The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is just a website now, not an ink-and-paper newspaper, but I still read it for local news.  My interest in doing so, however, was diminished somewhat when I saw this breathless headline:

Food hazards found at farmers markets, officials want fee hike

Oh, no, I thought, I’d just come back from the Phinney Farmers Market with some onions, will I have to throw them away?   No.   When you go from the article to the material provided to the King County Board of Health by its staff, you see that all of the issues identified in the article, and almost the entire justification for the proposed fee increase (the remainder being the fee hadn’t increased since 1995), relate to the people selling prepared food at the markets.  Indeed, the county was proposing a lower fee for markets that only sold fresh fruits and vegetables.    We’ve written a few articles here about legal issues at farmers markets.  Obviously, it’s important that prepared food vendors at farmers markets comply with health laws.  But a headline like the P-I’s can only serve to scare people away from buying fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers, and without any justification.