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FDA: You Have No Right to Consume Food

Written By: Pete Kennedy  |  Posted: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

On April 26 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submitted its response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). The FTCLDF lawsuit claims that the federal regulations (21 CFR 1240.61 and 21 CFR 131.110) banning raw milk for human consumption in interstate commerce are unconstitutional and outside of FDA's statutory authority as applied to FTCLDF's members and the named individual plaintiffs in the suit. In its answer to the complaint, FDA made its position on the issue of 'freedom of food choice' a part of the public record. FTCLDF has until June 14 to file a reply to FDA's response. The agency has long opposed 'freedom of food choice' but its response to the FTCLDF complaint represents FDA's strongest public statement yet on the freedom to obtain and consume the foods of one's choice.

FDA's Views on Freedom of Choice
Here are some of FDA's views expressed in its response on 'freedom of food choice' in general and on the right to obtain and consume raw milk in particular: "Plaintiffs' assertion of a new 'fundamental right' to produce, obtain, and consume unpasteurized milk lacks any support in law." [p. 4]
"It is within HHS's authority . . . to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well." [p. 6]
"Plaintiffs' assertion of a new 'fundamental right' under substantive due process to produce, obtain, and consume unpasteurized milk lacks any support in law." [p.17]
"There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food." [p. 25]
"There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds." [p. 26]
"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." [p. 26]

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