On April 30, 2015, an enthusiastic group of Maine citizens visited the Legislature with a message: Food is a basic human right, and the right to know what is in that food and who is producing it is part of that right.

Thirty people testified about the right-to-food constitutional amendment (L.D. 783) put forward by state Rep. Craig Hickman. One of them was Joel Salatin, a local-food hero from Virginia, who came to Maine to support our efforts to get this bill out to the voters of our state.

He testified about the need to know what is in our food and where it came from and addressed the need to have that right enshrined in the Maine Constitution.

“The only reason the Founders of our great republic did not include food rights alongside the right to bear arms, to speak and to worship was because no one at that time could have envisioned a day when citizens could not acquire the food of their choice from the source of their choice,” Salatin said.

He also spoke about the bureaucracy that defends Big Agriculture and industrial food. “The orthodoxy of the industrial food system has no clue what our food freedom tribe thinks and can’t imagine why we can’t be satisfied with pasteurized milk, Hot Pockets and microwavable frozen dinners,” he said. “They see this as choice; we see it as poison.”

This bill, along with the GMO right-to-know bill (L.D. 991), was held over to this second session. The work session for this constitutional amendment is Thursday in the joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Before that date, please contact your state senator and representative, especially if they sit on this committee, and let them know that the people of Maine have a right to the food of their choosing.

Betsy Garrold

board president, Food for Maine’s Future

Knox


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