see earlier post: Sedgwick Maine declares food sovereignty
In the state that made international news this year when three towns passed a food sovereignty ordinance, two bills that would have bolstered them at the state level met with defeat in Maine’s legislative Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.
Sponsored by Rep. Walter Kumiega, LD 366 was rejected by the Ag Committee on May 11. The raw milk bill would have obviated licensing for the direct sale from farmer to consumer and protected small operations from overly burdensome rules recently imposed at the bureaucratic level.
“Requiring someone with two cows or a handful of goats to invest ten thousand dollars or more to build an inspectable facility doesn’t make economic sense,” Kumiega told Food Freedom. “Hand milking is a perfectly acceptable method and does not need the same facilities that a machine milking operation does. LD 366 seeks to restore an exemption that was a standard practice up until two years ago, when it was changed by an administrative decision.”
In response to the Ag Committee’s issuance of a Majority Ought Not to Pass report on LD 366, Kumiega requested a roll call, which showed that by a vote of 80-70, the House accepted the Ag Committee’s recommendation not to pass the bill.
The bill goes to the Senate now, and will come back to the House for another vote, he said, advising that he may work on an amendment with a member of the Ag Committee and run it again.