Government inspectors know best. At least that is the message being propagated in P.E.I., Canada, where provincial authorities have been actively cracking down on farmers who do not comply with their ban on “free-range” eggs. As reported by CBC:
The Doctor’s Inn in Tyne Valley, northwest of Summerside, also operates an organic farm. Paul and Jean Offer sell their organic vegetables and free-range eggs at the Charlottetown Farmers Market, and offer the produce to customers at the Doctor’s Inn at breakfast and dinner time.
But after years of serving their own eggs, the provincial Department of Health has told them they have to stop. The department said it’s a long-standing policy that food service operations can only use federally inspected eggs.
The apparent idea of this regulation is to prevent salmonella and other food-related illnesses, but instead it is merely yet another hindrance in private business, cloaked as a “beneficial” and “good” measure promoting safety. Instead of driving hours to the federal inspection bureau to have his eggs combed over by food “agents”, Paul Offer decided to close the bed and breakfast which has been around for 30 years.
“When the Department of Health came around and said, ‘No, you’re not allowed to use your own eggs, you have to use store bought ones, or inspected ones,’ we just turned around”.
Though Paul and Jean have been eating and selling the eggs for years with absolutely no complaint, the provincial authorities deemed it necessary that they allow inspections of their eggs, or risk having the business shut down.
The most noteworthy aspect of this story, at least to those who see the frivolity in this type of regulation, is the complete hubris and false-assured arrogance of the government inspector, Joe Bradley. Immediately discounting the right of free individuals to choose their own food, he ponders the following:
“Why take the chance when you have the ability to purchase a product from a government-approved source?”
What this story represents, in essence, is how far the scope of Governmental power and influence has become. Instead of allowing free individuals to choose how they will purchase and consume eggs, perhaps more naturally at a farmer’s market, the Government has instead intervened in private business and claimed that it knows best. It claims that the label of “government-approved” somehow makes it just that much safer and healthier. Never mind the incentive a private business owner has to provide a quality product to his customers, or the entire merchant-purchaser relationship which has existed for thousands of years without interference from know-it-all bureaucrats.
While millions of individuals turn to organic farming to escape the corporate-culture that has corrupted the production of food, they will unfortunately be met by the encroaching power of the nanny state, forever ready to shut down self-sufficient individuals and businesses.
Source: CBC News