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114th Congress    }                                  {   Rept. 114-208
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                  {          Part 2

======================================================================



 
              SAFE AND ACCURATE FOOD LABELING ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                 July 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

            Mr. Conaway, from the Committee on Agriculture, 
                        submitted the following

                          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

                        [To accompany H.R. 1599]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    This supplemental report shows the cost estimate of the 
Congressional Budget Office with respect to the bill (H.R. 
1599), as reported, which was not included in part 1 of the 
report submitted by the Committee on Agriculture on July 16, 
2015 (H. Rept. 114-208, pt. 1).

                          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT


         H.R. 1599, SAFE AND ACCURATE FOOD LABELING ACT OF 2015

    This supplemental report shows the cost estimate of the 
Congressional Budget Office with respect to the bill, H.R. 
1599, as reported, which was not received prior to filing the 
report submitted by the Committee on Agriculture on July 16, 
2015 (H. Rept. 114-208, pt. I).

           BUDGET ACT COMPLIANCE (SECTIONS 308, 402, AND 423)

    The provisions of clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (relating to estimates of new 
budget authority, new spending authority, new credit authority, 
or increased or decreased revenues or tax expenditures) are not 
considered applicable. The estimate and comparison required to 
be prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and sections 402 and 423 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974 submitted to the Committee prior to the 
filing of this report are as follows:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 16, 2015.
Hon. K. Michael Conaway,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1599, the Safe and 
Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jim Langley.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1599--Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015

    H.R. 1599 would establish a program, to be administered by 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to certify 
genetically engineered food. The bill also would prohibit an 
unregulated plant that is genetically engineered from being 
introduced into interstate commerce for use in food unless it 
was certified to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration 
(FDA). USDA would be required to publish information about 
certain genetically engineered plants intended for use in food 
on a public website. Finally, the bill would establish labeling 
requirements for genetically engineered and natural foods.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 1599 would cost a total of $4 million 
over the 2016-2020 period, subject to appropriation of the 
specified and necessary amounts. In addition, enacting the bill 
would increase both revenues and direct spending by about $1 
million annually, therefore pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO 
estimates that the net effect on the deficit of those changes 
in revenues and direct spending over the 2015-2025 period would 
be insignificant.
    Basis of estimate: The bill would authorize the 
appropriation of $2 million for USDA to establish a program to 
certify whether a food product is genetically engineered. 
Anyone choosing to label food products accordingly would be 
subject to certain requirements to verify the label's accuracy 
and would be required to obtain a certification from USDA. 
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates 
that USDA would spend $2 million over the next two years to 
initiate this certification program.
    Once the program was established, USDA would be authorized 
to collect fees to cover the costs of operating it. Such fees 
would be available for spending by USDA without further 
appropriation. CBO expects that the certification program would 
be similar to USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). Based on 
information from USDA about that program, CBO estimates that 
the Genetic Engineering Certification program would collect and 
spend about $1 million per year beginning in 2016.
    Based on historical spending for similar programs, CBO 
estimates that developing regulations for labeling food as 
natural would cost about $2 million over the 2016-2020 period, 
assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R 1599 would 
impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by doing the 
following:
           Prohibiting entities from introducing into 
        commerce certain genetically engineered plants for use 
        in food unless they consult with FDA and notify the 
        Secretary of Agriculture;
           Requiring entities (including schools and 
        universities) that sell or label food as produced with 
        or without the use of genetic engineering to meet 
        certain standards and pay fees to obtain certification;
           Requiring entities that label their food 
        products as natural to comply with FDA regulations; and
           Preempting state laws that regulate the use 
        of genetically engineered plants in food and the 
        labeling of food as genetically engineered or natural.
    Most entities already consult with FDA before marketing 
genetically engineered plants or products. Therefore, CBO 
estimates that the incremental administrative cost of the 
consultation and notification mandate would be small. The 
incremental cost of complying with the standards for selling or 
labeling food products as produced with or without the use of 
genetic engineering would probably be small for some producers 
and handlers of products that are independently verified or 
certified as organic under the NOP. CBO estimates that the fees 
to obtain certification would amount to about $1 million per 
year, but CBO has not been able to determine the total cost of 
that mandate. The costs to producers of foods labeled as 
natural would depend on future regulations to be issued by the 
FDA.
    Because of uncertainty about the scope and nature of future 
regulations, CBO cannot determine whether the aggregate cost of 
the mandates on private entities would exceed the annual 
threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($154 
million in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Very few public entities are actively engaged in the 
promotion of genetically modified products and certified 
organic farms run by universities would already meet many of 
the bill's requirements. Although the bill would limit the 
application of state laws, it would impose no duty on states 
that would result in additional spending or a loss of revenues. 
Consequently, CBO estimates that the aggregate cost of the 
mandates on public entities would fall below the 
intergovernmental threshold established in UMRA ($77 million in 
2015, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jim Langley; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: J'nell Blanco Suchy; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

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