Oklahoma Over-regulation Blues

We received a report from the Just Peace e-mailing list based in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Food Cooperative, with which the mailing list in involved with, had to stop selling it's farmer-raised, environmentally-friendly chickens at the co-op. They were informed by enforcement officials that a new law passed by the State legislature now forbids "third parties" from selling farm-raised chicken to customers. The new law says the farmer himself must process and sell directly to the customer there at the farm. All in the name of food safety.

As list owner Robert Waldrop noted, along with the question of these "green" chickens being unsafe, there's also the matter of whether or no a co-operative can be a "third party" to begin with. For transactions are only between co-op members, the co-op does not sell at retail prices and so on. But, as Waldrop went on, this was a good lesson for him and the group, for the law was passed when the co-op was just getting started. They didn't realize then the need for having "eyes and ears" in the State legislature. But they are now hoping to get some legislative remedy down the road.

This shows that the struggle for a Distributist Earth, no matter where we are in the world, cannot be concentrated on just one area alone. It involves reaching out to the general public, the small business and co-op sectors AND those in all levels of government. It means - whether we like it or no - constant vigilance against over-regulation and micro-management by national, State or Provincial and local authorities. If it can happen there in Oklahoma, it can happen elsewhere in the rest of the USA or any other country.

We are fighting both "Hudge" and "Gudge", to use Chesterton's description of big government and big business. Let us never weary in our struggle to stop them both.


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