Wyoming’s idea of “food freedom:” liberty or safety hazard?
The Wyoming House of Representatives, in its infinite wisdom, has introduced House Bill 54, the Food Freedom Act, ostensibly to “allow for traditional community social events involving the sale and consumption of home made foods and to encourage the expansion and accessibility of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, ranch, farm and home based sales and producer to end consumer agricultural sales by:
- Promoting the purchase and consumption of fresh and local agricultural products
- Enhancing the agricultural economy
- Encouraging agri-tourism opportunities in Wyoming
- Providing Wyoming citizens with unimpeded access to healthy food from known sources
- Encouraging the expansion and accessibility of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, ranch and farm based sales and direct producer to end consumer agricultural sales.”
Doesn’t this sound great?
It might, except that the Act exempts from licensing everyone who sells foods directly to consumers at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, or at home.
Bill Marler, the Seattle lawyer who represents victims of food poisonings, thinks the law should be retitled, “The Bill Marler Full Employment Act.”
Let’s hope the Wyoming legislature rethinks this bill. My endlessly stated opinion: Everyone who produces food, even small food producers, should be required to produce food that is safe.