STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION
Assemblywoman LINDA STENDER
District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)
Assemblyman TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman DAVID W. WOLFE
District 10 (Ocean)
Assemblywoman BETTYLOU DECROCE
District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Assemblyman Caputo, Assemblywomen Quijano, Casagrande, Vainieri Huttle, Assemblymen Gusciora, McKeon, Conaway, Green, Diegnan, Chivukula, S.Kean, Assemblywoman Jasey, Assemblymen Johnson, Auth, Assemblywoman Tucker, Assemblymen Garcia, Coughlin, Assemblywomen Watson Coleman, Spencer and Oliver
Requires labeling of all foods containing genetically modified material.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act requiring labeling of all foods that contain genetically modified material and supplementing Title 24 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.
“Department” means the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“Food” means: (1) any food product or article of food that is consumable by a human or an animal, and (2) any item or substance that is intended for use as a food ingredient. “Food” shall include chewing gum.
“Genetically modified food product” means a food that is composed of more than one percent of genetically modified material, as determined in accordance with the standards of measurement and quantification procedures established by the department pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of this act.
“Genetically modified material” means any substance that has been produced, enhanced, or otherwise modified through the use of recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid technology, genetic engineering, or bioengineering.
“Label” means a display of written, printed, or graphic matter that appears on a food or on a food’s immediate wrapper, container, or package, or that otherwise accompanies a food at the time of its distribution or sale.
2. a. Every genetically modified food product that is offered for sale in this State shall contain a label indicating that the product contains genetically modified material. The information shall be displayed in a manner that is conspicuous and easily understandable to consumers.
b. (1) Any genetically modified food product that is not labeled in accordance with is act shall be considered to be misbranded in violation of the provisions of R.S.24:5-1 et seq. The commissioner may order the correction of the label on any food that is determined to be misbranded pursuant to this paragraph, and any such order shall be complied with during the time specified thereby.
(2) The department may conduct any investigation it deems necessary to verify the accuracy of any labeling or non-labeling of food products pursuant to this act.
(3) Any person who misbrands a food as provided in this subsection shall be liable for the following penalties:
a. For each first offense a penalty of $200;
b. For each second offense a penalty of $400;
c. For each third and every subsequent offense a penalty of $1,000.
Any penalties imposed under this subsection shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions of R.S.24:17-1 et seq.
c. The department, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as are necessary to implement this act. These rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, standards of measurement and procedures for the quantification of genetically modified material in: (1) raw agricultural food, such as fresh meats and vegetables; (2) lightly processed foods, such as breads, pastas, milk and cheeses; and (3) highly processed foods, such as sugars, oils, cereals, baked goods, candy, condiments, and canned and frozen foods, including frozen agricultural foods, such as vegetables. The department shall identify, for each category of food, or for any subcategory thereof, as determined to be necessary, the preferred unit of measurement, the approved methods of measurement, and the requisite sampling protocol for each method of measurement.
3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month following enactment.
This bill requires labeling of all foods containing genetically modified material. The purpose of this bill is to enable consumers in the State to make knowledgeable decisions about food consumption based upon the disclosure of the content.
Specifically, the bill provides that any genetically modified food product that is offered for sale in this State must have a label indicating that the food contains genetically modified material.
The bill defines “genetically modified material” as any substance that has been produced, enhanced, or otherwise modified through the use of recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid technology, genetic engineering, or bioengineering. A food product is considered to be a “genetically modified food product” if it contains more than one percent of genetically modified material, as determined in accordance with the standards and procedures for quantification adopted by the Department of Health.
Under the bill, the failure to label a genetically modified food product constitutes misbranding in violation of pre-existing food and drug labeling law, except that there would be a penalty of $200 for a first offense, $400 for a second offense, and $1,000 for any third or subsequent offense. The bill provides that the Department of Health is responsible for administering and enforcing the bill’s provisions.