By DAVID A. LIEB and PATRICK WHITTLE Associated Press
The right to food on Tuesday won rave reviews from voters in Maine, who adopted the country’s first guarantee for people to grow, harvest and eat according to their own wishes.
The Maine ballot measure was one of many in states seeking to create new constitutional rights affecting a range of issues. Some were a response to policies put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, including a pair of proposals from Texas limiting restrictions on religious gatherings and visits to nursing homes.
Maine’s unique measure states that individuals have an “inalienable right to cultivate, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choice.” It went comfortably.
“It is always a good idea to guarantee and protect an individual right in the world we live in. Food is life,” said Democratic State Senator Craig Hickman, supporter of the proposal. . “I don’t understand why anyone would be afraid to say it out loud in the constitution.”
Opponents feared the measure would lead some people to try to raise livestock in cities.
In Texas, early results showed strong support for an amendment creating a constitutional right for residents of nursing homes and other group living facilities to designate an “essential caregiver,” who could continue to visit even if the greater public access to the establishment. The amendment would add weight to a similar law enacted earlier this year in Texas.