Wisconsin Judge: No "Fundamental Right to Produce and Consume Foods"
WRITTEN BY RAVEN CLABOUGH
THURSDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2011 15:26
In a court case sure to go down in history for one of the most bizarre rulings, a Wisconsin judge has held that American citizens do not have a "fundamental right to produce or consume foods of their choice." The decision was so shocking that the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund asked the judge to issue a clarification of the ruling.
The case involved people who owned cows and sought to board them at a farm. As noted by Foolocracy.com, “Although the commercial relationship between the owner of the cow and owner of the land gives cause for the state to intervene, Fiedler [took] his ruling into a more personal and troubling direction.”
The plaintiffs in the case argued that their right to privacy — which allows them to decline medical treatment, allow abortion, view pornography, and engage in consensual sex — should also translate into the right to “consume food of his/her own choice.”
Judge Patrick Fiedler remained unconvinced, claiming that the constitutionality of food rights is “wholly without merit.” He added that the plaintiffs' use of the Roe v Wade case as a precedent does “not explain why a woman’s right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk…. This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one’s choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue.”
Judge Fiedler went on to clarify his ruling further:
- “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;
- “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;
- “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;
- “no, the … Plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the State’s police power;
- “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice.”
While some of the points put forward by the judge are reasonable to an extent, points two and five are particularly disturbing to constitutionalists, as they propose severe limitations on personal rights. Foolocracy notes,
A person growing a tomato plant in his or her home and choosing to eat that tomato would seem to have that right as clearly as a person choosing a partner for sex in a private home. Frighteningly, Fiedler thinks otherwise.