BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 1381
          Author:   Evans (D), et al.
          Amended:  5/5/14
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 3/26/14
          AYES  Beall, DeSaulnier, Evans, Monning, Wolk
          NOES:  Hernandez, Anderson
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  De León, Nielsen

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  4-2, 4/22/14
          AYES:  Jackson, Corbett, Lara, Leno
          NOES:  Anderson, Vidak
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Monning

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 5/23/14
          AYES:  De León, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NOES: Walters, Gaines

           SENATE FLOOR  :  19-17, 5/28/14 (FAIL)
          AYES:  Beall, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock,  
            Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning,  
            Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg, Torres, Wolk
          NOES:  Anderson, Berryhill, Block, Cannella, Correa, Fuller,  
            Gaines, Galgiani, Hernandez, Hill, Huff, Knight, Morrell,  
            Nielsen, Vidak, Walters, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon, Roth, Wright, Yee


           SUBJECT  :    Food labeling:  genetically engineered food

           SOURCE  :     Author
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           DIGEST  :    This bill enacts The California Right to Know  
          Genetically Engineered Food Act (Act) to require the labeling of  
          genetically engineered (GE) foods sold within California, as  
          specified.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing federal law:

          1. Establishes, through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  
             (FDA), various requirements for food labels under the Federal  
             Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which includes the Nutritional  
             Labeling and Education Act and the Food Allergen Labeling and  
             Consumer Protection Act.  These include requiring specified  
             nutrition information, a listing of all ingredients, and  
             whether a produce contains any of eight major food allergens,  
             such as milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, etc.

          2. Permits, under the United States Department of Agriculture's  
             National Organic Program, products to be labeled as "100%  
             organic" if they are comprised of 100% certified organic  
             ingredients, or as "organic" if they are comprised of 95%  
             certified organic ingredients.  Prohibits the use of GE, or  
             genetically modified organisms, in organic products.

          Existing state law enacts the Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic  
          Law, enforced by the Department of Public Health (DPH), which  
          provides broad authority for DPH to enforce food safety  
          requirements, including that food is not adulterated,  
          misbranded, or falsely advertised.  Food labeling requirements  
          generally adopt federal food labeling laws as the state  
          requirement, including nutrition labeling and allergen labeling,  
          but DPH is permitted, by regulation, to adopt additional food  
          labeling regulations.

          This bill:

           1.  Establishes the Act and states the intent of the  
              Legislature, with this Act, to require the labeling of all  
              foods produced with genetic engineering sold within the  
              state, and deems a food misbranded if its labeling does not  
              conform to the provisions of the Act.

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           2.  States numerous legislative findings and declarations  
              related to GE food. 

           3.  Defines "GE" for purposes of the Act, as produced from an  
              organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been  
              changed, as specified. 

           4.  Exempts from the definition of "GE" an animal that has not  
              itself been GE, regardless of whether that animal has been  
              fed or injected with any food or any drug that has been  
              produced through means of genetic engineering.

           5.  Defines various terms for purposes of the Act, including  
              "food," "label," "organism," "packaged food," and  
              "supplier."

           6.  Requires any raw agricultural commodity or packaged food  
              that is entirely or partially produced with genetic  
              engineering to be labeled in accordance with this Act, and  
              deems it misbranded if not so labeled.
            
           7.  Requires a manufacturer of a raw agricultural commodity  
              packaged for retail sale to include the words "GE" clearly  
              and conspicuously on the front or back of the package of  
              that commodity.

           8.  Requires a retailer of a raw agricultural commodity that is  
              not separately packaged or labeled to place a clear and  
              conspicuous label on the retail store shelf or bin in which  
              that commodity is displayed for sale.

           9.  Provides that a manufacturer or retailer who acts in good  
              faith shall not be in violation of the Act, unless the  
              manufacturer or retailer should have known that the product  
              was GE.

           Comments  

          According to the author's office, this bill allows Californians  
          to make more informed food-buying choices by requiring GE foods  
          sold in California to be labeled as such.  California would join  
          more than 64 countries around the world that have GE food  
          labeling laws.  The FDA does not require the labeling of GE  

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          foods, giving California a duty to the people, the environment,  
          and the agricultural economy to enact this requirement.

          The author's office states that there is overwhelming public  
          support in California for labeling GE foods.  Polls both before  
          and after the November 2012 election for Proposition 37 showed  
          that 67% of Californians supported California having its own GE  
          food labeling law.  

           Labeling laws in other states and countries  .  Last year,  
          Connecticut and Maine became the first two states to adopt laws  
          requiring the labeling of GE foods.  However, both contain  
          trigger mechanisms that delay implementation until other  
          adjoining states also adopt GE labeling laws.  Connecticut's law  
          will not take effect until a combination of Northeastern states  
          adding up to 20 million residents adopt similar labeling  
          requirements, while Maine's law will not take effect until five  
          nearby states have adopted a labeling requirement.

           Related/Previous legislation
          
          AB 88 (Huffman) of 2012 would have required GE salmon or other  
          finfish products prepared from those fish of the progeny of GE  
          fish to be conspicuously disclosed on the label.  The bill  
          failed passage in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

          SB 63 (Migden) of 2007 would have required cloned animals and  
          their progeny to be labeled.  The bill was vetoed by Governor  
          Schwarzenegger. 

          AB 1100 (Ruskin) of 2007 and SB 1121 (Migden) of 2008 were  
          substantially similar to SB 63.  The bill was held in Senate  
          Appropriations Committee and the bill, after passing the  
          Assembly and the Senate Health Committees, was amended into  
          another subject.

          AB 791 (Strom-Martin) of 2002 would have required transgenic  
          fish to be labeled.  The bill died on the Assembly Floor pending  
          concurrence.

          SB 245 (Sher, Chapter 871, Statutes of 2003), prohibits the  
          spawning, incubation, or cultivation of any species of finfish  
          belonging to the family Salmonidae or transgenic fish species,  
          or any exotic species of finfish, in the waters of the Pacific  

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          Ocean that are regulated by California.

          SB 1513 (Hayden) of 2000 would have created a task force in  
          state government to assess the need for labeling of GE foods.   
          The bill failed in the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, first year  
          costs of $1.1 million and ongoing costs of $850,000 per year for  
          enforcement of this bill's labelling requirements on  
          manufacturers, distributors, and retailers by DPH (General  
          Fund).

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/23/14)

          Alliance for Natural Health
          Bayliss Botanicals
          Biosafety Alliance
          Black Women for Wellness
          Breast Cancer Action
          California Certified Organic Farmers
          California Farmers' Markets Association
          California Institute for Rural Studies
          California Nurses Association
          CalPIRG
          Californians for Pesticide Reform
          California State Grange
          Center for Environmental Health
          Center for Food Safety
          Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
          Clean Water Action
          Committee for a Better Shafter
          Communities for a New California
          Community Alliance with Family Farmers
          Consumers Union
          County of Mendocino
          Culver City Democratic Club
          Delano Guardians
          Ecological Farming Association
          Environment California
          Environmental Working Group
          Food & Agriculture Caucus of the Democratic Party

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          Food & Water Watch
          Food Democracy Now!
          Food Empowerment Project
          Friends of the Earth
          Global Community Monitor
          Good Earth Organic & Natural Foods
          Green America
          Greenfield Walking Group
          Harmony Art
          Hooked Health and Wellness Club
          Keena's Kitchen
          LabelGMOs.org
          La Rocca Vineyards
          Moms Advocating Sustainability
          Organic Consumers Association
          Pesticide Action Network
          Pesticide Watch
          Physicians for Social Responsibility (Sacramento and San  
          Francisco chapters)
          Planned Parenthood of California
          Planting Justice
          Rancho de los Proyectos
          Rural Communities Resource Center
          Sacramento Community Grange #843
          Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown
          Sierra Club California
          Silo's
          Slow Food California
          Sustainable Carmel Valley
          Unitarian Universalist Church of Monterey Peninsula
          United for Change in Tooleville
          United Native Americans Inc.
          Wild Farm Alliance

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/23/14)

          Agricultural Council of California
          Almond Hullers and Processors Association
          BAYBIO
          BIOCOM
          Biotechnology Industry Organization
          Butte County Farm Bureau
          California Alfalfa & Forage Association
          California Bean Shippers Association

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          California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
          California Chamber of Commerce
          California Citrus Mutual
          California Cotton Ginners Association
          California Cotton Growers Association
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Grain & Feed Association
          California Grocers Association
          California Healthcare Institute
          California League of Food Processors
          California Manufacturers and Technology Association
          California Retailers Association
          California Seed Association
          California State Floral Association
          California Taxpayers Association
          California Warehouse Association
          California Women for Agriculture
          Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region
          Chambers of Commerce of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
          Consumer Healthcare Products Association
          Farmworker Justice
          Fullerton Chamber of Commerce
          Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
          Grocery Manufacturers Association
          International Formula Council
          Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
          Monterey County Farm Bureau
          Pacific Egg & Poultry Association
          San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation
          Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau
          Southwest California Legislative Council
          Tulare County Farm Bureau
          Valley Industry & Commerce Association
          Western Agricultural Processors Association
          Western Growers
          Western Plant Health Association
          Yolo County Farm Bureau

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    This bill is supported by a coalition  
          of organizations, which include the Environmental Working Group,  
          Consumers Union, the California State Grange, the California  
          Nurses Association, the California Farmers' Markets Association,  
          and Eden Foods, among other organizations.  Supporters state  
          that Californians should have the choice as to whether to  

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          purchase foods that are GE, and this bill permits people to make  
          informed choices by requiring GE foods sold in California to be  
          labeled as such.  Supporters state that more than 64 other  
          countries have enacted laws specifically focused on overseeing  
          GE crops and foods, or their labeling, and that polls continue  
          to indicate that the majority of Californians want the labeling  
          of GE foods.  Supporters also state that this bill will help  
          provide researchers with the means to track ingestion of GE  
          foods in order to determine if there are adverse health effects.  
           Supporters argue that labeling GE foods is about transparency  
          and empowering people so that consumer can make their own  
          informed choices.

          Supporters assert that contrary to the opposition's claim that  
          genetic engineering labeling will cost consumers at the cash  
          register, label changes and updates are a routine part of  
          business for the food industry and don't result in additional  
          costs to shoppers.  Supporters point to an economic assessment  
          of Proposition 37 conducted by a professor at Emory University  
          School of Law that found that "prices for many food products  
          will not change as a result of the Right to Know Act."   
          Additionally, supporters state that GE food labeling has not  
          increased food prices in Europe, citing a statement to that  
          effect by the former European Commissioner for Health and  
          Consumer Protection of the European Parliament.

          CALPIRG states in support that genetic engineering-centric  
          agriculture has increased the use of toxic chemicals.  According  
          to CALPIRG, most GE foods in the US are designed to withstand  
          herbicides and pesticides, and therefore enable increased use of  
          these toxic chemicals.  CALPIRG states that high pesticide  
          exposure is associated with cognitive decline, cancer, and  
          negative birth outcomes.  According to CALPIRG, increased  
          pesticide and herbicide use also lead to chemical-resistant  
          weeds and insects, which pushes farmers to both increase the  
          dosages still further, and return to older, more toxic chemicals  
          to which pests are not yet resistant.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    This bill is opposed by a number of  
          organizations, including the Agricultural Council of California,  
          BAYBIO, BIOCOM, California Citrus Mutual, the California Chamber  
          of Commerce, the California Farm Bureau Federation, the  
          California Grocers Association, the California Retailers  
          Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the  

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          California Healthcare Institute.  Opponents state that this bill  
          mandates a California-only labeling scheme that will increase  
          food costs for California families and raise liability and  
          compliance costs for farmers, grocers and food manufacturers.   
          According to opponents, it will confuse consumers with a label  
          that lacks context and scientific basis and stigmatize food  
          ingredients that are safe and healthy.  Opponents state that  
          economic studies of Proposition 37 concluded that genetic  
          engineering labeling mandates will cost the average California  
          family up to $400 per year in higher grocery bills, and that  
          this will disproportionately impact low and fixed income  
          populations.  Opponents argue that as food costs increase, the  
          allocated dollars for programs such as the Supplemental  
          Nutrition Assistance Program will not purchase as much  
          nutritional food as before and will hurt California's most  
          vulnerable populations.   
           
          JL:dk  5/29/14   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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