- They believe you have no absolute right to any raw unprocessed food, unless the FDA says it's okay
- They believe you have no right to good health, except as approved by the FDA
- They believe that there is no right for citizens to contract privately for their food
"More Americans appear to be getting the message ... Over the past six months, we've had the popular push in Wisconsin, a state where the regulators have gone bonkers to eliminate raw milk, to pressure legislators to approve making it available from the farm ... [and] a firestorm building in Massachusetts over a ... decision by a regulator to restrict consumer access to milk."Source
The Complete Patient April 30, 2010
Dr. Mercola's Comments
If you try to purchase a gallon of raw milk in the majority of U.S. states, you could be taken away in handcuffs ... literally. With the exception of 10 states that allow retail raw milk sales, and 15 that allow farm sales, purchasing raw milk in the United States is a crime, according to the FDA.
Their decision to ban the interstate shipment of raw milk back in 1987 has been declared unconstitutional by many Americans interested in securing their right to choose fresh, unprocessed and unpasteurized food for their families, but the FDA has been fighting back, even going so far as to harass and legally prosecute small dairy farmers and consumers seeking to distribute the milk.
The issue reached new heights earlier this year when the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a lawsuit against the FDA over their raw milk ban ... and you won't believe how the FDA responded.
You Have "No Absolute Right to Consume ... Any Particular Food"
Last month, the FDA responded to FTCLDF's suit that banning raw milk in interstate commerce is unconstitutional. Their rebuttal contained the following extremely concerning and outrageous statements:
- "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
- "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds."
- "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
- FDA's brief goes on to state that "even if such a right did exist, it would not render FDA's regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health."
- "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract."
If you go by these assertions, it means the FDA has the authority to prohibit any food of their choosing and make it a crime for you to seek it out. If, one day, the FDA deems tomatoes, broccoli or cashews capable of causing you harm (which is just as ludicrous as their assertions that raw milk is harmful), they could therefore enact such a ban and legally enforce it.
What this means is that freedom of food choice is a myth if you live in the United States, and this simply is not acceptable. As FTCLDF states:
Growing numbers of people in this country are obtaining the foods of their choice through private contractual arrangements such as buyers' club agreements and herdshare contracts.Whether you're currently a raw milk drinker or not, the FDA's arrogant attitude that they have authority over your choice of food is atrocious.
FDA's position is that the agency can interfere with these agreements because, in FDA's view, there is no fundamental right to enter into a private contract to obtain the foods of choice from the source of choice.
As for the agency's contention that there is no fundamental right to obtain any food, including raw milk, here is what the 'substantive due process' clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
Obtaining the foods of your choice is so basic to life, liberty and property that it is inconceivable that the 'right of food choice' would not be protected under the Constitution but FDA is saying "No."
First Raw Milk, What's Next?
As regular readers know, I am an avid supporter of raw milk.
Organically-raised, grass-fed milk naturally contains healthy "good" bacteria, including lactobacillus and acidophilus. There are also several coliform families of bacteria.
Raw milk also contains nutrients, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. The presence of beneficial bacteria is what makes raw milk such an outstanding food source to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine, which in turn has a significant, beneficial impact on your overall immune function and health.
However, my purpose today is not to extol the virtues of raw milk. If you'd like to learn more about that, just listen to this video with health and business journalist David E. Gumpert, author of Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights.
What I want to share is that if this unconstitutional ban has happened with raw milk, it's only a matter of time before another health-promoting, life-giving food is targeted.
The FDA never had any grounds for making the sale of raw milk illegal in the first place. Even a quick review of the data shows that this food, which the FDA claims is so harmful to human health, is less harmless than countless food products that have earned the FDA's seal of approval!
In their lawsuit, FTCLDF pointed out that CDC statistics from 2007 showed over 7,000 outbreaks of food-borne illness related to bacteria, which resulted in 678 hospitalizations and 11 deaths.
In that same year, and using CDC data, raw milk was responsible for only 32 of those cases, which amounts to only 0.5 percent of all food-borne bacteria-related illness. Further, there were only two hospitalizations related to raw milk, and no deaths, whereas three people died from drinking pasteurized milk!
They also pointed out, and rightly so, that the FDA is taking an unfairly harsh approach with raw milk. For instance, unpasteurized juices are sold with just a warning label letting consumers know the juice has not been pasteurized, while raw milk has been outright banned in many states.
Is it a coincidence that some of the states where raw milk sales are illegal are also among the largest dairy producers in the United States (namely Wisconsin and Iowa)?
The conventional dairy industry has a very powerful lobbying force. What would happen to the majority of the dairy industry if raw milk really caught on? They'd be forced to clean up their acts, raise healthier cows, and give them access to pasture, as only healthy cows are the ones that you would buy raw milk from.
And this would cost them money ... lots of money, if it were even possible at all.
Join the Raw Milk Revolution and Stand Up for Your Food Freedom!
By joining the fight to make access to healthy raw milk a right for all Americans, you are not only standing up for raw milk; you're taking a stand to protect your freedom of food choice.
No one, and certainly not any government agency, should be able to restrict your access to pure, unadulterated food. Organizations like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund are working toward true freedom of choice for American consumers, and I urge you to get involved in their causes.