You hear about Food Police raiding small farms and ranches and mom and pop food shops all the time. It’s not just in the USA but abroad too. The story is always the same. Someone somewhere was selling or distributing food “illegally” to the public. The authorities swoop in with armed SWAT teams and militarized weapons and tactics, destroy property, produce and products, arrest or detain farmers and workers, make the farmers pay huge fines, revoke licenses and permits, and sometimes even worse, they seize entire farms, equipment and properties leaving farmers and ranchers with nothing.
So where does it stop? Will it ever stop? What can be done?
First we have to look at what we’re talking about here. There are certain common sense sanitation practices that should be taken into account. Farmers are usually well aware of the dangers posed by tainted and unsanitary conditions and foods.
It would be easy to paint with a broad brush here and simply glaze over the entire situation with an oversimplification by saying “Food police are taking our rights away!”
The reasons the state and federal authorities require a license/permit to sell eggs (or any other food, drink, or product) and require certain adherence to health and safety regulations is a multi faceted issue.
First and foremost is health and safety of the general public. If hundreds or thousands of food items are sold to hundreds or thousands of people and some of those items are tainted or unsanitary, then it could cause an epidemic, people could get sick, and/or die.
Not just adults, but kids too. And that would be horrible. Not that an adult getting sick or dying wouldn’t be bad in its own right, but we can probably all agree, that if a child gets sick and dies from eating tainted food, that would be unacceptable and horrible beyond any measure. If there could have been some preventative measure to stop that from happening, then it’s the person who sold the food items who is liable. Not just the person who sold the food, but the federal state and local governments would be liable too if they let it go and did not enforce the rules.
But where’d the freedom of choice go? And why is it so bad now?
We should be able to make our own choices in the food we eat right? We should be able to eat what we like and “Damn anyone for trying to tell me what to eat.”
Well, yes. You should and you can. If it only effects YOU and only YOU.
See this is where someone has to make the decision on what will be allowed and what won’t with regard to public health and safety.
In a private setting, in your own home. On your own farm. It’s up to YOU what YOU eat. Sure. To a certain extent.
However, the moment you start selling (or giving food away in large amounts) to the public at large, the rules change. At that point it’s not just your health and safety you must worry with, now it’s the public. It’s your neighbors, and it’s the children.
So how does one get rid of the liability and bring back the freedom of choice? That’s a tough one, and it really might not be possible in the public scheme of things.
If there were a batch of eggs, or chicken, or any other food item that was tainted with any kind of harmful bacteria and the authorities allowed that food to be distributed (knowingly or unknowingly) and people got sick or died, then of course they would be liable, right? The same would be true if they allowed someone to operate without a permit to sell food. Right?
The health and safety of the public must be preserved, but at what cost? Our freedom of choice?
We can still eat whatever we want. We can still feed our children whatever we or they want. We still have that choice. No one is taking that away.
What is being said is that if you want to sell the food to the public, certain precautions must be taken. Preventative measures must be taken to ensure that the food being distributed is safe for human consumption and distribution to the public at large.
And this is where a gray area might be. A loophole so to speak. It’s a privacy vs public issue, not just a liability vs freedom issue.
Privacy laws might come into play here with regard to the liability (health and safety) issue that seems to be the crux of the problem. The state and federal authorities do not want the liability, and they have the responsibility to protect the general public against anything that would endanger the health and safety of the general public. This is a fact that is evidenced by folks suing the local state and federal governments for millions upon millions of dollar anytime there is an incident that results in the injury or death caused by something deemed to be under the control of authorities.
It’s a blame game. No one want to take responsibility for their actions it seems.
We as citizens expect a certain level of protection and responsibility from our government. But we do not expect our government to infringe on our human rights. That’s where we draw the line. And at that point, the moment any government infringes on our human and/or civil rights all bets are off. Meaning that laws which infringe on our rights will probably not be followed.
However. In the meantime perhaps there’s a way to appease most people. You can’t please everyone all the time. But you can please most people some of the time.
If you can create a program that is sponsored by the government that allows “raw food” to be distributed and sold to people without the people coming back and suing the government if something goes wrong, then you have solved the problem.
We’re not talking about the general public here, but rather a group of people who choose to buy “raw foods”. It would be a private organization or group whereby they only sold to members of the group and not the general public at large. In addition, to protect everyone from liability and getting used. Then all members could be required by law to sign a waiver releasing the farmer and all government agencies and authorities from liability in the case of injury or death resulting from the consumption or distribution of these foods.
Would a liability waiver work? If the food producers and food consumers all signed liability waivers that they would not sue the authorities for any health or safety issue that arise from distributing or consuming “raw foods” would that work? Would it bring back the freedom of choice? Does it make sense?
Or is this a bad idea? Is this something that we should never do?
Would we be opening Pandora’s Box?
Would this give us our freedom of choice back?