Congressmen Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Jared Polis (D-CO) have joined forces to remove some federal restrictions on America’s over-regulated food industry.
On Friday, the two food freedom fighters sat down to a meal of raw milk and meat at Jezebel’s restaurant in Denver, Colorado. The duo are pushing legislation that will loosen the vice of government regulation on small farms and small farming businesses that sell items like raw milk, beef, kombucha and hemp.
“These are decisions — what do you put in your own body? What’s a more intimate decision than that? It really should be entirely up to people,” Rep. Polis said. “It should be up to the person. You shouldn’t have the federal government telling you what you can and can’t eat.”
Polis and Massie are promoting their PRIME Act bill which, according to USA Today “would allow states to let non-USDA beef slaughter houses sell beef within state lines directly to consumers, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores, without the beef ever being inspected by the USDA.”
Here’s a fun fact about USDA inspections: Did you know that facilities have to PAY to be inspected and provide the government inspector his own bathroom and office for the duration of the inspection? True story. If you are a small farming business, imagine the burden.
Refreshing words coming from a Democrat: “We think people should be able to go to a farmer’s market, and if a farmer there raised cattle and wants to sell it, they should be able to,” he said. “In a way, it’s restricting capitalism, restricting free enterprise, to say totally legal. You can give it to people, you can share it with people, but the minute there’s money involved, it’s a federal crime.”
The other issue the food-freedom duo is promoting is the Milk Interstate Freedom Act, which would allow raw milk to be sold nationwide. Right now, you cannot bring raw milk across state lines. Some states do allow citizens to purchase raw milk within state boundaries, but the creamy goodness becomes contraband if you hop in your car and take a ride to a neighboring state. The government takes their raw milk laws very seriously.
“There was a rash of problems with milk, back before there was refrigeration. I mean, think about this: raw milk used to be delivered on a truck to your house. And that’s because people didn’t have refrigerators,” Rep. Massie said. “I mean, we have lots of technology that can allow us to consume, safely, the foods we’ve consumed for thousands of years.”
The CDC says that raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria like e. coli, listeria and salmonella.
However, we regularly hear about food getting recalled that passes government-approved inspection. Blue Bell Creamery had a very high-profile recall of their ice cream because it was contaminated with listeria. Annie’s Kitchen had some products recalled on account of contaminated spinach. And there are many others.
I wish these two gentlemen freedom fighters all the luck in the world. It’s high time we extract the government from involvement in our food choices.