Hurrah, several local food sovereignty bills have been voted out of the Agriculture committee of the Maine Legislature as “ought to pass.” Here are some excerpts from the Bangor Daily News article about the work sessions:
“The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation voted that two key bills — LD 1282 and LD 1287 — ought to pass when they are taken up by the full Legislature.
The committee also voted “ought to pass” on several bills aimed at Maine’s poultry industry. LD 218 exempts farmers who grow and slaughter fewer than 1,000 birds annually from state inspection and licensure, as long as they sell the poultry from the farm or deliver to the consumer’s home. LD 259 would allow the owners of slaughterhouses to rent their facilities to other farmers. LD 836 establishes a legal mechanism for the operation of mobile poultry slaughtering facilities.”
The GMO bill is in work session today. LD 718. With the way the Ag committee has voted lately I am very hopeful that this bill will also get a favorable vote.
The bad news is a that the Supreme Court came out with its decision yesterday against the farmer being sued by Monsanto for planting seeds he bought, not from them but, from a local grain elevator. Okay, okay it was not the best case to take all the way to the high court so we will have to try again. The OSGATA/Pubpat suit is a good solid suit that we can hope will succeed when it finally makes it way to the top of the judicial pile.
“Although Monsanto and other agrochemical companies assert that they need the current patent system to invent better seeds, the counterargument is that splicing an already existing gene or other DNA into a plant and thereby transferring a new trait to that plant is not a novel invention. A soybean, for example, has more than 46,000 genes. Properties of these genes are the product of centuries of plant breeding and should not, many argue, become the product of a corporation. Instead, these genes should remain in the public domain.”
Here are some other links I’ve been compiling for a while: