It is critical that legislators hear from real farmers about how this will negatively impact the agricultural industry and food safety in Maine.
Last week the Maine Senate engrossed LD 795, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to Food, following a series of votes that fell largely along party lines. This bill, which requires 2/3 support in each chamber for enactment, would go to the ballot for the voters of Maine to decide if the Maine Constitution should be amended to establish a ‘Right to Food.’
This would mean that, “All individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to food, including the right to grow, raise, harvest, produce, process, prepare, preserve and consume the food of their own choosing, to save and exchange seeds and to barter, trade or purchase food from the sources of their own choosing…”
Maine’s farmers are dedicated to growing high-quality, nourishing and safe food, and Maine Farm Bureau supports all efforts to feed our neighbors. We oppose LD 795 because of the severe unintended consequences the vague language of this bill would have on agriculture and food safety in Maine.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry testified that the language needed more clarity to ensure that it doesn’t “…impede the Department’s ability to effectively license and regulate Maine food products as we do now.”
They went on to say that, “After speaking with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, they have the following thoughts and concerns in relation to this Resolution: It is Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s responsibility is to preserve, protect and enhance the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the State and to encourage their wise use through coordinated planning and effective management.”
For more information about LD 795, see our op-ed published in the Bangor Daily News, ‘Right to food’ legislation should be canned, and listen to our radio interview on George Hale and Ric Tyler’s Voice of Maine program.
To see how your legislators voted in initial roll call votes, click here.
Speaker Sara Gideon’s Office – 287-1300
House Democratic Office – 287-1430
House Republican Office – 287-1440
Senate President Troy Jackson’s Office – 287-1500
Senate Democratic Office – 287-1515
Senate Republican Office – 287-1505