Bureaucrats & FDA vs local sovereignty ordinances in Maine raw milk fight

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“Two more Maine towns—Appleton and Livermore– have passed food sovereignty ordinances in the last few days during the current town meeting season. This brings to eight the total number that have legally sanctioned private food sales by local farmers over the last year.

In the meantime, the state’s prosecution of Blue Hill farmer Dan Brown for selling raw milk under his town’s food sovereignty ordinance, passed last spring, continues apace, with depositions being taken of key participants. A trial is possible by late fall.

The dissonance implied in the Dan Brown case–between the expanding will of the people, as expressed via the adoption of food sovereignty ordinances, and the resistance of the bureaucrats–isn’t just a chance occurrence. Now it can be tracked and at least partially explained, thanks to a treasure trove of nearly 700 pages of documents obtained by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund from the state of Maine under its Public Records Act, in connection with the Dan Brown case (which it is helping Brown defend). The documents include email communication between officials within the Maine Department of Agriculture and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as between the regulators and farmers, along with various policy statements. It’s not the most scintillating reading—lots of stuff about upcoming meetings and depositions and who can attend and can’t attend, for example—but buried within the tedium are important statements that enable an outsider to track the motivations of key participants.

Because the documents touch on a number of important areas—the evolution of Maine’s stiffening policy, an effort to pin the blame for illnesses on raw dairy farmers, and the important role of federal regulators–I’ll be writing about the revelations from these documents in several installments. In this first one, I track the evolution of the Dan Brown case—a major suit against a two-cow dairy– as an outgrowth of the federal government’s ever more intense war on small dairies in general, and raw milk in particular….”

Read more on The Complete Patient blog.

1 Comment

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One response to “Bureaucrats & FDA vs local sovereignty ordinances in Maine raw milk fight

  1. You said: “This brings to eight the total number that have legally sanctioned private food sales by local farmers over the last year.”
    I am not sure that I agree with this statement. I would certainly agree that what the towns have done is “lawful”.

    In our system of divided sovereignty, where the state of Maine and the people are the sovereign except in those matters where they delegate some of that power to others, as has done to the federal government and in most States the State also delegates certain powers to internal entities such as counties, cities, and towns. Perhaps for the sake of argument the State of Maine has not delegated this power to anyone. (It certainly did not delegate it to the federal government regardless of the feds unconstitutional power grab.)

    Perhaps the State of Maine does not have this power.
    The fact of the matter is that no government entity has the right to alter or abolish God given/Inalienable rights. Nor do these rights have to be enumerated as was tried with the 10 Bill of Rights. I should hope that you will agree that what you choose to put into your body is an Inalienable right. The whole purpose of government is to protect your rights, Including the Inalienable right of choosing what you put into your body. No one else is possibly harmed when you choose to ingest something – so the government can not say that they are protecting the rights of others. They are not.

    These towns and citizens need to stand their ground. Try the legal methods if they work. Rely on jury nullification if it gets to that. [snip]

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