Amended in Senate April 24, 2014

Amended in Senate April 3, 2014

Senate BillNo. 1381

Introduced by Senator Evans

(Coauthors: Senators DeSaulnier and Pavley)

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Levine and Yamada)

February 21, 2014

An act tobegin insert amend Section 111910 of, toend insert add Section 110663 to, and to add Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to genetically engineered food.


SB 1381, as amended, Evans. Food labeling: genetically engineered food.

Existing law, the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmeticbegin delete Lawend deletebegin insert Law,end insert makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell, deliver, hold, or offer for sale, any food that is misbranded. Food is misbranded if its labeling does not conform to specified state and federal labeling requirements regarding nutrition, nutrient content or health claims, and food allergens. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor.

This billbegin insert, beginning January 1, 2016,end insert would require that any food, except as provided, offered for retail sale in the state be considered misbranded if it is entirely or partially genetically engineered, as defined, and that fact is not disclosed in a specified manner. The bill would prescribe labeling requirements for a raw agricultural commodity that is genetically engineered and packaged foods, as defined, containing some products of genetic engineering. The bill would impose these labeling requirements on manufacturers and retailers, as defined, of the commodities and foods.begin delete The bill would authorize the Attorney General or an injured resident of the state to bring an action for injunctive relief against a violation of these provisions, as specified. The bill would authorize a court to award a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and would prohibit a court from awarding monetary damages in an action brought under the bill’s provisions.end delete

begin insert

Existing law authorizes any person to bring an action in superior court for violations of the California Organic Products Act of 2003, which, among other things, prohibits a product from being handled, processed, sold, advertised, represented, or offered for sale in this state unless it also is prominently labeled and invoiced in compliance with federal regulations, as specified. The law authorizes the court to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating the act. The law also authorizes the court to award reasonable attorney’s fees to a person, organization, or entity that brings an action pursuant to these provisions.

end insert
begin insert

This bill would apply these provisions to violations of the genetically engineered food provisions described above.

end insert

Because this bill would create new crimes by expanding the number of foods that could potentially be misbranded, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

 The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) California consumers have the right to know, through
4labeling, whether the foods they purchase were produced with
5genetic engineering, so they can make informed purchasing

7(b) Polls consistently show that the vast majority of the members
8of the public, more than 90 percent, want to know, for health,
P3    1economic, environmental, religious, and ethical reasons, if the
2food they purchase was produced with genetic engineering.

3(c) Without mandatory disclosure, consumers of foods produced
4through genetic engineering may unknowingly violate their dietary
5and religious beliefs.

6(d) There is currently no federal or California requirement that
7genetically engineered (GE) foods be labeled. In contrast, 64
8countries, including three of California’s leading trading partners,
9Japan, China, and the European Union member states, as well as
10South Korea, Australia, Russia, and Malaysia, already have laws
11mandating that foods produced through genetic engineering be

13(e) The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
14does not require safety studies of GE foods. Instead, any
15consultations are voluntary and GE food developers may decide
16what information to provide to the FDA.

17(f) Genetic engineering of plants and animals can cause
18unintended consequences. It has been demonstrated that
19manipulating genes through genetic engineering and inserting them
20into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always
21predictable or controllable.

22(g) United States government scientists have stated that the
23artificial insertion of genetic material into plants via genetic
24engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants or allergens
25in foods and create new toxicants or allergens with consequent
26health concerns.

27(h) Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic
28engineering can provide a method for detecting, at a large
29epidemiological scale, the potential health effects of consuming
30those foods.

31(i) Numerous foreign markets with restrictions on foods
32produced through genetic engineering have restricted imports of
33United States crops due to concerns about genetic engineering.
34Some foreign markets are choosing to purchase agricultural
35products from countries other than the United States because GE
36crops are not identified in the United States, which makes it
37impossible for buyers to determine what does or does not meet
38their national labeling laws or restrictions and thus renders United
39States products less desirable.

P4    1(j) Agricultural exports in California in 2011 generated $16.8
2billion in revenue, representing 39 percent of total production.
3Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic
4engineering can be a critical method of preserving the economic
5value of exports or domestically sensitive markets with restrictions
6on, or prohibitions against, genetic engineering. Preserving the
7identity, quality, and reliability of California’s agricultural products
8and exports is critical to the state’s economic well-being.

9(k) The cultivation of GE crops can have serious effects on the
10environment. For example, in the year 2012, 93 percent of all soy
11grown in the United States was genetically engineered to be
12herbicide resistant. In fact, the vast majority of GE crops are
13designed to withstand herbicides and they, therefore, promote
14indiscriminate herbicide use. As a result, GE crops have caused
15527 million pounds of additional herbicides to be applied to the
16nation’s farmland. These toxic herbicides damage the vitality and
17quality of our soil, contaminate our drinking water, and pose health
18risks to consumers and farmworkers. Further, because of the
19consequent massive increase in herbicide use, herbicide-resistant
20weeds have developed and flourished, infesting farm fields and
21roadsides, complicating weed control for farmers, and causing
22farmers to resort to more and increasingly toxic herbicides.

23(l) The FDA is currently proposing approval of the first GE
24salmon for human consumption. Wild Pacific salmon are a critical
25natural and cultural resource of California and are under increasing
26environmental stress. More than 106 major salmon runs in northern
27California and the Pacific Northwest are extinct and another 214
28runs of wild salmon are at risk of extinction. An escaped GE fish
29could pose additional environmental risk to California’s already
30stressed wild salmon populations and coastal ecosystems by, among
31other things, imposing new competitive pressures on these
32populations for food and space, interfering with effective breeding
33and reproduction, and spreading disease. The west coast salmon
34fishing industry, including both commercial and recreational
35components, has lost an estimated 72,000 jobs during the last 20
36years. In the face of market confusion, seafood consumers may
37avoid purchasing salmon altogether to avoid genetically engineered
38salmon which would further negatively impact California’s wild
39salmon fishermen.

P5    1(m) The people of California should have the choice to avoid
2purchasing foods produced in ways that can lead to that
3environmental harm.

4(n) Labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering as
5provided in this act can be implemented without substantial burden
6to either food producers or the government.


SEC. 2.  

It is the intent of the Legislature, with the enactment
8of this act, to require the labeling of all foods produced with genetic
9engineering sold within the state, with exceptions.


SEC. 3.  

Section 110663 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
11to read:



A food is misbranded if its labeling does not conform
13to the requirements of Section 110809.


SEC. 4.  

Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) is
15added to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and
16Safety Code
, to read:


18Article 6.6.  The California Right to Know Genetically
19Engineered Food Act




The following definitions shall apply for the purposes
22of this article only:

23(a) “Food” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 109935,
24except that “food” as used in this article includes only food for
25human consumption and not any food for consumption by animals.

26(b) (1) “Genetically engineered” means produced from an
27organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been
28changed through the application of either of the following:

29(A) (i) In vitro nucleic acid techniques, which include, but are
30not limited to, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or
31ribonucleic acid (RNA) direct injection of nucleic acid into cells
32or organelles, encapsulation, gene deletion, and doubling.

33(ii) “In vitro nucleic acid techniques” include, but are not limited
34to, recombinant DNA or RNA techniques that use vector systems,
35and techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms
36of hereditary materials prepared outside the organisms such as
37biolistics, microinjection, macroinjection, chemoporation,
38electroporation, microencapsulation, and liposome fusion.

39(B) Methods of fusing cells beyond the taxonomic family that
40overcome natural physiological, reproductive, or recombinant
P6    1barriers, and that are not techniques used in traditional breeding
2and selection such as conjugation, transduction, and hybridization.

3(2) “Genetically engineered” does not include an animal who
4has not itself been genetically engineered, regardless of whether
5that animal has been fed or injected with any food or any drug that
6has been produced through means of genetic engineering.

begin delete

7(c) “Injured resident” means a person who purchases a product
8that is misbranded under the provisions of this chapter.

end delete
begin delete


end delete

10begin insert(c)end insert “Label” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 109955.

begin delete


end delete

12begin insert(d)end insert “Labeling” shall have the meaning set forth in Section

begin delete


end delete

15begin insert(e)end insert “Manufacturer” means the person or entity that makes,
16processes, combines, or packages food ingredients into a finished

begin delete


end delete

19begin insert(f)end insert “Organism” means any biological entity capable of
20replication, reproduction, or transferring genetic material.

begin delete


end delete

22begin insert(g)end insert “Packaged food” means any food offered for retail sale in
23the state, other than raw food and food served, sold, or provided
24ready to eat in any bake sale, restaurant, or cafeteria that are subject
25to the provisions of Article 6 (commencing with Section 110660).

begin delete


end delete

27begin insert(h)end insert “Raw agricultural commodity” shall have the meaning set
28forth in Section 110020.

begin delete


end delete

30begin insert(i)end insert “Retailer” meansbegin delete a dealer engaged in the business of selling
31any perishable agricultural commodity at retail.end delete
begin insert an establishment
32engaged in the business of selling any perishable agricultural
33commodity or packaged food via a storefront.end insert

begin delete


end delete

35begin insert(j)end insert “Supplier” means a person or entity that engages in the
36operation of selling or distributing raw agricultural commodities
37that the person or entity has produced, purchased, or acquired from
38a processor.



(a) Any raw agricultural commodity or packaged food
40that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering shall
P7    1be labeled in accordance with this article and is misbranded if not
2labeled in accordance with this article.

3(b) This section does not apply to an alcoholic beverage that is
4subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9
5(commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions

begin insert

7(c) This section does not apply to any food sold at a certified
8farmers’ market, field retail stand, or farm stand, as defined by
9Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of the Food and Agricultural

end insert


(a) (1) A manufacturer of a raw agricultural
12commodity packaged for retail sale shall include the words
13“Genetically Engineered” clearly and conspicuously on the front
14or back of the package of that commodity.

15(2) A retailer of a raw agricultural commodity that is not
16separately packaged or labeled shall place a clear and conspicuous
17label on the retail store shelf or bin in which that commodity is
18displayed for sale.

19(b) A manufacturer of packaged food containing some products
20of genetic engineering shall label the product in clear and
21conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of that
22food product with the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering”
23or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

24(c) This section shall not be construed to require a label that
25lists or identifies an ingredient that was genetically engineered, or
26that the words “genetically engineered” be placed immediately
27preceding any common name or primary product descriptor of a

29(d) This section does not apply to an alcoholic beverage that is
30subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9
31(commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions

begin insert

33(e) This section does not apply to any food sold at a certified
34farmers’ market, field retail stand, or farm stand, as defined by
35Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of the Food and Agricultural

end insert
begin delete


(a) The Attorney General may bring an action to
38enjoin a violation of this article in any court of competent

P8    1(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), an injured resident
2of the state may, 60 days after giving notice of the alleged violation
3to the Attorney General and the alleged violator, bring an action
4to enjoin a violation of this article by a manufacturer or retailer in
5any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may award to a
6prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred
7in investigating and prosecuting the action. The court shall not
8award monetary damages.

9(c) Neither injunctive relief nor attorneys’ fees and costs shall
10be granted with respect to failure to label any of the following:

end delete
11begin insert

begin insert110809.2.end insert  

end insert

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertA person engaged in business as a manufacturer
12or retailer of products who in good faith sells, offers for sale,
13labels, or advertises any product in reliance on the representations
14of a farmer, producer, or supplier that the product is not entirely
15or partially produced with genetic engineering, shall not be found
16to have violated this article unless the manufacturer or retailer
17knew or should have known that the product was entirely or
18partially produced with genetic engineering.end insert

19begin insert(b)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertA farmer, producer, or supplier who is not a retailer or
20manufacturer is not liable for a violation of this article.end insert

21begin insert(c)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertIt shall not be a violation of this article for failure to label
22any of the following:end insert

23(1) Packaged food in which the materials produced through
24genetic engineering account for nine-tenths of 1 percent or less of
25the total weight.

26(2) Food produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic

28(3) An alcoholic beverage that is subject to the Alcoholic
29Beverage Control Act, set forth in Division 9 (commencing with
30Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code.

begin insert

31(4) Food sold at a certified farmers’ market, field retail stand,
32or farm stand, as defined by Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of
33the Food and Agricultural Code.

end insert

34(d) Food is produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic
35engineering under either of the following conditions:

36(1) The food is lawfully certified to be labeled, marketed, and
37 offered for sale as “organic” pursuant to the federal Organic Foods
38Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq.).

39(2) (A) An independent organization has determined that the
40food was produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic
P9    1engineering and has been segregated from, and not knowingly or
2intentionally commingled with, foods that may have been
3genetically engineered.

4(B) The determination has been made pursuant to a sampling
5and testing procedure (i) consistent with sampling and testing
6principles recommended by internationally recognized standards
7organizations and (ii) which does not rely on testing processed
8foods in which no DNA is detectable.

begin delete

9(e) A retailer that is not the producer or the manufacturer of
10food the retailer sells under its brand is not liable under this article
11except if the retailer knowingly and willfully fails to provide
12point-of-purchase labeling for an unpackaged raw agricultural
13commodity. It is a defense in an action under this section that a
14retailer reasonably relied on a disclosure that the food was not
15produced through genetic engineering that is contained in the bill
16of sale or invoice provided by the wholesaler or distributor of the

18(f) No action shall be brought under this section against a farmer
19who is not a retailer or manufacturer.


end delete

21begin insert(e)end insert The department shall adopt and enforce regulations necessary
22to implement this article.



This article shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

24begin insert

begin insertSEC. 5.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 111910 of the end insertbegin insertHealth and Safety Codeend insertbegin insert is
25amended to read:end insert



(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 111900
27or any other provision of law, any person may bring an action in
28superior court pursuant to this section and the court shall have
29jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown, to grant a temporary
30or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any
31provision ofbegin insert Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) orend insert
32 Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5. Any
33proceeding under this section shall conform to the requirements
34of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2
35of the Code of Civil Procedure, except that the person shall not be
36required to allege facts necessary to show, or tending to show, lack
37of adequate remedy at law, or to show, or tending to show,
38irreparable damage or loss, or to show, or tending to show, unique
39or special individual injury or damages.

P10   1(b)  In addition to the injunctive relief provided in subdivision
2(a), the court may award to that person, organization, or entity
3reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.

4(c)  This section shall not be construed to limit or alter the
5powers of the department and its authorized agents to bring an
6action to enforce this chapter pursuant to Section 111900 or any
7other provision of law.


begin deleteSEC. 5.end delete
9begin insertSEC. 6.end insert  

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any
10provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity
11shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given
12effect without the invalid provision or application.


begin deleteSEC. 6.end delete
14begin insertSEC. 7.end insert  

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
15Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
16the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
17district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
18infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
19for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
20the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
21the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California