Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )


  ( Heading of Part 1 amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1079. )

CHAPTER 3. Other Powers and Duties [401 - 588]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

ARTICLE 4.5. Food Biotechnology Task Force [491 - 492]
  ( Heading of Article 4.5 renumbered from Article 5 (as added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 589, Sec. 1) by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 170. )


The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(a) Consumers have an interest in being informed about the benefits and potential quantifiable risks to their health from products they consume. This information must be grounded in sound science, must use informative and effective communications, and shall be consistent with other production technologies.

(b) As new advances in biotechnology, including transgenic plants, are developed, it is important to understand the opportunities that new technologies offer to consumers, farmers, the livestock industry, food processors, and the environment, as well as to evaluate the potential risks.

(c) Under the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, the United States Food and Drug Administration has the federal authority to assure that food and pharmaceutical development using biotechnology protects public health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to review environmental issues including bioengineered pesticides, and the United States Department of Agriculture has the responsibility to regulate the introduction of genetically modified plants into the agricultural environment. Careful review of existing oversight responsibility helps in understanding the regulatory framework governing the approval of biotechnology products and will help clarify California’s role in the endeavor.

(d) California is the leading agricultural state in the country, producing 350 commodities and farm gate revenues totaling nearly twenty-seven billion dollars ($27,000,000,000) annually, of which nearly seven billion dollars ($7,000,000,000) is exported. Support for agricultural research based in sound science, and the utilization of modern farming technologies is a key factor leading to California’s strong farm economy and its competitive edge in the world market for agricultural products.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 589, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2001.)


(a) The Legislature hereby creates the Food Biotechnology Task Force. The task force shall be cochaired by the Secretary of California Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The task force shall consult with appropriate state agencies and the University of California. The Department of Food and Agriculture shall be the lead agency.

(b) An advisory committee shall be appointed by the task force to provide input on issues reviewed by the task force. The advisory committee shall consist of representatives from consumer groups, environmental organizations, farmers, ranchers, representatives from the biotechnology industry, researchers, organic farmers, food processors, retailers, and others with interests in the issues surrounding biotechnology.

(c) The Department of Food and Agriculture shall make funds available to other agencies to accomplish the purposes of this article and shall contract, where appropriate, with the California Council on Science and Technology, the University of California, or other entities to review issues evaluated by the task force or support activities of the advisory committee.

(d) The task force may request particular agencies to lead the effort to evaluate various factors related to food biotechnology. As funding becomes available, the task force shall evaluate factors including all of the following:

(1) Definition and categorization of food biotechnology and production processes.

(2) Scientific literature on the subject, and a characterization of information resources readily available to consumers.

(3) Issues related to domestic and international marketing of biotechnology foods such as the handling, processing, manufacturing, distribution, labeling, and marketing of these products.

(4) Potential benefits and impacts to human health, the state’s economy, and the environment accruing from food biotechnology.

(5) Existing federal and state evaluation and oversight procedures.

(e) An initial sum of one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund for disbursement to the Department of Food and Agriculture. It is the intent of the Legislature to make further funds available to accomplish the purposes contained in this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 97, Sec. 2. (AB 222) Effective January 1, 2012.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC4.5.