2014 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Carr
Non-GMO Food Labeling Evaluation

Item 88 #2h

Item 88 #2h

First Year - FY2015 Second Year - FY2016
Agriculture and Forestry
Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of FY2015 $20,000 FY2016 $20,000 GF

Page 71, line 26, strike "$19,776,237" and insert "$19,796,237".
Page 71, line 26, strike "$19,776,237" and insert "$19,796,237".
Page 73, after line 17, insert:
"L. 1. Out of the amounts in this item, $20,000 the first year and $20,000 the second year from the general fund shall be used to investigate the feasibility of establishing a standard for voluntary labeling of agricultural and food products that are grown without benefit of genetic engineering.  The program would encompass all agricultural and food products that have been identified as consisting of non-genetically modified organisms, and having been grown within the Commonwealth.  The evaluation shall include the feasibility of establishing a voluntary non-genetically modified labeling standard as well as investigating existing national and international private and public sector standards.  The Department shall also investigate joint labeling programs with other states, identifying a funding mechanism for implementing the standard, and evaluate the potential economic benefits to Virginia's agricultural industry of developing this voluntary labeling program.
2. For the purposes of this review, "foods" shall be defined as all articles used for food, drink, confectionary, or condiment, for humans or other animals, whether simple, mixed, or compound, and all substances or ingredients used in the preparation thereof.  
3.  Genetically engineered is defined as grown, manufactured, processed, or otherwise produced or altered with techniques that change the molecular or cell biology of an organism by means or in a manner not possible under natural conditions, or processes, including recombinant DNA techniques, cell fusion, micro and macro encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling, introduction of a foreign gene, and changing the position of genes.  However, genetically engineered does not mean breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization or tissue culture processes.
4.  The Commissioner shall provide an interim report in his findings by October 15, 2014, and a final report by October 15, 2015, to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees."

(This amendment provides $20,000 from the general fund each year for the Department to evaluate the efficacy of a system whereby Virginia agricultural producers could promote their products as non-genetically engineered. The intent is to support and promote Virginia food production and consumer choice by assessing the feasibility of establishing a voluntary labeling standard.)