The Maine town of Sedgwick took an interesting step that brings a new dynamic to the movement to maintain sovereignty: Town-level nullification. Last Friday, the town passed a proposed ordinance that would empower the local level to grow and sell food amongst themselves without interference from unconstitutional State or Federal regulations. Beyond that, the passed ordinance would make it unlawful for agents of either the State or Federal government to execute laws that interfere with the ordinance.
Under the new ordinance, producers and processors are protected from licensure or inspection in sales that are sold for home consumption between them and a patron, at farmer’s market, or at a roadside stand. The ordinance specifically notes the right of the people to food freedom, as well as citing the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Maine Constitution in defending the rights of the people.
The Food Sovereignty movement has been growing, as it gained a boost with the U.S. Senate bill S. 510: “The Food Safety Modernization Act.” Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming have introduced legislation that, if passed, would nullify Federal laws that unconstitutionally affect food that does not cross state lines. Maine Representative Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle) has also taken the lead in the Legislature for food freedom with L.D. 263, which would exempt people from licensing requirements when engaging in sales that are local, such as at farmer’s markets.