CA Food & Agric Code Section 491

The Legislature finds and declares the following:


Consumers have an interest in being informed about the benefits and potential quantifiable risks to their health from products they consume. This information must be grounded in sound science, must use informative and effective communications, and shall be consistent with other production technologies.


As new advances in biotechnology, including transgenic plants, are developed, it is important to understand the opportunities that new technologies offer to consumers, farmers, the livestock industry, food processors, and the environment, as well as to evaluate the potential risks.


Under the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, the United States Food and Drug Administration has the federal authority to assure that food and pharmaceutical development using biotechnology protects public health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to review environmental issues including bioengineered pesticides, and the United States Department of Agriculture has the responsibility to regulate the introduction of genetically modified plants into the agricultural environment. Careful review of existing oversight responsibility helps in understanding the regulatory framework governing the approval of biotechnology products and will help clarify California’s role in the endeavor.


California is the leading agricultural state in the country, producing 350 commodities and farm gate revenues totaling nearly twenty-seven billion dollars ($27,000,000,000) annually, of which nearly seven billion dollars ($7,000,000,000) is exported. Support for agricultural research based in sound science, and the utilization of modern farming technologies is a key factor leading to California’s strong farm economy and its competitive edge in the world market for agricultural products.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 491’s source at ca​.gov