Leah Mack of Union Bridge, Md., milks a cow across from the Capitol at a protest in favor of raw milk at the Food and Farm Freedom Rally held today in Washington, D.C. (James Buck/The Washington Post)
By Jonathan Emord
Attorney Jonathan Emord has brought down FDA eight times in federal court, six on grounds of First Amendment rights, including cases on health claims on dietary supplements. Congressman and Dr. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” ~Augie
FDA TYRANNIZES AMISH FARMER
May 16 Dan Allgyer, an Amish farmer from Pennsylvania, finds himself an enemy of the state. He is an enemy not because he is a violent man, not because he performs acts that threaten the lives or properties of others, and not because he is involved in some plot to overthrow the government. Dan Allgyer is a humble farmer whose “crime” consists of selling raw milk harvested from his cows to people who ask for it, including those who want it from Maryland and the District of Columbia.
In late 2009, FDA agents began a sting operation designed to catch Dan “in the act” of selling to out of state residents refrigerated (but unpasteurized) milk harvested from his own cows. FDA does not contend that any of Dan’s milk is contaminated with harmful pathogens and, indeed, none of it has resulted in a single complaint of injury. Rather, FDA’s case is based on the fact that the raw milk Dan sells is unpasteurized. Believe it or not, the sale of unpasteurized milk interstate is a federal crime. FDA views the crime as a very serious matter without regard to whether the milk sold is in fact unsafe. Indeed, FDA is pleased to spend tax dollars imposing the full weight of federal power on any dairy farmer who dares sell fresh, refrigerated milk from healthy cows to someone from out of state. Never mind that this practice is as old as the republic and, but for discrete instances when industrial farms sold milk from sick cows, raw milk has been as safe, if not safer than, pasteurized milk.
The case of Dan Allgyer is a quintessential example of abuse of federal power. Only a government possessed of too much unconstrained power would view an Amish dairy farmer as a public enemy. This nation was built by yeoman farmers who are Dan Allgyer’s immediate predecessors. The nation they constructed was instituted among men to protect the rights of the governed, not to deprive an honest working man of his living. The Constitution made defense of individual liberty the paramount objective. Liberty, as Thomas Jefferson aptly defined it for an entire generation of American Whigs, consisted of unobstructed action according to our will within limits defined by the equal rights of others. Liberty, as the FDA operationally defines it, consists of action according to our will within limits defined by anti-competitive regulations.
The government proceeds against Dan Allgyer not because the raw milk he sells is in fact contaminated with harmful pathogens but because it could become so. That is a distinction without a difference, however, because pasteurized milk too can become contaminated with pathogens if not properly handled. All animal products (pasteurized milk, pasteurized cheese, beef, poultry, and fish) are inherently at risk of contamination unless kept refrigerated and consumed before reasonable expiration dating. The critical factor determining that risk depends on from whence the products come (healthy and clean or unhealthy and unclean animals) and how the products are handled (refrigerated or not). Every year thousands of Americans become ill and hundreds die from ingesting pasteurized milk and cheese contaminated with listeria, salmonella, or other harmful pathogens.
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