Governor Paul LePage of Maine became the latest governor this month to veto a raw milk bill that enjoyed widespread support among the people of his state, and had the support of state lawmakers. One would have thought that if a bill like this could be passed anywhere, Maine would be the place, given their strong commitment to family farms and healthy food. But much the same as Nevada governor Brian Sandoval last month, LePage apparently caved into Big Ag special interest groups.
Maine Department of Agriculture Actions Prove Safety of Raw Milk is NOT the Issue in Attacking Raw Milk Farmers
Raw milk safety is NOT the issue. It's all about government control. If safety were truly the issue, then why is the Maine Department of Agriculture allowing one farm to sell raw milk to the public for a simple $25.00 license, while denying a similar small farm who was following a local ordinance that did not require a license? Isn't time the anti-raw milk antagonists stop hiding behind the raw milk "safety" issue? The raw milk issue is not a safety issue. It is about government control. As the recent jury who acquitted Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger from being guilty of providing milk to private club members without a state-approved license shows, the public is getting fed up with the government stance over licensing, and their treating peaceful farmers like illegal drug criminals. It is time for a Food Freedom Revolution!
Small-farm advocates in Augusta celebrated a key political victory after a legislative committee gave the green light to several bills that would relax state oversight and open local markets to unlicensed farmers and raw milk producers.
Maine’s food sovereignty movement took a hit when a state judge ruled earlier this week that farmer Dan Brown must have a license to sell raw milk, despite his town’s ordinance exempting local farmers from state food regulations. The State of Maine has spent considerable time prosecuting a farmer with only 2 cows for over 2 years for selling raw milk without a license, even though nobody ever complained or suffered from his milk. This ruling puts Farmer Dan out of business.
Health Impact News Editor Comments: Back in the summer of 2011 we covered the story of how local towns in Maine were passing “Food Sovereignty” laws to allow sale of locally produced food without interference of regulators. Read the story here.
Then on November 9, Dan Brown, a family farmer in Blue Hill, Maine, was served […]
by John O’Donnell
MAINE COMPASS: Raw milk bill testimony misleading
Many small-farm families and health advocates are among those who drink raw, unpasteurized milk that is produced by the few cows on those small farms. A 2008 survey of […]
By Avery Yale Kamila
Portland Herald Press
Quotes from this article:
“According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine is home to 8,100 farms, and more than 90 percent of them are classified as small operations. Maine is also ahead of the curve in the organic farming movement, with the number of […]
by Kimberly Hartke
Hartke is Online
Please Unshackle the Farm Economy, Vote Yes for HP0263
a Commentary by Kimberly Hartke
A bill to promote agritourism, home kitchen entrepreneurship, and direct commerce between friends and neighbors is now before the Maine State legislature. Recently, the town of Sedgewick, Maine voted unanimously to allow unregulated direct sales […]