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Farewell to backyard chickens and beekeepers — outlawing animals on Michigan’s small farms

From Daniel Jennings at Off the Grid News:

Photo via the Inquisitr

“Many Michigan residents will lose their right to keep livestock on their own property due to a new ruling from the state’s Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Commission ruled April 28 that local governments have the right to ban livestock from any area zoned residential in the state.

The action will “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals,” Gail Philbin of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live. The Right to Farm Act is a state law designed to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits and zoning regulations. The Commission ruled that the Right to Farm (RTF) Act does not apply to homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock. Continue reading

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Food safety not what it’s really about

From Off the Grid News:

“In its efforts to ensure the safety of food, the US government may actually be ignoring the real problem while shutting down small organic farms.

So says the Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group which released a 16-page analysis accusing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in a way that will crush “the country’s safest farmers” while leaving what Cornucopia calls the “root threats to human health” – contaminated manure made on “factory” livestock farms and certain produce-processing methods – untouched.

“In response to deadly outbreaks involving spinach, peanut butter and eggs, Congress acted decisively three years ago to pass the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Mark A. Kastel, co-director at Cornucopia. “Better oversight is needed but it looks like regulators and corporate agribusiness lobbyists are simultaneously using the FSMA to crush competition from the organic and local farming movement.” Continue reading

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