Establishes provisions to combat the incidence of adult and childhood obesity; provides for direct marketing of fresh vegetables and fruits in areas with a high incidence of adult and child obesity; directs Cornell cooperative extension program to offer obesity and respiratory disease prevention programs.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to combating the incidence of adult and child obesity and encouraging direct marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables in areas with a high incidence of adult and child obesity; and to amend the county law, in relation to the Cornell cooperative extension system relating to adult and childhood obesity, asthma, and respiratory illness prevention
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to more fully encourage the cooperative integration in the law of already existing programs that combat childhood obesity that are operated by the Departments of Agriculture & Markets, Education, and Health. The incidence of childhood obesity is a rapidly growing public health, social, and economic concern that is adversely affecting the overall health and wellbeing of our next generation of New Yorkers.
In fact, acute and chronic adverse health conditions such as diabetes, chronic coronary conditions, and respiratory illnesses caused by obesity conditions are about to overtake those acute and chronic adverse health conditions caused by smoking tobacco. This bill attempts to better integrate current programs and laws that relate to combating childhood obesity.
Further, this bill attempts to integrate activities conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Markets to facilitate the increased availability and affordability of locally produced fresh produce to areas of the state that have a high incidence of childhood obesity. Such initiatives to increase the volume, availability and consumption of more fresh produce in at-risk targeted areas that have a high incidence of obese individuals could be supplied by locally producing community gardens and by the shipment of fresh produce by commercial growers into such targeted areas.
The rational being that increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved areas will increase the consumption of such foods because they are tastier and more likely to be consumed by at-risk populations. Further, it is important to better integrate the work of the Departments of Agriculture & Markets, Education, and Health, with activities conducted by local volunteer groups, health care providers, local governments, schools and cooperative Extension Services.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Agriculture & Markets Law (Ag. & Markets Law) Section 3 to expand the Declaration of Policy and purposes of the Department to improve the overall health of New Yorkers and to help
combat the increasing incidence of adult and childhood obesity. The Department already is charged with the duty to encourage the production of fresh farm products in this State, this provision merely encourages the Department to also encourage the consumption of such products by persons who are obese and in those areas of the State that have a high incidence of childhood obesity.
Section 2: Amends Ag. & Markets Law section 16 (5-b) which outlines the General powers and Duties of the Department to also cooperate with the Health Department in implementing the Childhood Obesity Program pursuant to Article 25 of the public Health Law (PHL) and with the Commissioner of Education to encourage the production and consumption of fresh locally produced fruits and vegetables by primary and secondary school students to help combat the increasing incidence of childhood obesity. In addition, the Department is to cooperate with other federal, state and local agencies to encourage the expansion of community gardens so as to increase the availability and affordability of locally grown produce, to help combat adult and childhood obesity, especially in areas of the state that have a high incidence of obesity.
Section 3: Amends Ag & Markets Law section 281, the Declaration of Legislative Findings for Article 23, which relates to the Department's powers to encourage the direct marketing of New York agricultural products. This provision encourages the Department to also help to encourage the consumption of such locally produced products in a manner that helps to combat the high incidence of adult and childhood obesity.
Section 4: Amends Ag. & Markets Law section 283 (5) and creates a new (8-a) which relates to the Department's powers and duties to promote the direct sale of farm and food products produced in New York to increase the supply of fresh wholesome foods that can be obtained more inexpensively. Doing so, may help to increase the consumption of foods that can help to combat the high incidence of childhood obesity. Under this provision, the Department is encouraged to develop direct marketing programs for the provision of fresh fruits and vegetables in areas designated by DOH as having a high incidence of childhood obesity.
Section 5: Amends County Law section 224-b to authorize cooperative extension services to provide in a coordinated manner a local or statewide program specialist that relates to adult and childhood obesity, asthma, or chronic respiratory illness prevention.
Section 6: Effective Date.
JUSTIFICATION: The growing prevalence of overweight and obese children is a crisis that is facing the entire nation. Obesity related health care expenditures in New York are some of the highest in the nation. Further, contrary to the lower prevalence of obesity among adults,
children in New York are more likely to be obese or overweight when compared to national trends.
Obesity and overweight conditions in individuals are leading to higher incidences of life threatening conditions and substantial economic costs both to the State of New York for health care costs and to employers in lost work time and higher health care costs. Obesity in children tends to manifest itself more widely among poorer children and children whose parents have lower education levels.
The rising incidence of childhood obesity is a serious medical problem that continues to grow, especially among poorer and minority communities. Further, obesity is known to cause or exacerbate a number of serious chronic medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory dysfunction. Nearly 80% of patients with diabetes mellitus are obese, while nearly 70% of diagnosed cases of cardiovascular disease are related to Obesity. Obesity ranks only second to smoking as a preventable cause of death. Unfortunately, preventable deaths caused by obesity conditions is rapidly approaching and will surpass those deaths caused by smoking tobacco.
While the high prevalence of obesity and overweight conditions is an important public health concern when it affects adults. It should be of heightened concern that this adult affliction is now becoming more common among children. When obesity conditions afflict children this poses, significant quality of life detriments to such persons, reduces the productivity of such individuals over a longer time of their life, and hastens the onset of many chronic conditions that can hurt the quality of life of such persons and their families.
It is important for state agencies such as the Departments of Health, Education, and Agriculture & Markets to coordinate their current activities to curb this problem and to provide cross references in the law so that there is a better integration in statute of the interrelationship of these already existing programs. Further, once New York's state agencies have a more coordinated approach to curb childhood obesity, then other public stakeholders such as school educators and BOCES can combine forces with such state agencies and with private stakeholders such as health care providers, health care facilities, child day care centers, insurers, and community groups to provide a coordinated way to address this problem.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Related to S.6423 (Klein) that contains a more comprehensive expansion of obesity programs to combat obesity in adults and children.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January first of the next succeeding date upon which this act shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7114 IN SENATE April 30, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- 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 combat- ing the incidence of adult and child obesity and encouraging direct marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables in areas with a high inci- dence of adult and child obesity; and to amend the county law, in relation to the Cornell cooperative extension system relating to adult and childhood obesity, asthma, and respiratory illness prevention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3 of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 651 of the laws of 1946, is amended to read as follows: S 3. Declaration of policy and purposes. The agricultural industry is basic to the life of our state. It vitally concerns and affects the welfare, health, economic well-being and productive and industrial capa- bilities of all our people. It is the policy and duty of the state to promote, foster, and encourage the agricultural industry, with proper standards of living for those engaged therein; to design and establish long-range programs for its stabilization and profitable operation; to increase through education, research, regulation, and scientific means, the quantity, quality, and efficiency of its production; to improve its marketing system; to encourage adequate and skilled assistance for agri- cultural enterprises; to maintain at fair prices uncontrolled by specu- lation the instrumentalities and products of agriculture; to remove unnecessary or unfair costs and obstacles in the
[transporation]TRANS- PORTATION, storage, processing, distribution, marketing, and sale of agricultural products; to prevent frauds in the traffic therein; to promote an expanded demand for the state's agricultural products and the intelligent uses thereof by consumers as pure and wholesome food; to protect the public health and to eliminate the evils of under-nourish- ment; to encourage the selection and consumption of food according to sound dietary and nutritional principles; TO IMPROVE OUR CITIZENS' OVER- ALL HEALTH AND TO COMBAT THE INCREASING INCIDENCE OF ADULT AND CHILDHOODEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13426-11-2 S. 7114 2
OBESITY; and to make our people conscious of the bond of mutual self-in- terest between our urban and our rural populations. Accordingly, all laws enacted concerning the agricultural industry and its allied subjects, whether included in this chapter or not, are to be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state and a discharge of its obligations for the promotion of the general welfare through state- wide laws and regulations, local initiative and government, cooperative action between groups and localities, home-rule measures, individual enterprise, civic consciousness, and appropriate coordination with the federal government and as between educational research institutions within the state. Such laws and all governmental measures adopted pursuant thereto should receive a liberal interpretation and application in furtherance of the aforesaid policy and purposes. S 2. Subdivision 5-b of section 16 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 2 of the laws of 2001, is amended to read as follows: 5-b. (A) Establish, in cooperation with the commissioner of education, a farm-to-school program to facilitate and promote the purchase of New York farm products by schools, universities and other educational insti- tutions under the jurisdiction of the education department. The depart- ment shall solicit information from the education department regarding school districts and other educational institutions interested in purchasing New York farm products, including but not limited to, the type and amount of such products schools wish to purchase and the name of the appropriate contact person from the interested school district. The department shall make this information readily available to inter- ested New York farmers, farm organizations and businesses that market New York farm products. The department shall provide information to the education department and interested school districts and other educa- tional institutions about the availability of New York farm products, including but not limited to, the types and amount of products, and the names and contact information of farmers, farm organizations and busi- nesses marketing such products. The commissioner shall report to the legislature on the need for changes in law to facilitate the purchases of such products by schools and educational institutions. The department shall also coordinate with the education department, and school food service, education, health and nutrition, farm, and other interested organizations in establishing a promotional event, to be known as New York Harvest For New York Kids Week, in early October each year, that will promote New York agriculture and foods to children through school meal programs and the classroom, at farms and farmers' markets and other locations in the community. (B) COOPERATE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN IMPLEMENTING THE CHILD- HOOD OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAM PURSUANT TO TITLE EIGHT OF ARTICLE TWEN- TY-FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION TO ENCOURAGE THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF FRESH LOCALLY PRODUCED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BY ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION TO HELP COMBAT THE INCREASING INCIDENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY. (C) COOPERATE WITH FEDERAL, OTHER STATE AND MUNICIPAL AGENCIES TO ENCOURAGE THE EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY GARDENS PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWO-C OF THIS CHAPTER TO HELP ENCOURAGE THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF FRESH LOCALLY PRODUCED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO HELP COMBAT THE INCREAS- ING INCIDENCE OF ADULT AND CHILD OBESITY.S. 7114 3
S 3. The opening paragraph of section 281 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 834 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: The legislature hereby finds that inflation has caused higher prices in all phases of farm and food production and farm and food products distribution; and that the demand, by consumers within the state, for increasing supplies of wholesome, fresh and nutritious farm and food products provides a significant opportunity for the development of alternative marketing structures for food grown within the state by which such products may be supplied directly to the consuming public. IN ADDITION, INCREASING THE SUPPLY OF WHOLESOME, FRESH, LOCALLY PRODUCED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES CAN HELP TO ENCOURAGE THE CONSUMPTION OF SUCH PRODUCE IN A MANNER THAT HELPS TO COMBAT THE INCREASING INCIDENCE OF ADULT AND CHILDHOOD OBESITY. REDUCING THE INCIDENCE OF OBESITY CAN HELP TO IMPROVE THE OVERALL HEALTH OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, HELP TO REDUCE THE COST OF PROVIDING HEALTH CARE AND REDUCE THE STATE'S COSTS OF PROVIDING SUCH CARE. S 4. Subdivision 5 of section 283 of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 834 of the laws of 1981, is amended and a new subdi- vision 8-a is added to read as follows: 5. Provide assistance to consumer or non-profit organizations, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE AGENCIES, HOSPITALS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE FACILITIES seeking to purchase or facilitate the purchase of farm products directly from producers. 8-A. ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIRECT MARKETING PROGRAMS, WITHIN AREAS OF THE STATE DESIGNATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AS HAVING A HIGH INCIDENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY AND TO INCREASE THE CONSUMPTION OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO HELP CURB THE INCIDENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY. S 5. Subdivision 1 of section 224-b of the county law, as added by chapter 575 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows: 1. Agreements to employ and manage area program specialists. Notwith- standing the provisions of subdivision eight of section two hundred twenty-four of this article, two or more county cooperative extension associations may enter into a separate agreement with Cornell university to employ area program specialists. Examples of program areas which could be funded and delivered through the Cornell cooperative extension system could include but not be limited to water quality, solid waste management, commercial and alternative agricultural technologies inte- grated pest management, nutrition, diet and health, ADULT AND CHILDHOOD OBESITY, ASTHMA AND CHRONIC RESPIRATORY ILLNESS PREVENTION, community and rural development, housing availability and affordability, family and economic well being, and the complex problems of youth at risk. Such annual agreements shall identify the titles of the positions to be supported and the program areas for which they will provide leadership. Standards for the employment of area program specialists, including salaries, shall be established by Cornell university, through the direc- tor of extension in consultation with county cooperative extension asso- ciations, apart from standards for the employment of professional staff under section two hundred twenty-four of this article. Area program specialists shall, for administrative purposes, receive salary payments through the Cornell university payroll and for such purposes shall be deemed employees of Cornell university; provided, however, that their program activities shall be directed and managed jointly by the partic- ipating associations and Cornell university under the terms of the annu- al memorandum of agreement. Area program specialists shall be eligibleS. 7114 4
to receive the same state or federal fringe benefits as professional staff employed by the cooperative extension associations under the terms of section two hundred twenty-four of this article. S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided that, effec- tive immediately, any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.