SB 1381, as amended, Evans. Food labeling: genetically engineered food.
Existing law, the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, 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 bill, beginning January 1, 2016, 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.
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 delete
This bill would apply these provisions to violations of the genetically engineered food provisions described above.end delete
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:
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,
9economic, environmental, religious, and ethical reasons, if the
10food they purchase was produced with genetic engineering.
P3 1(c) Without mandatory
disclosure, consumers of foods produced
2through genetic engineering may unknowingly violate their dietary
3and religious beliefs.
4(d) There is currently no federal or California requirement that
5genetically engineered (GE) foods be labeled. In contrast, 64
6countries, including three of California’s leading trading partners,
7Japan, China, and the European Union member states, as well as
8South Korea, Australia, Russia, and Malaysia, already have laws
9mandating that foods produced through genetic engineering be
11(e) The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
12does not require safety studies of GE foods. Instead, any
13consultations are voluntary and GE food developers may decide
14what information to provide to the FDA.
15(f) Genetic engineering of plants and animals can cause
16unintended consequences. It has been demonstrated that
17manipulating genes through genetic engineering and inserting them
18into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always
19predictable or controllable.
20(g) United States government scientists have stated that the
21artificial insertion of genetic material into plants via genetic
22engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants or allergens
23in foods and create new toxicants or allergens with consequent
25(h) Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic
26engineering can provide a method for detecting, at a large
27epidemiological scale, the potential health effects of consuming
29(i) Numerous foreign markets with restrictions on foods
30produced through genetic engineering have restricted imports of
31United States crops due to concerns about genetic engineering.
32Some foreign markets are choosing to purchase agricultural
33products from countries other than the United States because GE
34crops are not identified in the United States, which makes it
35impossible for buyers to determine what does or does not meet
36their national labeling laws or restrictions and thus renders United
37States products less desirable.
38(j) Agricultural exports in California in 2011 generated $16.8
39billion in revenue, representing 39 percent of total production.
40Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic
P4 1engineering can be a critical method of preserving the economic
2value of exports or domestically sensitive markets with restrictions
3on, or prohibitions against, genetic engineering. Preserving the
4identity, quality, and reliability of California’s agricultural products
5and exports is critical to the state’s economic well-being.
6(k) The cultivation of GE crops can have serious effects on the
7environment. For example, in the year 2012, 93 percent of all soy
8grown in the United States was genetically engineered to be
9herbicide resistant. In fact, the vast majority of GE crops are
10designed to withstand herbicides and they, therefore, promote
11indiscriminate herbicide use. As a result, GE crops have caused
12527 million pounds of additional herbicides to be applied to the
13nation’s farmland. These toxic herbicides damage the vitality and
14quality of our soil, contaminate our drinking water, and pose health
15risks to consumers and farmworkers. Further, because of the
16consequent massive increase in herbicide use, herbicide-resistant
17weeds have developed and flourished, infesting farm fields and
18roadsides, complicating weed control for farmers, and causing
19farmers to resort to more and increasingly toxic herbicides.
20(l) The FDA is currently proposing approval of the first GE
21salmon for human consumption. Wild Pacific salmon are a critical
22natural and cultural resource of California and are under increasing
23environmental stress. More than 106 major salmon runs in northern
24California and the Pacific Northwest are extinct and another 214
25runs of wild salmon are at risk of extinction. An escaped GE fish
26could pose additional environmental risk to California’s already
27stressed wild salmon populations and coastal ecosystems by, among
28other things, imposing new competitive pressures on these
29populations for food and space, interfering with effective breeding
30and reproduction, and spreading disease. The west coast salmon
31fishing industry, including both commercial and recreational
32components, has lost an estimated 72,000 jobs during the last 20
33years. In the face of market confusion, seafood consumers may
34avoid purchasing salmon altogether to avoid genetically engineered
35salmon which would further negatively impact California’s wild
37(m) The people of California should have the choice to avoid
38purchasing foods produced in ways that can lead to that
P5 1(n) Labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering as
2provided in this act can be implemented without substantial burden
3to either food producers or the government.
It is the intent of the Legislature, with the enactment
5of this act, to require the labeling of all foods produced with genetic
6engineering sold within the state, with exceptions.
Section 110663 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
A food is misbranded if its labeling does not conform
10to the requirements of Section 110809.
Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) is
12added to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and
13Safety Code, to read:
The following definitions shall apply for the purposes
19of this article only:
20(a) “Food” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 109935,
21except that “food” as used in this article includes only food for
22human consumption and not any food for consumption by animals.
23(b) (1) “Genetically engineered” means produced from an
24organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been
25changed through the application of either of the following:
26(A) (i) In vitro nucleic acid techniques, which include, but are
27not limited to, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or
28ribonucleic acid (RNA) direct injection of nucleic acid into cells
29or organelles, encapsulation, gene deletion, and doubling.
30(ii) “In vitro nucleic acid techniques” include, but are not limited
31to, recombinant DNA or RNA techniques that use vector systems,
32and techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms
33of hereditary materials prepared outside the organisms such as
34biolistics, microinjection, macroinjection, chemoporation,
35electroporation, microencapsulation, and liposome fusion.
36(B) Methods of fusing cells beyond the taxonomic family that
37overcome natural physiological, reproductive, or recombinant
38barriers, and that are not techniques used in traditional breeding
39and selection such as conjugation, transduction, and hybridization.
P6 1(2) “Genetically engineered” does not include an animal who
2has not itself been genetically engineered, regardless of whether
3that animal has been fed or injected with any food or any drug that
4has been produced through means of genetic engineering.
5(c) “Label” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 109955.
6(d) “Labeling” shall have the meaning set forth in Section
8(e) “Manufacturer” means the person or entity that makes,
9processes, combines, or packages food ingredients into a finished
11(f) “Organism” means any biological entity capable of
12replication, reproduction, or transferring genetic material.
13(g) “Packaged food” means any food offered for retail sale in
14the state, other than raw food and food served, sold, or provided
15ready to eat in any bake sale, restaurant, or cafeteria that are subject
16to the provisions of Article 6 (commencing with Section 110660).
17(h) “Raw agricultural commodity” shall have the meaning set
18forth in Section 110020.
19(i) “Retailer” means an establishment engaged in the business
20of selling any perishable agricultural commodity or packaged food
21via a storefront.
22(j) “Supplier” means a person or entity that engages in the
23operation of selling or distributing raw agricultural commodities
24that the person or entity has produced, purchased, or acquired from
(a) Any raw agricultural commodity or packaged food
27that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering shall
28be labeled in accordance with this article and is misbranded if not
29labeled in accordance with this article.
30(b) This section does not apply to an alcoholic beverage that is
31subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9
32(commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions
34(c) This section does not apply to any food sold at a certified
35farmers’ market, field retail stand, or farm stand, as defined by
36Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of the Food and Agricultural
(a) (1) A manufacturer of a raw agricultural
39commodity packaged for retail sale shall include the words
P7 1“Genetically Engineered” clearly and conspicuously on the front
2or back of the package of that commodity.
3(2) A retailer of a raw agricultural commodity that is not
4separately packaged or labeled shall place a clear and conspicuous
5label on the retail store shelf or bin in which that commodity is
6displayed for sale.
7(b) A manufacturer of packaged food containing some products
8of genetic engineering shall label the product in clear and
9conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of that
10food product with the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering”
11or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”
12(c) This section shall not be construed to require a label that
13lists or identifies an ingredient that was genetically engineered, or
14that the words “genetically engineered” be placed immediately
15preceding any common name or primary product descriptor of a
17(d) This section does not apply to an alcoholic beverage that is
18subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9
19(commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions
21(e) This section does not apply to any food sold at a certified
22farmers’ market, field retail stand, or farm stand, as defined by
23Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of the Food and Agricultural
(a) A person engaged in business as a manufacturer
26or retailer of products who in good faith sells, offers for sale, labels,
27or advertises any product in reliance on the representations of a
28farmer, producer, or supplier that the product is not entirely or
29partially produced with genetic engineering, shall not be found to
30have violated this article unless the manufacturer or retailer knew
31or should have known that the product was entirely or partially
32produced with genetic engineering.
33(b) A farmer, producer, or supplier who is not a retailer or
34manufacturer is not liable for a violation of this article.
35(c) It shall not be a violation of this article for failure to label
36any of the following:
37(1) Packaged food in which the materials produced through
38genetic engineering account for nine-tenths of 1 percent or less of
39the total weight.
P8 1(2) Food produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic
3(3) An alcoholic beverage that is subject to the Alcoholic
4Beverage Control Act, set forth in Division 9 (commencing with
5Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code.
6(4) Food sold at a certified farmers’ market, field retail stand,
7or farm stand, as defined by Sections 47004, 47030, and 47050 of
8the Food and Agricultural Code.
9(d) Food is produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic
10engineering under either of the following conditions:
11(1) The food is lawfully certified to be labeled, marketed, and
12 offered for sale as “organic” pursuant to the federal Organic Foods
13Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq.).
14(2) (A) An independent organization has determined that the
15food was produced without knowledge or intent to use genetic
16engineering and has been segregated from, and not knowingly or
17intentionally commingled with, foods that may have been
19(B) The determination has been made pursuant to a sampling
20and testing procedure (i) consistent with sampling and testing
21principles recommended by internationally recognized standards
22organizations and (ii) which does not rely on testing processed
23foods in which no DNA is detectable.
24(e) The department
shall adopt and enforce regulations necessary
25to implement this article.
This article shall become operative on January 1, 2016.
Section 111910 of the Health and Safety Code is
28amended to read:
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 111900
30or any other provision of law, any person may bring an action in
31superior court pursuant to this section and the court shall have
32jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown, to grant a temporary
33or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any
34provision of Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) or
35Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5. Any
36proceeding under this section shall conform to the requirements
37of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2
38of the Code of Civil Procedure, except that the person shall not be
39required to allege facts necessary to show, or tending to show, lack
40of adequate remedy at law, or to show, or tending to show,
P9 1irreparable damage or loss, or to show, or tending to show, unique
2or special individual injury or damages.
3(b) In addition to the injunctive relief provided in subdivision
4(a), the court may award to that person, organization, or entity
5reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.
6(c) This section shall not be construed to limit or alter the
7powers of the department and its authorized agents to bring an
8action to enforce this chapter pursuant to Section 111900 or any
9other provision of law.
The provisions of this act are severable. If any
12provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity
13shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given
14effect without the invalid provision or application.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
17Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
18the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
19district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
20infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
21for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
22the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
23the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California