SENATE BILL 6420
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2002 Regular Session
By Senators Rasmussen, Swecker and Spanel; by request of Department of Agriculture
Read first time 01/17/2002. Referred to Committee on Agriculture & International Trade.
AN ACT Relating to organic food products; amending RCW 15.86.010, 15.86.020, 15.86.030, 15.86.060, 15.86.070, and 15.86.090; adding a new section to chapter 15.86 RCW; repealing RCW 15.86.031, 15.86.035, 15.86.050, 15.86.080, and 15.86.100; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 15.86.010 and 1992 c 71 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
The legislature recognizes a public benefit in:
for agricultural products marketed and labeled using the term
"organic" or a derivative of the term "organic." Such
standards shall also facilitate the development of out-of-state markets for
Washington food grown by organic methods)) governing the labeling and
advertising of food products and agricultural commodities as organically
(2) Providing certification under the federal organic food production act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq., and the rules adopted thereunder for agricultural products marketed and labeled using the term "organic" or a derivative of the term "organic;"
(3) Providing access for Washington producers, processors, and handlers to domestic and international markets for organic food products; and
(4) Establishing a state organic program under the federal organic food production act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq., and the rules adopted thereunder.
Sec. 2. RCW 15.86.020 and 1992 c 71 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Director" means the director of the department of agriculture or the director's designee.
food" means any agricultural product, in whole or in part,
including meat, dairy, and beverage, that is marketed using the term organic or
any derivative of organic((
, other than the phrase "transition to
organic food," in its labeling or advertising)) and that is
produced, handled, and processed in accordance with this chapter.
(3) "Producer" means any person or organization who or which grows, raises, or produces an agricultural product.
means anyone who sells or arranges the sale of organic food to the consumer or
another vendor.)) "Handler" means any person who sells,
distributes, or packs organic or transitional products.
to organic)) Transitional food" means any food product that
satisfies all of the requirements of organic food except the time requirements
(( and satisfied all of the requirements of RCW 15.86.031)) as defined
certifying agent" means any third-party certification organization that is
recognized by the director ((
by rule)) as being one which imposes, for certification,
standards consistent with this chapter.
(7) "Processor" means any person engaged in the canning, freezing, drying, dehydrating, cooking, pressing, powdering, packaging, baking, heating, mixing, grinding, churning, separating, extracting, cutting, fermenting, eviscerating, preserving, jarring, or otherwise processing organic food.
(8) "Person" means any natural person, firm, partnership, exchange, association, trustee, receiver, corporation, and any member, officer, or employee thereof or assignee for the benefit of creditors.
(9) "Department" means the state department of agriculture.
(10) "Represent" means to hold out as or to advertise.
(11) "Sale" means selling, offering for sale, holding for sale, preparing for sale, trading, bartering, offering a gift as an inducement for sale of, and advertising for sale in any media.
Sec. 3. RCW 15.86.030 and 1992 c 71 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
To be labeled, sold, or
represented as an organic food, a product shall be produced ((
those materials and practices approved)) under standards established
under RCW 15.86.060. A producer, processor, or (( a vendor)) handler
shall not represent, sell, or offer for sale any food product with the
representation that the product is an organic food if the producer, processor,
or (( vendor)) handler knows, or (( in the case of a producer or
processor)) has reason to know, that the food has not been (( grown,
raised, or produced with the use of any prohibited materials listed by the
director)) produced, processed, or handled in accordance with standards
established under RCW 15.86.060. (( Organic animal products shall be
considered as "grown, raised, or produced" with a substance listed by
the director under RCW 15.86.060 if the substance has been applied to the
plants, soil, water, or animal, on or in which the organic animal product is
being produced during such time frame as specified by the director by rule.
Other food products shall be considered as "grown, raised, or
produced" with a substance listed by the director under RCW 15.86.060 if the
substance is applied to the plants, soil, or water, on or in which the food
product is being produced at any time from three years before harvest to the
final sale to retail purchasers.))
Sec. 4. RCW 15.86.060 and 1992 c 71 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The director shall
such)) rules (( and regulations)), in conformity with
chapter 34.05 RCW, as the director believes are appropriate for the adoption
of the national organic program under the federal organic food production act
of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq., and the rules adopted thereunder and for
the proper administration of this chapter.
shall establish a list of approved substances that may be used in the
production, processing, and handling of organic food. This list shall: (a) Approve the use
of natural substances except for specific natural substances that may not be
used in the production and handling of agricultural products labeled as organic
because these substances would be harmful to human health or the environment
and are inconsistent with organic farming principles; (b) Prohibit the use
of synthetic substances except for specific synthetic substances that may be
used in the production and handling of agricultural products labeled as organic
because these substances: (i) Would not be
harmful to human health or the environment; (ii) Are necessary
to the production or handling of the agricultural products; (iii) Are consistent
with organic farming principles; and (iv) Are used in the
production of agricultural products and contain active synthetic ingredients in
the following categories: Copper and sulfur compounds; toxins derived from
bacteria; pheromones; soaps; horticultural oils; vitamins and minerals; livestock
parasiticides and medicines; and production aids including netting, tree wraps
and seals, insect traps, sticky barriers, row covers, and equipment cleansers;
or (v) Are used in
production and contain synthetic inert ingredients. (3))) The director shall issue orders to producers,
processors, or (( vendors)) handlers whom he or she finds are
violating any provision of this chapter, or rules or regulations adopted under
this chapter, to cease their violations and desist from future violations.
Whenever the director finds that a producer, processor, or (( vendor)) handler
has committed a violation, the director shall impose on and collect from the
violator a civil fine not exceeding the total of the following amounts: (a)
The state's estimated costs of investigating and taking appropriate
administrative and enforcement actions in respect to the violation; and (b) one
The director may deny, suspend, or revoke a certification provided for in this
chapter if he or she determines that an applicant or certified person has
violated this chapter or rules adopted under it.
Sec. 5. RCW 15.86.070 and 1997 c 303 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The director may
adopt rules establishing a ((
certification)) program for certifying
producers, processors, and (( vendors of)) handlers as meeting state,
national, or international standards for organic or (( transition to
organic)) transitional food. The rules may govern, but are not
limited to governing: The number and scheduling of on-site visits, both
announced and unannounced, by certification personnel; recordkeeping
requirements; and the submission of product samples for chemical analysis. The
rules shall include a fee schedule that will provide for the recovery of the
full cost of the organic food program. Fees collected under this section shall
be deposited in an account within the agricultural local fund and the revenue
from such fees shall be used solely for carrying out the provisions of this section,
and no appropriation is required for disbursement from the fund. The director
may employ such personnel as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this
(2) The fees
established under this section may be increased in excess of the fiscal growth
factor as provided in RCW 43.135.055 for the fiscal year ending June 30, ((
Sec. 6. RCW 15.86.090 and 1992 c 71 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) It is unlawful for
any person to sell, offer for sale, or process any agricultural product within
this state with an organic label unless that person is certified under this
chapter by the department or ((
an official)) a recognized organic
(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to:
(a) Final retailers of organic food that do not process organic food products; or
(b) Producers who sell no more than five thousand dollars annually in value of agricultural products directly to consumers.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. A new section is added to chapter 15.86 RCW to read as follows:
The department is authorized to take such actions, conduct proceedings, and enter orders as permitted or contemplated for a state organic program under the federal organic food production act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq., and the rules adopted thereunder. The state organic program shall not be inconsistent with the requirements of 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq. and the rules adopted thereunder, including 7 C.F.R. Sec. 205.668. The department shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:
(1) RCW 15.86.031 ("Transition to organic food"--Out-of-state products) and 1992 c 71 s 4 & 1989 c 354 s 31;
(2) RCW 15.86.035 (Transition to organic food--Proof) and 1989 c 354 s 33;
(3) RCW 15.86.050 (Producers to provide proof of compliance with law) and 1992 c 71 s 5 & 1985 c 247 s 5;
(4) RCW 15.86.080 (Labeling and recordkeeping requirements) and 1992 c 71 s 6; and
(5) RCW 15.86.100 (Drift of prohibited substances--Tolerance levels) and 1992 c 71 s 9.
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