Proposed Farm Bill amendment could negate local food laws in Maine

6 years ago

Buried deep within the 641 pages of the proposed 2018 Farm Bill is an amendment that food sovereignty supporters fear is an attack on local control of food.

Introduced by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, HR. 4879, the amendment known as the Protect Interstate Commerce Act of 2018, adds language to the House version of the Farm Bill that would prevent states and local jurisdictions from interfering with the production and distribution of agricultural products in interstate or foreign commerce and for other purposes.

Specifically, King’s amendment would force states to authorize the sale of “any agricultural product” not prohibited under federal law.

That means if any one state allows the production or manufacture of a particular agricultural product, under the King amendment the other 49 must do so as well, regardless if existing state or local laws prohibit it.

A potential threat

“This is a cause for great concern,” said Betsy Garrold, the acting executive director of Food for Maine’s Future. “Small farmers and people in the local food movement see it as a real threat.”

To read the rest of “Proposed Farm Bill amendment could negate local food laws in Maine,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Julia Bayly, please follow this link to the BDN online.