So what is "Free the Wineries" all about?
It is about the unnecessary and double regulation of wineries by the Food Safety Division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture
The July of 2009 Ohio budget bill (3200 pages) contained a section for the Ohio Department of Agriculture to sell licenses and do inspections (including wineries).
We have been seeking to either exempt wineries from this or provide a reasonable modification.
Wineries have been regulated by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control without incident in the past.
Many other states exempt at least wineries from food safety regulation.
Wine is pretty much a palatable disinfectant and has near nil chance of having any food safety issues without any adulteration on purpose.
We are well regulated for that by the Federal ATT&TB (Alcohol, Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau formerly BATF) and the Ohio Div. of Liquor Control as well as for sanitation.
This is a prime example of duplicate and unnecessary regulation that needs to be remedied.
The food safety regulation goes way beyond what is needed for wineries and puts a needless burden on small wineries as well as having regulations in effect that could possibly be a danger to the artisan production of wine.
There is no bill in the Ohio Legislature at this time. If you like you could contact your Ohio legislators and ask them to support a change when we get one in motion. Thank You!