Disparate things that go together

Two items crossing my screen in the past couple of days illustrate the fabulously roiled field of food and food politics.

First, my pal Deborah Lapidus at Corporate Accountability International wrote to ask that I add my voice against the corporate food lobby's attempt in Arizona to prevent local cities and towns from even proposing laws that would impede marketing of junk food to children.

It's clear why the industry wants to do this: It's a lot easier to buy off a state legislative body than it would be to buy off few dozen local governments — fewer transactions! (Oh, sorry, does "buy off" offend you? Then how 'bout "use their considerable lobbying funds to exert their influence over one body than over many"?)

Not only does centralized authority factor in the calculation, but so does the need for cash: Who's more likely to need cash donations, someone running for the House or Senate, or someone running for city council or mayor? So, again, it's easier to financially influence candidates running for wider office.

We should at least note: Such acts of nullification certainly disenfranchise local citizens, but whoever thinks about immaterial iike that?

If Maine had voted like that, the town of Sedgwick would have been prevented from declaring, as it did March 5, its food sovereignty. According to NaturalNews.com, several other Maine towns are also considering such measures to protect "citizens' God-given rights to 'produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,' which includes even state- and federally-restricted foods like raw milk."

NaturalNews reported in December that Vermont was considering a similar measure:

The resolution declares that food freedom is a "fundamental prerequisite to life," and that individuals have every right to save seeds, grow what they wish, and buy and sell the fruits of their labor without interference from an over-zealous, tyrannical government."

The measures are spurred in part by the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, which President Obama signed on Jan. 4. 

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