In between traveling to give speeches on food safety, I had the chance to follow the unfolding story of the Estrella Family Cheese Makers and their struggle with Listeria and the FDA.
I posted on my blog two entries: What the Hell Does Listeria in Cheese have to do with God, Guns and Slavery at the Estrella Family Creamery? And, Should Estrella Family Creamery be treated differently than Sangar when it comes to Listeria?
The comments are worth the visit away from Food Safety News for a moment. I also got the heads up that the Wyoming Legislature is set to reconsider the so-called “The Wyoming Food Freedom Act” – a.k.a “The Bill Marler Full Employment Act.”
Here is the post I did last year when the topic came up:
Thank you Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, Wyoming. Like the Seattle Times, how did you know that I did not have enough work suing Cargill, Nestle, Con Agra, McDonald’s, Peanut Corporation of America, Kellogg, Dole, Nebraska Beef, Whole Foods, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, etc., in food poisoning cases? How did you also know that I love spending time skiing and fly fishing in your state?
Sue, thank you for sponsoring House Bill 54 (a.k.a., The Wyoming Food Freedom Act) –where can I send my check for your re-election?
The bill, if enacted, would exempt producers from licenses, inspections and certifications when selling directly to consumers.
Sue, this bill will be a big help for my struggling business and certainly allow me to spend more time in Wyoming suing those exempt producers, who, unlicensed, uninspected and uncertified are bound to poison their customers.
I can also imagine that most of those producers are farmers and ranchers with little or no insurance to cover what can be millions in medical bills for poisoned children – I have always wanted a ranch in Wyoming – perhaps near a ski resort and trout stream? Sue, you are the best. Perhaps I can host a raw milk and hamburger fundraiser for you out at the new ranch?
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle (a.k.a, “liberal media”) has been giving some coverage to the bill. Michelle Dynes just wrote, “Food bill moves on to full House.” As the reporter penned:
House Bill 54 would exempt producers from licenses, inspections and certifications when selling directly to consumers. The Wyoming Food Freedom Act also would encourage the expansion and availability of farmers’ markets, roadside stands and farm-based sales….
Now that is a money move – Cha-ching!
Those damn Op-ed folks at the same paper do not seem to have the same view of food safety as Sue. The editors posted, “Food bill is conservatism run amok” a few days ago. The editors do not seem to like Sue’s “assert[ion] that the bill ‘seeks to clarify the fundamental right of Wyoming citizens to eat whatever they want to eat.'” The editors assert that they:
… can’t find anything in the Wyoming or U.S. constitutions that even talks about what people should be able to eat. If there is a “fundamental right” to eat whatever you want — and to peddle it — it is so only in the mind of ultra-conservatives who think any form of governmental action is interference in their lives. …
Ms. Wallis would have you believe that the government has no right to meddle in interactions between buyers and sellers. But buyers, for the most part, believe the goods they are getting are safe — at least partly because they have been inspected by the government.
Indeed, HB 54 takes the philosophy of “let the buyer beware” beyond the point of good sense: Who has the ability to test — prior to consumption — whether a food product is safe? …
The editors then resort to the old “nanny state” argument:
One of the key roles of government is to ensure the public welfare. Inspections of foodstuffs and licensing of sellers do just that. HB 54 is conservatism at its worst. It should be rejected.
Sue, do not pay any attention to the “liberal media” in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Pass the bill and I’ll see ya out at the ranch.