Maine Activists Optimistic for Food Rights in 2015

Despite difficulty passing measures by the Maine State Legislature to legalize raw milk and the highly publicized loss of farmer Dan Brown’s case in the Maine State Supreme Court, Mainers remain optimistic about several small food freedom bills which are being fought for in 2015.

At least three bills would legalize the sale of raw milk in some form; one bill would create a “farms-to-farmers markets” certification program; one ambitious bill would create a constitutional amendment declaring that Mainers have a “right to food.”

Representative Craig Hickman, the author of the latter, is himself a farmer and staunch proponent of food sovereignty as well as co-chairman of the Maine State Legislature’s Agriculture Committee.

“When asked Friday whether such an amendment would mean individuals have a right to buy, prepare and eat whatever food they want — whether it comes from a licensed, inspected farm or not — Hickman said he believed such an interpretation would be correct” (see Local Activists Say They’re Optimistic – Bangor Daily News).

The growing number of food-related bills moving through the legislature indicates that many Mainers see food freedom as a pressing issue and will continue to fight for it, despite the opposition they may face.

Realmilk.com is a consumer education project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Visit their website, westonaprice.org.

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Maine Farmer Loses State Supreme Court Battle

On June 17, 2014, the Maine Supreme Court issued the final word in Dan Brown’s 3-year legal battle against the state over his right to sell unpasteurized milk. The Court ruled in favor of an April 2013 district court summary judgment that ordered Brown to stop selling raw milk, rejecting Brown’s arguments that the state shouldn’t be allowed to change rules that originally guided the establishment of his business and that a local town ordinance exempted him from state regulations.

The state “…contends it has an obligation to set reasonable standards to ensure milk is safe and that the standards must apply to even the smallest farms” (WCSH 6).

Read a more in-depth summary of the state Supreme Court decision here.

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods.  westonaprice.org/lab

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Maine Senate Approves Bill that Allows Farmers to Sell Small Quantities of Raw Milk

On June 5, 2013, the Maine Senate approved LD 1282, “An Act to Help Small Farmers in Selling Raw Milk and Homemade Food Products.” The bill would allow Maine farmers to sell small quantities of unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products (less than 20 gallons per day) directly to consumers without getting a license as long as it is clearly labeled, and sold from the farm or a farmers market within the state.

This bill comes on the heels of the controversial case against Dan Brown, a Maine farmer who was found guilty in April 2013 of selling milk without a license, selling unpasteurized milk without marking it as such, and operating a food establishment without a license.

The bill has gone to the Maine House of Representatives for vote. 

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/05/politics/senate-approved-bill-that-exempts-farmers-who-sell-raw-milk-from-licensing-requirements/

The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit based in Washington, D.C.

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