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.
   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,
   72  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
  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.