Last year's bill, HB 135, would have made it legal to process more than just chickens on our farm. We could have butchered our hogs, lambs, and beeves as well. But the cry from the detractors was that small farmers like myself were going to kill everybody. They were making the same claims this year over the raw milk.
But what is rarely thought of by those in government that consider bills like the Virginia Food Freedom Act, is that regulations rarely improve the safety of food.
I recently read an article titled, "When Government Spreads Disease: 1906 Meat Inspection Act" In the article, the author pointed out that the biggest cheerleaders for the inspection act was the large meat packers,
"The Federal Meat Inspection Act passed Congress, and consumers were saved from ghastly diseases....the real reason for the act’s passage was that the large Chicago meat packers realized that regulation would hurt their smaller competitors more than themselves. Meat inspections imposed costs that cartelized the industry. That’s why the largest players were the law’s biggest promoters. Such laws almost have more to do with benefiting elites than protecting the public."
Simply put, meat packers don't want to compete in an open and fair marketplace.
The legislation required federal inspectors to be on site at all hours in every meat-packing plant. At the time, regulators came up with a shabby method for detecting bad meat, namely poking a rod into the meat and smelling the rod. If it came out smelling clean, they would poke the same rod into the next piece of meat and smell it again. They would do this throughout the entire plant.
And they say I'm dangerous.
My point is that the system is flawed and needs to be returned to an open and free system where the consumers can decide who they want to handle their food. We have always been and always will be, open to the public on our processing days. You are the only inspectors we need.
Question - Would you buy your beef, pork, and lamb processed and packaged direct from the farm? Let me know in the comments.