State of Maine takes action against a town’s food freedom ordinance

From Farm to Consumer Legal Defense:

The local food freedom ordinance they passed has really put Blue Hills on the map. But will big government at the state level return things to the status quo. Click image for source.

Blue Hill Maine Farmer Being Sued By State of Maine & Agricultural Commissioner
Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance Challenged

We Are All Farmer Brown!


Dear Friends and Supporters,

Since March of this year five towns in Maine have passed the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance, creating legal protections for direct food and farm sales and food shared at bake sales and community meals. From the beginning, Maine Agricultural Commissioner Walter Whitcomb has been telling our towns that State law preempts the authority of municipalities to make local laws that conflict with state and federal laws and regulations.

In a letter dated April 6, 2011 that was sent to Maine towns where the Ordinance was passed, Commissioner Whitcomb stated “Department personnel are instructed to work with unlicensed food processors or manufacturers to gain their voluntary compliance with the law.” The letter goes on to say, “However, persons who fail to comply will be subject to enforcement, including the removal from sale of products from unlicensed sources and/or the imposition of fines.” Now in the case of one of our local family farmers, subject to lawsuit and injunction.

On Wednesday, November 9, Dan Brown, a family farmer in Blue Hill, Maine, was served a summons to answer three charges being filed against him by the State of Maine and Commissioner Whitcomb. The charges all stem from his selling food without licenses, in his case that’s milk, assorted dairy products like ice cream and cheese, and processed items like pickles and jams. He is also being charged with failure to label his alleged illegal milk “Not Pasteurized.” The safety or quality of Farmer Dan Brown’s food is not being questioned. What is being questioned, or rather challenged, is the right of the citizens of Blue Hill to operate in this manner.

Hear Dan Brown’s story here!

Read the summons here!


When citizens of Blue Hill voted on April 4 to pass the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance the vote was nearly unanimous. The vote took place at Town Meeting, a New England tradition of direct democracy where people gather and make decisions about matters of importance to the town. In all five towns that passed the Ordinance – the others being Sedgwick, Penobscot, Trenton, and Hope – the residents of those towns voted on their own behalf, expressing their needs and desires, asserting their rights to govern this most basic human need. The State’s challenge raises the important question, Who gets to decide the rules that affect our local food system?


People are rallying behind Dan Brown and the Town of Blue Hill because We Are All Farmer Brown! If Dan loses, a chilling affect will ripple through all the Maine towns who have and are considering passing the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance. It will impede the successful growth of our small farms, our cottage food businesses, and put at risk the tradition of sharing meals at our churches, granges, potlucks, and bake sales. But most importantly, it will say to all the people around Maine, the U.S., and globe that, “No, you do not have the right to the food of your choice” and “No, you do not have democracy in the food system!”

As Cargill and other Big Agribusiness corporations continue to recall contaminated food in the millions of pounds, causing sickness and death, and getting off scott free, citizens in a growing number of towns around the country are taking matters into their own hands, creating rules that reflect the needs of farmers, food producers, and communities who are building healthy, resilient local food systems. Our success is your success — Our failure is your failure.

Please take a moment TODAY to contact the Maine Agricultural Commissioner and Governor Paul LePage and tell them to drop the lawsuit against Dan Brown and respect the authority of the Town of Blue Hill that was granted by the townspeople under the Local Food & Community Self-Governance Ordinance!

And join us in Blue Hill this Friday, November 18 for a press conference and rally at the Town Hall beginning at noon to show your support in person! 

Walter Whitcomb, Agricultural Commissioner, State of Maine

Governor Paul LePage
888-577-6690 (TTY)


Thursday, November 17 10am-11am EST
code 260454#
Dan Brown will make a statement and cover the counts listed in the summons. Bob St.Peter, family farmer from Sedgwick, Maine and director of Food for Maine’s Future will discuss the campaign calling on the State to withdraw the lawsuit.

Please help support the effort by making a contribution in whatever amount you can afford.


Family Farm Defense Committee of Hancock County


Filed under News

3 responses to “State of Maine takes action against a town’s food freedom ordinance

  1. Call in Mel Gibson now. He is the only one with balls to do anything. Act like in the movie, The Patriot. They are killing us and our children. About time we took action. Ghandi did it, so can we. Enough with the paper pushing pussies.

    We are sick and tired of hearing about the bullshit politics and bullshit big business ruining our health, our livelihoods.

    If you need to know what bullshit means then speak with or read about a moral philosopher , Harry Frankfurt, Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His book titled, “On Bullshit.” Deceptive misrepresentations.

    “The contemporary proliferation of bullshit also has deeper sources, in various forms of skepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality, and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are. These “antirealist” doctrines undermine confidence in value of disinterested efforts to determine what is true and what is false, and even in the intelligibility of the notion of objective inquiry. One response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required by dedication tot he ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. Rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. Convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature (in many cases selfishness and greed, etc.). It is as though he decides that since it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, he must therefore try instead to be true to himself.

    But it is preposterous to imagine that ourselves are determinate, and hence susceptible both to correct and to incorrect descriptions, while supposing that the ascription of determinacy to anything else has been exposed as a mistake. As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgement that is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not particularly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial – notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things. And insofar as this is the case, sincerity itself is bullshit.”

    I refuse to accept bullshit. Do you? All the other “Chicken shits” are afraid to write what they feel and know to be the truth.

    Ed Hartz
    The Raw Milkman

  2. Joe in Missouri

    So the truth really comes out……. We have been told our whole lives that government is of and by the people and gets all of it’s authoriity from the people. Yeah right…..

    So when push comes to shove the State government is the soverign and our owner. We throw off the Fedreal tyrant only for it to be replaced by the Federally controlled State tyrant

    One more Amerikan myth and lie exposed.

  3. Pingback: Maine seeks to reassert control while CDC admits they were wrong… : Food Clubs and Coops

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