Farmers Markets Expose Inspires CA Bill

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.

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

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.

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.

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