Bill filed to limit production and consumption of food in Florida

March 5, 2003

By Mike Moehle

moehle@bv.net

The Brevard Insider

Recently a bill was filed in both houses of Florida's legislature to limit the production and consumption of food within the state of Florida.

Reports indicate that the likelihood of legislative passage and approval by the governor is high.

The provisions of this proposed law are as follows:

1) The state will be divided into 5 separate regions called "Food Production & Consumption Basins" (Food Basins). The boundaries of each Food Basin will be determined scientifically based upon agricultural production within each basin rather than incorporating existing political boundaries.

2) A new state government entity will be established for each of the five food basins to enact any laws necessary to carry out the objectives of the legislation. These new entities are to be entitled "food production management boards" (FPMBs). Each FPMB will be controlled by a board of appointed part time directors who shall not be compensated. The FPMB's directors shall establish a budget necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the FPMB.

3) Each FPMB shall be funded by the levy of ad valorem property taxes levied on all real property with the FPMB's food basin boundary. The Florida legislature shall not have the authority to review the budgets of the FPMB's.

4) Agricultural and food production/processing will be vertically integrated within each Food Basin and the current practice of regional and interstate economic competition based upon comparative advantage will be phased out.

5) All food production will be accomplished in an environmentally sustainable manner.

6) Each Food Basin shall produce all food necessary for persons and livestock living within the a Food Basin's boundaries. Inter Food Basin transfers of food or food production facilities shall be discouraged and eventually phased out.

7) All food production, processing, and distribution shall require a permit from the appropriate FPMB. Large users of food products, such as restaurants, shall be required to obtain a food consumption permit. Permits shall not be valid for more than 5 years at which time a permittee may apply for a renewal.

8) Amendments to the bill have also been proposed which would give the 5 FPMB's authority to approve or deny proposed land use changes within their respective Food Basins.

9) The sponsoring legislators hope that the new law will limit population growth within each Food Basin to only that which the basin can sustain.

Further, it is hoped that the law will also encourage food recycling.

Does the above law sound absolutely, incredibly, ridiculous to you? It shouldn't, because this is precisely the way Florida currently regulates the production and use of water.

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