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Walnut Farmers Market Cheaters Among Those Fined

Los Angeles County officials recently cracked down on cheating at farmers markets.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the county has enlisted Ed Williams, deputy director of the county's Agricultural Commissioner's office, to investigate farmers selling produce they haven't grown.

A total of 19 farmers market vendors in the county were fined in 2013, including three that sell at Jack Newe's Farmers Market in Walnut, the newspaper reported.

Circle K Ranch was fined $1,001 by the county for selling Flame Seedless grapes the farm did not grow at the Walnut farmers market Aug. 17, the newspaper reported. Investigators were tipped off because the farm does not grow that variety of grape.

Joe's Produce was fined $1,800 and suspended from farmers markets for six months starting Nov. 18 for selling Brussels sprouts not grown by the farm at the Walnut market Aug. 17, the newspaper reported.

Manna Orchards was fined $401 for selling Flame Seedless grapes not grown by the farm at the Walnut farmers market on Aug. 17.  Investigators were tipped off when they discovered Flame grapes were not listed on the producer's certificate, the newspaper reported.

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Vito Spago December 29, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I think the policing is good. Otherwise you get disasters like swap meets that sell the same things you can get at Walmart (and it is cheaper at Walmart) or Outlet Malls that do not have cheaper manufactured seconds at all. Total ripoffs that I ALWAYS avoid. I still go to farmers markets, though.
Pedro Romero December 29, 2013 at 04:44 PM
People found guilty of deceiving the public should be banned forever from selling at the farmer's market. The fines should be used to hire more personnel to investigate and prosecute people that are defrauding the government and the public in general.
Ray Russell December 30, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Wow agricultural crime in Walnut! Better watch your shopping cart
Walnut Watchdog December 30, 2013 at 03:57 PM
The fines do not go to Walnut or to "lazy" pensioners from the County. I am thankful that the government protects consumers against sellers of produce who lie about the source of their agricultural product.

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