BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1709
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 12, 2010

                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                     AB 1709 (Conway) - As Amended:  May 5, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              AgricultureVote:8  
          - 0  

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill deletes the current veterinary biologics licensing law  
          and replaces it with licensing requirements for animal blood  
          banks. Specifically, this bill: 

          1)Replaces the existing state veterinary biologics licensing  
            program with licensing requirements for businesses handling  
            animal blood and blood products.

          2)Prohibits a person from engaging in the production of  
            biologics unless they have a valid permit or license from the  
            United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

          3)Requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture  
            (CDFA) to submit to the Legislature by June 1, 2011, a report  
            on the status of the transition of biologics licenses to the  
            federal government.  In addition, requires CDFA to report  
            annually on the transition until all state licensed biologics  
            businesses have transitioned to the federal license. 

          4)States that this act will not become operative until all  
            California registered biologics businesses have transferred to  
            the federal license. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Eliminating this program will result in cost avoidance for CDFA  
          of approximately $450,000 per year. 



                                                                  AB 1709
                                                                  Page  2

           1)Rationale  . California is the only state that provides  
            veterinary biologic licenses.  All other states rely on the  
            federal licensing program. This bill would eliminate  
            California's biologic license program, which allowed the state  
            to have an exemption from USDA authority over biologics, and  
            would instead require that businesses dealing with veterinary  
            biologics in the state receive federal certification. 

            According to the sponsor, CDFA, a recent USDA audit of the  
            state's current program found that funding shortfalls have  
            jeopardized CDFA's ability to perform the needed specialty  
            training, laboratory testing, and regulatory enforcement  
            activities, to ensure the consumers that these products meet  
            the requirements of being pure, safe, potent and efficacious.  
            In order to comply with federal requirements, CDFA would need  
            to increase their oversight in this program. 

           2)Veterinary Biologics  . Veterinary biologics are vaccines,  
            antigens, antitoxins and other preparations made from living  
            organisms (or genetically engineered living organisms) and  
            intended for use in diagnosing, treating, or immunizing  
            animals. Veterinary biologics are used to protect or diagnose  
            disease in a variety of animals, including farm animals,  
            household pets, poultry, and fish. Most biologics leave no  
            chemical residues in animals, unlike some pharmaceutical  
            products. The USDA has found that most disease organisms do  
            not develop resistance to the immune response produced by a  
            veterinary biologic.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)