H.B. No. 1908
  relating to the safety of the fresh fruit and vegetables produced in
  this state.
         SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  the agricultural industry is a vital part of this
  state's economy, annually contributing $103 billion, or 9.2 percent
  of the gross state product, and is the state's second largest
  resource-based industry, with one in seven Texans being employed in
  some segment of the agricultural industry;
               (2)  food safety must be a top state priority because an
  accidental or deliberate contamination of food or crops could be
  detrimental to the state's economy and would undermine consumer
  confidence in the integrity of food safety in this state;
               (3)  the growing and processing of fresh fruits and
  vegetables is crucial to this state, and since September 11, 2001,
  awareness of the threat of contamination of those products has
  increased; and
               (4)  this state should increase awareness of food
  safety among its growers and packers of fresh fruits and vegetables
  to avoid disastrous events.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter A, Chapter 91, Agriculture Code, is
  amended by adding Section 91.009 to read as follows:
         Sec. 91.009.  COORDINATION OF FOOD SAFETY. (a)  The
  department is the lead agency for education and training and shall
  assist the fresh fruit and vegetable industries with food safety
  issues and may provide assistance to federal agencies in their
  implementation of voluntary guidelines relating to sound
  agricultural practices.
         (b)  The department shall coordinate, plan, and approve
  training and awareness programs for producers and packers of fresh
  fruits and vegetables. A program under this subsection must inform
  and educate producers and packers regarding:
               (1)  sound agricultural practices;
               (2)  proper food handling procedures;
               (3)  the prevention of accidental or deliberately
  planned outbreaks of disease; and
               (4)  the enhancement of overall food safety.
         (c)  The department shall coordinate the planning and
  implementation of programs required by Subsection (b) with:
               (1)  colleges and universities in this state;
               (2)  the Texas AgriLife Extension Service;
               (3)  Texas AgriLife Research;
               (4)  the Department of State Health Services; and
               (5)  private industry.
         (d)  The department may adopt rules to implement this
  section. In the development of rules for the certification of
  approved food safety curriculum or training, the department shall
  consult and coordinate with the Department of State Health
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1908 was passed by the House on April
  9, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1908 on May 14, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0,
  1 present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1908 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 12, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________