Thursday, July 21, 2011

US Supreme Court and MY Food Rights

Photo by dbking

If I don't speak for me, who will??

When I was young, I naively believed our courts were all about fairness and justice. Over time, based on what I saw, experienced, and read, I have come to believe the courts are all about enforcing "Laws" passed by people with something other than fairness in mind. (Oh, my... could it possibly be money?) Certainly I have seen a lot of empirical evidence in the last few years showing our basic Constitutional Rights are being abrogated.

A decision on my part to drink fresh (unpastuerized) milk and make fresh (unpastuerized) cheese comes to mind, yet the FDA through their "Healthy People 2020" plan has an agenda to remove ALL fresh (unpastuerized) milk and fresh (unpastuerized) milk products (like cheese and yogurt) in the US by 2020. Why is it their business to deny the 16 million or so Americans who now choose the healthy benefits of fresh milk (processed in a safe, sanitary manner, of course) over enzyme dead pasteurized milk in the stores?

Why is it the government's business what I choose to eat?

So whether it will prove to hold any weight or not, I was glad to read the following, as a hopeful start back to the right direction. (Yes, my hopes are high... but my expectations are much, much lower.)

"On June 17, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of the best and most important decisions ever on federalism.  The Court unanimously held that not just states but individuals have standing to challenge federal laws as violations of state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. This decision is as radical in the direction of liberty as the New Deal was radical in the direction of socialism.

In short, freedom advocates just got a green light from the United States Supreme Court to bring more cases under the 9th and 10th Amendments. This will have huge -positive- implications for freedom so long as the current constitution of the court holds.

Here is our favorite passage:  “Federalism secures the freedom of the individual. It allows States to respond, through the enactment of positive law, to the initiative of those who seek a voice in shaping the destiny of their own times without having to rely solely upon the political processes that control a remote central power."

The Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."



  1. Amazing they have the time and resources to do something so insane... and yet not enough time or resources to be aware of the health hazards of the herbicides they use to keep the area along the roadways clear.

    I should have the right.. and be given notice.. to decline herbicide sprays.

    Sorry.. a tad angry... they just killed off about 12+ mature elderberry shrubs that *were* holding on to a heavy fruit set. Whatever they used was strong enough to nail them, even though they were inset on to our property and not right along the road.

    When did common sense, ethics and accountability become so scarce? When did laws no longer care about protection of people, but rather corporate well being?!?

  2. Oh, and you should read the Farm Weekly newspaper.. it's HORRIBLE! It is sent out to "farmers" and it is just amazingly wrong on so many levels. It reads like an Ode to Monsanto. Things like Europe being so behind with the times because they are not as gung ho about GMO's. How Americans are indifferent about GMO foods.. go go go productivity.. now's the time to spray the burn down chemicals.. need to double production in the next 40 years..

    Not only are we disconnected from what we eat... but the tales spun for the farmers.. they too are disconnected to what people want. Absolutely no comments about any possible health issues with pesticides.. no comments about labeling of GMO's.. and then you have the sales reps also force feeding them lines about how *inert* and *safe* their products and crops are.

    Yet.. as they insist the average American is *indifferent* about eating GMO's... they refuse to label products containing GMO's.

    It is a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.. and vice versa.

  3. I'd be steamin' mad if I had elderberries they killed with spray! I'd probably ask for replacement bushes and for loss of fruits, and threaten lawsuits if they didn't. Seems like that is what it takes to get any one's attention anymore...

    My lone elder is close enough to the road that the guys who mow the verge have cut it a couple of years. I should get it staked off, and a sign attached.

    I imagine the Farm Weekly is no different than what the Extension Ag agents spout... The problem with our ag agent is that he believes the hogwash!

  4. "Why is it the government's business what I choose to eat?"

    Because the government is the one who would pick up the tab if you got sick and were no longer able to work or you had children and you died from bad food and your children were orphaned. And because your community would be exposed to whatever you got from that bad food, if it was contageous (like TB, scarlet fever, etc.). And because they know that people don't choose food just for themselves--they choose it for their children and family as well. So it's not an individual choice. It's a community choice, and our community is gigantic. It's not a great system by any means, maybe not even a good one, but it could be a LOT worse with less regulation. Using formaldehyde to preserve milk, for instance, was perfectly legal not so long ago.

    The problem with the Supreme Court thing is how many individuals would have the bucks to take something to the Supreme Court? It's like freedom of the press--sure, if you own a press.:)

  5. That, of course, is the rationale the government projects. Unfortunately, government medical care does not apply to everyone, and only partially for those on Medicare, Medicaid or Families with Dependent Children.

    I really do believe some food safety regulation is necessary but not the extremes that are breaking family farmers and favoring BigAg.

    BTW, is there anything on record of bad food giviving anyone TB or scarlet fever?

  6. Okay, I finally made it back here. Here's my shpiel on raw milk and infectious diseases:

    When I was in grade school, a classmate died of scarlet fever contracted from drinking raw milk produced in her family's dairy. This would have been around 1960-61 in a rural area. Needless to say, this made quite an impression on me re raw milk. I never forgot it.

    TB is not commonly found in today's raw milk because cows are tested for the bovine form (which can indeed infect people but causes the infection to appear in sites other than the lungs, like lymph nodes) and because TB is not very common in people in the US at this time, so generally people working in dairies don't have it. IMO, it will become more common in the population as its resistance to antibiotics grows and living conditions in our country deterioriate.

    Some citations re outbreaks of infectious diseases from raw milk:

    Tuberculosis Cases Prompt Warning on Raw-Milk Cheese

    Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Bovine Tuberculosis -- Pennsylvania: see section "Editorial Note"

    CDC site on milk:
    "From 1998 through 2008, 86 outbreaks due to consumption of raw milk or raw milk products were reported to CDC. These resulted in 1,676 illnesses, 191 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths."

    Exposure - technical book on infectious diseases, see section on raw milk, which includes references to various outbreaks of diseases traceable to raw milk:

    Risk Factors for Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Russia - #1 is poverty, #2 is drinking raw milk:

    Risk factors for positive mantoux tuberculin skin tests in children in San Diego, California: evidence for boosting and possible foodborne transmission.

    Books citing outbreaks of scarlet fever (and other diseases) from drinking raw milk - these are all from prior to the 1940s, when pasteurization was made mandatory:,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=5b6f05b90176330d&biw=1242&bih=804

    The situation with cheese is more complex. It seems as though the longer the cheese is allowed to age, the less likely contamination with anything infectious.

    I have for a while been very suspicious of any info coming out of the Weston Price Foundation, such as raw milk is better for you or people need to eat meat or meat is good for the environment. IMO, WAPF is loaded with spin-doctors and outright liars like Sally Fallon. The crap she wrote in her cookbook about vegetarianism is beyond belief. See my review on Amazon of that book for a blow by blow--and the cult-like response of one of her followers. Likewise, on the WAPF site, there is an incredible cache of junk "science" attacking vegetarianism. I have to ask--what is the percentage in attacking vegetarianism? Could it be that WAPF is being funded by milk and meat producers?

    I guess I am just old-fashioned cynical.

  7. Points well taken, Harold.

    Life would be very boring if we all thought and acted alike!

    Nonetheless, I hold it is my RIGHT to choose my foods even knowing the risks... but I also don't hunt wild mushrooms.


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