WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
General Assembly Building, Richmond, Virginia
8:30 a.m. gathering
Help lead government, give ourselves a greater voice, and be one of the VICFA members and supporters who gathers in Richmond, VA to speak to the legislators at our first annual VICFA DAY. Please put this date on your calendar and plan to go to Richmond for the day. We welcome other groups, like Weston A. Price Foundation, Peace and Justice folks, JA and Lynchburg Libertarians, and any others who support our efforts to restore freedom to farmers and consumers, to join with us on that day.
[Since we first scheduled this day, we have learned that the Ag Committee meets on Wednesday mornings at 8:30, so try to get there early so we can make an appearance en masse! We will make sure some VICFA members remain in the lobby to rendezvous with those who cannot get there until 8:30]
Please help spread the word.
We will meet in the lobby of the General Assembly Building at 8:30 a.m. to briefly discuss the day’s plan and distribute buttons and Talking Points (copied below, under Directions) then organize into groups for visiting senators, delegates and their aides. Each group will appoint a primary speaker. Plan to stay at least till noon, though we encourage everyone to stay the entire day. (Directions below)
Need a ride? We’ll try to help out. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Looking forward to seeing you all there,
Deborah Stockton, Editor
Logistics: Getting There and Eating
Allow at least a half hour for parking and walking.
You might want to bring a bag lunch. The Gen. Assembly building has a cafeteria, and eateries abound in the Capitol Square area, but if you hit them at the wrong time you could be waiting in line for an hour.
The General Assembly building is in Capitol Square in Richmond. The Capitol is undergoing restoration and there is no public parking on Capitol Square. There are several parking areas within walking distance of the G.A. Building. Downloadable maps of parking areas are available on the General Assembly website (http://legis.state.va.us/homepage.html) as well as the rates for these areas, though some parking lots listed might no longer exist.
“Mapquest” directions from the west:
- I-64 E becomes RICHMOND-PETERSBURG TURNPIKE / I-95 S.
- Take the US-33 W / BROAD ST / US-250 W exit- EXIT 74C.
- Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto US-250 / US-33 / E BROAD ST.
- Turn LEFT onto N 10tH ST.
- N 10TH ST becomes CAPITOL ST.
General Assembly Building: 910 Capitol St (on the other side it’s on Broad Street. Enter the building from the Capitol side).
Directions according to the General Assembly Website:
- From I-95 North: Exit 74 C onto Broad Street going west. Turn left at 10th Street, cross Broad St. and look for parking.
- From I-95 South: Exit 74 C onto Broad Street going west. Turn left at 10th Street, cross Broad Street and look for parking
- From I-64 East: Exit 74 C onto onto Broad Street. Turn right onto 11th Street and to one block to Marshall Street. Turn left onto Marshall and go one block to 10th Street Turn left onto 10th Street, cross Broad Street and look for parking.
- From I-64 West: Exit 190 onto 5th Street. Turn left onto Marshall Street. Turn right onto 10th Street, cross Broad Street and look for parking.
- From I-195 (RMA Downtown Expressway): Exit 7th Street-9th Street. Turn left onto 9th Street. Turn right onto Broad Street. Turn right onto 10th Street and look for parking.
Talking Points for HB124 and the fundamental right to choose your own food
VIRGINIA INDEPENDENT CONSUMERS AND FARMERS ASSOCIATION TALKING POINTS
1. Freedom of food choice should be legal. Virginia consumers are denied raw milk, homemade pies and cakes, on-farm processed meat and poultry. The freedom to opt out of government-licensed food is certainly as important as the freedom to opt out of government-licensed education or government-licensed medicine.
2. Food safety is subjective and based on faith. Virginia encourages hunters to gut shoot deer on a 70 degree day, drag it a mile through the sticks, rocks and squirrel dung to display it prominently on the hood of a Blazer and parade it around town in the afternoon sun, then bring it home and string it up in a backyard bird-roosting tree to hang for a week before cutting it up to feed their children and friends. But jams, jellies, pies, canned items, beef, pork, poultry, rabbit and dairy products require government-approved processing facilities. Ultimately, the food safety issue comes down to trustworthiness: a local farmer or government agent.
3. Selling food does not make it harmful. So far, Virginia allows complete freedom for food items to be given away. If unregulated food were as inherently unsafe as bureaucrats and industrial foodists allege, then donated food should be prohibited as well. Clearly, these current regulations are contrived to destroy market access rather than protect the public welfare.
4. Freedom from licensure is granted to small components of other heavily regulated economic sectors: elder care (three), child care (three), farm use vehicles (within 40-mile radius), home education (religious exemption). Recognizing inherent accountability in relationship-based commerce and small-scale transactions enjoys both legal precedent and common sense. To deny one tablespoon of milk from a dairy farmer’s mother is simply tyrannical and nonsensical.
5. Government-licensed food has a questionable track record. Irradiation, pasteurization, genetically modified organisms, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, gas-ripening, factory farming, MSG, rBGH, feeding chicken manure to cows: these are all government scientifically proven safe. Yeah, right.
6. Decentralized and locally-based food systems are less vulnerable to bioterrorism. Every government report on this topic agrees in the weaknesses of a centralized, long-transport, far-flung food system. Giving neighbors the freedom to interact in food commerce creates the ultimate food security.
7. Community-based food commerce stimulates local economies by keeping dollars circulating nearby, creating rural and agricultural value, and providing superior nutrition for the populace. This is true rural revitalization and farm preservation.
For more information see http://www.vicfa.net/ or call Christine Solem or John Coles at 434.973.6505