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Farmers (and Consumers) Denied the Right to Consume Milk from Their Own Cows


October 4, 2011

Wisconsin judge goes further and rules that none of us—farmers or consumers—have the right to decide what we have for our own dinner. A state Action Alert!

Last week, Wisconsin judge Patrick J. Fiedler ruled against the property rights of cow owners and their right to consume raw milk from their own cows. Plaintiffs included Galyle Loiselle and Robert Karp, who boarded their cows at Mark and Petra Zinniker’s farm so that they could consume raw milk from them, and the Zinnikers. Here is what the judge said in his own words:

Plaintiffs [Loiselle, Karp, and the Zinnikers] do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;

Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer; [and]

Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice.

It would certainly seem that the judge’s ruling violates constitutional rights to property, private contract, and bodily autonomy. After all, is there a more fundamental right than deciding what to eat? (Before this, we thought the FDA’s contempt for freedom of food choice was bad enough!)

Accordingly, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Patrick J. Fiedler’s decision is hereby nominated for our new Tyranny of the Year Award. Every once in a while we’ll nominate a decision or action for the award, and at the end of the year we’ll ask our readers to vote for the one they think is the year’s biggest tyrannical act. (We thank our friend, Dr. Jonathan V. Wright of the renowned Tahoma Clinic in Washington, for suggesting the award. If you have a decision or action you’d like to nominate, please send us your suggestions!)

Raw milk is natural and healthful; people are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other FDA-protected foods than from raw milk. One of our ANH staff members recalls milking his cow as a child and drinking the fresh milk. Let’s not allow that to become illegal.


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