California Will Start Penalizing Farmers Market Fakers

Inspectors in California will police farmers markets throughout the state for fraudulent goods

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

California will dedicate $1 million to quality control at farmers markets throughout the state.

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law into effect that will raise $1 million toward the quality control and inspection of farmers markets around the state, reports NPR’s The Salt.

The bill was originally introduced earlier this year and passed through California’s Assembly in June.

Inspectors will be deployed to verify vendors’ claims of farm-grown produce and other agricultural products, and impose a fine, and possibly jail time, on vendors selling “false, deceptive, or misleading” goods, including anything that has been purchased wholesale.

Following an investigation in 2013, 19 vendors in Los Angeles farmers markets were fined for misrepresenting their produce. The new law will also increase vendors’ fees at farmers markets in order to raise money for inspections ($2, up from 60 cents, as of June).

Eli Cook, owner of Spring Valley Farm and Orchard, told NPR, "I can spot it a mile away. I can tell you who's doing it and who's not doing it."

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.  

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