Florida Senate - 2016 SB 1700 By Senator Sachs 34-01648-16 20161700__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to labeling of genetically engineered 3 foods; creating s. 500.92, F.S.; providing 4 definitions; providing mandatory labeling requirements 5 for genetically engineered raw foods and processed 6 foods made with or derived from genetically engineered 7 ingredients by a specified date; exempting specified 8 foods, commodities, ingredients, and other substances 9 from the labeling requirements; directing the 10 Department of Health to adopt rules; providing for 11 enforcement of the labeling requirements; providing 12 administrative and civil remedies and penalties; 13 providing legislative intent with regard to such 14 penalties; providing for injunctive relief actions; 15 requiring the court to award costs and fees under 16 certain circumstances; specifying injunctive relief 17 actions do not preclude civil actions for damages; 18 providing an effective date. 19 20 WHEREAS, Florida has the right to protect the liberty of 21 its citizens to be free to make the most fundamental of life 22 choices of what to eat and put on their tables to feed their 23 families, and 24 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that consumers should have 25 the right to know whether the foods they purchase contain 26 genetically engineered material, and 27 WHEREAS, without mandatory labeling of genetically 28 engineered foods, consumers may unknowingly violate their own 29 dietary or religious principles, and 30 WHEREAS, the lack of labeling denies health professionals 31 the ability to trace potential toxic or allergic reactions to, 32 and other adverse health effects from, genetically engineered 33 food, and 34 WHEREAS, labeling requirements for genetically engineered 35 foods are needed to facilitate both the withdrawal of products 36 where unforeseen adverse effects on human health, animal health, 37 or the environment, including ecosystems, are established, and 38 the targeting of monitoring to examine potential effects on 39 health and the environment, and 40 WHEREAS, many medical and public health groups still have 41 questions regarding the potential long-term impact of 42 genetically engineered foods on human health and the 43 environment, and 44 WHEREAS, many medical and public health groups, including, 45 but not limited to, the American College of Physicians, American 46 Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, British 47 Medical Association, Australian Medical Association, Irish 48 Medical Organization, and German Medical Association, have 49 passed resolutions or otherwise supported the mandatory labeling 50 of genetically engineered foods to facilitate further health 51 research, and 52 WHEREAS, sixty-four developed or developing nations have 53 banned, restricted, or required labeling of products that are 54 genetically engineered, and 55 WHEREAS, Floridians should have the same freedom to make 56 informed choices about the food they eat as consumers or grow 57 and offer to market as farmers, and 58 WHEREAS, no international agreement prohibits the mandatory 59 labeling of genetically engineered foods, and 60 WHEREAS, the cultivation of genetically engineered crops 61 can negatively impact the environment, in some cases 62 necessitating the use of increasingly toxic herbicides that can 63 damage agricultural areas, impair drinking water, and pose 64 health risks to consumers and farmworkers, and 65 WHEREAS, consumers should have the choice to avoid 66 purchasing foods that they believe cause adverse health and 67 environmental effects, and 68 WHEREAS, currently, there is no federal requirement 69 mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods on food 70 labels, NOW, THEREFORE, 71 72 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 73 74 Section 1. Section 500.92, Florida Statutes, is created to 75 read: 76 500.92 Genetically engineered foods.— 77 (1) As used in this section, the term: 78 (a) “Department” means the Department of Health. 79 (b) “Food facility” means an operation that stores, 80 prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food 81 for human consumption at the retail level, including an 82 operation where food is consumed on or off the premises, 83 regardless of whether there is a charge for the food. 84 (c) “Genetically engineered” means any food that consists 85 of, is composed of, contains, or is produced from an organism or 86 organisms in which the genetic material has been changed, 87 commonly referred to as a “genetically modified organism” or 88 “GMO,” through the application of: 89 1. In vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant 90 deoxyribonucleic acid techniques and the direct injection of 91 nucleic acid into cells or organelles. Such techniques include, 92 but are not limited to, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid or 93 ribonucleic acid techniques that use vector systems and 94 techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms 95 of hereditary material prepared outside the organisms, such as 96 microinjection, macroinjection, chemoporation, electroporation, 97 microencapsulation, and liposome fusion; or 98 2. Fusion of cells, including protoplast fusion, or 99 hybridization techniques that overcome natural physiological, 100 reproductive, or recombination barriers, where the donor cells 101 or protoplasts do not fall within the same taxonomic family, in 102 a way that does not occur by natural multiplication or natural 103 recombination. 104 105 The term does not include the centuries-old hybridization 106 technique used by farmers and breeders that relied on nature or 107 similar plant-to-plant or similar animal-to-animal selective 108 breeding. 109 (d) “Ingredient” means any substance that is used in the 110 manufacture, or contained in the final form, of a processed 111 food. 112 (e) “Processed food” means any food other than a raw 113 agricultural commodity and includes any food produced from a raw 114 agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such 115 as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, 116 fermentation, or milling. 117 (2) Beginning January 1, 2018: 118 (a) Any genetically engineered raw food that is offered for 119 retail sale must include a clear and conspicuous statement with 120 the words “genetically engineered” on the front package or label 121 of any such commodity. For such a commodity that is not 122 separately packaged or labeled, the statement must appear on a 123 label on the retail store shelf or bin where the commodity is 124 displayed for sale. 125 (b) Any package offered for retail sale containing 126 processed food that is made with or derived from any genetically 127 engineered ingredient or is produced from a source that contains 128 recombinant bovine growth hormone must include a clear and 129 conspicuous statement on the front or back of the package with 130 the words “contains genetically engineered ingredients,” 131 followed by the name of the genetically engineered ingredient or 132 ingredients. If an ingredients list appears on the package, the 133 statement must appear underneath the ingredients list. For a 134 processed food containing more than one genetically engineered 135 ingredient or recombinant bovine growth hormone, the genetically 136 engineered ingredients listed after the statement must be listed 137 in the same order in which they appear in the full ingredients 138 list. 139 (c) In lieu of compliance with paragraph (b), any package 140 containing processed food that is made with or derived from any 141 ingredient that may be genetically engineered or is produced 142 from a source that contains recombinant bovine growth hormone 143 must include a clear and conspicuous statement on the front or 144 back of the package with the words “may contain genetically 145 engineered ingredients,” followed by the name of the genetically 146 engineered ingredient or ingredients. If an ingredients list 147 appears on the package, the statement must appear underneath the 148 ingredients list. For a processed food containing more than one 149 ingredient that may be genetically engineered, the genetically 150 engineered ingredients listed after the statement must be listed 151 in the same order in which they appear in the full ingredients 152 list. 153 (d) Except as set forth in paragraph (e), a food produced 154 entirely or in part from genetic engineering may not be labeled 155 on the package, in signage, or in advertising as “natural” or 156 with any words of similar import. 157 (e) This subsection does not apply to: 158 1. Food consisting entirely of, or derived entirely from, 159 an animal that has not itself been genetically engineered and 160 that has not been fed a feed containing more than 1.5 percent 161 genetically engineered ingredients. 162 2. A raw agricultural commodity or ingredient that has been 163 grown, raised, or produced without the knowing and intentional 164 use of genetically engineered seed or food. The person 165 responsible for complying with this section must obtain, from 166 whoever sold the commodity or ingredient to such person, a sworn 167 statement that the commodity or ingredient has not been 168 knowingly or intentionally genetically engineered and has been 169 segregated from, and not been knowingly or intentionally 170 commingled with, goods that may have been genetically engineered 171 at any time. The sworn statement must be notarized and include a 172 written declaration stating that such statement is made under 173 the penalties of perjury and fraud. In providing such a sworn 174 statement, a person may rely on a sworn statement from his or 175 her own supplier that contains such an affirmation. 176 3. An alcoholic beverage that is subject to regulation 177 under chapters 561 through 568. 178 4. A processed food that would be subject to this section 179 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered 180 ingredients, if a single genetically engineered ingredient does 181 not account for more than one-half of 1 percent of the total 182 weight of the processed food. 183 5. Any food not knowingly and intentionally produced from 184 or commingled with genetically engineered seed or genetically 185 engineered food, as determined by an independent organization, 186 such as the Non-GMO Project, if such a determination has been 187 made pursuant to a sampling and testing procedure approved for 188 this purpose in rules adopted by the department. 189 6. Food that has been lawfully certified to be labeled, 190 marketed, and offered for sale as organic pursuant to applicable 191 federal organic food production laws and regulations. 192 7. Food that is not packaged for retail sale and that is: 193 a. A processed food prepared and intended for immediate 194 human consumption; 195 b. Served, sold, or otherwise provided in a restaurant or 196 other food facility that is primarily engaged in the sale of 197 food prepared and intended for immediate human consumption; or 198 c. Medical food, as defined in 21 U.S.C. s. 360ee(b)(3). 199 (3)(a) The department shall: 200 1. Adopt rules to administer this section. 201 2. Select an independent nonprofit organization to approve 202 a sampling and testing procedure consistent with sampling and 203 testing principles recommended and developed by independent 204 nonprofit organizations with the highest internationally 205 recognized standards of genetically engineered labeling 206 requirements. The organization shall be chosen on a 2-year basis 207 by agency rule. 208 3. Create an educational pamphlet regarding the 209 requirements of this section for distribution to farmers in the 210 state. 211 4. Prominently display on its website information 212 regarding: 213 a. Information regarding genetically engineered foods and 214 crops as well as organic foods and crops. 215 b. Standards for nongenetically engineered products 216 developed by independent nonprofit organizations with the 217 highest internationally recognized standards of genetically 218 engineered labeling requirements. 219 c. Penalties imposed under this subsection and any pending 220 cases. 221 (b) After exhausting administrative remedies under chapter 222 120, the department may bring an action in a court of competent 223 jurisdiction to enjoin a person or an entity violating this 224 section. 225 (c) The department may assess a civil penalty against a 226 person or an entity violating this section in an amount not to 227 exceed $5,000 per seed and $1,000 per retail package intended to 228 be sold by a retailer. Each day of violation is considered a 229 separate violation. Minimum penalties per day will be based on 3 230 percent of the annual profit of the violating entity. It is the 231 intent of the Legislature that such penalties are imposed to 232 prevent violations of this section and that the cost of such 233 penalties is not passed on to consumers as the cost of doing 234 business. 235 (d) Any political subdivision or municipality of the state 236 or a citizen of the state may maintain an action for injunctive 237 relief against: 238 1. The department to compel it to enforce this section or 239 any rules adopted thereunder. As a condition precedent to the 240 institution of an action pursuant to this subparagraph, the 241 complaining party must first file with the department a verified 242 complaint setting forth the facts upon which the complaint is 243 based and the manner in which the complaining party is affected. 244 Upon receipt of a complaint, the department must transmit, 245 within 7 days, by registered or certified mail, a copy of the 246 complaint to those parties charged with violating this section 247 or rules adopted thereunder. The department shall have 30 days 248 after the receipt of a complaint to take appropriate action. If 249 such action is not taken within the time prescribed, the 250 complaining party may institute the judicial proceedings 251 authorized in this subparagraph. However, a complainant’s 252 failure to comply with this subparagraph shall does not bar an 253 action for a temporary restraining order to prevent immediate 254 and irreparable harm from the conduct or activity complained of. 255 In any action instituted pursuant to this subparagraph, the 256 court, in the interest of justice, may add the department as a 257 party defendant. 258 2. Any person, natural or corporate, or governmental agency 259 or authority to enjoin such persons, agencies, or authorities 260 from violating this section or rules adopted thereunder. 261 (e) In any successful action to enforce a provision of this 262 section, the court shall award the prevailing party, other than 263 the state, reasonable costs and attorney fees. 264 (f) Nothing in paragraph (d) shall preclude any person from 265 bringing civil action for damages or personal injury relating to 266 violations of this section. 267 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.