There is this huff about freedom. I'm going to explain a bit of that using the subject of food safety regulations as an example. A bit of economics and theory about what constitutes a free market will be included.
You are free to eat what you like. Food safety laws do nothing at all to stop you from eating whatever you wish. You can eat dirt or paper clips or poison, if you like. That's yours to decide and nobody, especially not our government, is going to stop you.
If you're a supermarket you can sell poison, or paper clips, if you like. Indeed, even in the small family-owned market where I do my shopping poison is always available, at least whenever they're open. In large mega-markets you can buy poison 24/7. You are free to take that poison home and eat it, if you like, too. All is well with the world, then.
However, that poison must be labeled as poison. You cannot, by law, label poison as food and tell people it's safe to eat. You cannot sell poison labeled as food, telling people it's safe to eat. This makes sense to me; I don't know about the right-wing or the libertarians, who seem to think that it's OK to sell poison labeled as food. Is that not their contention? When they get into a huff about food regulations, aren't they making a claim that it's unfair of our government to make it a crime to poison innocent people, using deception and trickery to get them to eat your poison?
Regulations support free markets, folks, especially large markets where there is no face-to-face contact between the producer and the consumer. Nowhere is this more evident and clear than in the mass, industrial food market. Regulation, and our government, serve as a proxy consumer, providing the vital feedback loop from consumer to producer. (That feedback loop is the foundation of a free market. Without it there is no free market, only a hostage and hostile market where the consumer is powerless.)
Regulations help keep the faith upon which markets exist. Consumers can go to their markets, their impersonal markets, and buy food in faith, knowing or trusting that they are not buying poison. They know that the food they buy to eat, themselves, and to feed to their loved ones is safe and healthy. That trust, that faith in the market, supports the market. Remove it and the market dies a natural death. The right-wing, including (especially?) the libertarian sect, are OK with that. They accept and promote a market where the honest and careful producers can be held hostage by the criminal and selfish producers who seek a short-term profit, who seek to make a quick killing in the market.
Nowhere is this quick killing more evident than in our vast, impersonal, industrial food supply chain. Let one criminal producer sell enough poison and make a few people sick, or kill them, and the free market suffers.
You are free to poison yourself. You are free to buy poison. You are free to sell poison. You are not free, however, to sell poison to others while telling them it's good to eat. What's so wrong about that?