Wow, that’s a sensational title for this article. How dare I make such an outlandish claim? Simple, it’s true. You no longer own yourself, but are the property of the government. True the government doesn’t choose to exercise total control over you, its property, but it does lay claim to you as property.
The government is slowly but surely doing away with private property rights, including the most precious property right, the right to yourself. The very idea that you can secure property and use it as you see fit, so long as you don’t use it to infringe upon the rights of another, is the heart of the beliefs that formed this nation. If you want to purchase a motorcycle, and ride it around your land, your free to do so, you can fuel it with alcohol or gasoline, you can take care of it or store it under a tree, you can even ride it up a ramp do a back flip and crash it into your own pond (thus destroying or damaging your motorcycle). That motorcycle is your property, you can crush it, throw it away, do whatever you want with it so long as you don’t infringe upon somebody else’s rights. Nobody would argue that, as you own it.
Now you don’t own your body, the government has laid claim to it, and for the protection of their property not only determines what you can and can’t do with it, what you can and can’t voluntarily feed it, but even what you can and can’t know about your own body. Because they have claimed ownership of you, they claim the right to protect their property (your body) from you.
In the words of Alabama Rep. Parker Griffiths, "It's very difficult to protect the public from itself and its desire to be healthy." It seems the position of the Federal Government through the Food and Drug Administration is that your own genetic code is a controlled substance. Because of that the FDA has the controlling authority and as such determined that you must be prevented from receiving any information without first going through an FDA-approved authority. At least that’s what Alabama Rep. Parker Griffiths said in the 2010 congressional hearing into the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry. The government says it has authority over what information about yourself, you may be permitted to acquire.
Consider laws that infringe upon you right to yourself. The FDA now claims the authority to not just require that the information be available so that you know what is in what you are eating, but actually control the contents of what you choose to purchase just because you may not choose to eat what the FDA has determined is in your own best interest. The government now accepts the idea that the FDA’s job is to "protect the public from itself."
Does the idea that the of government as controller of what kind of light bulb you must purchase to illuminate your living space, what you are allowed to eat, right down to what you know about yourself, disturb you at all?
What moral or political basis is there to justify the government determining what information about your own body that you should be permitted to acquire? The only moral or political reasoning that could justify such a position is based on the assumption that the government has a greater right to you than you do yourself. In essence this assumes that the government owns you and can determine, what it thinks you should and shouldn’t know.
Assume you’ve amassed some wealth, paid every dime of taxes the government wants, and you decide that you want to leave the country with a million dollars in gold coins, can you? The answer is No you can’t. Since you can’t, is it truly your property? Do you own your house, or is it the government’s property, and they allow you a “title” in exchange for annual rent (property taxes)? If it’s truly your property, not the governments, then why do you have to pay for it every year?
Slave owners determine what their slaves are taught, what they can be exposed to, what they eat, what they can wear, etc. To keep a slave happy and productive, certain freedoms are allowed but controlled. According to the World Dictionary a slave is a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property. According to the U.S. Government, you don’t even have the right to knowledge about your own body, or the right to choose what food you want to use to fuel your own body. If you don’t have the right to yourself, self-ownership, and although we are allowed some freedoms to keep us happy and productive, are we actually slaves of the Federal Government, our masters.
Maybe it’s a bit extreme to say slaves; serfs may be a more apt description, but liberty, freedom, and self ownership are not words that can be used in a description of a people that must get their masters permission to learn what’s in their own DNA.