FTCLDF Helps Clarify Egg Law in Michigan
FTCLDF lawyer Steve Bemis met in late March with representatives of Michigan small farmers, MDA, MIFFS, MIFMA and the Michigan Attorney General (AG) (http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1568_2387_46671-212367--,00.html) to clarify the exemption for direct farm-to-consumer egg sales under Michigan's 1963 Egg Law.
The Michigan AG's agriculture office subsequently agreed with the FTCLDF argument that the specific exemption in the 1963 law should prevail over more general language in Michigan's Food Law of 2000 (which is based on the federal model food code) which might have required a small farmer to be licensed as a Food Establishment.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture, which asked for the Attorney General's advice, has worked through this issue carefully and has now publicized guidance which removes any licensing requirements for direct farm-to-consumer egg sales.
Discussions concerning how the Egg Law works with "first receivers" and sales to local groceries, schools and restaurants are continuing.
Steve Bemis, Esq.
Steve Bemis worked in corporate law for 35 years and for the last several years with the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund advocating for greater access to local foods, especially raw milk. Steve is a founding Board Member of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and a farmer. Steve bales round and square hay for local farmers.