Thanks to Maine’s strong animal welfare community, there has been excellent reporting regarding the negative impacts Question 3 could have on our animal welfare and cruelty laws. Unfortunately, there has been almost no discussion about the potential legal challenges the proposed Right to Food constitutional amendment could cause to our state’s environmental protection statutes.

As noted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry during the public hearing process, constitutional laws pre-empt state laws. Consequently, by excluding specific reference to existing statutes, Question 3 exposes Maine’s anti-pollution regulations to the same legal threat posed to state animal welfare laws.

The ambiguous wording of Question 3 could clear a legal pathway for industrial agriculture giants, such as Monsanto, to violate existing Maine regulations that ban harmful pesticides and protect our water and air against pollution and contamination.

Hopefully, Maine’s environmental organizations are aware of this threat and will follow the animal welfare community’s lead to act against this dangerously worded proposal.

As someone who cares deeply about the health of our environment, the vague language presented leaves me no choice but to vote “no” on Question 3.

Susanna Richer
Portland

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