Ruler of Pumpkin Pies
We rid ourselves from Royalty centuries ago, but Sandy Adams, Commissioner of Agriculture controls the Old Dominion, at least in the area of food.
Monday evening, January 25th, the amended Food Freedom Act, house bill 619, pared down greatly to just allow baked goods such as pumpkin pies, passed the house agriculture subcommittee. There was no opposition from Farm Bureau nor Agribusiness Council. VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) made no opposition either. They were present at the bill hearing.
Moving along in parliamentary procedure, the bill, was scheduled to be heard Wednesday, January 27th at 8:30 am. Lois Smith, president of VICFA was ready to be on hand for any amendments and to testify for the anticipated passage of the bill. Just before the hearing, she was informed that VDACS had an issue with the bill and it would not be heard in the full committee. Why did they not mention it Monday night? They were there and could hear fine. The full committee meeting was just an hour and a half away, they could make their testimony then, in front of 22 members.
Determined to see the bill pass, Smith met with VDACS Commissioner Sandy Adams and Dr. Wilkes to strike a friendly amendment. A compromise was suggested to add language for what temperature to hold the foods. Adams said NO. We don’t like the bill, period. We will give you no compromise. You have enough foods you can sell without my approval. You get no pumpkin pies!! Interestingly enough, when asked what the regulations were currently on pumpkin pies, neither Adams nor Wilkes could answer.
I thought only our delegates legislate. At the Food Freedom Task force meetings in 2014, VDACS held that they only follow law, they don’t make it.
It seems something has changed, maybe she has a Knight that she controls and will do her bidding. Delegate Barry Knight, that is, Chairman of the House Agriculture sub committee and a 12,000 Hog contractor for Smithfield.
It seems Adams has the ability to have a bill RE-HEARD because the vote did not go the way she wanted. How can that be? How can a bill that was heard, voted on in the sub committee and PASSED not be heard in the FULL committee? Is it within parliamentary procedure for a Chairman to reschedule a vote for a bill that was heard that was on its way to full committee? How much power does a chairman have? How much power does the state have?
Monday night Feb 1, 2016, the bill actually was sent back down to the sub committee and presented again. This time it DIED without a motion.
Let this journey of simple pumpkin pie freedom be a lesson for us all. We need a constitutional amendment to secure the right to acquire the foods we want.