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Government takes away right from citizens to grow and sell food

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The Institute for Justice has launched a national initiative to stop the government take-over of personal vegetable gardens, free speech and the right to earn a living as self-employed.

According to an article in Mother Earth news online, the Institute for Justice has brought lawsuits against Miami Shores, Florida’s ban on front-yard vegetable gardens; Minnesota’s severe restrictions on home bakers, or 'cottage food' producers; and Oregon’s ban on the advertisement of raw or unpasteurized milk.

A video of the press conference concerning the first case in IJ's Food Freedom Initiative, a property rights challenge to a ban on front-yard vegetable gardens in Miami Shores, Fla. can be seen here. A married couple who had grown the vegetables in the same place for 17 years was told by their Village’s code enforcement department they would be fined $50 a day until the garden was removed.

Although Minnesota permits people to sell certain foods, such as baked goods and jams, made in the home, it prohibits sale of such goods anywhere other than a farmers’ market or community event. That means no sales from a gourmet food shop, a jobsite, or on-line. Revenue from the sale of these goods is limited to $5,000 annually, an average of only $96 per week. A press conference of this case can be seen here.

The third lawsuit involves the selling of unpasteurized milk. A farmer is prohibited from putting flyers on bulletin boards or price information on her farm’s website. Farmers aren't allowed to place roadside signs next to their farms that declare they have raw milk for sale. If they do advertise, they can be fined $6,250 with civil penalties as high as $10,000, plus a year in jail. Watch the press conference concerning this case here.

Taking a closer look at what is happening, everyday people can't grow vegetables in their own yard. They can display tacky yard statues, have a yard littered with children's toys or automobile parts, but they can't grow food.

People who are self-employed can't sell the products they make from their own home. They may have a license to prepare food, but they can only sell it someplace the government tells them they can. They can only make $5,000 or less annually.

Raw milk has proven to be good for the body, but the government says dairy farmers can't advertise their product. People looking for raw milk will have to depend on word-of-mouth. You can only use raw milk if you want to make your own cheese and butter.

It would appear that this US government has control over what people can and can't eat, how they earn a living and how much they are allowed to earn. Speak out if you want this encroachment to stop before it worsens.

Eating homegrown vegetables is a part of living a natural health life. Raw milk is healthier than pasteurized milk and earning a living as self-employed is about the only job in town.

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