Tell Committee Members to Oppose SB 2269
There will be a hearing on SB 2269 in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on February 7 at the State Capitol in Bismarck, Roosevelt Park Room on the ground floor–arrive early in case location changes to a larger meeting room.
North Dakota State Capitol
600 E. Boulevard
Bismarck, ND 58505 (directions)
The North Dakota Department of Health, through its allies in the state legislature, is trying to roll back progress made by the landmark 2017 Food Freedom Act. Senate Bill 2269 (SB 2269) would amend the state cottage food law–subjecting numerous cottage food products and all beverages to licensing and inspection, products that the 2017 law enabled producers to sell direct to consumers without regulation.
SB 2269 is a “solution” in search of a problem; in the 18 months since the Food Freedom Act became law, there hasn’t been a single case of foodborne illness blamed on a producer operating under it.
Help stop the North Dakota Department of Health from restricting access to nutritious, safe cottage foods and from hurting the ability of cottage food producers to make a living.
ACTION TO TAKE
1. Call and/or email committee members asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to issue a DO NOT PASS recommendation on SB 2269. See the list of members at the end of this email.
2. To have your email included as official testimony for the hearing, send it to the Committee Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to include SB 2269 in the subject line.
3. Attend the Hearing on February 7th, Thursday 8:30-10 a.m. at the State Capitol to be held in the Roosevelt Park Room on the ground floor. Be sure to arrive early in case the hearing is moved to a larger room.
North Dakota State Capitol (building map)
600 E. Boulevard
Bismarck, ND 58505 (directions)
Current law allows a cottage food producer to sell any food other than ones containing raw dairy or meat without regulation direct to an informed end consumer; producers can also sell drink products. SB 2269 would change that to prohibit the sale of many cottage foods and all drink products unless the producer has a license and is under inspection.
Why fix something that isn’t broken. In the year-and-a-half North Dakota’s cottage food law has been in effect not a single case of foodborne illness has been attributed to a producer operating under the cottage food law. The experience in North Dakota matches that of Wyoming, Utah and Maine who have also passed food freedom laws; NO foodborne illnesses have been blamed on a producer operating under those state’s cottage food laws either.
SB 2269 hurts the ability of cottage food operators providing safe, nutritious food to the public to make a living. Under the bill, producers would no longer be able to sell without licensing and inspection drink products such as juices, lemonade and kombucha, non-acidic canned fruits and vegetables such as beans or beets. A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Justice of 775 cottage food producers in 22 states found that half were funded with $500 or less in start-up capital. Costs for producers of foods SB 2269 would now require licensure and inspection for would drive up the costs of doing business substantially.
SB 2269 prohibits the sale of foods needing refrigeration unless they are transported “frozen”, meaning the food is maintained at a temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Foods such as vegetable or fruit salad and cream pies could no longer be sold under the cottage food law due to the damage freezing would cause them.
The bill hurts poultry and egg producers. Currently, cottage food operators can slaughter 1,000 poultry a year; the way SB 2269 reads, if the producer also sold eggs, any of the producer’s layers would go towards the 1,000 limit whether the producer slaughters any of the laying birds or not. Egg producers are currently enjoying strong demand for unwashed, unrefrigerated eggs. SB 2269 would take that away; under the bill all eggs would have to be refrigerated.
Current law exempts cottage food producers selling whole fruits and vegetables to restaurants and other commercial establishments from regulation; SB 2269 would subject those producers to regulation and inspection by local health districts. There have been no food safety problems with cottage food operators selling produce to restaurants since the Food Freedom Act became law.
Pleases share this alert with others. WAPF will be sending out future alerts as events warrant.
You may copy/paste this block to email all committee Members:
Clerk for Senate Agriculture Committee – email@example.com
Senator Larry Luick (R-25) – Chairman
Home Telephone: 701-474-5959
Office Telephone: 701-474-5959
Senator Janne Myrdal (R-10) – Vice Chairman
Home Telephone: 701-547-3517
Home Telephone: 701-852-9006
Home Telephone: 701-205-2665
Office Telephone: 701-205-2665
Directions – https://www.google.com/maps/place/North+Dakota+State+Capitol,+600+E+Boulevard+Ave,+Bismarck,+NDfirstname.lastname@example.org,-100.7867563,15.69z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x52d78307c3f9e51d:0x696285b77d1be783!8m2!3d46.8209473!4d-100.7815645