Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Law and Unpasteurized Milk

The Complete Patient has a PDF up for download of a recent Wisconsin court ruling concerning raw milk. Here's what the National Review Online had to say about it:

As the judge explained in a clarification of his ruling, the plaintiffs’ argument boiled down to pointing at a bunch of other “rights” the courts have invented...

The text of the law that authorities are using to crack down on unpasteurized milk says “sell or distribute,” not “consume”; Wisconsin has traditionally interpreted the law to mean that people who own cows can drink the milk without pasteurization. At issue here is a farm that set up a “membership” program through which people could partly “own” the farm and therefore consume the milk — a questionable move that skirts the law.

~National Review Online: On the ‘Right to Drink Milk’ Case


Here is a typical conservative reaction. He does not care to drink raw milk himself, so he decides that there is no fundamental right to do so, and therefore, people should just obey the law and not engage in "questionable" activities that "skirt the law."

The PDF linked above states that the legislation clearly articulates why the production of milk is a statewide concern, and it quotes:


Regulation of the production, processing and distribution of milk and fluid milk products under minimum sanitary requirements which are uniform throughout this state and the United States is essential for the protection of consumers...


What? But what about the raw meat that was voluntarily recalled recently? If we're only concerned with the protection of consumers, then shouldn't we be concerned about the actions of the meat industry, whose products actually killed people?


...and the economic well-being of the dairy industry, and is therefore a matter of statewide concern. [emphasis mine]


Ah, I think now we can see what the real issue is.

We have been screwed as a nation on the dual fronts of protecting industry and inventing entitlements. Liberals and conservatives all have in common the belief that they know best, and they should therefore legislate personal decisions to the rest of us.

The NRO makes the claim that the plaintiffs made poor arguments, including a reference to Roe vs. Wade and the "right" to abortion. But the thing that conservatives like to ignore is that Roe vs. Wade got it half right: A woman should be able to do what she wishes with her own body. The problem with that ruling is that the courts forgot that there were two bodies involved. The line is quite clear. The point at which I'm no longer allowed to swing my fist ends at your nose. When should the government stop people from doing what they want? Only when it infringes upon the rights of others. In a free society, that should be the only litmus test for legislation and court cases: Do/did the plantiffs actions infringe upon the rights of another? If not? Then there's no case.

4 comments:

Bluesgal said...

"We have been screwed as a nation on the dual fronts of protecting industry and inventing entitlements. Liberals and conservatives all have in common the belief that they know best, and they should therefore legislate personal decisions to the rest of us"

On this I agree with you 100%. People are always trying to tell others what to do and how to do it and when the government gets involved it's a larger problem.

However on this:

"The problem with that ruling is that the courts forgot that there were two bodies involved."

I disagree. That is your opinion based upon your religeous beliefs. You are most certainly entitled to those beliefs but to have me live by them (or impose them by law), you then run afoul of the injustice shown in your earlier statement above.

Bluesgal said...

Which is to say it's hypocritical to say that laws should not promote individual agendas and then say that the Roe v Wade ruling is wrong based upon your beliefs about the inception of life.

If the Roe V Wade was changed for that reason then it's the same thing as the milk ruling. Because it fits YOUR agenda.

True freedom is the ability to CHOOSE what YOU as an individual do. Your decision should be based upon who you are, what you believe and how you want to live your life.
Not on what someone else thinks is the correct way to live one's life on someone's view of what is right and wrong.

Becasue this could be said to the Judge in the Milk case:

"Just because you choose not to doesn't mean that I shouldn't be free to choose to DO so.

KathyJo said...

Science says a fetus is alive, not my religious beliefs. Science shows that the fetus has its own DNA and that its DNA is human. That makes it a human being, and therefore, two human bodies are involved in an abortion. To say otherwise is to get into a philosophical (not scientific) discussion on when life truly begins.

Freeholder said...

Things have been being done 'for the well-being of the dairy industry' for a long time. Back in the thirties or forties (I'm not sure of the exact year) multitudes of small dairies were put out of business by the government for the benefit of the larger dairies. Government agents came to the farms and branded all the cows so they couldn't be sold as milkers, but only as meat. My great-grandparents small dairy was one of the ones that was put out of business, although later on they did go back to dairying (I remember them having thirty or so milkers on the place in the early sixties).

Kathleen