In scary legal news a Wisconsin judge had gone completely loopy declaring that citizens have no right to produce or eat the foods of their own choice.
In response to a request from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the judge issued a clarification of his decision last week regarding his assessment of the constitutionality of food rights. The judge expanded on his original statement that such constitutional issues are “wholly without merit.”
He explained that the FTCLDF arguments were “extremely underdeveloped.” As an example, he said the plaintiffs’ use of the Roe v Wade abortion rights case as a precedent does “not explain why a woman’s right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk…This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one’s choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue.” Gee, I thought they both had to do with the right to decide what to do with your own body.
As if to show how pissed he was at being questioned, he said his decision translates further that “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;”
And in a kind of exclamation point, he added this to his list of no-nos: “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice…”
You have to wonder if maybe even the regulators are getting a tad uncomfortable with the rulings coming from the nation’s judiciary on food rights. Many of these individuals, biased as they are against raw milk, dabble in farming to some extent, or grew up on farms. This judge has gone way beyond what many of them have come to assume–that everyone has the right to own a cow and consume its milk Even in places that ban raw milk sales, there’s nearly always a provision in state law that anyone who owns a cow has the right to consume its milk.
It seems Judge Fiedler is saying it’s not a “fundamental right,” but rather a right granted us by the state.
-The Complete Patient
The original judgement can be seen here. To quote from the main points:
1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;
2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;
3) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;
4) no, the Zinniker Plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the State’s police power;
5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice;
In other words: Put down that carrot and backup slowly. Anything you eat or grow can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have now entered the police state of 1984. Shut up.
Why is this happening?
Simple, Big Ag is scared that small producers are going to take away a little bit of the market share. They are using their lobbyist and regulatory minions to put the squeeze on small family farms that have found a niche outside the mainstream in order to scare consumers back into buying at the big teats. When that doesn’t work they resort to government raids and insane judicial judgments against the small producers because Big Ag isn’t able to compete on a level playing field even with the help of all the subsidies they get.
What can you do?
Make a stink. Publicize these issues. Write about them on your blogs, web comments, to your representatives and in letters to the newspapers (you know, the crinkly things you fold that has the black ink – still a great tool of free speech as there are plenty of independents left.)
Most of all, support your local small farmers. Fight back with your pocket book. Hurt Big Ag where they feel the pain, in their wallets. Spend your dollars locally and as directly as you can to small stores and small family farms so that money flows back into your local economy.
You can make a difference. Do it.