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Relating to exemptions from certain regulation for small honey production operations.
SB 1766, if passed, would modify the Health and Safety Code (Section 437.001) by exempting small honey producers from certain regulations, namely that small honey production will not be considered a food service for the purpose of this section (437.0197). “Small honey producers” are here defined as those individuals who sell only honey and/or honeycomb, sell less than 2,500 pounds per year, and are assisted only by members of their immediate family. If these small honey producers are exempted they would also be required to obey certain labeling requirements, namely that all honey sold have its weight expressed in both imperial (avoirdupois) and metric units, include the beekeeper’s name and address, and include the statement “Bottled or packaged in a facility not inspected by the Texas Department of Health Services”.
SB 1766 is a step in the correct direction in terms of regulation. Beekeepers who run relatively small commercial operations would have the option of conforming to the existing regulatory regime under the Health and Safety Code, or the alternative regime which would be established by this bill. Though such change could certainly go further, SB 1766 is a step in the right direction. On the grounds of free market and limited government, we support SB 1766.