Get Involved!
What You Can Do

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April 16, 1999


The Problem: There are the 13 states that have food-disparagement laws:

Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas

What to do:

Do you want to join with others in defending our First Amendment rights to speak about food and food safety? If so, there are several things you can do to help.

  1. Educate Yourself:  Inform yourself about the issues and keep up-to-date about them. The information on this Web site can help you to do that.
  2. Share Information:  Share the information found on this Web site with others in your community and state. E-mail friends and colleagues; link to the FoodSpeak Web site.
  3. Organize:  Try to organize local groups -- civic, political, professional, environmental, church, co-ops. -- to oppose "veggie-libel" laws. As you read this we’re busy organizing, so contact us if you want to begin a state chapter of FoodSpeak.
  4. Network:  Try to network with other local groups. One way to do this is by looking for the local affiliate of one of the national groups in the FoodSpeak Coalition. (For example, the Colorado chapter of the ACLU.) This list of FoodSpeak groups can be found in the FoodSpeak Coalition link on this Web site.
  5. Express Yourself:  Use the information on this Web site to write an op-ed for or letter to your local newspaper. Share information with local reporters.
  6. Write to Your Governor:  If you live in one of the 13 states listed above and below, write to your state lawmakers. Below you will find suggested draft letters that may be downloaded and sent to your governor.

 

Letter to Governor

 I. Proposed letter for states with "veggie-libel" laws

Below is a draft letter to be sent to the Governor in those states with "veggie-libel" laws. These states (and the names of their governors) are listed below followed by a draft letter (feel free to edit it or add to it):

State Governor’s Name
Alabama Fob James, Jr
Arizona Jane Dee Hull
Colorado Roy Romer
Florida Jeb Bush
Georgia Zell Miller
Idaho Philip E. Batt
Louisiana M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Mississippi Kirk Fordice
North Dakota       Edward T. Schafer
Ohio George V. Voinovich
Oklahoma Frank Keating
South Dakota William J. Janklow
Texas George W. Bush

Draft Letter to Governor

Dear Governor ________:

As a voter of [STATE] and one concerned about our First Amendment freedoms, I write to urge you to support the repeal of the food-disparagement law that our state has already enacted. That law infringes on the First Amendment rights of our citizens and media. Such a law, called unconstitutional by experts, has no place in a democratic society. Citizens and government officials need a full spectrum of information about all important issues -- including food safety and nutrition. Please act now to ensure that the citizens of our state have full access to the information we need to make the best choices about the food we eat.

Sincerely yours,


___________________________
Signature
Name
Address
City, State, Zip

 

II. Proposed letter for states considering "veggie-libel" laws

Below is a draft letter to be sent to the Governor in those states that are or have recently considered "veggie-libel" laws. These states (and the names of their governors) are listed below followed by a draft letter (feel free to edit it or add to it):

State Governor’s Name
California Pete Wilson
Michigan John Engler

Draft Letter to Governor

Dear Governor ______:

As a voter of [STATE] and one concerned about our First Amendment freedoms, I write to urge you to oppose the food-disparagement law that is now being considered by our legislature. Such a law, called unconstitutional by experts, has no place in a democratic society. Citizens and government officials need a full spectrum of information about all important issues -- including food safety and nutrition. Please act now to ensure that the citizens of [State] have access to the information we need to make the best choices about the food we eat.

Sincerely yours,
__________________________
Signature
Name
Address
City, State, Zip