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Home Protect Your Food Freedoms!
2018: Legislation To Take Action On
Press Release: For Immediate Release
Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DELEGATE AND SENATOR AND TELL THEM
TO VOTE NO TO THESE BILLS.
THESE BILLS WILL PROBABLY BE HEARD NEXT WEEK, WE WILL INFORM YOU OF FURTHER ACTION.
House Bill 825 (HB 825) and Senate Bill 962 (SB 962), two bills that carry extremely oppressive and burdensome, that criminalize the distribution of raw milk through the purchasing of herdshares... and are crafted to make raw milk herd shares disappear in Virginia. Raw milk is currently available to individuals through private contractual herd share ownership. HB 825 and Senate Bill 962 will subject farmers who share their milking herds to laws and regulations that will be prohibitively costly to small farms.
Herd shares have been in Virginia unregulated and privately contracted since the late 1980's...
Help us keep them that way!
Talking Points in opposition to HB 825
1. This proposed legislation would create onerous paperwork, unnecessary testing, and invasive regulations in this voluntary food choice freedom engagment by consenting adults.
2. Virginia is already a Brucellosis and Tuberculosis free state, requiring yearly testing is costly to small farms
2. The herd share agreement is a private contract and the government has no business intruding. By requiring herd shares and share holders to register with the state, the right to privacy is at stake.
3. Reaching into that private freedom-of-choice contractual arrangement, herd shares will be open to unwarranted premises and paperwork inspections, and will have to adhere to yet-to-be-written stipulations put forward by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).
4. Because herd shares are a close loop arrangement, registration with the state is unnecessary, the direct relationship between farmers and shareholders makes trace-ability a non issue. No need for more government control which will cost Virginian taxpayers an estimated $238,062 annually from 2019 on.
5. This bill violates a persons right to acquire the foods of their choice, which is a sacred human right.
Please Support for Senate Bill 675 sponsored by Senator R. Creigh Deeds :
Virginia Senate Agricultural Committee meets this coming Thursday and will vote on SB 675. Your calls are needed now! Please call the Senate Agricultural Committee and tell them to vote YES for SB 675! SB 675 Food establishment inspections; exemptions; yogurt..
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Food establishment inspections; exemptions; yogurt. Exempts from inspections by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services private homes where the resident processes and prepares yogurt that has an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or lower, subject to certain conditions. Click here Read Full Text. SB 675 Yogurt Exemption Bill Talking Points
Homemade Yogurt a value added product is a wholesome food that offers another food choice for Virginians. Homemade yogurt is already legally sold in Wyoming and North Dakota, with no problems. Yogurt is pasteurized and has a high-acidity level (less than or equal to pH4.6), which prevents harmful bacteria and ensures that it is safe. Yogurt is much safer than other foods that are already allowed to be sold without inspection, like chicken and other poultry. There is no report of anyone ever becoming sick from improperly made or stored homemade yogurt.
Personal Freedom: Citizens should have the freedom to buy the foods of their choice whether from the grocery store or from a neighbors kitchen.
This bill is good for farmers and stay-at-home moms who want to sell their homemade yogurt to help support their families. Helping more Virginians make money from home is good for the state's economy. This bill would benefit cow owners, who will have another product they can sell to their community. This bill promotes local and sustainable food in Virginia.
Senator Name, Phone, Email:
Richard H. Stuart
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Mark D. Obenshain
Frank M. Ruff, Jr.
J. Chapman Petersen
David W. Marsden
William M. Stanley, Jr.
Richard H. Black
Adam P. Ebbin
Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.
A. Benton "Ben" Chafin
Rosalyn R. Dance
David R. Suetterlein
T. Montgomery "Monty" Mason
Jennifer L. McClellan
HB 825, an extremely oppressive and burdensome bill that criminalizes the distribution of raw milk through the purchasing of herdshares... is crafted to make raw milk herd shares disappear in Virginia. Raw milk is currently available to individuals through private contractual herd share ownership. HB 825 will subject farmers who share their milking herds to laws and regulations that will be costly to small farms. Any violation of/or failure to comply with the provisions of the legislation or any resulting regulations would be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
HB 825 Has not been assigned to a Sub-Committee at this time.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DELEGATE AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON THIS AND BE PREPARED TO OPPOSE HB 825 AS IT MAKES IT'S WAY THROUGH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. WE WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED.
Herd shares have been in Virginia unregulated and privately contracted for since the late 1980's...
Help us keep them that way!
HB 825-sponsored by Delegate Barry D. Knight- Herd shares; written shared herd ownership agreements; requirements; penalty.
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Herd shares; written shared herd ownership agreements; requirements; penalty. Authorizes any person to enter into a written agreement with the owner of a herd of milk-producing animals to obtain an ownership interest in the owner's milking herd and any of the milking herd's unpasteurized milk production equal to the percentage ownership interest, subject to certain requirements relating to filing with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, packaging, acknowledging certain dangers, and prohibiting sale or resale. The bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Health to investigate any illness that results from the consumption of unpasteurized milk provided pursuant to such an agreement. Any violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with each day of violation being counted as a separate offense. The bill authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt related regulations.
Click here Full text of bill
Talking Points in opposition to HB 825
1. This proposed legislation would create onerous paperwork and invasive regulations in this voluntary food choice freedom engaged in by consenting adults.
2. The herd share agreement is a private contract and the government has no business intruding. Private property rights and the right to privacy are at stake here.
3. Reaching into that private freedom-of-choice contractual arrangement, HB825 would require herd share dairies to register with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), be open to unwarranted premises and paperwork inspections, and adhere to yet-to-be-written stipulations put forward by VDACS.
4. This bill violates a persons right to acquire the foods of their choice, which is a sacred human right.
2017: Previous Projects
Please 1/ contact the SENATE AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE and ask them to vote AGAINST SB1195 2/ come to Richmond next Monday afternoon to lobby for HB2030 Food Freedom Bill which would provide more access to nutrient dense locally produced foods. More information at vicfa facebook page Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee
HB 2030 Talking Points |
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT FOOD FREEDOM BILL IN VIRGINIA HB 2030 Food products; sale at farmers market, farm, or home.
Introduced by: Delegate Nicholas J. Freitas
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Food products; sale at farmers market, farm, or home. Exempts a producer of food, including milk, products made from milk, and poultry, from regulations of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services so long as the sale of such food by the producer is made directly to the end consumer; the sale is conducted at a farmers market or through a home or farm; the food product contains no uninspected meat other than poultry; and the producer informs the end consumer that the food product is not certified, regulated, or inspected. Read Full Text . This broad bill exempts,
"Producers selling food by face-to-face sales directly to end consumers in Virginia at farmers markets or through farm-based or home-based sales. Food sold by such transaction shall be intended only for home consumption and shall contain no uninspected meat other than poultry. The producer shall inform the end consumer that the food is not certified, regulated, or inspected. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to allow food so sold, except for raw, unprocessed fruits or vegetables, to be used in any food establishment or food processing plant."
ACTIONS TO TAKE NOW!
1/ CALL YOUR DELEGATE AND ASK THEM TO BE A CO PATRON FOR THIS BILL.
2/ CALL THE HOUSE AGRICULTURE SUB COMMITTEE AND ASK THEM TO PLEASE SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT FARM TO CONSUMER BILL. Click here For Contact Information.
3/ ATTEND A FARM FOODS LOBBYING AFTERNOON: MONDAY 23 JAN Meet 1pm at the 4th Floor West Conference Room. No experience needed, and a great experience for your children! Click here for more information..
2014: VICFA Working For a Virginia Constitutional Amendment
Constitutional Amendment Takes
Center Stage For 2015
[Download Printable Version]
And who hasn't seen Food, Inc? Now, 10
years later, everyone is much more informed, the local food movement is
monumental and it is time to try the Constitutional Amendment again.
Smaller more specific bills such as the Home Kitchen Bill in 2008 have been more successful. You lose you rights a little at a time, and in the food theater we have lost a lot; therefore, incremental progress seems to work better to get these rights back. But who can wait a lifetime for this to happen. Since a Virginia Constitutional Amendment would trump any statute or regulation it would hopefully provide faster relief.
The Proposed Constitutional Amendment would read,
"That the people shall have a right to acquire, for their own consumption, farm-produced food, directly at the farm from the farmer who produced it."
"Of course" everyone says, that is the gut reaction. Notice that nothing's stated about the farmers' right to sell it. This is on purpose. It is undoubtedly an intentional quirk of the law that it is not illegal to buy certain farm-produced food, it is only illegal for the farmer to sell it. This proposed Amendment would give the consumer what is called "standing" in Court to challenge the fact that they cannot get, for instance, raw milk from their local farmer. See, Courts aren't really interested in you if you're not illegal.
I hate to burst everyone's bubble, including my own, who believes that farmers should have a Constitutional right to sell their farm-produced food, but Courts have ruled that any business may not operate if what they are selling or doing is deemed to be injurious to the public health and safety. The government doesn't even need a warrant if emergency circumstances exist to enter and shut the business down. Since the legislature has been so difficult to deal with because of all the outside monetary pressure from big business interests, a Constitutional Amendment such as this one could move the battle into another branch of government, i.e., the judicial branch, which may provide a more advantageous arena for change.
The Constitutional Amendment Involves a Fundamental Right
Surely the right for a person to contract for his own food directly from the farmer who produced it is a fundamental right. The Amendment further restricts the acquisition to "at the farm"-no internet or delivery or farmers' market sales. This restriction focuses the right. We are not talking about the general public here. Individuals have the right to life, liberty and property and no State can take that away without due process of law. Years ago most everyone raised their own food; that is not the case today. We the people must have the freedom to seek out and obtain the type of food we want from the farmer of our choice. After all, there is only one person in the world who knows truly what food he wants and that one person is you, because you and only you experience how it goes down, goes through and comes out. Yuck.
In July of 1980 I was taken to Court by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer services and the Health Department in an attempt to obtain an Injunction prohibiting me from renting my goats on a daily basis so that people who came to me for raw goat milk could have it. I couldn't legally sell it. In denying the Injunction Albermarle Circuit Court Judge, David Berry, ruled that, as he construed the law and regulations that it was the general public that is to be protected by laws and regulations from the consumption of disease carrying milk, but that in this case,
"...everyone of these people who have engaged in this transaction on the other side have sought Mrs. Solem out. She has not placed her goods or products in commerce. She has sold them, if it's a sale, on the premises and the customer has sought her out, and I am unprepared and certainly unwilling to say that the customer is to be protected from himself when he knows what he is getting and is asking for it. The Injunction therefore is denied."
That ruling was overturned on other grounds by the Supreme Court of Virginia in April of 1983-so the farm food fight has really raged on for the last 35 years-and now-it all comes down to the Constitutional Amendment.
VICFA Encourages You to
View the Film Farmageddon
Stand Against Animal
Disease Legislation Requiring Mandatory Animal Traceability
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