Our neighbor Wyoming is considering further liberalization of "food freedom" laws, and North Dakotans should find it all particularly interesting.

As libertarian website Reason.com reports, "Wyoming lawmakers have introduced a bill that would expand the state's food freedom law.

"If passed, the food freedom amendment would allow low-risk foods such as homemade jams to be sold in grocery stores and sold and consumed in restaurants."

Five years ago, Wyoming became the first state to pass a food freedom law, deregulating many direct-to-consumer food sales. As Reason notes, "If you want to sell cookies, homemade cheese, or pickles directly to your neighbor, a friend, or a total stranger, food freedom laws make that possible."

After Wyoming enacted the law, two states, North Dakota and Maine, followed suit.

In the Peace Garden State, since the law took effect three years ago, opponents have attacked it regularly.

North Dakota has tweaked the law a bit. As Reason notes, "[the state] attempted to "clarify" the state law by limiting what foods residents may sell and imposing...refrigeration requirements (e.g., effectively banning fresh foods that require refrigeration—such as fruit salad—by requiring that they be transported and sold only in frozen or dehydrated form)."

 

To be sure, the law has had its share of opposition in Maine and Wyoming, as well. As one Wyoming newspaper quipped, ""Count us among those applauding anything that's 'in the way' of consumers contracting foodborne illnesses."

Still, according to Reason, there hasn't been "a single case of foodborne illness tied to food freedom legislation."

Even the Casper Star-Tribune, the paper that made the above snarky remark, has changed its mind in recent months, endorsing efforts to amend the law.

Are "food freedom" laws a good thing?Where do you stand on the issue? Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

[Source: Reason, Casper Star-Tribune]