State of Maryland Against The Amish

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Not long ago we heard of the battle against dairy and now we get news that government inspectors at farmers markets are giving the Amish a hard time for selling some products without government approval. How dare they!?This is so infuriating:

An Amish farmer, who wouldn’t give his name, said the farmers are trying to obey the laws but it’s difficult to keep abreast of new developments. There are also the high costs of new wells and licensing, and the reluctance to change centuries-old baking and production practices.

State officials reiterated products that can be sold without oversight include grains, unflavored jams and jellies, unflavored honey, whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, pastries and cakes that don’t contain custard or cream cheese.

Products that require licensing through the state include relishes and pickled products, butter, milk, cheese and yogurt, and canned products. Canned products require additional training from the state. Eggs must be clean, with no cracks, fresh, labeled and in cartons, and refrigerated. This posed a concern for the Amish, who do not refrigerate eggs but said they never sell those more than seven days old. Poultry can be sold directly on the farm, but meat must go through a U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified facility. Eggs must be labeled on each carton, but only once on a case from a wholesale seller.

Each processing license for products sold costs $350. Vendors must also submit a recipe for each item’s different sizes. For example, a 12-ounce jar of grape jelly needs a separate recipe and a separate fee than the same grape jelly in a 16-ounce jar, and for each vendor. Some of the Amish women voiced concerns that the dozens of baked good recipes they use would cost thousands of dollars and lots of precious time.

Both the sellers and buyers suffer from this. The winner? The government, which further extends its control over lives. They also get more revenue.

(Via TB)

12:24 pm on August 6, 2008