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Thread: Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

    Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge in Ruling Against Food Sovereignty Ordinance

    David Gumpert
    Thu, 05/02/2013

    Maine’s food sovereignty movement took a hit when a state judge ruled earlier this week that farmer Dan Brown must have a license to sell raw milk, despite his town’s ordinance exempting local farmers from state food regulations.

    The judge was ruling in response to requests from both the prosecution and the defense last June for summary judgment--a ruling before the case might come to trial, based on acceptance by both sides of the basic facts of the case.

    The logic behind the decision of Judge Ann Murray of the Maine Superior Court had supporters of Brown scratching their heads. Murray states in her decision that "the Court does not necessarily agree that the Blue Hill ordinance cited by Brown authorizes him to sell milk without a license by its express terms...Nothing in the Blue Hill ordinance clearly states that the town intended to include milk within the definition of ‘local food,’ and considering the ordinance in the context of Title 22 [state law that exempts farm stands and farmers markets from having to be licensed as food establishments, except for sale of dairy and meat products], one could easily conclude that it was not intended to exempt dairy products from licensure.”

    Read more: http://thecompletepatient.com/articl...ruling-against


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    Default Re: Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

    This ruling has the potential to affect all food producers in Maine (including me), as well as church suppers, grange potlucks, bake sales, food kitchens, etc. etc. It's not over yet.
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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

    What is wrong with these people's heads? (Don't answer that!)

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

    I don't actually need a licence in Oz, but when I used to sell jam and marmalades at markets I was told: I had to have a licensed kitchen (inspected at great cost); buy new jars, not use recycled; and label all the ingredients. I mean those labels with proportions of fruit, sugar, fat, energy etc you see on supermarket jars.

    I gave up! It just wasn't worth it. The same rules apply to jumble sales, church groups etc. I doubt that much money is spent on sending inspectors around, but one never knows. What a waste of resources! Who ever got sick from eating jam cooked beyond boiling point and poured into sterile jars?

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    Default Re: Raw Milk Not Necessarily an Allowed “Local Food,” Says Maine Judge

    I agree, Julie. I sold my jams, pickles, relishes etc. years ago at farmers' markets; my kichen passed inspection but all that was involved was a cold enough refrigerator, hot enough tap water, a test for our well water and of course, reasonable standards of cleanliness. All that has changed. Today it's costly and with both cats and parrots in the house, I think I'd be disqualified anyway. What I have to sell (chickens, maple syrup shares of pigs, organic veggies) I do via Facebook and word of mouth. I make the jams, jellies, relishes for gifts.

    But raw milk has always been legal in Maine. This is just more of the nationwide hassle we're seeing.
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