Richard H. Stuart

Senate OKs bill allowing random inspections of farms

RICHMOND — A bill approved by the Senate would allow state inspectors to carry out random inspections of hundreds of Virginia produce farms to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

"It's one of those bills you don't like, but someone's got to carry it," said the legislation's sponsor, Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Westmoreland County. He said that if the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services doesn't conduct the inspections, "then the federal government will come in and do it for us."

But some farming representatives argued that the inspections would violate their constitutional rights. "If the government has free access to your...

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