BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2612
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          Date of Hearing:   April 14, 2010

                          ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
                              Cathleen Galgiani, Chair
                  AB 2612 (Agriculture) - As Amended:  April 7, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :  Omnibus Committee bill: rendering and State Organic  
          Program (SOP)update.

           SUMMARY  :  Expands the rendering definition of a "collection  
          center"; changes the licensure expiration date; expands the  
          registration exemption; authorizes promulgation of regulations  
          to streamline organic registration; clarifies the administration  
          of SOP; and, authorizes the development of online registration  
          system.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          Pertaining to slaughter animals not fit for human consumption  
          used in pet food and rendering:

          1)Expands the definition of a "collection center" to include a  
            "pet food processor".

          2)Changes the license expiration date from a year of issuance to  
            December 31 of each year.

          3)Exempts a "collection center" from registration as a  
            transporter of kitchen grease if they are licensed as a  
            collection center in accordance with this chapter.

          Pertaining to the California Organic Program Act of 2003 (COPA):

          1)Clarifies alternates to the advisory board are representatives  
            of the same category as the board member.

          2)Updates reference to State Public Health Officer from State  
            Director of Health Services.

          3)Adds definitions for an "exempt handler" as being a handler  
            that sells organic agricultural products but whose gross  
            income from such sales are $5,000 or less, annually, and an  
            "exempt producer" as being a producer that sells organic  
            agricultural products, but whose gross income from such sales  
            are $5,000 or less, annually.  Makes other conforming changes.

          4)Permits the required reporting by any producer, handler,  








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            processor or organic registrant of exact gross sales over  
            $25,000,001 or more.

          5)Permits the required reporting by any producer, handler,  
            processor or organic registrant of gross sales by commodity  
            and acreage.

          6)Permits the adoption of regulations, to the extent reasonably  
            necessary, that supersede these statutory registration  
            requirements in order to provide an online registration  
            system.

          7)Makes technical non-substantial changes. 

           EXISTING LAW  provides definitions to govern this Chapter;  
          requires the licensure of every person engaged in collecting,  
          hauling, and processing of specified meat not fit for human  
          consumption that expires one year from issuance and exempts  
          transporters of inedible kitchen grease from the registration  
          fee, but not the registration as a hauler, if they are already  
          licensed.  (Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) Chapter 5, Part 3,  
          Division 9, (Section 19200 et. seq.))

          Provides definitions to govern this Chapter and to conform to  
          the National Organic Program (NOP); provides for an advisory  
          board and alternates; requires registration and conformity to  
          specific standards to use the term "organic" in the production,  
          handling and sale of raw or processed human food, pet food and  
          cosmetics, including reporting requirements and fees based upon  
          sales volume.  (FAC Chapter 10, Division 17, (Section 46000 et.  
          seq.))

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill has been keyed "fiscal" by Legislative  
          Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :  This is an Omnibus bill dealing with updates and  
          clarifications to the statutes dealing with dead animal COPA.   
          These proposals have been submitted by the respective industry  
          representatives.

          Over the past year, the rendering program has been reviewed by  
          the industry and the California Department of food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA) in preparation for a comprehensive regulatory  
          update.  During this review, certain provisions of law were  
          identified that needed updating.  The definition of collection  








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          center, the fee section and calendar year regulatory authority  
          were three provisions that needed clarifying language to  
          modernize the program statutes.  

          Collection centers often serve as "drop off" points for haulers  
          so that material can be aggregated into larger loads and more  
          efficiently transported for further processing at rendering  
          plants or licensed pet food processors.  Adding the term  
          "collection center" to a section of the law that governs fees  
          for the licensing and registration of the rendering industry  
          conforms to the program's practices.  The changing of licenses  
          to a calendar year rather than a year from issuance, will help  
          CDFA in the administration of the program.

          In December 2008, SOP staff, the California Organic Program  
          Advisory Committee (COPAC), and participants from the organic  
          industry formed the Organic Products Technical Planning  
          Committee to begin the process of reviewing and evaluating SOP's  
          policies and procedures.  One of the primary goals of the  
          Technical Planning Committee (TPC) was to streamline the organic  
          registration process. Organic registration is a complex and time  
          consuming process that duplicates much of the information  
          collected by accredited certifying agencies (ACA).  The  
          complexity inherent within the organic registration process has  
          led to difficulties for counties in maintaining consistency in  
          the review of information included on organic registration forms  
          as well as for organic operations in completing registration  
          forms. Additionally, a significant amount of time and resources  
          are allocated by SOP to review and correct applications prior to  
          approval.  At the request of the TPC, SOP evaluated the  
          feasibility of streamlining the organic registration process by  
          promulgating regulations which would have exempted certified  
          organic registrants from submitting information directly to SOP  
          that is already submitted to their respective ACAs.

          This proposal would allow CDFA to promulgate regulations to  
          streamline the organic registration process. This proposal would  
          also clarify inconsistencies within the COPAC and the program in  
          order for CDFA to properly administer SOP.  Finally, current  
          statute does not provide a mechanism to transition to an online  
          based system for organic registration.  While there are no  
          immediate plans to implement online based systems at this time,  
          these changes would allow the SOP to transition to an online  
          based system of registration when appropriate.  These statutory  
          changes are anticipated to save several hundred hours in staff  








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          time, which will be reallocated to compliance and enforcement  
          activities.

          A recent audit by the Office of Inspector General of NOP states  
          that NOP officials need to address ongoing issues with  
          California's SOP not having approved compliance and enforcement  
          procedures finalized as of November 2009.  They have recommended  
          that NOP implement a plan for California's SOP to achieve  
          compliance, so there may be the need for additional amendments  
          to meet this compliance.

           PENDING LEGISLATION  :  

          AB 2686 (Tom Berryhill) will allow county agricultural  
          commissioners to file a certified copy of a final decision with  
          the court that directs the payment of a civil penalty pursuant  
          to violations of the COPA, and, if applicable, a copy of any  
          order that denies a petition for a writ of administrative  
          mandamus, requiring the court to enter judgment immediately upon  
          filing and at no cost.    AB 2686 is to be heard in the Assembly  
          Committee on Agriculture on April 14, 2010.

          SB 1107 (Kehoe) will transfer the authority for grease trap  
          waste from CDFA to the State Water Resources Control Board by  
          establishing within the Water Code the Interceptor and Trap  
          Grease Transportation Act of 2010.  SB 1107 is in Senate  
          Committee on Environmental Quality after passing the Senate Food  
          and Agriculture and Committee on a vote of 3-1 and is set for  
          hearing on April 19, 2010.

          SB 1138 (Cedillo) will create a Rendering Industry Advisory  
          Board.  SB 1138 is currently in the Senate Committee on  
          Environmental Quality after passing the Senate Food and  
          Agriculture and Committee on a vote of 4-0 and is set for  
          hearing on April 19, 2010.

           RELATED LEGISLATION  :

          AB 2981 (Agriculture), Chapter 535, Statutes of 2002.  Omnibus  
          language cleanup that dealt with various agricultural issues,  
          including, expanding the definition of a transporter for  
          inedible kitchen grease and rendering to include those engaged  
          in similar activities.

          AB 1071 (Matthews), Chapter 929, Statutes of 2004.  Expanded the  








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          use of commercial feed inspection funds to include research and  
          education until 2010;  extended the sunsets to 2011 for the  
          licensing of renderers and collection centers and the  
          registration of transporters of inedible kitchen grease and  
          collection centers; permitted the use of rendered products in  
          accordance with the United States Food and Drug Administration  
          rules and regulations; and, required a registrant to notify a  
          county health officer when a contract is terminated or expires.

          AB 1065 (Matthews), Chapter 533. Statutes of 2005.  Authorized  
          CDFA to establish a method for tracking inedible kitchen grease;  
          defined "interceptor grease"; separated requirements for  
          licensed renderers and transporters; requires transporters to be  
          insured; changed the suspension or revocation of a license or  
          registration; expanded the conditions that may lead to a  
          suspension or revocation of a license or registration; and, made  
          related technical changes.

          AB 2823 (Strom-Martin), Chapter 533, Statutes of 2002.  Rewrote  
          the California Organic Food Act to conform to NOP.  Broadened  
          the regulatory authority for CDFA and the Department of Health  
          Services to use of the word "organic" on a label and for  
          enforcement of processed food, pet food, nonfood plants and  
          cosmetics.  Additionally, changed the fee structure and  
          registration requirements for organic producers and processors,  
          including retailers.

          AB 776 (Agriculture), Chapter 726, Statutes of 2003.  Omnibus  
          language cleanup that dealt with various agricultural issues,  
          including, the clarification that the fees paid under COPA,  
          after the initial fee, are based upon the specified schedule of  
          fees and corrects a numeric transposition of a referenced  
          section of code.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          California Farm Bureau Federation (Sponsor)
          Pacific Coast Renderers Association (Sponsor)
          California Certified Organic Farmers
          California Grain and Feed Association
          Larry Hirahara Family Farm

           Opposition 








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          None on file.
           

          Analysis Prepared by :    Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084