New Hampshire and Utah lawmakers have introduced legislation that would protect local food commerce from unconstitutional federal regulation in their states. HB1650 and SB34, respectively, would protect agricultural products that never cross state lines, not legally subject to federal regulations.
New Hampshire HB1650, sponsored by Rep. Davenport, Rep. Manuse, Rep. Mauro, Rep. Terrio, Rep. Bowers, and Sen. Forsythe, would “allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within New Hampshire and to encourage the expansion and accessibility of farmers’ markets, roadside stands, farm and home based sales, and producer to end consumer agricultural sale.” The New Hampshire Food Freedom Act would protect products labeled “Made In New Hampshire.” It would also make it a class B misdemeanor for State officials, and class A misdemeanor for Federal officials, to attempt to enforce a federal act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation upon labeled products.
Utah SB34, sponsored by Sen. Casey Anderson (R- Cedar City) would also allow for locally produced food products to be sold and consumed within Utah, while providing legal protections for consumers and producers and imposing penalties for officials who attempt to interfere. It would also make it a class A misdemeanor for anyone attempting to enforce a federal regulation upon agricultural products indicating that they are “Made in Utah,” “Grown in Utah,” or “Produced in Utah.”
Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the legal authority to regulate interstate commerce. But if a product does not leave the state in which it was produced in, it is not subject to federal regulations and the attempts to enforce them by the federal government are unlawful. The purpose of granting federal regulatory power was to allow for local commerce to occur without the interference of burdensome regulations and to prevent states from levying tariffs that would restrict interstate trade. The framers did not view regulation of manufacturing or agriculture as commerce .
To track food freedom act legislation across the U.S., click HERE.