PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Towns in several states are adopting local ordinances that exempt farmers from state and federal regulations if they sell their products directly to consumers, despite warnings that the ordinances are invalid.
Residents in Livermore and Appleton, Maine, approved so-called local food and community self-governance ordinances last week, joining six other Maine towns that did the same thing last year.
Supporters say state regulations are burdensome and unnecessary, and that communities should have the right to pass rules over small farms that process food for sale to people in their area.
State agriculture officials say the ordinances don't hold legal muster and that regulatory oversight is essential for food safety and public health.
Towns in Massachusetts, Vermont and California have also passed so-called food sovereignty ordinances or resolutions in the past year or so.