April 3, 2011
In a response to a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), the FDA has articulated its belief that there is no such thing as a right to health or to purchase or consume any given food.
The FTCLDF has sued the FDA for banning the interstate shipment or sale of raw milk products, alleging that the policy deprives consumers and a food buying group owner “of their fundamental and inalienable rights of (a) traveling across State lines with raw dairy products legally obtained and possessed; (b) providing for the care and well being of themselves and their families, including their children; and (c) producing, obtaining and consuming the foods of choice for themselves and their families, including their children.”
In a legal response, the FDA countered that “there is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to food of all kinds.” As evidence for this position, the agency cites “the dietary laws of biblical times.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The FDA goes further, stating that “there is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular kind of food [because] comprehensive federal regulation of the food supply has been in effect at least since Congress enacted the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906. … Thus, plaintiffs’ claim to a fundamental privacy interest in obtaining ‘foods of their own choice’ for themselves and their families is without merit.”
In other words, the agency has stated that because Congress has given FDA the authority to regulate food, there is no such thing as a right to acquire any given food.
Furthermore, the FDA says, “there is no generalized right to bodily and physical health.”
“Finally, 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.’”
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