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The State of Food Freedom Around the Globe: New at Reason

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sits before addressing parliament in Budapest, Hungary, May 18, 2018. Credit: BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS/NewscomHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sits before addressing parliament in Budapest, Hungary, May 18, 2018. Credit: BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS/NewscomRegular readers of Baylen Linnekin's weekly columns know that food freedom does not happen in a linear fashion. Laws and regulations get better in some parts of America, while worsening in others. It will likely come as no surprise that international food laws reflect this same frustrating dichotomy.

There's the good, which oftentimes takes the form of deregulation. In Poland, for example, a bill would let local farmers sell their produce directly to grocers, restaurants, and other food businesses. And in Quebec, lawmakers recently passed a law that will legalize the service of alcohol by restaurants to customers who don't order food. (That may leave another law still on the books in Canada—British Columbia's ban on hamburgers that aren't well done, which I wrote about earlier this year—as the nation's dumbest.) There's the bad. In France, for example, lawmakers are pushing for mandatory GMO labeling of animal feed.

And then there's the truly awful. Perhaps the most unsettling recent international food-law news comes out of Hungary, where the country's anti-immigrant government is threatening to imprison people who provide food to refugees.

Photo Credit: BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS/Newscom

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