Government Intrusion

…into citizens’ lives, and one State government’s response.

Virginians who try to sell homemade food from their kitchens are feeling the heat from state and local inspectors.

“I have to turn down my neighbors when they ask if they can buy pesto I make from my own basil plants,” says Bernadette Barber, a farmer in Lancaster, VA.


In Arlington, government inspectors shut down a home-based soup maker, even though no customer complaints had been registered. Others have encountered similar fates, stripping them of needed income.

Because Government Knows Better. And there might be a problem.

No. Our Constitution was designed to facilitate us restraining government beforehand, not the other way around. The Virginia legislature appears to understand that.

HB 1290, sponsored by Delegate Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville, would end home-kitchen inspections on items produced for direct sale. The goods would bear a label stating that the products are not for resale and were processed without state inspection.

Absent this, government, “You’re missing a good opportunity to shut up.” It’s worth tracking this bill to see whether it gets enacted.

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