Brooksville became the ninth Maine town to declare its “food sovereignty” this month, when residents overwhelmingly supported a ballot referendum on the matter:
[R]esidents voted 112-64 to approve the “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance,” which states that producers or processors of local foods are “exempt from licensure and inspection,” so long as the food is sold directly by the producer to a consumer. The ordinance also makes it “unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights organized by this ordinance.” The state contends that such ordinances hold no legal weight, but that hasn’t stopped residents of Sedgwick, Penobscot, Blue Hill and Trenton from passing the same local rules. Food sovereignty ordinances also have been passed in Hope, Plymouth, Livermore and Appleton.
According to a 2011 post by Reason’s Jesse Walker, the same town had “narrowly rejected” a similar ordinance back then. Apparently they’ve changed their minds.
Typically the media takes its cue from the state in referring to food sovereignty ordinances as symbolic, but the measure in Blue Hill has drawn a challenge from the state of Maine.
Whether it’s a sign of the growing influence of the “food freedom” movement I couldn’t say–based on some of the reporting this seems like a decidedly local phenomenon–but nullification advocates have stated their support.