by Josh Eboch
Much like last year’s health insurance bill,Â the recently passedÂ Food Safety and Modernization Act (or “Food Patriot Act”),Â is unconstitutional for one simple reason:Â the federal government lacks the authority to regulateÂ economic activities that do not cross state lines.Â
But try explaining that to the Food and Drug Administration, which, in concert with the Department of Homeland Security, will nowÂ have greatly expanded power to smother small farmers and local food producers inÂ bureaucracy and red tape.Â
NotÂ to mentionÂ the ability toÂ enforce disturbingly authoritarianÂ doctrines on the American people such as:
“There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.”
“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”
“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”
“There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract.”
Every single one of the above arguments (madeÂ by the FDA in response to a recent lawsuit) is diametrically opposed to the ideas of individual liberty on which America was founded, and isÂ clearly contradictedÂ by the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states:
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Yet, perhaps the FDA is not solely to blame for the logical disconnect between a federal agency’s legal argumentation and the foundation of federal law.
After all, the Supreme Court itself hasÂ opined on numerous occasions that there areÂ no constitutionalÂ limits on federalÂ power to regulateÂ every aspect of American life under the guise of regulating commerce, state lines and sovereigntyÂ notwithstanding. And they’re the ones who interpret what the Constitution means, right?
Ironically,Â the very premise thatÂ theÂ highest c