Food freedom in 2015: the good news and bad news about culinary choice in America.

Author:Keisling, Jason
Position::Infographic
 
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GOOD NEWS

The Texas House passed a bill to liberalize the rules governing the sale of raw milk. The legislation would allow door-to-door and farmers market sales, as well as the direct-from-farm sales that were already permitted. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton), explained that "it all comes down to free enterprise. These farmers deserve to make a living off selling their product." Last year, bills expanding consumer access to raw milk were introduced in 25 states and the District of Columbia; California also passed a law loosening regulations on goats' milk.

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BAD NEWS

In April, Democratic West Virginia Gov. Earl Tomblin unexpectedly vetoed a bill that would have allowed herd sharing--in which raw milk drinkers become part owners of a cow housed at a dairy. Just a day before the veto, the West Virginia Alliance for Raw Milk had posted on its Facebook page that the bill's progress was "Exciting!!! There's a light at the end of the tunnel!" After, the group followed up with this sad note: "Apparently the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be a train that just smacked into us." Montana raw milk activists killed their own proposal this year after amendments imposed too many requirements on small producers.

GOOD NEWS

In May, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill legalizing the sale of beer in 64-ounce jugs called growlers. The law goes into effect July 1. "We are pleased to continue to create a world class business environment where all businesses, including breweries, can succeed," said the Republican governor. The same week, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a bill permitting restaurants and bars to sell growlers as well as reducing licensing fees and removing other restrictions on the craft beer industry. Starting in June, Georgia breweries will be allowed to sell beer on site and charge for tours. Arizona, North Dakota, and Wyoming all recently lifted caps on craft beer production.

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BAD NEWS

In North Carolina, a bill to lift the cap on how many barrels of beer brewers can produce before they are forced into the wholesale distributors cartel was defeated. A Connecticut bill to allow small brewers to sell kegs directly to consumers was shot down as well. In Montana, a bill to lift volume limits on craft brewers lost narrowly.

GOOD NEWS

Oregon and Colorado rejected referenda last year that would have required food retailers to label products containing genetically...

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