November 29, 2021

Volume XI, Number 333

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Right to Food: Maine’s New Constitutional Amendment

  • Earlier this week Maine voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution. ‘Right to Food’ is a statewide measure that was placed on the ballot by the Maine Legislature and gives Maine residents an unalienable right to grow, raise, produce, and consume food of their choice. Under this amendment, Maine residents may create their own food supply, whether statewide or in silos. However, it does not impact food assistance programs, and references to food processing and preparation that would have conflicted with state and federal laws regarding the licensing and inspection of food were removed from the measure.

  • Maine has been at the forefront of the food sovereignty movement, passing its food sovereign laws under the Maine Food Sovereignty Act in 2007, which was amended in 2017.  The vision behind Maine’s food laws is to create a food system where producers have control over how their food is grown, sold, and distributed. The latest constitutional amendment allows Maine residents to have more control over their food supply by allowing residents to save and exchange seeds, as well as to produce, consume, and sell their own food.

  • While the ‘Right to Food’ amendment provides more individual control over food supply and sourcing, there are concerns over the potential food safety and environmental risks that the new amendment poses. A number of organizations and associations opposed the bill on this ground, alleging that such control of the food supply would provide a means of circumventing existing food safety standards and regulations.  Ultimately, court challenges may significantly impact the scope of the amendment.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 309
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

202-434-4100
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement