This year, CCOF sponsored a bill that will benefit organic food manufacturers, processors, and handlers in California by strengthening organic integrity in the state and creating more transparency in the program that regulates them.
Authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone and co-authored by State Senator John Laird and Assemblymember Marc Levine, AB 1870 has passed the state legislature and now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk to be signed into law.
During its passage through four committee hearings and three hearings on the legislative floors, AB 1870 did not receive any no votes.
AB 1870 directs the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to develop a procedure for clearing public complaints within the 90-day time frame that is specified in law, and it requires CDPH to report the State Organic Program’s fee revenues and expenses annually.
The bill originally required CDPH to create an online registration and payment system for the State Organic Program. However, Assemblymember Stone amended the bill because this year’s state budget contains funding for an information technology upgrade throughout CDPH, and CDPH staff have reported that this will include establishing an online system for Organic Food Processor registration and payment. CCOF will continue to work with CDPH to get the online registration system up and running as soon as possible.