in the KNOW

November 30, 2017

State Capitol

State Capitol

Food Processing Task Force Underway

Ag Council President Co-Chairs Subcommittee on Incentives

Ag Council is actively participating in a food processing task force with other agricultural and food processing representatives, state regulatory officials and Governor Jerry Brown’s staff.  The task force is working to address challenges relating to the food processing industry’s participation in climate change programs and to incentivize the transition to green energy.

The effort was created as a result of negotiations between agricultural advocates and the governor’s staff on legislation to extend the cap and trade program, which the governor recently signed into law in July.

The task force comprises two subcommittees specifically focused on: 1) incentives and 2) technology. Ag Council President Emily Rooney is co-chairing the subcommittee on incentives.

The task force met twice during the fall and is in the process of coordinating the next meeting, likely to be held in January. The short-term focus is to assist the California Energy Commission by developing guidelines for a grant program for the food processing sector. The regulatory guidelines are needed given that Ag Council and other agricultural advocates successfully worked during the cap and trade legislative negotiations to obtain $60 million in state funding for food processors to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Draft regulations for the incentive program are expected in early 2018.The goal of the task force is to develop both short and long-term recommendations in collaboration with various state agencies to lower GHG emissions from the food processing sector and create a more workable climate change program.

Please contact Emily Rooney at Ag Council at ph. (916) 443-4887 if you have any questions about the task force.

California Regulators Vote to List Chlorpyrifos Under Prop 65

On November 29, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), an agency under the umbrella of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), voted 8-0 to list the pesticide chlorpyrifos under Proposition 65 (Prop 65) as a developmental toxicant.

As background, in 1986, voters approved Prop 65 with the intent to protect Californians from harmful chemicals. Prop 65 requires the governor to annually publish a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Prop 65 requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals.

Chlorpyrifos, sold under brand names such as Dursban and Lorsban, is used on more than 60 California crops and is considered a vital crop protection tool in the fight against pests. The pesticide has been studied extensively by many regulatory agencies around the world, and OEHHA is the first to conclude that it causes developmental toxicity. Globally, chlorpyrifos is authorized for use in about 100 countries.

The November 29 decision by OEHHA starts a one-year regulatory implementation process for chlorpyrifos, and Ag Council will continue to inform our members of developments related to this issue. For more information, please contact Rachael O’Brien at (916) 443-4887.