House approves potato weight law
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would lift packaging restrictions on potatoes.
The bill would allow spuds to be sold in packages of any weight. Now, the state requires them to be packed in bags of less than three pounds; three pounds; five pounds; 10 , 15, 20, 25, 50 and multiples of 100 pounds.
"This is another example of undue government intrusion that only frustrates consumers and taxpayers with another unnecessary bureaucracy," said the bill's sponsor, state Sen. David G. Argall, R- Berks-Carbon-Lehigh-Monroe-Northampton-Schuylkill. "I am thankful that we are one step closer to repealing this obsolete restriction, and allowing the market to dictate potato packaging."
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
The bill was prompted by complaints from a large Schuylkill County potato grower whose out-of-state customers wanted potatoes packaged in eight-pound bags.
Other states, including Maryland and New York, have no such restrictions, and Pennsylvania's weight requirements hamper sales.
The state ranks 18th in the nation for potato growing, producing 2.2 billion pounds of potatoes a year a $37.5 million business, according to Joel Rotz of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.