Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to End the FDA's Insane Police Powers: "I see no reason to have the FDA carrying weapons." [UPDATED]


"I think we have bigger problems in our country than sending armed FDA agents into peaceful farmers' land and telling them they can't sell milk directly from the cow," Rand Paul said yesterday in a rousing speech calling for an end to the Food and Drug Administration's police powers. More from the transcript, provided by Paul's office: 

Some of you might be surprised the FDA is armed. Well, you shouldn't be.

We have nearly 40 federal agencies that are armed. I'm not against having police, I'm not against the army, the military, the FBI, but I think bureaucrats don't need to be carrying weapons and I think what we ought to do, is if there is a need for an armed policeman to be there, the FBI who are trained to do this should do it. But I don't think it's a good idea to be arming bureaucrats to go on the farm to, with arms, to stop people from selling milk from a cow.

I think we have too many armed federal agencies, and that we need to put an end to this. Criminal law seems to be increasing, increasingly is using a tool of our government bureaucracy to punish and control honest businessmen for simply attempting to make a living.

Historically the criminal law was intended to punish only the most horrible offenses that everyone agreed were inherently wrong or evil, offenses like rape, murder, theft, arson – but now we've basically federalized thousands of activities and called them crimes.

If bureaucrats need to involve the police, let's have them use the FBI, but I see no reason to have the FDA carrying weapons.

Paul's amendment to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act has two parts: Part I would allow the makers of health products to advertise their benefits. "There's no earthly reason why somebody who markets prune juice can't advertise it helps with constipation," Paul said. Part II of the amendment would prohibit FDA employees (as well as all other Health and Human Services employees) from carrying weapons and making arrests without warrants. 

Watch the speech here: 

UPDATE: The amendment failed by a vote of 78-15

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  1. “Sweet Mother Gaea, it’s the Earth Signal! Somewhere, there must be an environmental emergency! Man the tanks and release the drones of retribution!”

    1. Does this mean that the Dept. of Energy gets energy weapons? And nuc-we-ar wessels?

      1. JW, I just created an account with Reason for the sole purpose of thanking you for that comment.

      2. The USDA gets potato cannons.

  2. The people selling unpasteurized milk are obviously terrorists. Problem solved.

    1. We should have drones over the US shooting missiles at suspected cows used in making unpasteurized milk

      1. Someone needs to start working on cows that produce pasteurized milk right now if that is the case.

    2. UDDER! UDDER! [bang-bang-bang-bangbang-bang]

  3. “It’s estimated that there are over 4,000 federal crimes, but no one has an exact number.”

    …And ignorance of the law is no excuse!

    1. What if “ignorance of the law” is *itself* a federal crime?


  4. THIS is the kind of thing Paul should be focusing on and talking about in the Senate. Leave the personal opinions on gay marriage and Obama and morality to the chattering idiots elsewhere. All it does is distract from real problems while accomplishing nothing of value.

    1. Sadly, this particular measure, while worthy, won’t be accomplished either. Maybe he’ll change a few minds.

  5. This guy needs to be President. Soon.

    1. You’re looking at some of the reasons he never will be.

      1. I hope you’re wrong about that.

        Paul comes off very well in interviews. I think he’s a rising star.

        1. If I’m wrong I’ll gladly eat some crow. The problem is, his views represent such a vast minority in this country. The overall direction we’re moving is almost directly opposite the way he suggests we go, and it’s because the majority of people want to go that way.

          1. Agreed. If you think the MSM rips him now, imagine the shitstorm of a presidential campaign.

            No, we’ll just have to settle for either fat boy Christie or a dark horse in 2016.

  6. He’s not from my state, but for the first time in my life I feel as if I have a tiny bit of representation in Congress.

  7. Finally! Doctor Finch’s Astonishing Humor-Balancing Elixir has been languishing in development for years.

    1. Hey! You mix potions right? Can you brew me an ale?

    2. Ha, my lighting in a bottle can restore the functioning of dead abnormal brains.

  8. I totally agree with Paul: there are too many armed agencies. I wonder how far this can go before republicans who fight police militarization and agency police powers start feeling pushback from gun and police equipment manufacturers. There are plenty of dealers who depend on LE sales to keep them in business and especially with all the cool new NFA toys.

    1. I wonder how far this can go before republicans who fight police militarization and agency police powers start feeling pushback…

      Fuck ’em. If so, the “real” Republican party will eventually be just preachers and cops. Then it can disappear entirely.

    2. republicans who fight police militarization and agency police powers

      Wait, what?

      1. A rare breed, to be sure, but as Paul demonstrates, not an extinct one.

        1. A rare breed, to be sure,

          Endangered, even. It should be illegal to hunt them.

  9. an armed FDA – this is one of those instances that begs the question “what could go wrong?”

    1. The fucking Dept. of Edjikashun is armed now.

    2. …this is one of those instances that begs the question …

      No, it does not.

      1. You should be smart enough to realize that that’s a lost battle, Mensan.

  10. Somebody needs to jump up in the air and shout, Whos your daddy!


  11. If you don’t have a SWAT team, you have to borrow one. And in government circles, that means going hat in hand to an agency that has one and offering to reimburse them for the cost of using it.

    The agencies that have SWAT teams, the FBI, DEA, the Marshall’s Office, ICE, CPB all have other uses for them. They really are not interested in loaning them out to go knock over an Amish organic diary.

    Without a SWAT team, that means USDA agents will have to go out and serve search warrants the old fashioned way with a badge and a piece of paper, no guns, no kicking down doors. That won’t affect inspections at places like Tyson Chicken that are run by big corporations with lawyers and lots to lose. But no way in hell will those little weenies have the balls to go out and start forcing their way onto individual farms.

    So basically this law will make enforcement against small producers nonexistent. What a monster Paul is 😉

    1. Didn’t you get the memo, John? The Left wants to amend the Constitution to make clear that the BoR only applies to individuals, not corporations. Once it passes, agents won’t need warrants to enter the property of iniquitous corporations. Indeed, they’ll be able to confiscate their property at will without compensation.

    2. You forgot the Department of Education in your SWAT list.

  12. Historically the criminal law was intended to punish only the most horrible offenses that everyone agreed were inherently wrong or evil, offenses like rape, murder, theft, arson ? but now we’ve basically federalized thousands of activities and called them crimes.

    This sentiment cannot be expressed enough times in the chambers of Congress.

    1. Indeed. However, voicing this view apparently makes one a crackpot, according to our betters.

  13. Mr Riggs:

    I searched on the Senate Web site and could not find where Rand Pauls amendment is described or was voted on, nor the list of senators voting for or against. I did read where Homeland Security has a part in in reveiwing and enforcement, but nothing about arming FDA agents.

    I support Rand Paul and what he stands for and I don’t like the idea that we have tyranical government executive branch agencies that can create law without congressional, senatorial and presidential approval.

    The Senate does not have a good track record of voting in a supermajority (67%) against any of the CFR adminstrative edictitorial laws. The same goes for treates, I think all treates should require Congress, Senate and Presidential approval before inacted.

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