1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Moody
House Bill 816
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO PREVENT THE SALE OF ADULTERATED OR MISLABELED FOOD OR FOOD PRODUCTS NOT OTHERWISE REGULATED BY LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCORPORATE THE FEDERAL DEFINITION OF ADULTERATED FOOD; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF ADULTERATED, MISBRANDED OR INSUFFICIENTLY LABELED FOOD; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE "FOOD"; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE ARTICLES DEEMED MISLABELED; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE TO ESTABLISH REGULATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS CHAPTER; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE CHEMIST SHALL PROVIDE LABORATORY SERVICES IN SUPPORT OF THE FOOD REGULATORY PROGRAMS; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY AUTHORITY OF INSPECTORS OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR INTERFERENCE WITH A FOOD INSPECTOR; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE HOW ADULTERATED OR MISBRANDED FOOD IS HANDLED, TO PROVIDE FOR NOTICE OF AN EMBARGO, TO AUTHORIZE COURT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE OWNER OF THE EMBARGOED ARTICLE, TO PROVIDE FOR COURT COSTS, FEES, STORAGE AND OTHER PROPER EXPENSES AGAINST THE OWNER, TO PROVIDE FOR SUPERVISED LABELING OR PROCESSING AND AUTHORIZING DESTRUCTION OF CONTAMINATED ARTICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 75-29-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE DISTRICT TO INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS TO PROSECUTE VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO REPEAL SECTIONS 75-29-13, 75-29-15 AND 75-29-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE SALE OF UNSOUND PROVISIONS, PROVIDE FOR THE FORFEITURE OF ADULTERATED FOOD AND REQUIRE THE STATE CHEMIST TO FIX AND PUBLISH STANDARDS OF PURITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 75-29-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-1. The Legislature finds that there is a need for the equal and uniform regulation of all food and food products and for the provision for the sale of such products. This act is intended to authorize the State Board of Health to provide a regulatory framework for the intrastate and interstate sale of food and food products, and to prevent the sale of adulterated or mislabeled food or food products not otherwise regulated by existing law. In the event any provision of this act conflicts with such law, the existing law will control.
SECTION 2. Section 75-29-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-3. An article of food shall be deemed to be adulterated:
* * *
If it is adulterated as defined in Section 402 of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended, codified at 21 USCS 342.
SECTION 3. Section 75-29-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-5. It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, firm or corporation, within this state, to manufacture for sale, produce for sale, knowingly expose for sale, have in his or their possession for sale, or sell any article of food which is adulterated, misbranded or insufficiently labeled within the meaning of this article; and any person, persons, firm or corporation who shall manufacture for sale, produce for sale, expose for sale, have in his or their possession for sale, or sell any article of food which is adulterated, misbranded or insufficiently labeled within the meaning of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or be imprisoned not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, it shall be lawful to sell any article named herein which * * * complies with all federal statutes regulating or governing the manufacture, * * * sale or labeling of such article.
SECTION 4. Section 75-29-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-7. The term "food" as used in this article shall include every article used for, or entering into the composition of, or used or intended for use in the preparation of food or drink for human consumption, whether simple, mixed or compound.
SECTION 5. Section 75-29-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-11. An article shall be deemed to be mislabeled or misbranded:
If such article is not in conformity with the requirements for the declaration of net quantity of contents of Section 4 of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (15 USCS 1451 et seq.) and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and with the requirements of the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act of 1990.
SECTION 6. Section 75-29-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-19. The State Board of Health is hereby charged with the * * * enforcement of this chapter * * *. The State Board of Health shall have the authority to * * * establish such rules and regulations not inconsistent with this chapter as will best carry its provisions into effect, unless regulation of food as defined in this chapter is otherwise authorized by law.
SECTION 7. Section 75-29-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-21. In the discretion of the State Board of Health, samples or specimens for analysis may be taken by duly qualified and sworn inspectors. Whenever practicable, samples shall be taken * * * by representatives of the board. The Office of the State Chemist shall have primary responsibility for providing chemical, physical and microbiological analytical services in support of regulatory programs provided for herein.
SECTION 8. Section 75-29-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-23. Upon showing of identification, representatives of the State Board of Health shall have free access at all reasonable hours to any place where foods are sold, and in calling for and taking a sample of any food, they shall tender the market price asked for it.
SECTION 9. Section 75-29-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-25. Any person or dealer who shall impede, obstruct, hinder, prevent or attempt to prevent a representative of the State Board of Health in the performance of his duties, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail not more than ninety (90) days, at the discretion of the court.
SECTION 10. Section 75-29-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-27. (1) Whenever a duly authorized agent of the State Board of Health finds, or has probable cause to believe, that any food, as defined by this act, is adulterated or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, within the meaning of this act, he shall affix to such article a tag or other appropriate marking, giving notice that such article is, or is suspected of being, adulterated or misbranded and has been detained or embargoed and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of such article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by an authorized agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of such detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without such permission. All costs associated with an embargo or detention of food reasonably believed to be adulterated shall be borne by the owner thereof or his agent.
(2) When an article is adulterated or misbranded, the owner of the article may be proceeded against by petition to the judge of the county or circuit court in whose jurisdiction the article is located, detained or embargoed for a libel for condemnation of such article. When an authorized agent has found that an article which is embargoed or detained is not adulterated or misbranded, he shall remove the tag or other marking.
(3) If the court finds that a sampled, detained or embargoed article is adulterated or misbranded, such article, after entry of the decree, shall be destroyed at the expense of the owner thereof, under the supervision of an agent of the State Board of Health, and all court costs and fees, storage and other proper expenses shall be taxed against the owner of such article or his agent. When the adulteration or misbranding can be corrected by proper labeling or processing of the article, the court, after entry of the decree and after such costs, fees and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, signifying that such article shall be so labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that such article be delivered to the owner thereof or his agent for such labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the State Board of Health. The expense of such supervision shall be paid by owner of the article or his agent. The article shall be returned to the owner or his agent and the bond shall be discharged on the representation to the court by the State Board of Health that the article is no longer in violation of this act and that the expenses of such supervision have been paid.
(4) Whenever any authorized agent of the State Board of Health shall find in any room, building, vehicle of transportation or other structure, any perishable food articles that are unsound or contain any filthy, decomposed or putrid substance or that may be poisonous or deleterious to health or otherwise unsafe, any agent of the State Board of Health shall immediately condemn or destroy the articles, or in any other manner render the articles unsalable as human food.
SECTION 11. Section 75-29-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-29-29. It shall be the duty of each district attorney, county attorney or city attorney to whom the State Board of Health * * * reports any violation of this article to cause appropriate proceedings to be instituted in the proper courts without delay and to be prosecuted in the manner required by law. Before any violation of this act is reported to any such attorney for the institution of a criminal proceeding, the person against whom such proceeding is contemplated shall be given appropriate notice and an opportunity to present his views before the board, either orally or in writing, in person or by attorney with regard to such contemplated proceeding.
SECTION 12. Nothing in this act shall be construed as requiring the State Board of Health to report for prosecution or for the institution of proceedings under this act minor violations of this act, whenever the board believes that the public interest will be adequately served in the circumstances by a suitable written notice or warning.
SECTION 13. Sections 75-29-13, 75-29-15 and 75-29-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide penalties for the sale of unsound provisions, provide for the forfeiture of adulterated food and require the State Chemist to fix and publish standards of purity, are repealed.
SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.