The 2-year old Wyoming Food Freedom Act came in for a make-over this legislative session.
Rep. Tyler Lindholm, R-Sundance, sponsored the major legislation to “extend and clarify” the Food Freedom law. Gov. Matt Mead signed it into law. Session ended March 3.
The 2015 law has been changed “to allow for a producer’s production and sale of homemade food or drink for an informed end consumer’s home consumption and to encourage the expansion of agricultural sales at farmers’ markets, ranches, farms and producers’ homes.”
According to the 33-year old Lindholm, the remake of the Wyoming Food Freedom Act includes these clarifications:
- Amendments create definitions for “homemade,” “producer,” “process” and “this act.”
- Homemade food products are specifically exempt from state licensure, permitting, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements.
- Meat products and animals that may be sold under the act are identified.
- Farmers markets, farms, ranches, producer home and offices are all named as places where transaction may occur.
- Permitting state agencies, upon request, to provide assistance, consultation and inspection services.
Rabbit and fish were added as products consumers can purchase directly from producers, and Wyoming adopted a one thousand bird exemption that is modeled after a federal regulation permitting the butcher and annual sale of up to one thousand chickens directly to consumers.
This session’s Food Freedom additions are occurring because the act has proven to be “a homerun,” according to Linholm. He’s says people are not getting sick from homemade foods, but are becoming more dependent on what he calls “local food hubs and sources.”
Another change, going into effect on July 1 in the Cowboy State, will allow commercial sellers to sell inspected and uninspected foods side-by-side as long there is a separate cash register and barrier provided.
Lindholm is a married rancher with four children. He was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives without opposition in the 2014 general election.
Nothing in the Wyoming Food Freedom Act precludes the state department of health from investigating outbreaks of food borne illnesses, nor does it in anyway impacts state brand inspections.
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