Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, says at this point his organization is tracking and reporting on a a trio of bills to legalize raw milk in Alaska, Hawaii, and North Dakota.
The 10-year old Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) was founded by Michael Boldin, who favors an expansive reading of the Tenth Amendment, which says that those “powers not delegated to the United Sates by the Constitution nor prohibited by the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Maharrey told Food Safety News, the Tenth Amendment Center is fairly new in its involvement with the raw milk issue. “This is an issue we started researching about two years ago when we realized how aggressively the FDA was trying to maintain prohibition, ” Maharrey says.
Even if it is waiting for raw milk bills to bubble up from the states, the entry of the Tenth Amendment Center could have a dramatic influence on the outcome these state contest. The organization, which fights federal overreach in numerous areas, brings a pretty sophisticated game to issues.
Usually state legislative battles over raw milk are fought only by local advocates and raw milk specific groups like the Weston A. Price Foundation. What follows is testimony about how long some has been drinking raw milk and how they’ve never personally gotten sick.
The Tenth Amendment Center is making a different arguments.
“Constitutionally, food safety falls within the powers reserved to the states and the people,” says a position paper written by Maharrey. “The feds have no authority to enforce food safety laws within the border of a state. Nevertheless, federal agencies still want more control over America’s food supply, and they go great lengths to get it.”
“For example, the FDA bans the interstate sale of raw milk. But, not only do they ban the transportation of raw milk across state lines, they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk within the borders of a state.”
“While FDA apologists claim the agency only wants to protect consumers, in truth, federal regulations tend to benefit big companies and squeeze out family farms. In the name of safety, FDA regulations limit your ability to access local, fresh food,” Maharrey says.
He says the effect of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is to permit FDA to dictate to the states through partnerships with them. By contrast, the Tenth Amendment Center sees the raw milk bills as a way to help nullify the federal prohibition goal.
In addition to its involvement in the raw milk issues, the Tenth Amendment Center is working on other issues where it’s leaders believe the federal government is trying to command state and local governments.
Among its other issues are the Second Amendment, hemp, gold-silver bullion depository, state control of the National Guard, Affordable Care Act repeal, asset forfeiture and others.
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