Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1708
       By Senator Sachs
       34-01646-16                                           20161708__
    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 lists of raw agricultural
    5         commodities at high risk or potentially at risk for
    6         cultivation in a genetically engineered form;
    7         requiring the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
    8         Services to publish the lists by a specified date and
    9         to update a published list annually; providing
   10         mandatory labeling requirements for genetically
   11         engineered raw agricultural commodities and processed
   12         foods made with or derived from genetically engineered
   13         ingredients; exempting specified foods, commodities,
   14         ingredients, and other substances from the labeling
   15         requirements; authorizing the department to adopt
   16         rules; providing for enforcement of the labeling
   17         requirements; providing administrative and civil
   18         remedies and penalties; providing legislative intent
   19         with regard to such penalties; providing an effective
   20         date.
   22         WHEREAS, Florida has the right to protect the liberty of
   23  its citizens to be free to make the most fundamental of life
   24  choices of what to eat and put on their tables to feed their
   25  families, and
   26         WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that consumers should have
   27  the right to know whether the foods they purchase contain
   28  genetically engineered material, and
   29         WHEREAS, without mandatory labeling of genetically
   30  engineered foods, consumers may unknowingly violate their own
   31  dietary or religious principles, and
   32         WHEREAS, the organic food market and organic farming are
   33  growing industries in the state and increasingly demanded by
   34  consumers who have a right to choose what they purchase and eat
   35  and feed their families, and those farmers who choose to engage
   36  in this business may have their livelihood threatened by cross
   37  contamination of their crops by the wind blowing genetically
   38  engineered seed to their fields and farm animals, and
   39         WHEREAS, public confidence in organic food products may
   40  erode as organic farmers’ crops are regularly threatened with
   41  accidental contamination by contaminated seed and neighboring
   42  lands where genetically engineered crops abound, and consumers
   43  should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods that could harm
   44  the state’s organic farmers and food industry, and
   45         WHEREAS, consumers around the world desire products that
   46  are produced without genetic engineering, and
   47         WHEREAS, 64 developed or developing nations have banned,
   48  restricted, or required labeling of genetically engineered
   49  products, and
   50         WHEREAS, Floridians should have the same freedom to make
   51  informed choices about the food they eat as consumers, or grow
   52  and offer to market as farmers, and
   53         WHEREAS, no international agreement prohibits the mandatory
   54  labeling of genetically engineered foods, and
   55         WHEREAS, the cultivation of genetically engineered crops
   56  can negatively impact the environment, in some cases
   57  necessitating the use of increasingly toxic herbicides that can
   58  damage agricultural areas, impair drinking water, and pose
   59  health risks to consumers and farmworkers, and
   60         WHEREAS, consumers should have the choice to avoid
   61  purchasing foods that they believe cause adverse health and
   62  environmental effects, and
   63         WHEREAS, currently, there is no federal requirement
   64  mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods on food
   65  labels, NOW, THEREFORE,
   67  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   69         Section 1. Section 500.92, Florida Statutes, is created to
   70  read:
   71         500.92 Genetically engineered foods.—
   72         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   73         (a) “Cultivated commercially” means grown or raised by a
   74  person in the course of a business or trade.
   75         (b) “Food facility” means an operation that stores,
   76  prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food
   77  for human consumption at the retail level, including an
   78  operation where food is consumed on or off the premises,
   79  regardless of whether there is a charge for the food.
   80         (c) “Genetically engineered” means any food that consists
   81  of, is composed of, contains, or is produced from an organism or
   82  organisms in which the genetic material has been changed,
   83  commonly referred to as a “genetically modified organism” or
   84  “GMO,” through the application of:
   85         1. In vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant
   86  deoxyribonucleic acid techniques and the direct injection of
   87  nucleic acid into cells or organelles. Such techniques include,
   88  but are not limited to, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid or
   89  ribonucleic acid techniques that use vector systems and
   90  techniques involving the direct introduction into the organisms
   91  of hereditary material prepared outside the organisms such as
   92  microinjection, macroinjection, chemoporation, electroporation,
   93  microencapsulation, and liposome fusion; or
   94         2. Fusion of cells, including protoplast fusion, or
   95  hybridization techniques that overcome natural physiological,
   96  reproductive, or recombination barriers, where the donor cells
   97  or protoplasts do not fall within the same taxonomic family, in
   98  a way that does not occur by natural multiplication or natural
   99  recombination.
  101  The term does not include the centuries-old hybridization
  102  technique used by farmers and breeders that relied on nature or
  103  similar plant-to-plant or similar animal-to-animal selective
  104  breeding.
  105         (d) “Ingredient” means any substance that is used in the
  106  manufacture, or contained in the final form, of a processed
  107  food.
  108         (e) “Processed food” means any food other than a raw
  109  agricultural commodity and includes any food produced from a raw
  110  agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such
  111  as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration,
  112  fermentation, or milling.
  113         (2)(a) The Legislature finds that the following raw
  114  agricultural commodities are at high risk of being genetically
  115  engineered because they are currently in commercial production:
  116         1. Alfalfa.
  117         2. Canola.
  118         3. Corn.
  119         4. Cotton.
  120         5. Papaya.
  121         6. Soy.
  122         7. Sugar beets.
  123         8. Zucchini and yellow summer squash.
  124         (b) The Legislature finds that the following raw
  125  agricultural commodities should be monitored because suspected
  126  or known incidents of contamination have occurred and such
  127  commodities have genetically engineered relatives in commercial
  128  production with which cross-pollination is possible:
  129         1. Chard and table beets.
  130         2. Rutabaga and Siberian kale.
  131         3. Bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnips, rapini, and
  132  tatsoi.
  133         4. Acorn squash, delicata squash, and patty pan squash.
  134         5. Flax.
  135         6. Rice.
  136         7. Wheat.
  137         (c) By January 1, 2018, and annually thereafter, the
  138  department shall publish an updated list of additional raw
  139  agricultural commodities that are cultivated commercially in
  140  genetically engineered form. The list must be based on the most
  141  current available information.
  142         (3)(a) Beginning January 1, 2018, any genetically
  143  engineered raw agricultural commodity that is offered for retail
  144  sale must include a clear and conspicuous statement with the
  145  words “genetically engineered” on the front package or label of
  146  any such commodity. For such a commodity that is not separately
  147  packaged or labeled, the statement must appear on a label on the
  148  retail store shelf or bin where the commodity is displayed for
  149  sale.
  150         (b) Beginning January 1, 2018, any package offered for
  151  retail sale containing processed food that is made with or
  152  derived from any genetically engineered ingredient or is
  153  produced from a source that contains recombinant bovine growth
  154  hormone must include a clear and conspicuous statement on the
  155  front or back of the package with the words “contains
  156  genetically engineered ingredients,” followed by the name of the
  157  genetically engineered ingredient or ingredients. If an
  158  ingredients list appears on the package, the statement must
  159  appear underneath the ingredients list. For a processed food
  160  containing more than one genetically engineered ingredient or
  161  recombinant bovine growth hormone, the genetically engineered
  162  ingredients listed after the statement must be listed in the
  163  same order in which they appear in the full ingredients list.
  164         (c) In lieu of compliance with paragraph (b), any package
  165  containing processed food that is made with or derived from any
  166  ingredient that may be genetically engineered or produced from a
  167  source that contains recombinant bovine growth hormone must
  168  include a clear and conspicuous statement on the front or back
  169  of the package with the phrase “may contain genetically
  170  engineered ingredients,” followed by the name of the genetically
  171  engineered ingredient or ingredients. If an ingredients list
  172  appears on the package, the statement must appear underneath the
  173  ingredients list. For a processed food containing more than one
  174  ingredient that may be genetically engineered, the genetically
  175  engineered ingredients listed after the statement must be listed
  176  in the same order in which they appear in the full ingredients
  177  list.
  178         (d) Except as set forth in paragraph (e), a food produced
  179  entirely or in part from genetic engineering may not be labeled
  180  on the package, in signage, or in advertising as “natural” or
  181  any words of similar import.
  182         (e) This subsection does not apply to:
  183         1. A raw agricultural commodity that, on the date it is
  184  offered for retail sale, is not listed in paragraph (2)(a) or in
  185  the most recent list published pursuant to paragraph (2)(b).
  186         2. A processed food that does not contain an ingredient
  187  derived from a raw agricultural commodity that, on the date the
  188  processed food is manufactured, is listed in paragraph (2)(a) or
  189  in the most recent list published pursuant to paragraph (2)(c).
  190         3. Food consisting entirely of, or derived entirely from,
  191  an animal that has not itself been genetically engineered and
  192  that has not been fed a feed containing more than 1.5 percent
  193  genetically engineered ingredients.
  194         4. A raw agricultural commodity or ingredient that has been
  195  grown, raised, or produced without the knowing and intentional
  196  use of genetically engineered seed or food. The person
  197  responsible for complying with this section must obtain, from
  198  whoever sold the commodity or ingredient to that person, a sworn
  199  statement that the commodity or ingredient has not been
  200  knowingly or intentionally genetically engineered and has been
  201  segregated from and has not been knowingly or intentionally
  202  commingled with goods that may have been genetically engineered
  203  at any time. The sworn statement must be notarized and include a
  204  written declaration that such statement is made under the
  205  penalties of perjury and fraud. In providing such a sworn
  206  statement, a person may rely on a sworn statement from his or
  207  her own supplier that contains such an affirmation.
  208         5. An alcoholic beverage that is subject to regulation
  209  under chapters 561-568.
  210         6. Until January 1, 2018, a processed food that would be
  211  subject to this section solely because it includes one or more
  212  genetically engineered ingredients, if no single genetically
  213  engineered ingredient accounts for more than 0.5 percent of the
  214  total weight of the processed food.
  215         7. Any food not knowingly and intentionally produced from
  216  or commingled with genetically engineered seed or genetically
  217  engineered food, as determined by an independent organization,
  218  such as the Non-GMO Project, if such a determination has been
  219  made pursuant to a sampling and testing procedure approved for
  220  this purpose in rules adopted by the department.
  221         8. Food that has been lawfully certified to be labeled,
  222  marketed, and offered for sale as organic pursuant to applicable
  223  federal organic food production laws and regulations.
  224         9. Food that is not packaged for retail sale and that is:
  225         a. A processed food prepared and intended for immediate
  226  human consumption;
  227         b. Served, sold, or otherwise provided in a restaurant or
  228  other food facility that is primarily engaged in the sale of
  229  food prepared and intended for immediate human consumption; or
  230         c. Medical food, as defined in 21 U.S.C. s. 360ee(b)(3).
  231         (4)(a) The department shall:
  232         1. Adopt rules to administer this section.
  233         2. Select an independent nonprofit organization to approve
  234  a sampling and testing procedure consistent with sampling and
  235  testing principles recommended and developed by independent
  236  nonprofit organizations with the highest internationally
  237  recognized standards of genetically engineered labeling
  238  requirements. The organization shall be chosen on a 2-year basis
  239  by agency rule.
  240         3. Create an educational pamphlet regarding the
  241  requirements of this section for distribution to farmers in the
  242  state.
  243         4. Prominently display on its website information
  244  regarding:
  245         a. The high-risk and monitored agricultural commodities
  246  lists under subsection (2).
  247         b. Information regarding genetically engineered foods and
  248  crops as well as organic foods and crops.
  249         c. Standards for nongenetically engineered products
  250  developed by independent nonprofit organizations with the
  251  highest internationally recognized standards of genetically
  252  engineered labeling requirements.
  253         d. Penalties imposed under this subsection and any pending
  254  cases.
  255         (b) After exhausting administrative remedies under chapter
  256  120, the department may bring an action in a court of competent
  257  jurisdiction to enjoin a person or entity violating this
  258  section.
  259         (c) The department may assess a civil penalty against a
  260  person or entity violating this section in an amount not to
  261  exceed $5,000 per seed and $1,000 per retail package intended to
  262  be sold by a retailer. Each day of violation is considered a
  263  separate violation. Minimum penalties per day will be based on 3
  264  percent of the annual profit of the violating entity. It is the
  265  intent of the Legislature that such penalties are imposed to
  266  prevent violations of this section and that the cost of such
  267  penalties is not passed on to consumers as the cost of doing
  268  business.
  269         (d) An action to enjoin a violation of this section or to
  270  seek personal damages may be brought under this section by any
  271  individual or entity. Any individual or entity may sue the
  272  department to enforce this section.
  273         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.