MCHENRY - "Local control" is the typical mantra of the Republican Party, but in the case of farmer's markets and their requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables, State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-McHenry) is pushing for state coordinated standards. A bill to standardize those rules was approved by unanimous vote in the Illinois House Tuesday.
“Today in Illinois we have 102 counties and 100 health departments,” said Tryon. “Each department sets its own regulations for farmers markets, and for those vendors who wish to sell their goods in different counties, it is very difficult to ensure compliance.”
House Bill 5657 amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act by standardizing the regulations and fees associated with Farmers Markets in Illinois. With its unanimous adoption in the House, the bill now moves to the Senate, where Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) will serve as the bill’s Chief Senate Sponsor.
“Over the last several years we have seen an increase in the demand for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, and inconsistent interpretations about what is and is not allowed at farmers markets is becoming a significant problem,” said Tryon. “The problems are very evident from county to county and sometimes even within the same county. This bill will ensure that a clear set of guidelines regulate the sale of these healthy foods.”