Days of defiance

By AL DIAMON  |  March 20, 2013

Diverting resources from dealing with larger issues like this to making sure Evans has scrubbed her kitchen floor forces public health officials to abandon serious duties to play the role of buffoons ("Red alert! Sticky spot behind the refrigerator! Call in the hazmat team!").

This isn't just a theoretical issue. In 2011, state agriculture officials cited dairy farmer Dan Brown of Blue Hill for selling raw milk without a license, even though Blue Hill has an ordinance saying its citizens don't have to obey state laws covering local agricultural sales. Brown's case is still bogged down in the germ-infested administrative process, which has probably cost the taxpayers enough money to cover the medical bills of everybody in the state who ever got sick from drinking unpasteurized milk.

There's a cheaper and simpler way to deal with the cantankerous underground rural economy. The Legislature could exempt small farmers who've never had any health-related issues from licensing, so long as they label their products as being inspection-free. Consumers who don't want to buy lard unless it's been treated with a lethal dose of bureaucracy would know enough to avoid the stuff. If anybody got sick as a result, the source of the bacteria should be far easier to trace than it was in the Hannaford case, and the producer would have to face the consequences.

Before the rebellion spreads any further, let's urge our sluggish legislators to make this modest change.

Our motto: Move it, lard butts. ^

When emailing me at aldiamon@, please don't include any viruses. I sell your emails to my neighbors for compost.

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