Friday, September 28, 2007

Shaken

I'm shaken up over the story that two local farmers were handcuffed and arrested because of a discrepancy over the type of price tag labels they use. (Link courtesy of Cvillenews)

According to the Hook news blog and Cvillenews not only were the owners of Double H farm arrested, Virginia authorities visited a local restaurant that had pork products from Double H farm and "denatured" the products on the spot--rendering them inedible by pouring bleach on them.

Does this not strike you as unnecessarily violent? Shouldn't handcuffs be reserved for people who are dangerous? Did the VDACS really need ten agents plus two additional people to arrest the couple--who are in their 60s? Was it necessary to force them to ride in separate cars after arrest? Can you imagine the scene in the restaurant kitchens where state officials showed up and started pouring bleach on the food?

Would owners of a large business ever be treated in this manner? I remember when Wal-mart was exposed for labeling products made in China as "Made in America." Were Wal-mart executives arrested? Merchandise destroyed?

We can't have state sanctioned thugs using excessive force and violence.

I understand that regulations are put in place to protect consumer health and keep us from getting ripped off. Why are confusing unit pricing labels in grocery stores never under close scrutiny by the VDACS? (Like when different brands of the same type of product have a different unit pricing standard--Brand A will be labeled $X/pound and brand B will be labeled $X per ounce making it difficult to compare prices without a calculator.) I'd love to see stores get disciplined for that. And haven't the latest major outbreaks of foodborne illness had their source from foods produced by large corporations, such as the salmonella contaminated Peter Pan peanut butter or the bagged salads that gave people e-coli.

Forgive this disorganized and possibly badly spelled post. My kids are bugging me for use of the computer.

I'm thinking of writing some letters to the appropriate authorities because no way should a state agricultural department have the authority to act in this way. (And it's not the first time--I remember a relatively recent Hook article about a Virginia farm whose hogs were systematically destroyed with no advance warning to their owners, in what must have been a violent and traumatic scene. )

3 comments:

  1. That's a terrible story and you're right. I hope you do write some letters.

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  2. The whole thing is ridiculous. As Waldo points out on Cville News, the state clearly has it out for the small farmer and favors corporate farms.

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  3. What can us grass roots small farmers do?????? We can vote for Ron Paul for President.

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