Dear fellow WAPF members,
I am writing to ask for your support. Pickles may sound petty and insignificant, but they represent an important principle here: food freedom. Did you know that I cannot sell you my prizewinning homemade pickles without breaking the law? They are made in an uninspected kitchen! Imagine the range of foods that would be available if we were all able to produce our favorite foods and sell them freely to others!
I have sent this to you as you maybe a constituent of one of the members of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee who are particularly opposed to this bill. These guys need to hear from their constituents in particular. They take no notice of other residents of Virginia. If you are not a constituent maybe you have a chapter member/relative/friend who is, who may support this bill.
If you wish to keep informed, please go to www.VICFA.org for contact information.
WAPF member and VICFA member
Please call the delegates below and asked them to support HB 46 (The Pickle Bill)
This is the third time that this bill has gone to committee within three years. Del. Habeeb is the patron of this bill. Please call (804) 698-1008 and thank Del. Habeeb for introducing this bill . He is a new delegate and needs our support.
The (4) delegates below have been opposed to the pickle bill. It is especially important to contact them if you are in their district. If not call them also.
Del Sickles (804) 698-1043 DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
Del Orrock (804) 698-1054 DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov
Del Poindexter (804) 698-1009 DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov
Del Knight (804) 698-1081 DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
The (3) delegates below may support us. Del. Morefield has signed on as Co-Sponsor. Thank him!
Del.Morefield (804) 698-1003 DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov
Del. Marshall (chair) (804) 698-1014 DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov
Del. James (804) 698-1080 DelMJames@house.virginia.gov
Here are some talking points:
1. CONSUMER DEMAND FOR LOCAL FOOD
There are increasing demands for locally prepared, small batch foods. Not only is their taste superb, but also the public has suffered increasingly from numerous food poisoning outbreaks resulting from large scale commercially processed foods.
2. LOCALLY PRODUCED FOOD IS SAFER
Congress responded this year to the problems of the food industry by passing S 510 The Food Safety Bill, which mandates more regulation on large agribusiness food producers. However, Congress recognized that locally produced food is safer and provided exemptions in the Bill for small local direct producer to consumer sales. Also, recently several other states have passed laws containg such exemptive language.
3. PRIVATE HOME INSPECTIONS ARE OPPRESSIVE AND UNNECESSARY
Regulations mandating inspections of private homes where the resident processes and prepared food for sale to an individual for his own consumption are oppressive and unnecessary. Such inspections inhibit small local enterprises. Virginia inspectors should spend their time where it is needed–inspecting large agribusiness operations and food conglomerates.
4. SUPPORT FAMILIES AND BOLSTER LOCAL ECONOMY
Allowing the sale of some home-made products would provide a valuable source of supplemental income to families. It would also bolster the local economy. according to an economic analysis report conducted by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, if every household in the state spent just $10 on local food per week, the Virginia economy would receive an additional. $1.65 billion.
5. AGRIBUSINESS USES SCARE TACTICS TO KILL LOCAL FOOD LEGISLATION
Agribusiness lobbyists raised the specter of botulism as a sreason for not passing home processing legislation in the past. However, statistics simply do not support their argument. For instance, the risk of botulism in homemade pickles is practically nil. Pickles, since they are acidic, have been safely made in the home for generations, Botulism was once a problem in lhome-canned vegetables, but with the advent of the pressure cooker, incidences plummeted.
6. 2008 EXEMPTION
In the 2008, legislative session a bill was passed exempting candies, jams, jellies and certain baked goods from inspection if those item were sold at the home of at farmers’ markets and labeled “NOT FOR RESALE-PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION.” There have been no public health problems resulting from this legislation. Yet. agribusiness fought against this bill all the way.