Prohibits the sale of food products containing melatonin to minors; exempts food products naturally containing melatonin.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to prohibiting the sale of food products containing melatonin to minors
PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit any person, partnership, or corporation from selling, or offering for sale, food products containing melatonin to any person under the age of eighteen years, and would requires stores involved in the retail sale of food products to display such products containing melatonin in a location designated for persons over the age of eighteen, in a manner which restricts access to such food products.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: amends article 3 of the agriculture and markets law, adding section 45-d.
Sub-section 1: No person, partnership or corporation shall sell or offer for sale in this state any food product which contains melatonin to any person under the age of eighteen years; provided, however, that any food naturally containing melatonin shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
Subdivision 2: Every person, partnership or corporation engaged in the retail sale or rental of food products shall store and display such food products containing melatonin in a location designated for persons over the age of eighteen, in a manner which restricts access to such food products.
Subdivision 3: Sale of any food products that contain melatonin shall be made only to an individual who demonstrates, through (a) a valid driver's license or non-driver's identification issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, the federal government, any United States territory, commonwealth or possession, the District of Columbia, a state government within the United States or a provincial government of the dominion of Canada; or (b) a valid passport issued by the United States government or any other country; or (c) an identification card issued by the United States, indicating that the individual is at least eighteen years of age. Such identification need not be required of any individual who reasonably appears to be at least thirty years of age, provided, however, that such appearance shall not constitute a defense in any proceeding involving sale of any food product, to an individual under eighteen years of age.
Subdivision 4: In any proceeding pursuant to this section, it shall be an affirmative defense that a person purchasing or attempting to purchase any food product containing melatonin produced a driver's license or a non-driver identification card apparently issued by a government entity or other identification pursuant to subdivision three of this section, successfully completed the transaction, and that the food product sold to such person was reasonable reliance upon such identification and transaction. In evaluating the applicability of such affirmative defense, consideration shall be given to any written policy adopted and implemented by the seller to effectuate the
provisions of this section. Use of any method of an electronic transaction scan shall not excuse any person operating a place of business wherein food products are sold, or the agent or employee of such person, from the exercise of due diligence. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, any such affirmative defense shall not be applicable in any civil or criminal proceeding, or in any other forum.
Section 2: Contains the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In 2009, there were 5,000 melatonin-related calls into poison control centers, most involving small children. Melatonin is known chemically as N-acetyl-s-methoxytryptamin, and is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants and microbes. While it is a naturally-occurring compound, when ingested as a dietary supplement in large quantities, melatonin can lead the central nervous system to slow down and cause trouble breathing.
In recent years, food products containing melatonin have become prevalent in stores. However, one such product is a brownie referred to as a "Lazy Cake." Lazy Cakes are marketed toward minors, and bear a child- friendly cartoon logo, named "Lazy Larry" - similar to the Joe Camel cigarette ads of the past. Although there is a warning that the product is not for children, a child who finds the product at home is at risk of ingesting the brownie because it appears to be an average baked good. Additionally, many store clerks are unaware that the products contain melatonin and willingly sell them to minors who think that they are purchasing a simple brownie. The enactment of this bill will protect minors from encountering the potentially dangerous effects of melatonin.
This bill would exempt foods that naturally contain melatonin, such as oats, corn, rice, almonds, fennel seeds, cherries, lemon verbena, balm mint (the young part of the plant) and ginger, and would thus only apply to foods in which melatonin is an additive.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: A.8802-A - referred to agriculture
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: The ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3007 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 28, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to prohib- iting the sale of food products containing melatonin to minors THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 3 of the agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 45-d to read as follows: S 45-D. SALE OF FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING MELATONIN TO MINORS PROHIB- ITED. 1. NO PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION SHALL SELL OR OFFER FOR SALE IN THIS STATE ANY FOOD PRODUCT WHICH CONTAINS MELATONIN TO ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY FOOD NATURALLY CONTAINING MELATONIN SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. 2. EVERY PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION ENGAGED IN THE RETAIL SALE OR RENTAL OF FOOD PRODUCTS SHALL STORE AND DISPLAY SUCH FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING MELATONIN IN A LOCATION DESIGNATED FOR PERSONS OVER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN, IN A MANNER WHICH RESTRICTS ACCESS TO SUCH FOOD PRODUCTS. 3. SALE OF ANY FOOD PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN MELATONIN SHALL BE MADE ONLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH (A) A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE OR NON-DRIVER'S IDENTIFICATION ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHI- CLES, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ANY UNITED STATES TERRITORY, COMMONWEALTH OR POSSESSION, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, A STATE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR A PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA; OR (B) A VALID PASSPORT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY; OR (C) AN IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES, INDICATING THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. SUCH IDENTIFICATION NEED NOT BE REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST THIRTY YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH APPEARANCE SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DEFENSE IN ANY PROCEEDING INVOLVING SALE OF ANY FOOD PRODUCT, TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04257-01-3 S. 3007 2
4. IN ANY PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, IT SHALL BE AN AFFIRMA- TIVE DEFENSE THAT A PERSON PURCHASING OR ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE ANY FOOD PRODUCT CONTAINING MELATONIN PRODUCED A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR A NON-DRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARD APPARENTLY ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY OR OTHER IDENTIFICATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, SUCCESS- FULLY COMPLETED THE TRANSACTION, AND THAT THE FOOD PRODUCT SOLD TO SUCH PERSON WAS REASONABLE RELIANCE UPON SUCH IDENTIFICATION AND TRANSACTION. IN EVALUATING THE APPLICABILITY OF SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE, CONSIDER- ATION SHALL BE GIVEN TO ANY WRITTEN POLICY ADOPTED AND IMPLEMENTED BY THE SELLER TO EFFECTUATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. USE OF ANY METHOD OF AN ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION SCAN SHALL NOT EXCUSE ANY PERSON OPERATING A PLACE OF BUSINESS WHEREIN FOOD PRODUCTS ARE SOLD, OR THE AGENT OR EMPLOYEE OF SUCH PERSON, FROM THE EXERCISE OF DUE DILIGENCE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION, ANY SUCH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE IN ANY CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDING, OR IN ANY OTHER FORUM. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed.