SD Home-Processed Foods Law Gets Unnoticed Updates


I no longer live in South Dakota, but when I saw this legislative–>hoghouse maneuver, it really ticked me off.

Without consulting or notifying those who are affected, or those who actually worked on this legislation in the last session, SD legislators made some changes to the Home-Processed Foods Law and got them through committee and passed without anyone noticing–until now, that is.

First off, on initial introduction, HB1240 would have required a yearly $40 license from the Health Department to operate a “cottage food industry.”  Then the bill was hoghoused (SD speak for “stripped of its language and pretty much completely changed but still under the same bill #”) and changed to one that sets a $5000 yearly income limit on sales of homemade baked goods (pdf!).

I know the history of the SD Home-Processed Foods Law, so I know whereof I speak.  When our producer group worked with the SD Dept. of Health to draft this law, we asked for our own version of the MN Pickle Law, which does have a $5K income limit per year on home-processed baked goods and acid or acidified canned goods, but does not require testing of those canned goods.

What we ended up with was a version that allowed home-processed shelf-stable baked goods and acid and acidified canned goods to be sold at farmers markets, farm stands, and “similar venues”–but those acid and acidified foods needed to be tested by a “third party processing authority.”  And, there was no yearly income limit on sales of these goods.  At that time, the Health Department deemed income limitations unrelated to preserving the public health.

The recent legislation does not set a yearly income limit for the canned goods (cutbacks to the Cooperative Extension–the main processing authority–should pretty much see to that), but it does set a yearly income limit on baked goods.

So, why exactly did South Dakota’s legislators suddenly decide a fee limit was needed?  And why weren’t there any discussions about this new legislation with the people who are affected by it?

Representatives Greenfield and Sly? Senator Nygaard?  South Dakota’s small producers are on the line, and they have some questions…

 

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary on April 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    “why weren’t there any discussions about this new legislation with the people who are affected by it?”

    Like the sneaky folks who run my City Council, they do this because they don’t want the hassle from folks who’ll be affected by it. It seems SOP these days. But my City Council is getting their butts kicked now and rightly so. An investigative team has asked for their city and personal emails that pertain to city government. And the emails that have been turned over prove that they work to sneak stuff through to avoid “annoying” public involvement and the possible concessions they’d have to make if the public got wind of what they were doing in advance. They didn’t turn them ALL over (it’s the law) and didn’t turn them over in the time given them. Now there is a lawsuit. More embarrassment for them. I hope they’re raked over the coals because things will have to become more transparent after this. We hope!

  2. Posted by Carolyn Knight Powers on April 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I wish there were more watchdogs like you keeping an eye on all the shady, crappy stuff that goes on in the government!!! Thanks for keeping the rest of us updated on what’s going on in other parts of the Country.

  3. Ok, now I’m really ticked off. This from a state that toots its horn about being friendly and open and inviting to business development? Another example of how stuff gets rammed through without folks knowing about it.

    Ramming through of things was a point of contention at our local cracker barrel…one of the legislators was a bit bent that anyone would suggest that sort of think happens.

    Is anyone taking the lead in “protesting” about this?

  4. Posted by Curt on April 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    This must be some of that transparency Dudley Doright was talking about in his letter to the editors of local SD papers last week.

  5. Posted by Melanie on April 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    This just makes me steaming mad. I had no idea! And it does affect me since I sell bread, cookies, etc at farmers market– with the whole idea in mind of making a profit. Guess the legislature doesn’t want me making a profit from my business. Neither do the gas companies for that matter. :(

  6. Posted by flyingtomato on April 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Melanie–take another look. You should be OK if you are selling at farmers markets. The income limit has to do with point of sale. Just make sure you walk outside your front door to make that five-thousand-and-first dollar in sales.

  7. I just found out about this law and am a bit confused to the limited info on the Baked good allowed. It’s states that baked items containing egg and milk products are not allowed such as Kuchen and Pumpkin pie – Thus leaving me to drastically modify my one recipe that I have for a baked good for sale. As for breads – is yeast allowed? what about fruit filling for modified pie crusts? I have no clue and even thought there is a law allowing people to do this, it is not clear an what you can and cannot sell for baked goods.

  8. I’d sure like to know that one constituent who managed to make this happen. I could use the energy and influence that person must have.

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