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. 21 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, 66 67 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 68 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. 100 101 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.