Originally published December 21 2010
Feds order farmer to destroy his own wheat crops: The shocking revelations of Wickard vs Filburn
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) In arguing for S.501, the "Food Safety Modernization Act," there are all sorts of attorneys, legislators and internet commentators who keep claiming, "The government won't try to control the food production of small farms." They say, "Your backyard garden is safe" and that the feds won't come knocking on your door to control your seeds or foods.
As usual, these pushers of Big Government are utterly ignorant of the history in their own country. Because as you'll learn right here, not only CAN the U.S. government control and dictate to single-family farms what they can grow in their own backyards; the government has already blatantly done so!
In this article, I'll share with you the full and true story of how Big Government has already run rampant over the rights of individuals to grow their own food -- I'll even cite the US Supreme Court decision that "legalized" this tyranny.
How the tyrants came after a farmer named Roscoe FilburnIt all starts with a farmer named Roscoe Filburn, a modest farmer who grew wheat in his own back yard in order to feed his chickens.
One day, a U.S. government official showed up at his farm. Noting that Filburn was growing a lot of wheat, this government official determined that Filburn was growing too much wheat and ordered Filburn to destroy his wheat crops and pay a large fine to the federal government.
The year was 1940, you see. And through a highly protectionist policy, the federal government had decided to artificially drive up the prices of wheat by limiting the amount of wheat that could be grown on any given acre. This is all part of Big Government's "infinite wisdom" of trying to somehow improve prosperity by destroying food and impairing economic productivity. (Be wary any time the government says it's going to "solve problems" for you.)
The federal government, of course, claims authority over all commerce (even when such claims are blatantly in violation of the limitations placed upon government by the Constitution). But Roscoe Filburn wasn't selling his wheat to anyone. Thus, he was not engaged in interstate commerce. He wasn't growing wheat as something to use for commerce at all, in fact. He was simply growing wheat in his back yard and feeding it to his chickens. That's not commerce. That's just growing your own food.
But get this: The government insisted he pay a fine and destroy his wheat, so Filburn took the government to court, arguing that the federal government had no right to tell a man to destroy his food crops just because they wanted to protect some sort of artificially high prices in the wheat market.
This case eventually went to the US Supreme Court. It's now known as Wickard v. Filburn, and it is one of the most famous US Supreme Court decisions ever rendered because it represents a gross expansion of the tyranny of the federal government.
The US Supreme Court sided with government tyrannyThe US Supreme Court, you see, ruled that Roscoe Filburn's wheat could be regulated and destroyed by the federal government simply because Roscoe's wheat production might reduce the amount of wheat he bought from other wheat producers and therefore could impact interstate trade.
Now stay with me on this, because this is a really, really important point to understand.
The federal government claimed authority under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 8), even though the Commerce Clause was originally written primarily to prevent states from erecting tariffs, not to allow the federal government to control interstate trade. But thanks to the twisted interpretation of the government -- and believe me, the government will twist every interpretation it can in an effort to assert more power over the population -- the feds claimed that Filburn's growing of his own wheat effectively reduced interstate commerce in wheat. Therefore, they reasoned, they could regulate his backyard wheat production (and order him to destroy his wheat).
Because of this US Supreme Court decision in 1942, it now means the federal government can order you to halt food production in your own back yard by arguing that when you grow your own food, the amount of food you purchase from other food providers is reduced, meaning that your food production impacts interstate trade and therefore can be fully controlled by the federal government.
In other words, the federal government claims the authority right now -- even without the Food Safety Modernization Act -- to knock on your door and order you at gunpoint to destroy all the food in your garden, your greenhouse or your farm. They can order you to destroy all seeds in your possession and all food harvested from your own garden. And they can do all this with the full protection of U.S. law by simply citing the precedent set in Wickard v. Filburn in 1942 as ruled by the US Supreme Court.
Why the naysayers will probably starveStill think you have the right to grow your own food? I've heard all sorts of naysayers claiming that S.510 -- the Food Safety Modernization Act -- is no threat to small growers and family farms. They say the fears about S.510 are overblown and that the government can't possibly shut down your backyard gardens or small, local vegetable farms. They say this with the kind of smug certainty you might typically hear from a doctor who thinks he knows everything about human health (but who actually knows nothing about nutrition).
These naysayers tend to operate out of an assumption that Big Government will never take away their rights and freedoms and that expanding the reach of agencies such as the TSA, FDA, DEA and FTC with even more power and more armed agents is a good thing because the government always takes care of the people. We need more protection from e.coli, they argue, so let's unleash 4,000 armed FDA agents instead to protect us from bacteria. But who will protect us from the FDA?
What these ignorant naysayers don't understand is that government is constantly trying to expand its power to the point of tyranny. As a current example of this, look at what just happened with Chavez in Venezuela. He has now been granted what are essentially dictatorial powers over the country (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content...). Chavez is now the King of Venezuela, and whatever he says is now law. Venezuelan citizens are now slaves to his tyranny, and they must follow his orders or be executed.
The United States is moving in precisely the same direction. First, power gets stripped away from the People little by little. Then it gets concentrated in the hands of a few regulatory agencies who write their own laws and who stay in power year after year because none of their officials are elected. (Think the FDA commissioner is elected by the people? Think again...) And then, over time, a few powerful individuals concentrate power from those agencies into their own hands. Before long, the country is run by a handful of power-crazed tyrants who disregard all freedoms and rights of the People.
This is precisely what the FDA is doing with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Backed by yet more funding and a new army of agents, plus the Supreme Court ruling that says the federal government can order you to destroy the food you're growing in your own back yard, the FDA can now pillage the countryside, going from farm to farm and house to house, burning fields and ordering the citizenry to destroy their plants, seeds and crops. This is exactly what they've been doing to raw milk producers and food coops, by the way (http://www.naturalnews.com/030136_Rawesome_f...).
That is no exaggeration. It is a documented "legal" precedent established in Wickard vs Filburn, and it can be used at any moment to destroy the ability of people to grow their own food, thereby making these people totally dependent on dead processed food (which is always FDA approved if it's dead, of course) made in food factories that churn out nutritional deficiencies and death.
What will you eat when the government destroys your local food supply?You see, under the argument that your backyard garden "impacts interstate commerce," the federal government can order you to simply spray Roundup on your entire garden in order to kill it.
What will you eat then? When the GMO crops suffer a mass catastrophic failure, and the monocultured wheat dies from a global viral infection called ug99 "rust" (http://theemergencyfoodsupply.com/archives/u...), what will you eat?
If the government has its way, you won't eat at all. You'll starve to death under the "protection" of the food safety thugs at the FDA who don't believe any "live" food is safe in the first place (hence their war against raw milk).
Those people who have the foresight to grow their own gardens and protect their food sources from the tyranny of the federal government may actually have a chance at surviving. The rest will simply starve while waiting in government food lines where the feds hand out nutritionally worthless cheese and other depleted processed foods that Sesame Street absurdly thinks are "superfoods" (http://www.naturalnews.com/030626_muppets_Se...).
Big Government declares war on the local food movementMake no mistake, folks: the government is attempting to destroy the local food movement. They are trying to wipe out small, organic farms that compete with corporate agribiz in the same way the FDA has long plotted to destroy natural health supplement companies who compete with Big Pharma.
It's all about wiping out the little guys and protecting the monopoly markets of the largest and most influential corporations that are poisoning the earth and destroying your health. As Wickard vs Filburn clearly demonstrated, the government does not believe you have any natural right or Constitutional right to grow your own food. In fact, the government believes it has the right to order you to destroy your food at the time of its choosing.
Don't think this could happen to you? Filburn didn't either. The idea that his own government would show up at his door and order him to burn his field of wheat was simply unimaginable. Similarly, the idea that the FDA would tear across the countryside wiping out small family farms is unimaginable to many Americans today. But that's only because they don't know their own history and they put far too much faith in the flimsy idea that the government somehow, in some way, respects the rights and freedoms of the People.
The obvious falsehood of that idea is evident in the way we are all being treated by the TSA. Who would have thought, just two years ago, that we'd be subjected to government-enforced molestation at the hands of airport security screeners? That idea seems unthinkable at the time, much like the idea that the FDA could seize your garden seeds or order you to destroy your greenhouse crops. Yet such actions are already within the claimed power of the federal government... merely waiting to be invoked at the time of their choosing.
Traitors to freedomAll those who voted for S.510 -- which includes the entire U.S. Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike -- are traitors to the freedoms upon which America was founded. They have thrust our food supply into the hands of tyrants who are just waiting to exercise their control and "authority" over as many people as possible.
Five years ago, I joked that people might one day be arrested for smuggling broccoli across state lines. Today, that joke has become a sad reality. The mere act of growing food and selling it to your neighbor without government permission is about to become a criminal act. And no, small farms are not "exempt" from S.510. They must provide financial information and apply to the FDA to be granted exemption status. That sounds a lot like slaves begging for mercy from the king, doesn't it?
Keep the big picture in mind as you consider all this: When teens are poisoned by the aspartame in diet soda, the FDA does nothing. When children are given cancer by the sodium nitrite in hot dogs, the FDA does nothing. When countless thousands of Americans suffer heart attacks and cardiovascular disease each year from the partially-hydrogenated oils used throughout the food supply, the FDA does nothing. But when you grow fresh produce in your own back yard and carry it to your local farmer's market to sell it without government permission, you will be arrested by the FDA as a criminal.
Shame on all those who supported this bill. May history have mercy on their souls for the suffering and injustices they have unleashed upon us all.
Sources for this story include:
Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History by Judge Andrew Napolitano
(This is an amazing book. Highly recommended reading that will educate you on the history of government abuses of power. All Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents need to read this book.)
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