BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                        SENATE FOOD and AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
                            Senator Dean Florez, Chairman

          BILL NO:    AB 2612                   HEARING:  6/15/10
          AUTHOR:   Assembly Agriculture CommitteeFISCAL:  Yes
          VERSION:  6/7/10                      CONSULTANT:  John Chandler  

           Slaughtered animals: pet food: organic products: registration:  
                                  food safety fee.


          Current law specifies that the first person to sell production  
          agriculture or structural-use pesticide products must develop a  
          recycling program or participate in a recycling program for  
          plastic pesticide containers.  Overseen by the Department of  
          Pesticide Regulation (DPR), the recycling program records are  
          subject to audit by DPR for three years, comply with the  
          American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and American  
          Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers Standards, and  
          must be certified by an ANSI accredited third party organization  
          for compliance.

          California requires that every person engaged in collecting,  
          hauling, and processing meat not fit for human consumption be  
          licensed each year by the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA).  Each license includes the name and address  
          of the applicant, all the vehicles registered for hauling, and  
          other information required by CDFA.  

          The California Organic Program is responsible for enforcement of  
          the federal Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the  
          California Organic Products Act of 2003.  These statutes protect  
          consumers, producers, handlers, processors, and retailers by  
          establishment of standards under which fresh agricultural  
          products/foods may be labeled and/or sold as "organic".   
          Enforcement activities are coordinated with the California  
          Organic Products Advisory Committee, the USDA, and California  
          county agricultural commissioners. Activities include program  
          administration, county biologist training, initiation of  
          complaint investigation, registration of private certification  
          organizations, and acting as an information resource on the  
          California Organic Products Act and California's organic  

          The California Organic Program requires that every person  
          engaged in the production or handling of products sold as  
          organic certified under the National Organic Program must  


          AB 2612 - Page 2

          register annually with the county agricultural commissioner.   
          Registration fees range from $25 to $3,000 and are determined by  
          the producer's yearly gross sales.  Processors of organic  
          products are required to register with CDFA.  The National  
          Organic Program exempts from certification producers of $5,000  
          or less annual organic sales.  

          California law requires a person engaged in the manufacture,  
          packing, or holding of processed food in the state to pay a food  
          safety fee of $100 to the California Department of Public Health  
          (CDPH) for a food safety fund.  The funds are used to assist in  
          developing and implementing education and training programs  
          related to food safety, known as the Food Industry Education and  
          Training Program.  

          PROPOSED LAW

          AB 2612 is an agriculture omnibus bill which would do the  

                 Eliminate the third-party certification for compliance  
               for plastic pesticide container recycling programs.

                 Change responsibility for establishing a plastic  
               pesticide container recycling program from the first seller  
               to the registrant of any production agricultural use or  
               structural-use pesticide product sold in California.

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

                  o         Expand the definition of a "collection center"  
                    to include a "pet food processor."

                  o         Change the license expiration date from a year  
                    after issuance to December 31 of each year.

                  o         Exempt 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  

                  o         Clarify that alternates to the advisory board  
                    are representatives of the same category as the board  


          AB 2612 - Page 3


                  o         Update reference to "State Public Health  
                    Officer" from "State Director of Health Services."

                  o         Add definitions for an "exempt handler" as  
                    being a handler that sells organic agricultural  
                    products but whose gross income from such sales is  
                    $5,000 or less annually; and for an "exempt producer"  
                    as being a producer that sells organic agricultural  
                    products, but whose gross income from such sales is  
                    $5,000 or less annually.  Makes other conforming  

                  o         Permit the required reporting by any producer,  
                    handler, processor or organic registrant of exact  
                    gross sales over $25,000,001 or more.

                  o         Permit the required reporting by any producer,  
                    handler, processor or organic registrant of gross  
                    sales by commodity and acreage.

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

                  o         Make technical and non-substantive changes.  

                 Extend the sunset date from January 1, 2011, to January  
               1, 2016, for the $100 food safety fee paid by persons  
               engaged in manufacture, packing, or holding of processed  
               food in California.  


          1.AB 2612 is an omnibus bill dealing with a number of changes to  
            code addressing agricultural issues submitted by the  
            respective industry representatives.  

            In 2008, the legislature passed SB 1723 (Maldonado) requiring  
            a recycling program for plastic pesticide containers in line  
            with a proposed federal pesticide container recycling program.  
             The law included a requirement for ANSI-accredited  
            third-party certification of a seller's recycling program  
            compliance.  However, it became evident that the overall  
            pesticide container recycling program was being delayed due to  


          AB 2612 - Page 4

            a lack of ANSI-accredited third parties to certify compliance.  
             Supporters feel that the program audit and recordkeeping is  
            sufficient to ensure compliance with any recycling program.

            The inclusion of the term "collection center" in California  
            law regarding rendering licensing and registration would help  
            the law reflect current practice.  Collection centers serve as  
             drop-off points for haulers so material can be aggregated  
            into larger loads for efficient transport for processing at  
            rendering plants or licensed pet food processors.  Further,  
            technical changes will help CDFA administer the program.

            Proponents state that AB 2612 would help make the organic  
            registration process as streamlined as possible by clarifying  
            inconsistencies between the State Organic Program and the  
            National Organic Program.  Further AB 2612 allows changes in  
            the organic program to help CDFA meet the current and future  
            needs of California's organic industry.

            The Food Industry Education and Training Program funding  
            mechanism used for food safety training and education is due  
            to sunset in 2011.  Extending the sunset for five years will  
            allow this program to continue to provide California's food  
            industry with low-cost food safety training.

          2.AB 2612 requires exempt organic producers of $5,000 or less in  
            sales to provide a map describing the boundaries of their  
            organic production area to the county agriculture  
            commissioner.  However, nonexempt organic producers over of  
            $5,000 in sales do not have to provide the agriculture  
            commissioner with their facility location.  The committee may  
            wish to consider if a precise physical description of the  
            facility or farm location for nonexempt organic producers  
            should be submitted to county agriculture commissioners. 


          Assembly Floor 74-0
          Assembly Appropriations15-0
          Assembly Agriculture  8-0

          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California League of Food Processors
          Western Plant Health Association


          AB 2612 - Page 5

          None received