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SB-651 Synthetic food dyes.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 02/19/21 - Introduced         Compare Versions information image


SB651:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 651


Introduced by Senator Wieckowski

February 19, 2021


An act to add Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 110961) to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to food.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 651, as introduced, Wieckowski. Synthetic food dyes.
Existing federal law, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, regulates, among other things, the quality and packaging of foods introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce and generally prohibits the misbranding of food. Existing federal law, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, governs state and local labeling requirements, including those that characterize the relationship of any nutrient specified in the labeling of food to a disease or health-related condition. Existing state law, the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, generally regulates the labeling of food. Under existing law, a violation of these provisions is a crime.
This bill would establish the Reducing Exposure to Synthetic Food Dyes Act, which would make it a crime for a person to manufacture, package, sell, offer to sell, distribute, or import for sale or distribution within the State of California food that contains synthetic dyes without a prescribed label, either on the package or on the shelf or bin where the food is displayed for bulk foods. The bill would require prescribed language to be included on the menu or menu board of a restaurant when a dish includes synthetic food dyes. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The behavioral effects of synthetic dyes on children may impair their academic success and interfere with the ability of classmates to learn.
(b) In Europe, foods containing certain synthetic dyes, including the three most widely used in the United States, are required to bear a warning label stating that the dye “may have effects on attention and activity in children.”
(c) As a consequence, foods for the European market have been reformulated to eliminate the use of dyes that trigger the warning label requirement.
(d) Labels can improve consumers’ understanding of health risks associated with some food ingredients and allow informed choices in the marketplace.
(e) Because synthetic food dyes are used in a wide variety of foods, dyed foods are heavily marketed to children, and because parents may be unaware of their behavioral effects, more transparent labeling would assist consumers in making informed choices.
(f) It is in the public interest for the Legislature to enact legislation that requires warning labels on food containing synthetic food dyes. The benefits to Californians from enacting such legislation would be significant in societal and economic terms.

SEC. 2.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 110961) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  8.5. Synthetic Food Dyes

110961.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Reducing Exposure to Synthetic Food Dyes Act.

110961.1.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Food” shall have the same meaning as in Section 109935.
(b) “Label” shall have the same meaning as in Section 109955.
(c) “Labeling” shall have the same definition as in Section 109960.
(d) “Principal display panel” shall have the same definition as in Section 110015.

110961.2.
 (a) It is unlawful for a person to manufacture, package, sell, offer to sell, distribute, or import for sale or distribution within the State of California food that contains synthetic dyes without the following label: SAFETY WARNING: Synthetic dyes may cause or worsen behavioral problems in children.
(b) The label required pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be located on the principal display panel and shall be prominently placed so as to render it likely to be read and understood by an ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use.
(c) The text of the label required pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be black on a white background or white on a black background, in a manner that contrasts, by typography, layout, or color, with all other printed material on the package. The text shall not be crowded with artwork or other labeling and shall be set off on a box by use of hairlines.
(d) Unpackaged, bulk food that requires a label pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be labeled on the shelf or bin where the food is displayed for retail sale.
(e) A chain restaurant that is considered a “covered establishment” under federal menu labeling requirements and that is selling foods with synthetic dyes shall indicate with symbols or an icon and a Safety Warning on the menus and menu boards which items contain synthetic dyes and shall place the language required in subdivision (a) on their menus and menu boards. The language shall appear on the same page or board as the menu item containing synthetic dyes and shall be of the same size and font as the menu item text. Implementing regulations to further develop these labeling requirements may be developed by the State Department of Public Health.
(f) This section does not apply to an alcoholic beverage, as defined in Section 23004 of the Business and Professions Code, or a medical food, as defined in Section 109971.

110961.3.
 (a) A food that violates the requirements in Section 110961.2 or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to that section is subject to seizure in accordance with Section 111880.
(b) A retailer or manufacturer that violates Section 110961.2 or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to that section is subject to the penalties prescribed in Section 111825.

110961.4.
 If any provision of this article or of the regulations promulgated under this article, or the application of any provision to a person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of this article, including rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to it, and the application of those provisions to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected and shall continue to be enforced to the fullest extent possible.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.