With permission, we repost Doug Farquhar’s most recent summary of food and food safety legislative actions by states.
By Doug Farquhar, JD
State legislatures introduced several hundred bills related to food during their 2021 legislative sessions. Almost every state introduced legislation regarding food. From food delivery, cannabis, and coronavirus to food freedom, state legislatures heard about proposed policy changes to food laws.
NEHA tracked 382 bills in 36 states, with 73 being enacted in 36 states. Most legislatures have adjourned (aka sine die) for 2021.
NEHA identified 73 bills enacted by state legislatures in the 2021 legislative session regarding food safety, including bills related to retail food, food delivery, restaurants, raw milk, and food freedom laws.
Cannabis in Foods
Kentucky HB 325 establishes labeling requirements for cannabidiol products.
Nevada enacted SB 114 (2021) that relates to hemp and authorizes the sale or production of food that contains hemp at food establishments. The law requires the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt regulations related to food that contains hemp and prohibits food from being deemed as adulterated solely because such food contains hemp.
In Virginia, HB 1430 and SB 918 (2021) create the Industrial Hemp Fund that declares industrial hemp extract as a food, subjects it to statutory requirements, and establishes standards for the manufacturing of industrial hemp extract. Industrial hemp is approved as a food additive.
Alaska enacted HB 22 that relates to raw milk and a shared animal program.
Pennsylvania’s SB 434 provides for milk sell-by and best-by date labeling.
Vermont enacted HB 218 (Act 22) that relates to the sale of unpasteurized raw milk.
Food Freedom/Cottage Foods
In the 2021 state legislative sessions, 69 bills in 29 states were related to cottage foods that relaxed or eliminated food safety requirements for retail foods. In total, 15 of