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The Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first legislation in the nation to set mandatory minimum standards for fruits and vegetables. In 1917, California legislature passed a series of laws intended to promote and protect the state’s fresh fruit industry. Those laws set minimum standards of quality and labeling for 12 commodities with provisions for local enforcement by the counties. Currently, there are 37 different types of commodities that have specific state standards and packaging laws. All other commodities are covered under a general minimum standard. Kings County inspectors enforcing these standards have kept substandard fruit and vegetables off the market and deceptively packaged goods to a minimum. Consumers, producers and shippers all benefit from the inspection programs. Annually, approximately 1,500 inspections are made in Kings County at various locations such as retail markets, packers, roadside stands, swap meets, and farmer’s markets.
DPR Conducting County Oversight . . .
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is vested with primary authority through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to enforce federal and state laws pertaining to the proper and safe use of pesticides. DPR’s enforcement of pesticide use in the field is largely carried out in California’s 58 counties by County Agricultural Commissioners (CACs) and their staffs (approximately 400 inspector/biologists). DPR’s headquarters personnel, as well as field staff located in Anaheim, Fresno, and West Sacramento, provide training, coordination, technical, and legal support to the counties.
Department of Pesticide Regulation is conducting oversight in the issuing of California Restricted Materials Permits. Alfonso Garcia with the Dept of Pesticide Regulation's Fresno office, is working with Bruce Perez, a Kings County Ag & Standards Inspector III.
The Department is busy issuing the annual pesticide permits and applicator registrations for 2015. Kings County has approximately 900 California Restricted Materials Permits.