Federal regulations hinder Navajo food sales
Navajo and Hispanic families in New Mexico are finding it hard to buy some of their traditional foods due to federal regulations.

A store in Wateflow is one of the few places that sell a'chii, which is made from sheep intestines. Navajo customers often request for the food to be prepared by hand for use in ceremonies.

But stricter federal regulations prompted the Department of Agriculture to order Original Sweetmeat to stop selling the meat. In March, the store was allowed to resume sales only after months of discussions.

"The federal government has been very naive in who they're been dealing with in Native American foods and Hispanic foods," state Rep. Ray Begaye told The Gallup Independent.

Hunt introduced legislation to urge USDA to adopt regulations to respect the sale of Navajo and Hispanic foods. Gov. Bill Richardson (D) signed the bill in March.

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Federal regs make traditional foods scarce (The Gallup Independent 6/20)