Monday, May 15, 2006

Osprey Media. - Brantford Expositor

With all the real health services that they could fix- the ministry of health parasites have decided to go after farmers markets and other "free"markets". Stop them now before they cause more damage and hardship-PR
Osprey Media. - Brantford Expositor: "
Province Targets Farmers' Markets

James Wallace for the Osprey News Network
Queens Park - Saturday, May 13, 2006

On any given weekend, thousands of Ontario families hike out to a local farmers' market to shop for vegetables, crafts, meats, furniture, maple syrup and the usual soup to nuts piled on wooden stands and displayed under linen tents.

They have been enormously popular with urban and rural consumers for decades, serve as important tourist attractions in many communities, contribute significantly to regional economies and put a few bucks into the pockets of farmers, craftsmen and local merchants.

So it should come as absolutely no shock whatsoever that the provincial government is contemplating plans to regulate, red tape and otherwise drive farmers' markets out of existence.

Proposed food safety guidelines in a 48-page draft document prepared in March for the Ministry of Health will require farmers' markets to meet the same stringent measures applied to restaurants, grocery stores and large scale commercial food producers and distributors.

They contemplate, for example, lab tests for home-made jelly, that honey made by local bees contain no more than 17 per cent moisture, recommendations that every market have two bathrooms (one for staff, one for the public), sinks and hand-washing facilities, log books to record food thermometer temperatures during cooking and that farmers and merchants take courses to become certified food handlers.

Bob Runciman, the MPP for Leeds Grenville, said the reach of the proposed measures also won't end at farmers' markets.

'It's pretty expansive,' Runciman said. 'They'll be"

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