Food Safety Bill: Restrictions on Local Farmers?

For decades people have shopped at local farmers market, like in downtown Roanoke.

“I feel it is a great place to shop, supporting local farmers,” says Paulette Caripides.

However, a new food safety bill is looking to place restrictions on how local farmers trade, grow, and share their homegrown fruits and vegetables.

Mark Woods, of Woods Farms, is concerned about tight restrictions on his farm’s produce.

“You know the tighter the grip they have on you, it seems like you are pushing the smaller guys out of the way so the big factory farms can take over,” said Woods.

But how the government plans to restrict these things is not clearly laid out in the bill.  The restrictions are left up to the discretions of the FDA or Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Many of the Washington officials we talked to said they are not trying to create an extra burden.  Some disagree if the restriction comes with an increased cost.

“It is going to be a burden to everyone, the difference is the larger corporations are going to be able to afford to implement the measures,” says Tim Belcher of Rolling Meadows Farms.  “Where the smaller guys are going to be put of out business”.

If extra restrictions man extra cost, then many of the local farmers we spoke to, could be driven out of their location. Source: WSLS Roanoke

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