The War on Raw Milk

Federal and state agencies are waging a war against raw milk, and other unapproved food products.  Raw food products are popular because people perceive them to be tastier and healthier than the heavily processed food you can get from a super market.  The authorities are waging a war supposedly because of health concerns.

The war demonstrates two facets of all wars: domination and exploitation.

In The Regime’s War on Food, Will Grigg emphasizes the coercive aspects of the war.  Grigg decries the heavy handed police tactics being employed against the purveyors of raw milk.  The tactics are reminiscent of those used in the drug war.  The justifications for the war on raw milk, protecting people who are willing consumers and the general public, are similar to those used to justify the drug war.  To Grigg, it appears as though the authorities are less concerned about the health of the consumers than they are in retaining total control.

In Raw-food raid highlights a hunger, Los Angeles Time writer P.J. Huffstutter identifies the reason for the war, “But raw milk in particular has drawn a lot of regulatory scrutiny, largely because the politically powerful dairy industry has pressed the government to act”.  Thus, large established industries use regulation to put innovative competitors out of business.

In his book, The Triumph of Conservatism, Gabriel Kolko describes how regulation arose during the progressive era largely at the behest of big business. The ongoing process of large firms using regulation to further their own ends, regulatory capture, has been extensively documented by such economists as George Stigler.

Thus, we have the government attacking the public in order to further the business interests of favored parties.


Posted July 25, 2010 by Brian Cantin in Uncategorized

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