Last month Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin shared keynote duties at a Chapman University School of Law conference, Food Fight, that was organized and sponsored by the school's Nexus Journal of Law & Policy. Linnekin's complete remarks--which focus on the direct role food and food rights played in shaping the text of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights--are now online.
Here's some background on Linnekin's topic:
Recently a Wisconsin state judge, a federal appeals court judge, and the FDA have advanced the argument that Americans do not possess the right to make their own food choices. Both the judges and the agency based their closely aligned arguments on claims that federal and state government power trump individual rights because such rights exist neither expressly in the Constitution nor are deeply rooted in the nation's history and traditions. On these facts both the judges and the FDA are wrong.
My research into the origins of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights has led me to uncover fundamental linkages between these founding documents and negative rights Americans have in food. Indeed, many of our most important rights as Americans--including several enshrined in the Bill of Rights--are traceable directly to food.
Americans do in fact possess the right to make their own food choices. As I will describe in my presentation, this right is deeply rooted in the nation's history and traditions. I will also discuss some basic parameters and implications of this right.
To see previous and upcoming speaking appearance's, check out the Keep Food Legal events schedule here.