LePage Signs Food Sovereignty Bill Fix

Oct 31, 2017

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law legislation addressing federal objections to Maine’s food sovereignty law passed earlier this year.

Without the changes to address food safety, federal officials would have taken over the state’s food inspections of meat and poultry, and several slaughterhouses would have been put out of business.

The original bill allowed cities and towns to regulate the production, processing and direct sales of food to consumers, which have been regulated by the state and federal governments.

The new measure addresses concerns about other processed food inspections being pre-empted by the federal government. It also restricts the food sovereignty law to apply only to face-to-face transactions.

The governor also signed legislation clearing the way for funding for the Maine Office of Geographic Information Systems, which handles the state’s mapping activities.

He did not take action on the bill to implement the recreational use of marijuana or a measure delaying implementation of ranked-choice voting. He must act on those bills by midnight Friday. He is expected to veto the marijuana measure.