Virginia Food Freedom
Virginia Food Freedom Act
Full Language
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 3.2-5101, 3.2-5206, 28.2-803, and 32.1-12 of the Code of Virginia,  relating to home food operations.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 3.2-5101, 3.2-5206, 28.2-803, and 32.1-12 of the Code of Virginia are amended and  reenacted as follows:


§ 3.2-5101. Board authorized to adopt regulations; exception.


A. Whenever in the judgment of the Commissioner action will promote honesty and fair dealing  in the interest of consumers, the Board shall adopt regulations fixing and establishing for any food or  class of food: labeling requirements; a reasonable definition and standard of identity; and a reasonable  standard of quality and fill of container, or tolerances or limits of variability. In prescribing a definition  and standard of identity for any food or class of food in which optional ingredients are permitted, the  Board shall, for the purpose of promoting honesty and fair dealing in the interest of the consumers,  designate the optional ingredients that shall be named on the label. The definitions and standards so  adopted may conform so far as practicable to the definitions and standards promulgated by the Secretary  of Health and Human Services under authority conferred by Section 401 of the federal act. 

B. Any regulations adopted pertaining to this section shall not apply to nonprofit organizations holding one-day food sales. The Commissioner may disseminate to nonprofit organizations educational  materials related to the safe preparation of food for human consumption.


C. The provisions of this chapter and regulations adopted pursuant hereto shall not apply to a  private home or farm and curtilage where the residents or owners process or prepare any food provided that such food is sold directly to the end consumer and labeled with the producer's name, producer's address, and product ingredients, and the following disclosure: "NOT FOR RESALE - PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION”

For the purposes of this subsection:

"Farm" means an agricultural establishment with ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees  not including members of the producer's family.

"Home" means the residence of the producer of the food.




§ 3.2-5206. Board authorized to establish standards and adopt regulations; guidance of  State Health Commissioner.

A. The Board is authorized to establish definitions, standards of quality and identity, and to adopt  and enforce regulations dealing with the issuance of permits, production, importation, processing,  grading, labeling, and sanitary standards for milk, milk products, market milk, market milk products,  and those products manufactured or sold in semblance to or as substitutes for milk, milk products,  market milk, market milk products. Regulations concerning the processing and distributing of Grade A  market milk and Grade A market milk products shall be adopted with the advice and guidance of the  State Health Commissioner. The Board shall adopt regulations for the issuance of the permits referred to  in § 3.2-5208. The Board may require permits in addition to those prescribed by the terms of this article,  and shall adopt regulations concerning the conditions under which any additional permits shall be  issued.

B. In adopting any regulation pursuant to this section, the Board may adopt by reference:

1. Any regulation or part thereof under federal law that pertains to milk or milk products, amending the federal regulation as necessary for intrastate application.
2. Any model ordinance or regulation issued under federal law, including the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration Publication Number 229) and the U.S.  Department of Agriculture's Milk for Manufacturing Purposes and its Production and Processing  Recommended Requirements (hereafter the USDA Recommended Requirements), amending it as  necessary for intrastate application and to: (i) require milk on each dairy farm to be cooled and stored at  a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less, but not frozen; (ii) require the use of recording  thermometers and interval timers on every milk storage tank installed on a permitted Grade A milk dairy  farm; (iii) specify the design, fabrication, installation, inspection, and record keeping necessary for the proper use of such thermometers and timers; (iv) establish a definition for small-scale processors of  cheese under the dairy plant processing requirements contained in the USDA Recommended  Requirements; and (v) create exemptions for small-scale processors of cheese from the USDA  Recommended Requirements regarding processing requirements for dairy plants, provided such  exemptions do not compromise food safety.

3. Any reference, standard, or part thereof relating to milk, milk products, or milk production  published by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Public Health Association,  the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or the International Association of Food Protection. 

4. Any method of analysis relating to milk or milk products including any method of analysis  published by the United States Public Health Service, the Association of Official Analytical Chemists,  or the American Public Health Association.

C. Any regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall, unless a later effective date is specified  in the regulation, be effective upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the  regulation as a final regulation in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Neither the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) nor public participation guidelines adopted pursuant  thereto shall apply to the adoption of any regulation pursuant to this section. Prior to adopting any  regulation pursuant to this section, the Board shall publish a notice of opportunity to comment in the  Virginia Register of Regulations. The notice of opportunity to comment shall contain: (i) a summary of  the proposed regulation; (ii) instructions on how to obtain the complete text of the proposed regulation;  and (iii) the name, address, and telephone number of the agency contact person responsible for receiving  public comments. The notice of opportunity to comment shall be made at least 90 days in advance of the  last date prescribed in the notice for submittals of public comment. The legislative review provisions of  § 2.2-4014 shall apply to the promulgation or final adoption process of regulations under this section.  The Board shall consider and keep on file all public comments received for any regulation adopted  pursuant to this section.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections B and C, any permits that may be issued or  regulations that may be adopted for the sale or manufacture of cheese from milk from any species not required to be permitted or regulated in intrastate commerce prior to July 1, 2001, under this article,  shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) if such  regulations or permits apply to persons who manufacture less than 1,000 pounds of such cheese  annually.

E. The provisions of this chapter and regulations adopted pursuant hereto shall not apply to a  private home or farm and curtilage where the residents or owners process or prepare any food product  made from, milk products, provided that such products are sold directly to the end consumer and labeled  with the producer's name, producer's address, and product ingredients, and the following disclosure:  "NOT FOR RESALE - PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION”

For the purposes of this subsection:

"Farm" means an agricultural establishment with ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees  not including members of the producer's family.

"Home" means the residence of the producer of the food.




§ 28.2-803. Examination, analysis and inspection. 

A. The State Health Commissioner may in his discretion, or shall at the request of the Governor,  the Marine Resources Commission, or the Commissioner of Marine Resources, conduct an examination  or analysis of crustacea, finfish and shellfish, whether on the planting grounds, in an establishment, or in  any other place in this Commonwealth, from which the products are to be taken or sold for food  purposes.
B. The State Health Commissioner in making such examination may analyze the water and  bottom sediment in and adjacent to the crustacea, finfish, or shellfish growing areas for evidence of  pollution, and he may survey the sanitary conditions and pollution hazards adjacent to shellfish growing  areas, both in the water and on shore. 
C. The State Health Commissioner in conducting his analysis shall examine the establishments in  which crustacea, finfish and shellfish are handled and the sanitary conditions surrounding the  establishment, except that no such examination shall occur in home food operations authorized under subsection C of § 3.2-5101. At that time, he may analyze the crustacea, finfish and shellfish in the  establishment.





§ 32.1-12. Regulations, variances and exemptions.  

A. The Board may make, adopt, promulgate and enforce such regulations and provide for  reasonable variances and exemptions therefrom as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this  title and other laws of the Commonwealth administered by it, the Commissioner or the Department. 

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the provisions of this title and  any regulations adopted pursuant hereto shall not apply to a private home or farm and curtilage where  the residents or owners process or prepare any food  provided that such food is sold  directly to the end consumer and labeled with the producer's name, producer's address, and product  ingredients and the following disclosure: "NOT FOR RESALE - PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION”

For the purposes of this subsection:

"Farm" means an agricultural establishment with ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees  not including members of the producer's family.

"Home" means the residence of the producer of the food.

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Explanations of why this language is used

Food is regulated by more than two  agencies in the commonwealth. 
The two main ones are
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health.
Marine Resources  controls seafood in tandem with the Dept of Health  and the Milk Commission is under the Department of Agriculture.

With all the recalls or deaths by government inspected industrially processed foods these days, the lack of nutritional quality, rampant allergies, and concerns about GMOs,  the real questions to ask yourself, are

"Can I and should I choose what foods I deem healthful for my family?"

"Should others have the same choice to acquire life giving foods?"
Title 3.2 of the Code of VA is Agriculture, Animal Care and Food.   Under that    Chapter 51 is Food and Drink    The language to the left gives and exempts authority to the Commissioner of Agriculture. No government should ever totally control a food supply. This language guarantees that the people are able to produce and sell foods legally by exempting the control by the AG Commissioner,    
This page was last updated: July 24, 2014

The language in red underline  is proposed new language for the code section to be introduced.  All the rest is existing language in the law of VA.
Chapter 52 of Title 3.2 is Milk, Milk Products  and Dairies   It specifically says the duty of the commissioner is to foster the dairy industry of VA.    This country was built on small farms, many of which provided healthful, wholesome  raw milk from pastured cows to neighbors.   Albeit the board can adopt by reference any regulation, model or  method by the larger bodies of federal entities or Associations, for the large Dairy CAFOs and AFOs that sell in bulk for processing houses that resell to retailers with product changing hands and travelling many many miles to unknown purchasers,  the board should leave alone the small dairy farm that sells direct to the  known neighbor  ( end consumer)  who comes to the farm to purchase dairy products.  Anyone who takes the time to come to the tranparent dairy farm and sees how his or her milk and foods are made  has a definite advantage of knowledge and security.  



The Pasteurized Milk Ordinances and increased regulations on milk production and milk sales come from the industrial revolution applied to animals.
Its  history can be found in
The Untold Story of Raw Milk  by Ron Schmid , ND .  It is a great read on the topic.
Title 28.2 is Fisheries and Habitat of Tidal Waters
Chapter 8 is Health and Sanitation Provisions

803 gives him authority to examine seafood facilities. and the proposed language will exempt that for home operations.

Watermen should be allowed to make the most profit from their hard work by  processing what they have legally caught. Virginian's have been eating raw oysters for 400 years.  I image homemade crabcakes, as well.


Title 32.1 is HealthChapter 1 is Administration Generally.

Section 12 Regulations, Variances and exemptions.  As we stated above, the food supply should not be totally controlled by the government. This language allows the people to make foods and sell them direct to the end consumer with out the Health Commissioner denying access to foods we deem healthful.