July 22, 2021
Regulations to implement California’s Proposition 12 need to be clarified on multiple points, according to comments filed by the Further Processors Division of the United Egg Association. The comments point out several ambiguities concerning how the regulations will apply in specific situations. In many cases, the uncertainty results from a lack of clarity in the statutory text of Proposition 12. UEA strongly urged the agency to provide additional guidance in its final regulations.
The comments also address the need for clarification related to applicable sales occurring onsite at FSIS-inspected plants, which appear to be exempt from the requirements of Prop 12. The proposed regulations contain language that generally mirrors the Proposition 12 text in defining a “commercial sale” as not to include “[a]ny sale of shell eggs or liquid eggs undertaken on the premises of an official plant at which mandatory inspection is provided under the federal Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 1031 et seq.) and that holds an Egg Products establishment number (prefix “G”) granted by the Food Safety Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.”
The issues related to combination food products and precisely what is in the scope of Proposition 12 need additional explanation in the regulatory text. UEA also asks for further clarity on the exemptions for donations to specific nonprofit organizations. The UEA comments specifically ask whether USDA commodity procurement programs are subject to the requirements of Proposition 12 regulations for foods purchased by the federal government and donated to various nonprofit organizations for food assistance programs.
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