TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to Food Labeling.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that requiring genetically engineered foods to be labeled empowers consumers to make educated food choices. A 2013 New York Times survey found that ninety-three per cent of Americans support labels for genetically engineered foods. Opponents of labeling claim that such laws passed by individual states would pose a hardship on food producers and retailers. Maine passed a genetically modified food labeling law that addressed that concern by only making the law effective when five nearby states pass similar laws. This approach helps mitigate the hardships placed upon food producers and retailers.
The purpose of this Act is to require genetically engineered food to be labeled as such and to trigger the labeling requirement when labeling of genetically engineered foods is required under California law.
SECTION 2. Chapter 328, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"Part . GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD
§328-A Objective. The purpose of this part is to:
(1) Promote food safety and protect public health by enabling consumers to avoid the potential risks associated with genetically engineered foods and serve as a risk management tool enabling consumers, physicians, and scientists to identify unintended health effects resulting from the consumption of genetically engineered foods;
(2) Assist consumers who are concerned about the potential effects of genetic engineering on the environment to make informed purchasing decisions;
(3) Reduce and prevent consumer confusion and inadvertent deception and promote the disclosure of factual information on food labels to allow consumers to make informed decisions;
(4) Create additional market opportunities for those producers who are not certified organic producers and whose products are not produced using genetic engineering and enable consumers to make informed purchasing decisions; and
(5) Ensure consumers are provided with data from which they may make informed decisions for personal, religious, moral, cultural, or ethical reasons.
§328-B Definitions. As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Director" means the director of health.
"Food" means food intended for human consumption.
"Genetically engineered" means the application of in vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid and direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles, or the fusion of cells beyond the taxonomic family, that overcome natural physiological reproductive or recombinant barriers and that are not techniques used in traditional breeding and selection.
"Medical food" means food prescribed by a physician for treatment of a medical condition.
§328-C Disclosure requirements for genetically engineered food. (a) Beginning eighteen months after the effective date of this section, any food offered for retail sale that is genetically engineered shall be accompanied by a conspicuous disclosure that states "Produced with Genetic Engineering". The statement shall be located on the package for all packaged food, or in the case of unpackaged food, on a card or label on the store shelf or bin in which the food is displayed.
(b) Food that is subject to disclosure under subsection (a) shall not be described on its label or by similar identification as "natural".
(c) Any food that is genetically engineered that does not display the disclosure required under subsection (a) or is labeled or identified as natural in violation of subsection (b) is considered misbranded for the purposes of section 328-10; provided that:
(1) A food is not considered misbranded if the food is produced by a person who:
(A) Grows, raises, or otherwise produces a food without knowledge that the food was created from other seed or other food that was genetically engineered; and
(B) Obtains a sworn statement from the person from whom the food was obtained that the food was not knowingly genetically engineered and was segregated from and not knowingly commingled with a food component that may have been genetically engineered;
(2) A food product derived from an animal is not considered misbranded if the animal was not genetically engineered but was fed genetically engineered feed; and
(3) A packaged processed food is not considered misbranded if the total weight of the processed food that was genetically engineered is less than 0.9 per cent of the total weight of the processed food.
(d) The director may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the administration and enforcement of this part.
§328-D Third-party protection. (a) A distributor or retailer that sells or advertises food that is genetically engineered that fails to make the disclosure required under section 328-C(a) is not subject to liability in any civil action to enforce this part if the distributor or retailer relied on the affidavit under section 328-F provided by the producer or grower stating that the food is not subject to the disclosure requirements under this part.
(b) Eating establishments are exempt from disclosure requirements of this part.
(c) Alcoholic beverages and medical food are exempt from the disclosure requirements of this part.
§328-E Enforcement. (a) The director shall enforce this part in the same manner as is authorized for enforcement of section 328-6.
(b) There is no private right of action to enforce this part.
(c) A person who violates this part commits a civil violation for which a fine may be assessed that shall not exceed $1,000 per day per misbranded product per sales location.
§328-F Affidavit. The director shall develop an affidavit form that may be provided by a producer or grower of food to distributors and retailers and that may be included in shipments of food within the State certifying that the food being sold or shipped is not subject to disclosure requirements of this part."
SECTION 3. Section 328-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§328-10 Foods deemed misbranded when. A food shall be deemed to be misbranded:
(1) If its labeling is false or misleading in any
particular; or if its labeling or packaging fails to conform with the
requirements of sections 328-2 [
and], 328-19.1[ ;] and
(2) If it is offered for sale under the name of another food;
(3) If it is an imitation of another food for which a definition and standard of identity has been prescribed by rules as provided by section 328-8; or if it is an imitation of another food that is not subject to paragraph (7), unless its label bears in type of uniform size and prominence, the word "imitation" and, immediately thereafter, the name of the food imitated;
(4) If its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading;
(5) If in package form, unless it bears a label containing (A) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; (B) an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count, which statement shall be separately and accurately stated in a uniform location upon the principal display panel of the label; provided that under subparagraph (B) reasonable variations shall be permitted, and exemptions as to small packages shall be established, by rules adopted by the department of health;
(6) If any word, statement, or other information required by or under authority of this part to appear on the label or labeling is not prominently placed thereon with such conspicuousness (as compared with other words, statements, designs, or devices, in the labeling) and in such terms as to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use;
(7) If it purports to be or is represented as a food for which a definition and standard of identity have been prescribed by rules as provided by section 328-8, unless (A) it conforms to such definition and standard, and (B) its label bears the name of the food specified in the definition and standards, and, insofar as may be required by the rules, the common names of optional ingredients (other than spices, flavoring, and coloring) present in the food;
(8) If it purports to be or is represented as:
(A) A food for which a standard of quality has been prescribed by rules as provided by section 328-8 and its quality falls below such standard unless its label bears, in such manner and form as the rules specify, a statement that it falls below such standard; or
(B) A food for which a standard or standards of fill of container have been prescribed by rules as provided by section 328-8, and it falls below the standard of fill of container applicable thereto, unless its label bears, in such manner and form as the rules specify, a statement that it falls below such standard;
(9) If it is not subject to paragraph (7), unless its label bears (A) the common or usual name of the food, if any there be, and (B) in case it is fabricated from two or more ingredients, the common or usual name of each such ingredient; except that spices, flavorings, and colorings, other than those sold as such, may be designated as spices, flavorings, and colorings, without naming each; provided that to the extent that compliance with the requirements of subparagraph (B) is impractical or results in deception or unfair competition, exemptions shall be established by rules prescribed by the department; and, provided further that the requirements of subparagraph (B) shall not apply to food products which are packaged at the direction of purchasers at retail at the time of sale, the ingredients of which are disclosed to the purchasers by other means in accordance with rules prescribed by the department;
(10) If it purports to be or is represented for special dietary uses, unless its label bears such information concerning its vitamin, mineral, and other dietary properties as the department determines to be, and by rules prescribes, as necessary in order to fully inform purchasers as to its value for such uses;
(11) If it bears or contains any artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservative, unless it bears labeling stating that fact; provided that to the extent that compliance with the requirements of this paragraph is impracticable, exemptions shall be established by rules prescribed by the department; and, provided further that this paragraph and paragraphs (7) and (9) with respect to artificial coloring shall not apply in the case of butter, cheese, or ice cream. The provisions of this paragraph regarding chemical preservatives shall not apply to a pesticide chemical when used in or on a raw agricultural commodity which is the produce of the soil;
(12) If it is a product intended as an ingredient of another food and, when used according to the directions of the purveyor, will result in the final food product being adulterated or misbranded;
(13) If it is a color additive unless its packaging and labeling are in conformity with the packaging and labeling requirements applicable to the color additive prescribed under the Federal Act;
(14) If it is a raw agricultural commodity which is the produce of the soil, bearing or containing a pesticide chemical applied after harvest, unless the shipping container of such commodity bears labeling which declares the presence of such chemical in or on such commodity and the common or usual name and the function of such chemical; provided that no such declaration shall be required while such commodity, having been removed from the shipping container, is being held or displayed for sale at retail out of such container in accordance with the custom of the trade;
(15) If it is a confectionery and contains alcohol in excess of one-half of one per cent by weight and that fact does not appear on the label for the food."
SECTION 4. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. The director of health shall monitor legislative activities in California and certify to the revisor of statutes when legislation requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food has been adopted by California. The director shall notify the chair of the senate committee on health and the chair of the house of representatives committee on health when certification is made.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that:
(1) Sections 2 and 3 of this Act shall take effect thirty days after the date of the director's certification; and
(2) If no certification has been made by the director of health pursuant to section 6 of this Act before January 1, 2020, this Act shall be repealed on that date, and section 328-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the day prior to the effective date of this Act.
Department of Health; Genetically Engineered Food; Labeling
Requires all genetically engineered food to be labeled with a disclosure stating that it is "Produced with Genetic Engineering". Deems any genetically engineered food sold without the required disclosure to be misbranded and subject to penalties.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.