Burlington, VT (PRWEB) June 26, 2013
At a time when more and more people are turning away from a broken, industrial food system, a damning new book by food and business expert David E. Gumpert documents an expanding, organized national and state investigation and enforcement regime aimed at stopping direct sales of food between farmers and consumers.
Featuring a Foreword by rebel farmer Joel Salatin, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat explores the emerging conflict over whether Americans retain the right to privately buy the foods they want from farmers and neighbors—rights their grandparents and great grandparents held.
Do we have those rights to eat what we want? Government regulators, and the courts, are increasingly saying “no.” Meanwhile, farmers and consumers are saying “yes”.
Using court filings, emails between government officials, internal investigative reports, and interviews with farmers, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights details, for the first time, the legal and personal linkages between the cases.
The book features cases from California to Pennsylvania, including four Amish farmers who have been targeted by government officials. One such Amish farmer is Vernon Hershberger, of Wisconsin, who was acquitted in late May of three criminal misdemeanor charges related to failure to have retail and dairy licenses. Hershberger was convicted of a fourth charge of violating a hold order, and fined $1,000 plus over $500 of court costs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sought to portray these various enforcement actions as discrete and random local actions, but Gumpert reveals that these investigations and legal actions against the farms nearly all originated because the farms were making raw milk available to small groups of consumers on a private basis—via membership-only food clubs, lease arrangements, and herd-share groups organized by a California nutritionist. Government efforts then generally expanded to target other foods as well, challenging the right of the farmers to sell any food privately, without retail and other permits.
A sweeping look at the government crackdown on local farmers and families, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights also provides salient, new details into the lengths in which regulators will go to crack down on the right to buy and sell food.
Gumpert is available for interviews, as are several of the farmers and food club owners described in the book.
Media Contact: Lettie Stratton, Chelsea Green Publishing
802-295-6300 x 127