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Mackinac Center blog: Policymakers should review laws, punishments regarding pickling cucumbers, others

Regulation

By Glenn Minnis | Sep 9, 2019

Courthammer

The state of Michigan might want to consider a redo on a few laws created by the state’s Department of Agriculture that now carry criminal consequences for what seem like innocent situations, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy Research.

For example, the state still regulates cucumber pickling with rules outlining the size and quality of cucumbers that pass muster. As it is, state rules specifically stipulate that “cucumbers must be the color that 'is typical of cucumbers for pickling,' free of 'any injury or defect which materially affects pickling quality' and 'not materially curved, materially tapered ... or otherwise materially misshapen for pickling purposes,” Mackinac Center for Public Policy Research Intern Emma Eisenman wrote in a recent blog post on its website.

As subjective as those standards may seem to some, anything less than compliance could mean criminal charges for those deemed in violation. Beyond all the ambiguity, it’s not clear how any of rules outlined uphold the basic standard of law enforcement of to serve and protect.

“Michigan policymakers should thoroughly review these types of administrative rules and the punishments they carry,” Eisenman wrote on the nonprofit research and educational institute's website. “The one-size-fits-all approach of making it a crime to violate some of these rules is often inappropriate. The state should consider removing rules that are too subjective to effectively enforce. It should also remove rules that are clearly unnecessary.”

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