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Jackson wants to do away with farm inspections

E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, wants to allow farmers to sell what they have produced on their own land without licensure or inspections.

“We need to get government off the backs of our local farmers or they will end up on the endangered species list. Not only do family farms create jobs, but they are the best source for healthy food.  Unfortunately, government regulations and taxes are killing this vital industry,” Jackson said at a campaign event in the Shenandoah Valley today, adding that if elected, he wants to “end the practice of government bureaucrats getting between us and a glass of milk.”
 
Jackson said that he would back legislation to be introduced in the next General Assembly session by Del. Brenda L. Pogge, R-James City, that would lift regulation of all farm-produced products intended for sale.

 
Like so many other businesses across Virginia, farms are being financially destroyed by the high taxes, the cost of regulations, bureaucratic red tape and infringement of property rights, according to a statement released by Jackson’s campaign today. During the years of 2011 and 2013, farms with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased by 300, the statement said.
 
Jackson believes that farmers, especially family farmers, have a right to process and sell the food raised on their own land without government intrusion, the statement continues. 
  
“This issue, like many others, is about liberty,” Jackson said. ” The freedom to farm your own land, sell your goods and to choose what you eat is fundamental.  I will fight to see the freedoms are returned to Virginians.”
 
UPDATE from Tuesday, July 30th:  Jackson’s campaign manager Greg Aldridge did not respond when asked if Jackson wants to end all farm inspections and how he would assure that farmers would comply with food safety standards. Instead, he wrote in an email: “Numerous cases have proven that government has failed to protect us. E.W. trusts Virginia’s farmers, not bureaucrats.”