Support Montana Local Food Choice Act
Tell Governor to Sign SB 199
Senate Bill 199 (SB 199), the Montana Local Food Choice Act, has passed out of the House and the Senate and is going to Governor Greg Gianforte. Opponents of the bill are heavily lobbying for the governor to veto the bill; it’s critical that you contact him asking that he sign SB 199.
Now is not the time to let up.
SB 199 allows the unregulated sale of homemade foods from producers to informed end consumers including raw dairy products if the producer keeps no more than five lactating cows, 10 lactating goats, or 10 lactating sheep on the farm for the production of milk. Producers can sell poultry under the bill if they slaughter and process up to 1000 birds during a calendar year.
Producers must inform the end consumer that the homemade food they are selling has not been licensed, permitted, certified, packaged, labeled or inspected per official regulations.
Sales and delivery under SB 199 can take place at a farm, ranch, home, office, “traditional community social event” as defined by the bill or another location agreed to between the producer and the producer’s agent and the informed end consumer.
Under the bill a state or local government agency cannot require “licensure, permitting, certification, packaging, labeling, or inspection that pertains to the preparation, serving, use, consumption, delivery, or storage of homemade food or a homemade food product under this chapter.” SB 199 does not prevent a state or local health officer from inspecting a producer selling homemade food under the bill if the “officer is investigating a complaint based on an illness or an outbreak suspected to be directly related to that homemade food or homemade food product.”
ACTION TO TAKE
CALL and EMAIL the Governor’s office asking that he sign SB 199. Calls are best so please do both; You can use any of the Talking Points below to express support for SB 199 in your own words.
1. Producers in other states under laws similar to SB 199, have a great track record for food safety. Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah and Maine all have food freedom laws allowing for the unregulated sale of most foods; the Wyoming and Maine laws allow for the unregulated sale of raw dairy products without limiting the size of the herd. There has not been a single foodborne illness outbreak attributed to a producer operating under a food freedom law in any of those states. Unregulated producers have plenty of incentive to produce safe food; one illness blamed on their food can put them out of business.
2. Passage of SB 199 will keep more of the food dollar in the community enhancing the local economy.
3. SB 199 will improve food security by increasing the number of local food producers and improving self-sufficiency in food production.
4. The bill will strengthen freedom of choice by expanding food sources for consumers and by expanding the types of foods consumers will be able to obtain.
5. The bill will enable farmers and other local food producers to make a better living by expanding the types of foods they can sell and by eliminating their costs that were due to regulation.
WAPF will send out further alerts on SB 199 as events warrant.🖨️ Print post