Farmers Markets Expose Inspires CA Bill

Farmer's markets came under scrutiny after an NBC4 I-Team investigation in 2010.

An NBC4 I-Team report into local farmers markets has inspired a California assembly bill that won committee approval on Tuesday.

The proposal from Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, would toughen regulations aimed at false claims about the origin of food sold at farmer’s markets.

Farmers Markets State Hearings

[LA] Farmers Markets State Hearings
Excerpts from State run hearings setup to address lies and false claims at farmers markets. (Published Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010)

Dickinson said his bill “will benefit both producers and consumers by bringing much needed reform to certified farmers markets.”

Farmers Market Tips

[LA] Farmers Market Tips
Tips for finding honest vendors at local farmers markets. (Published Thursday, Nov 18, 2010)

In 2010, the NBC4 I-Team found many sellers making misleading claims and telling outright lies about some of the produce at the markets.

Farmers who sell at the markets are supposed to sell produce they’ve grown themselves on local farms.

More Farmers Market Problems

[LA] More Farmers Market Problems
Joel Grover's ongoing investigation uncovers more problems at local farmers markets. (Published Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010)

But NBC4 I-Team cameras caught some sellers actually buying from produce warehouses in downtown LA.

At another farmers market, NBC4 bought berries labeled as “pesticide-free.”

The berries were then tested in a state certified lab, where three of five samples of allegedly organic berries contained evidence of pesticides.

Dickinson says his bill will simplify regulations for farmers markets, strengthen penalties for violators, and give the state Department of Food and Agriculture more resources to enforce the law.
The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.