Nullifying Food Regulations

The towns vs. the state.


Another Maine town adopts a "food sovereignty" ordinance:

It's a start.

In a referendum election on March 4, [Brooksville] residents 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 contends that such ordinances hold no legal weight, but that hasn't stopped residents of Sedgwick, Penobscot, Blue Hill and Trenton from passing the same local rules. Food sovereignty ordinances also have been passed in Hope, Plymouth, Livermore and Appleton….

State Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville, has said there are several bills being crafted in Augusta 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.

This comes two years after the same place's citizens narrowly rejected the idea. For those of you who weren't keeping count, that's a total of nine towns in the state that have adopted these ordinances.

[Via Jordan Bloom.]