This discussion is a real blast!
May I remind some....."WE" are the industry beggin for the "government" to get MORE involved in the bee industry. From everything in begging for funds for such items as CCD research (Anytime you ask for money and open up cans of worms, it comes with a cost....meaning new regulations, standards, etc.) And now we are running out promoting honey standards and purity laws in each state following after what was started in Florida.
So who do you think is going to be harmed or gained the most? Who do you think will regulate, inspect, charge, and collect fees from such sought after regulations?
Of course the small operations will be shoved aside and will go under first. I have made my opinions known, and have questioned some of this in meetings. But the voices of the opposition is very small, or drowned by the bigger operations.
The food laws as it currently stands, does not stop you from producing your own food. It does limit your ability to sell it in a store or through a third party situation. The labeling laws (or the gov) want to be able to track back to the point of origin the producer of such products in case of contamination, being bad food or tampered product. And I'm not so sure I really stand behind the idea that every food item at the market should not be inspected or regulated in some manner. I think we buy things with a certain amount of confidence that the food being sold is safe, healthy, etc. But if we expect something less for beekeepers, what would be next? Where is the line drawn?
Make no mistake about it, these regulations and requirements will only get worse with time. And we are fast tracking the honey industry to soon require product testing for purity certification, among other things. And it seems a fair amount right here on this very board are promoting and pushing for it through state honey laws. It all goes hand in hand. Pass the law, then government will find a way to fund it, hire more government employees, and eventually ramifications down the road make it all questionable as to whether it was worth it.
For an industry that produces 1/3 the amount of honey we consume here in the states, we sure are good shots blasting off one toe at a time. ;)