April 23, 2014

Brooksville Becomes Ninth Maine Town to Pass Food Sovereignty Law

eagle We The People Brooksville Becomes Ninth Maine Town to Pass Food Sovereignty Law

Brian Shilhavy, Editor
Health Impact News

Back in 2011 we reported the story of how one small Maine town passed a “Food Sovereignty” ordinance to allow the sale of locally produced food without interference of state or federal regulators. The town was Sedgwick, Maine, and you can read the story here: “Food Sovereignty” law passed in small Maine town to allow sale of locally produced food without interference of regulators.

Soon other towns followed, and this month (March 2013), Brooksville, Maine, became the ninth town to pass a similar law. The residents of Brooksville voted 112-64 to approve the “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance,” which states that producers or processors of local foods are “exempt from licensure and inspection,” so long as the food is sold directly by the producer to a consumer. The ordinance also makes it “unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights organized by this ordinance.”

The State of Maine does not think very highly of these local ordinances, and believes that state regulations for licensing and oversight trump any local ordinances.

The first test case to all of these “Food Sovereignty” laws came when the State of Maine sued farmer Dan Brown of Blue Hill, Maine. The charges stemmed from his selling food without licenses, in his case milk, assorted dairy products, like ice cream and cheese, and processed items like pickles and jams. He was also charged with failure to label his alleged illegal milk “Not Pasteurized.” Oh, and Dan Brown has exactly ONE cow. Yes, he was sued for the sale of milk from a single cow to a handful of people. You can read the story here: Local Food Sovereignty Laws in Maine Come to a Test with Farmer Brown

This case is still pending at the beginning of 2013, and there are rumors both sides are seeking a settlement.

The citizens of Maine are not backing down, however, as the residents of Brooksville have demonstrated. More farmers are destined to collide with State officials over what many see as over-burdensome regulations, denying people their basic freedoms to choose foods from local producers, as opposed to cheap grocery store food (being mostly processed junk food) often imported from hundreds or thousands of miles away. It would seem that other cases like the one of farmer Dan Brown are inevitable.

There could be a solution to years of litigation, however, if the state legislature steps in to pass state-wide laws that agree with local food sovereignty ordinances. According to Bangor Daily, State Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville, has said there are several bills being crafted that would seek to implement the local food sovereignty rules for direct-to-consumer sales at the state level. If that happened, there would no longer be a conflict between state and local rules.

Until then, everyone around the country concerned about food freedom, and the government attempt to control the nation’s food, will keep a sharp eye on what happens in Maine. So will we here at Health Impact News.

Sources:

Bangor Daily
The Complete Patient

0 commentsback to post

Other articlesgo to homepage

Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia will not import GMO products because Russia has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

This was not a political statement of posturing, given the current cool relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine. As it turns out, Russia’s food security is light years ahead of the U.S.

As you will read below, a significant portion of the Russian population own “dachas,” or seasonal garden homes, where they can grow their own food. At the height of the communist era, it is reported that these dachas produced 90% of the nation’s food. Today, with the land now privatized, they still comprise about 40% of the nation’s food.

Compare that with the United States, where less than 1% of the population controls the food, and small-scale family farms have for the most part been bought out by huge Biotech corporations.

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.

“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,” he said.

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

A highly concerning new study published in the journal Biomedical Research International reveals that despite the still relatively benign reputation of agrochemicals such as Roundup herbicide, many chemical formulations upon which the modern agricultural system depend are far more toxic than present regulatory tests performed on them reveal. Roundup herbicide, for instance, was found to be 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation.

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

This year, food security is set to suffer another big setback, and the culprit could not be cuter: honeybees. Last winter, America’s beekeeping industry lost nearly half of all its bee colonies. And the numbers keep falling. Last summer, in the largest bee kill on record, more than 50,000 bumblebees were killed in Oregon as a direct result of exposure to an insecticide applied to trees for cosmetic purposes.

The killing has gotten so bad that people are calling it a beepocalypse. This is a serious situation. One-third of the food produced in North America depends on pollination by our honeybees. Nearly 100 varieties of fruits depend on honeybee pollination, from almonds (which are California’s third-largest export) to avocados to apples to cranberries.

America, then, must act fast if we want to save our bees, our food and our economic productivity.

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

Health concerns aside, U.S. GMO policy is damaging the U.S. economy and costing jobs. China just announced they were rejecting U.S. GMO corn in favor of Brazilian corn, draining hundreds of millions of dollars out of the U.S. economy.

read more


Get the news right in your inbox!