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Sedgwick, Maine is First Town to Declare Total Food Sovereignty, Opposing State and Federal Laws

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Organic Transitions page, Healthy Raw Milk page and our Maine News page

There is a food revolution taking hold all over America, whether it is in the form of demanding labeling of GM foods, the right to produce and sell raw milk and other commodities, or - in the case of Sedgwick, Maine - declaring all local food transactions of any kind free and legal.

According to the website FoodRenegade.com, Sedgwick is the first city in the U.S. to free itself from the constraints of federal and state food regulation. Published reports say the town has passed an ordinance that gives its citizens the right "to produce, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing," regulations be damned. The ordinance includes raw milk, meats that are slaughtered locally, all produce and just about anything else you might imagine.

And what's more, three additional towns in Maine are expected to take up similar ordinances soon, said the FoodRenegade.com.

Gee - good, ol' fashioned buyer-seller agreements?

Observers of the Sedgwick ordinance say it is much more than just "statement" legislation. Writes blogger David Grumpert, at TheCompletePatient.com:

This isn't just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, "It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance." In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.

What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It's all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. "Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect." Imagine that-buyer and seller can agree to cut out the lawyers. That's almost un-American, isn't it?


According to Deborah Evans, a Sedgwick citizen, the ordinance further states:

(1) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the transaction is only between the producer or processor and a patron when the food is sold for home consumption.

(2) Producers or processors of local foods in the Town of Sedgwick are exempt from licensure and inspection provided that the products are prepared for, consumed or sold at a community social event.


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