Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 51. Food and Drink

§ 3.2-5126. Prohibited acts; exceptions; Commissioner may seek injunction; penalties.

A. The following acts and causing the following acts within the Commonwealth are unlawful:

1. The manufacture, sale, or delivery, holding or offering for sale of any food that is adulterated or misbranded.

2. The adulteration or misbranding of any food.

3. The receipt in commerce of any food that is adulterated or misbranded, and the delivery or proffered delivery thereof for pay or otherwise.

4. The dissemination of any false advertisement.

5. The refusal to permit entry or inspection, or to permit the taking of a sample, as authorized by § 3.2-5102.

6. The giving of a guaranty or undertaking concerning a food, which guaranty or undertaking is false.

7. The alteration, mutilation, destruction, obliteration, or removal of the whole or any part of the labeling of, or the performing of any other act with respect to a food, if such act is done while an article is held for sale and results in the article being misbranded.

8. Forging, counterfeiting, simulating, or falsely representing, or without proper authority using any mark, stamp, tag, label, or other means of identification authorized or required by regulations adopted under the provisions of this article.

9. The use of sulfiting agents as preservatives on raw fruits and vegetables being offered for sale to the public for human consumption.

B. Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection A is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. A wholesale or retail merchant who purchases food or drink in a closed container from a reputable manufacturer shall not be in violation of subsection A unless such person knowingly violated the provisions of subsection A. It shall not be a violation of subdivision A 1, A 3 or A 6, if a person can establish that he relied upon a guaranty or undertaking signed by the individual from or through whom he received any food in good faith, to the effect that such food is not adulterated or misbranded. The guaranty or undertaking shall contain the name and address of the person who provided the guaranty or undertaking, or a place of business, or an agent or representative on whom process may be served, in the Commonwealth.

D. No publisher, broadcaster, or agency or medium for the dissemination of an advertisement, except the manufacturer, packer, distributor, or seller of the article to which a false advertisement relates, shall be liable under this section by reason of the dissemination by him of such false advertisement, unless he has refused, on the request of the Commissioner to furnish the name and post-office address of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, seller, or advertising agency, residing in the Commonwealth who caused him to disseminate such advertisement.

E. The Commissioner may apply to an appropriate court for, and such court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown to grant, a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provision of subsection A, regardless of whether or not an adequate remedy at law exists. But whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the court in the case of a newspaper, periodical, or other publication that: (i) restraining the dissemination of a false advertisement in any particular issue of such publication would delay the delivery of such issue; and (ii) such delay would be due to the method by which the manufacture and distribution of such publication is customarily conducted by the publisher in accordance with sound business practice, and not to any method or device adopted for the evasion of this section or to prevent or delay the issuance of an injunction or restraining order with respect to such false advertisement or any other advertisement, the court shall exclude such issue from the operation of the restraining order or injunction.

Code 1950, §§ 3-308 to 3-310, 3-344; 1956, c. 529; 1966, c. 702, §§ 3.1-388, 3.1-389, 3.1-390, 3.1-423; 1986, c. 200; 2005, c. 681; 2008, c. 860.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.