|Support Virginia Farmers & Oppose SB1195|
Info below provided from the Farm to Consumer Defense Fund & the Virginia Independent Consumers & Farmers Association.
“SB1195 prohibits certain farms from violating the federal regulations that set minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of the law and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services free access at all reasonable hours to any farm to inspect the farm and take samples. The Commissioner also is authorized to seize certain produce that he believes to violate the federal regulations or state law. The bill makes the act of obstructing an inspector a Class 2 misdemeanor and of violating any other provision of the law or a Board regulation a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
“SB 1195 adopts federal produce safety regulations and also creates an Agriculture Civil Penalty Fund for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). All fines assessed for violations of the federal produce safety standards will be deposited in the fund. All money in the fund shall be used solely for carrying out VDACS responsibilities under the law.”
Unfortunately, this bill is another way to harm the small farms and actually provide incentives for penalizing farmers.