Food law roundup

by Walter Olson on November 3, 2011

  • “Wisconsin Judge Rules No Right to Own a Cow or Drink Its Milk” [Food Freedom; related on demonstration at FDA]
  • We’re from the authorities, and we’re shutting down your “farm-to-fork” dinner [Amy Alkon]
  • “FTC Makes Strategic Concessions on Food/Beverage Marketing Guidelines” [Lammi, WLF]
  • Given a little humility, NYT’s Mark Bittman might have noticed that his new junk food insight contradicts his old [Jacob Sullum, Reason]
  • Urban myths about Halloween candy tampering [Free-Range Kids]
  • New Jersey lawsuit over serving of meat to devout Hindu vegetarians [Abnormal Use; compare 1999 case]
  • “First lady will achieve goal of eradicating all food deserts by 2017″ — calm down, that’s “deserts” with just the one “s” [Obama Foodorama, more, more] Premise that lack of access to fresh fruits/vegetables accounts for poor urban diet, however, is sheerest fantasy [Katherine Mangu-Ward/WaPo, earlier here and here]

{ 8 comments }

1 Yeaah 11.03.11 at 3:01 am

The guy learned a new facts and changed opinion. He should have done at least five apologies, written and personally call to each of his readers.

And since he was willing to change opinion once, all of his opinions are wrong. Because only people that never change their opinions as they learn new facts are worth listening to.

Seriously, that article is just stupid.

2 Bumper 11.03.11 at 3:06 am

That’s the former Wisconsin Judge: ‘No Food Rights’ Judge quits to work for Monsanto. How quaint.

3 John Rohan 11.03.11 at 3:36 am

If you don’t have the right to drink your own dairy products, then I still don’t understand how it would be legal for women in that state to breastfeed their children.

4 CTrees 11.03.11 at 7:17 am

On the judge ruling on the diary issues: In light of Wickard v. Filburn, isn’t this actually the correct ruling? It’s a rather painfully phrased decision (“Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice”), but given the precedent… there’s not really any other way to rule than to say, yes, the regulations are allowable, and given that, the plaintiffs needed to be in compliance with the regulations on dairy farming, even if they weren’t intending to sell (as in Wickard), which they weren’t.

I see no reason to assume as many negative things about the judge as some are (for instance, look at the comments on the FoodFreedom story) – there wasn’t much other way he *could* validly rule.

5 No Name Guy 11.03.11 at 12:24 pm

Actually CTrees, he COULD have ruled differently.

He COULD have flatly stated that the prior ruling was incorrect, that a man has the right to grow his own food for his own personal consumption, be it wheat, peanuts or (gasp) milk. He could have stated that the prior ruling was wrong in that it would have forced him to write the ruling that he did issue. Just because the supremes have ruled on something, doesn’t mean that the ruling isn’t wrong (see Dred Scott, or separate but equal, for 2 examples where they got it wrong and the errors were subsequently corrected.)

He could have said – “This prior decision (Wickard) would force me to write ‘there is no fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice’, however I find this to be inconsistent with the clearly stated aims of the Founders to have the fundamental principal of Government between men to be that of protecting individual liberty. There in no more fundamental liberty of a man than to be able to feed himself and his family by the sweat of his own labor. Hence, I find that there is in fact a fundamental right for men to grow their own food, to keep and eat the fruits (LOL) of their labor, to drink from the cup of milk that they did fill via animal husbandry, and that these rights are born to every man and are in fact inalienable no matter the guise. ”

But he didn’t. He was a coward, period.

6 OBQuiet 11.03.11 at 1:59 pm

No Name Guy,

I don’t think it is the right way deal with this to say that Judges should just ignore the SCOTUS when they don’t like the decision. That would force Everything to run all the way back there.

Ruling that as he did still leaves the appeal open. But we should try to limit who as to appeal to those who disagree with previous rulings.

7 D 11.03.11 at 6:34 pm

Linguistically, unalienable is identical in meaning to inalienable.
However, my understanding (I am a linguist, IANAL) is that per certain cases, legally there is a distinction.
Unalienable: incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523
but
Inalienable rights: Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Morrison v. State, Mo. App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.

Just so you know, I think that we took a wrong turn when we introduced this distinction. It seems a deliberate undermining of unalienable liberties.

All judges (politicians, military, and civil servants) take an oath to keep and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the POTUS or the SCOTUS. It is a lower judge’s responsibility and sworn duty to do so, even in the face of the SCOTUS. Likewise, it is a military officer’s responsibilty and sworn duty to protect the Constitution, even in the face of superior officers. Of course, you better have your ducks in a row because you are going to take a knock on the head.

8 DensityDuck 11.07.11 at 3:51 pm

I love how the judge’s opinion states that he doesn’t care how many cases the plaintiffs cite because none of them were about food and so they don’t count.

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