2015 Indiana General Assembly: Agriculture & Food Bill Watch List

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:37

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your voice matters!  

Contact your State Senator and Representative about these bills!  

 

The Good

HB1248: Urban farming

Authors: Rep. Justin Moed (D), Rep. Robin Shackleford (D)Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R), Rep. Chris Judy (R)

Sponsors: Sen. James Merritt (R), Sen. Randall Head (R), Sen. Amanda Banks (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R)Sen. Greg Taylor (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

Votes:

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: House Bill 1248 requires the state department of agriculture to develop and promote programs in support of urban farming, food cooperatives, and farmers' markets.

 

HB1460: Genetically engineered food

Author: Rep. Clyde Kersey (D)

Status: Died in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: House Bill 1460 provides that, beginning July 1, 2016, any food that is offered for retail sale is misbranded, for purposes of the law prohibiting the misbranding of food, if the food was or may have been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering and this is not disclosed in a certain manner. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2016, there may be no statement or implication on a label, on a sign in the retail establishment, or in any advertising or promotional materials that a food is "natural", "naturally made", "naturally grown", or "all natural" if the food is genetically engineered or a processed food. Exempts certain foods from these provisions. Requires the state department of health to administer and enforce these provisions. Makes the violation of a prohibition a Class A infraction. Authorizes the state department of health or any person to bring a civil action to enjoin a violation.

 

SB60: Genetically modified food

Author: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R), Sen. Eric Bassler (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Agriculture Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Senate Bill 60 requires that, beginning July 1, 2016, any food that is offered for retail sale is misbranded if it is not disclosed that the food is or may have been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering. The bill also provides that, beginning July 1, 2016, a food that is genetically engineered or a processed food may not state or imply that the food is natural. Establishes exceptions to the disclosure requirements and prohibition on stating a food is natural. Requires the state department of health (state department) to administer and enforce the disclosure and labeling requirements. Allows the state department to adopt rules. Establishes a Class A infraction for violations. Allows the state department or a person to seek an injunction for a violation.

 

SB264: Genetically engineered food

Author: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Commerce & Technology Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Senate Bill 264 would provide that as of July 1, 2016, any food that is offered for retail sale is misbranded if it is not disclosed that the food is or may have been entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2016, a food that is genetically engineered or a processed food may not state or imply that the food is natural. Establishes a Class A infraction for violations. Allows the department or a person to seek an injunction for a violation.

 

SB322: Fresh food initiative

Authors: Sen. Randall Head (R), Sen. Jean Breaux (D), Sen. John Broden (D), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee

Votes:

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Establishes the food desert grant program within the division of nutrition and physical activity to assist new businesses and existing businesses to offer fresh and unprocessed foods within a food desert. Makes an appropriation. 

 

 

The Bad 

SB249: Agricultural structures

Authors: Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Susan Glick (R), Sen. Mark Messmer (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Don Lehe (R), Rep. James Baird (R), Rep. Melanie Wright (D)

Status: On the Governor's desk

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: As introduced, Senate Bill 249 preempted Indiana counties, cities or towns from enacting policies regarding agricultural issues. The bill was changed in the Senate Agriculture Committee to instead study the issue of local regulations on the animal agriculture industry and produce a compilation of local ordinance or policy regarding animal agriculture.

 

SJR2: Right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife

Authors: Sen. Brent Steele (R), Sen. James Buck (R), Sen. Carlin Yoder (R), Sen. R. Michael Young (R), Sen. Dennis Kruse (R), Sen. James Tomes (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Sean Eberhart (R), Rep. Heath VanNatter (R)

Status: As a joint resolution SJR2 did not require the Governor's approval. The measure was approved by two consecutive and separately elected legislative bodies for placement into Indiana's Constitution. 

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: Senate Joint Resolution 2 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana State Constitution "that provides that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is a valued part of Indiana's heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good."

CAC's concern with this bill is that "wildlife" is not well defined, so this proposed amendment could put the interests of big farmers above those of other Hoosiers.  It is completely unnecessary and puts other property owners, our environment and rural communities at risk. Granting factory farms special protection in the Indiana State Constitution will put an end to local control, taking away to the ability of local communities to pass local ordinances that protect their interests.  No industry should have special protections in the Indiana Constitution.

This proposed amendment has been agreed to by one general assembly.  It must be agreed to by a second general assembly and ratified by a majority of the state's voters voting on the question to be effective.

 

SJR12: Right to farm and ranch

Authors: Sen. Brent Steele (R), Sen. Carlin Yoder (R)

Status: Died in the Senate

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: Senate Joint Resolution 12 provides that the Constitution of the State of Indiana guarantees the right of the people of Indiana to engage in diverse farming and ranching practices. 

CAC's concern with this resolution is the same as the concern expressed for SJR2 (above).

This proposed amendment must be agreed to by two consecutive general assemblies and ratified by a majority of the state's voters voting on the question to be effective.

 

Want more?

In the Media