Attorneys for the federal government have argued in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Iowa that individuals have no “fundamental right” to obtain what food they choose.
The brief was filed April 26 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.
“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds,” states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.
“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,” the government has argued.
The DoJ seems to be under the illusion that the right to eat comes from the Constitution instead of nature. It pains me to point out the obvious: that in a state of nature, if you can find it, pick it, kill it, or grill it, you can and will, and anyone preventing you can get a spear in the side. And that’s how it’s been in most cultures though history. Sometimes there were taboos or kosher laws. But those are religiously based, and the DoJ hasn’t and can’t argue a religious reason against raw milk. There have been sumptuary laws against living too high on the hog, and given the price raw milk fetches these days, maybe they could apply, but that’s just caste and class enforcement, which is hardly American. The notion that you do not have the right to poison yourself with the food of your choice is barely a century old. So how can free eating not be “deeply rooted”?