Later today a legislative panel is scheduled to review new rules for selling morel mushrooms. Until recently, state rules required someone with advanced training to inspect any wild mushrooms for sale in restaurants or grocery stores in Iowa — to check that they weren’t the poisonous kind.
But Representative Marcie Frevert, a Democrat of Emmetsburg, says those rules virtually prevented any morel mushroom sales in Iowa — because few Iowans met the training requirements. “They had listed the mycological advanced degree identifical expert,” Frevert, “and that there would be more requirements than what the state had available.” Now, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has implemented a three-hour training course for mushroom inspections. Frevert says it means mushroom hunters can take the training and then cash in on the rare crop.
“People searching and finding them for their own use are perfectly fine, but if they are planning to sell to a legitimate market, this actually makes it easier,” Frevert says. Frevert is chair of the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee which will review this rule change during their meeting today at the statehouse. The three-hour training course is already being offered to certify morel inspectors.