Dubiously Free Trade, Individual v. Collective, Trust

The Milk Police

Bad boys bad boys
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
when they come for you
Bad boys, bad boys
Watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do
when they come for you

-Inner Circle, Bad Boys (Cops Theme) Lyrics

Federal agents just dedicated a year to bringing an Amish farmer to justice for selling unpasteurized milk to willing, fully-informed customers.  Acting on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), armed federal agents took down the one evil society has striven to defeat since the dawn of this great nation: rogue dairy farmers. Touché, federal government. You may have topped yourself.

The raid occurred on April 20th, after a year-long undercover sting operation of federal agents pretending to be customers. Pennsylvanian Amish farmer Dan Allgyer was not duping anyone, fully disclosing the nature of his product. There were no complaints about his product. These were willing customers engaging in voluntary transactions; just simply not transactions our federal government approved of.

This is the nanny-state in full gear, and hopefully someone in Washington can see that this may not be the best use of government time and taxpayer money (oh wait, at least one person does: Ron Paul). The phrase “federal raid” is reminiscent of the kind done in the War on Drugs, where horrific occurrences like shooting family dogs have taken place. Certainly when milk is the product of discussion, police state raids on peaceful businesspeople are the stuff of dictatorships, not free societies.

The commerce clause has long been used by the feds to regulate any aspects of interstate commerce it pleases. The FDA issued warnings to Allgyer about his milk a year prior to the raid, and Allgyer continued selling the product. The Justice Department eventually filed a complaint accusing Allgyer of distributing unpasteurized milk across state lines, opening the door to shut him down per the commerce clause. The FDA specializes in food and drug safety and points to the commerce clause as its justification for such appropriations of government resources as Operation Amish Milk.

Presidents have a long history of bypassing the Legislative branch to institute new regulations. Ron Paul explains further:

As we have seen, if the executive branch feels hamstrung by the fact that our framers placed lawmaking authority in the Legislative Branch, they simply make their own laws and call them “regulations.” We all know how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses such bogus regulation authority to harass, hinder, and shut down countless other legitimate businesses. Sadly, Congress has been far too lax for far too long as the executive branch continues to encroach on its areas of responsibility and thereby undermines our system of government.

There is a simple solution to the unpasteurized milk market: if Americans want unpasteurized milk, they can buy it. If they don’t, they’ll bypass the Amish farm in Pennsylvania and pick up pasteurized milk at the store. We really don’t need drawn out investigations, sting operations, and raids of honest business folks.

Like a variety of aspects about our food supply, some people choose to research what will be healthier for themselves and their family. Milk is no different. Not only has Dan Allgyer had the right to conduct an honest business taken away, his customers are having the right to drink unpasteurized milk taken away. Well, only in theory. I guess the unpasteurized milk market will be driven further underground than the Amish farms.

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Images
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