This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure amends and adds sections to the Health and Safety Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in to indicate that they are new.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act
SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS
(a) California consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced using genetic engineering. Genetic engineering of plants and animals often causes unintended consequences. Manipulating genes and inserting them into organisms is an imprecise process. The results are not always predictable or controllable, and they can lead to adverse health or environmental consequences.
(b) Government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of DNA into plants, a technique unique to genetic engineering, can cause a variety of significant problems with plant foods. Such genetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns.
(c) Mandatory identification of foods produced through genetic engineering can provide a critical method for tracking the potential health effects of eating genetically engineered foods.
(d) No federal or California law requires that food producers identify whether foods were produced using genetic engineering. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies of such foods. Unless these foods contain a known allergen, the FDA does not even require developers of genetically engineered crops to consult with the agency.
(e) Polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of the public want to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering.
(f) Fifty countries--including the European Union member states, Japan and other key U.S. trading partners--have laws mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods. No international agreements prohibit the mandatory identification of foods produced through genetic engineering.
(g) Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food can unknowingly violate their own dietary and religious restrictions.
(h) The cultivation of genetically engineered crops can also cause serious impacts to the environment. For example, most genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand weed-killing pesticides known as herbicides. As a result, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional herbicides have been used on U.S. farms. Because of the massive use of such products, herbicide-resistant weeds have flourished--a problem that has resulted, in turn, in the use of increasingly toxic herbicides. These toxic herbicides damage our agricultural areas, impair our drinking water, and pose health risks to farm workers and consumers. California consumers should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods production of which can lead to such environmental harm.
(i) Organic farming is a significant and increasingly important part of California agriculture. California has more organic cropland than any other state and has almost one out of every four certified organic operations in the nation. California's organic agriculture is growing faster than 20 percent a year.
(j) Organic farmers are prohibited from using genetically engineered seeds. Nonetheless, these farmers' crops are regularly threatened with accidental contamination from neighboring lands where genetically engineered crops abound. This risk of contamination can erode public confidence in California's organic products, significantly undermining this industry. Californians should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods whose production could harm the state's organic farmers and its organic foods industry.
(k) The labeling, advertising and marketing of genetically engineered foods using terms such as "natural," "naturally made," "naturally grown," or "all natural" is misleading to California consumers.
SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this measure is to create and enforce the fundamental right of the people of California to be fully informed about whether the food they purchase and eat is genetically engineered and not misbranded as natural so that they can choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such foods. It shall be liberally construed to fulfill this purpose.
SEC. 3. Article 6.6 (commencing with Section 110808) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT
Section 111910 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
111910. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 111900 or any other provision of law, any person may bring an action in superior court pursuant to this section and the court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown, to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provision of Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5. Any proceeding under this section shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except that the person shall not be required to allege facts necessary to show, or tending to show, lack of adequate remedy at law, or to show, or tending to show, irreparable damage or loss, or to show, or tending to show, unique or special individual injury or damages.
(b) In addition to the injunctive relief provided in subdivision (a), the court may award to that person, organization, or entity reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.
(c) This section shall not be construed to limit or alter the powers of the department and its authorized agents to bring an action to enforce this chapter pursuant to Section 111900 or any other provision of law.
SEC. 5. MISBRANDING
Section 110663 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
SEC. 6. SEVERABILITY
If any provision of this initiative or the application thereof is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, that shall not affect other provisions or applications of the initiative that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this initiative are severable.
SEC. 7. CONSTRUCTION WITH OTHER LAWS
This initiative shall be construed to supplement, not to supersede, the requirements of any federal or California statute or regulation that provides for less stringent or less complete labeling of any raw agricultural commodity or processed food subject to the provisions of this initiative.
SEC. 8. EFFECTIVE DATE
This initiative shall become effective upon enactment pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution.
SEC. 9. CONFLICTING MEASURES
In the event that another measure or measures appearing on the same statewide ballot impose additional requirements relating to the production, sale and/or labeling of genetically engineered food, then the provisions of the other measure or measures, if approved by the voters, shall be harmonized with the provisions of this act, provided that the provisions of the other measure or measures do not prevent or excuse compliance with the requirements of this act.
In the event that the provisions of the other measure or measures prevent or excuse compliance with the provisions of this act, and this act receives a greater number of affirmative votes, then the provisions of this act shall prevail in their entirety, and the other measure or measures shall be null and void.
SEC. 10. AMENDMENTS
This initiative may be amended by the Legislature, but only to further its intent and purpose, by a statute passed by a two-thirds vote in each house.