BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          1826 (Mark Stone)


          As Amended  June 30, 2016


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 77-0 |(May 31, 2016) |SENATE: | 39-0 |(August 17,      |
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          Original Committee Reference:  AGRI.


          SUMMARY:  Overhauls the State Organic Program (SOP), by changing  
          the SOP fee structure; grants a larger administrative role to  
          accredited certifying agencies; revises the composition of the  
          California Organic Products Advisory Committee; and, revises  
          required information provided for registration and  
          recordkeeping.


          The Senate amendments reword and add to legislative findings;  
          permit the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)  
          to determine a reasonable time exceeding three business days for  
          responding to a request of records; and, made technical  
          non-substantive changes.


          EXISTING LAW:  SOP is statutorily mandated to enforce the  
          federal Organic Food Production Act of 1990 and the National  
          Organic Program (NOP) regulations.  Every person engaged in  








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          California in the production or handling of raw agricultural  
          products sold as organic, must register with the county  
          agricultural commissioner (CAC) in the county of principal  
          operation prior to the first sale of the product.  In addition,  
          every person engaged within California in the processing or  
          handling of processed organic products is required to register  
          with the Department of Public Health (DPH). 


          Generally, CDFA registers and enforces organic provisions  
          related to raw agricultural products while DPH registers and  
          enforces organic provisions related to processed organic  
          products.  SOP's enforcement activities, are coordinated with  
          DPH, NOP, and CAC's SOP's activities, including program  
          administration; county biologist training; spot inspections;  
          residue testing and sampling; complaint investigations;  
          registrations; and, providing information and guidance to the  
          California organic industry.  


          Federal law establishes NOP, which requires operations that  
          produce or handle organic agricultural products to comply with  
          federal organic standards and be certified by a certifying  
          agent, as specified.  NOP has recognized SOP as a state organic  
          program and has delegated enforcement of federal organic  
          standards and regulations to SOP.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, to implement the requirements of this measure, CDFA  
          estimates a one-time cost of $107,000 for reprogramming the  
          SOP's online registration system and database which can be  
          absorbed within SOP's Department of Food and Agriculture Fund  
          (Fund) reserve.  Specifically, CDFA would have to restructure  
          the application process, data collection and assignments, and  
          the fee schedule. 


          In addition, CDFA anticipates a reduction in annual revenue of  
          approximately $164,000 to the Fund, resulting from the reduction  
          and consolidation of fee categories and the removal of  
          registration requirements for specified operations.








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          COMMENTS:  The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is a  
          trade association, as well as an approved organic certifying  
          agent; they want to bring more consistency to the state and  
          federal programs by reducing the required paperwork for farmers  
          and reduce the cost of filing with SOP.  They state that much of  
          the paperwork and fees are duplicative of NOP, and that much of  
          the information required of SOP is already collected by the  
          certifying agents.  Further, they state that SOP puts California  
          organic producers, processors and handlers at a competitive  
          disadvantage.  This bill will help limit those duplications and  
          ensure California remains a top producer of organic products,  
          while maintaining the integrity of the California organics  
          market.


          California created the first Organic Food Act in 1979.  In 1990,  
          SOP was created under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990,  
          which authorized the United States Department of Agriculture  
          (USDA) to establish the NOP regulations.  USDA finished  
          development of NOP regulations in 2002.  The purpose of these  
          laws is to ensure that the consumer is purchasing organic  
          products when labeled as organic.


          For more details please see the policy and fiscal committee  
          analyses. 


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
          Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084  FN: 0004038


















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