates the milk is unpasteurized. Considering that raw milk is legal in roughly half of the United States, there is no legitimate reason why the FDA continues to vilify it, especially since it is far safer than many other foods available on the market.
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This article was posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 4:31 am