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FAC Sec 1-51 GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL CODE
1. This act shall be known as the "Food and Agricultural Code."
3. It is hereby declared, as a matter of legislative determination,
that the provisions of this code are enacted in the exercise of the
power of this state for the purposes of promoting and protecting the
agricultural industry of the state and for the protection of the
public health, safety, and welfare. In all civil actions the
provisions of this code shall be liberally construed for the
accomplishment of these purposes and for the accomplishment of the
purposes of the several divisions of this code, and in criminal
actions the rule of construction set forth in Section 4 of the Penal
Code shall be the rule of construction for this code.
4. The provisions of this code, insofar as they are substantially
the same as existing law, are restatements and continuations of
existing law, and not new enactments. The enactment of this code
shall not impair any privilege granted or right acquired under any of
the laws of this state prior to the date it takes effect.
5. All persons who, at the time this code goes into effect, hold
office under any of the laws that are repealed by this code, which
offices are continued by this code, continue to hold the offices
according to their former tenure.
6. No action or proceeding which is commenced before this code
takes effect, and no right which is accrued, is affected by any
provision of this code, but all procedure thereafter taken in such
action or proceeding shall conform to the provisions of this code so
far as possible.
7. (a) Any person in whom the enforcement of any provision of this
code is vested shall have the authority, as a public officer, to
arrest, without a warrant, another person whenever such officer has
reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has, in
his presence, violated any provision of this code, the violation of
which is declared to be public offense. If such violation is a
felony, or if the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe
that the person to be arrested has violated a provision of this code
which is declared to be a felony, although no felony has in fact been
committed, he may make an arrest although the violation or suspected
violation did not occur in his presence.
In any case in which an arrest is made pursuant to this authority
for an offense declared to be a misdemeanor or an infraction, the
arresting officer may, instead of taking the person arrested before a
magistrate, follow the procedure prescribed by Chapter 5C
(commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal
Code, unless the arrested person demands to be taken before a
magistrate. The provisions of such chapter shall thereafter apply
with reference to any proceeding based upon the issuance of a
citation pursuant to this authority.
(b) There shall be no civil liability on the part of, and no cause
of action shall arise against, any person, acting pursuant to
subdivision (a) and within the scope of his authority, for false
arrest or false imprisonment arising out of any arrest which is
lawful or which the arresting officer, at the time of such arrest,
had reasonable cause to believe was lawful. No such officer shall be
deemed an aggressor or lose his right to self-defense by the use of
reasonable force to effect the arrest or to prevent escape or to
(c) Any person in whom the enforcement of any provision of this
code is vested may serve all processes and notices throughout the
state; provided, that county employees authorized to enforce the
provisions of this code are authorized to serve processes and notices
only within the boundaries of the county which employs them.
8. The district attorney of any county in which a violation of any
provision of this code occurs shall, upon request of any enforcing
officer or other interested person, prosecute such violation. The
prosecutor of any municipality has concurrent jurisdiction as to any
violation which is committed within his territorial jurisdiction.
9. Unless a different penalty is expressly provided, a violation of
any provision of this code is a misdemeanor.
10. Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required
by this code, it shall be in writing unless it is expressly provided
that it may be oral.
10.5. It is unlawful for any person to alter any record or document
in the office of a commissioner required to be filed pursuant to any
provision of this code or pursuant to rules and regulations
authorized by this code, without the approval of the commissioner or
an authorized deputy.
11. Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required
by this code to be kept or made in writing, it shall be in the
12. Unless otherwise specifically provided, whenever any document
is required or permitted by this code to be recorded, it shall be
recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county in which
the property or thing which is affected is situated.
13. Whenever any power or authority is given by this code to any
person, it may be exercised by any deputy, inspector, or agent who is
duly authorized by him.
14. Wherever, pursuant to this code, any state department, officer,
board, agency, committee, or commission is authorized to adopt rules
and regulations, such regulations shall be adopted in accordance
with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340 ) of Part 1 of
Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to the extent that that
chapter is not specifically in conflict with the express terms of
the provisions of this code which authorize the adoption of such
regulations. Those rules and regulations which are building
standards, as defined in Section 18909 of the Health and Safety Code,
shall be adopted and approved pursuant to the provisions of Chapter
4 (commencing with Section 18935) of Part 2.5 of Division 13 of the
Health and Safety Code unless the provisions of Sections 18930,
18933, 18938, 18940, 18943, 18944, and 18945 of the Health and Safety
Code are expressly excepted in the provision of this code under
which the authority to adopt the specific building standard is
delegated. Any building standard adopted in violation of this
section shall have no force or effect. Any building standard adopted
prior to January 1, 1980, pursuant to this code and not expressly
excepted by statute from such provisions of the State Building
Standards Law shall remain in effect only until January 1, 1985, or
until adopted, amended, or superseded by provisions published in the
State Building Standards Code, whichever occurs sooner.
The authority to adopt any rule, regulation, or rule and
regulation which is vested in any state department, officer, board,
agency, committee, or commission pursuant to this code includes the
authority to amend or repeal the rule, regulation, or rule and
15. Whenever reference is made to any portion of this code or of
any other law of this state, the reference applies to all amendments
and additions to it.
16. Division, part, chapter, and article headings do not in any
manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this
17. If any provision of this code or its application to any person
or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the code or the
application of the provision to any other person or circumstance is
18. In all matters which arise under this code, proof of the fact
of possession by any person engaged in the sale of a commodity
establishes a rebuttable presumption that the commodity is for sale.
This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of producing
19. Unless the context otherwise requires, the present tense
includes the past and future tenses, and the future, the present
20. Unless the context otherwise requires, the masculine gender
includes the feminine and neuter.
21. Unless the context otherwise requires, the singular number
includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
22. Inasmuch as the planned production of trees is distinguishable
from the production of other products of the soil only in relation to
the time elapsing before maturity, the production of trees shall be
considered a branch of the agricultural industry of the state for the
purposes of any law which provides for the benefit or protection of
the agricultural industry of the state.
23. (a) Inasmuch as the planned production of trees, vines, rose
bushes, ornamental plants, floricultural crops, and other
horticultural crops is distinguishable from the production of other
products of the soil only in relation to the time elapsing before
maturity, plants and floricultural crops that are being produced by
nurseries, whether in open fields or in greenhouses, shall be
considered to be "growing agricultural crops" for the purpose of any
laws that pertain to the agricultural industry of the state, and
those laws shall apply equally to greenhouses and open field nursery
(b) For the reasons stated in subdivision (a), a nursery where the
primary activity is the planned production of horticultural crops,
is a farm. However, for the purposes of this section and any laws
that pertain to farms in this state, a retail nursery is not a farm.
23.5. The commercial production of aquatic plants and animals
propagated and raised by a registered aquaculturist pursuant to
Section 15101 of the Fish and Game Code in the state is a growing
industry and provides a healthful and nutritious food product, and,
as a commercial operation, utilizes management, land, water, and feed
as do other agricultural enterprises. Therefore, the commercial
production of that aquatic life shall be considered a branch of the
agricultural industry of the state for the purpose of any law that
provides for the benefit or protection of the agricultural industry
of the state except those laws relating to plant quarantine or pest
23.6. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that greenhouse
production of floricultural, ornamental, or other nursery and
agricultural products in the state is a growing industry that
provides valuable agricultural products and year-round employment for
agricultural workers. The Legislature further declares that
greenhouse production is an efficient self-contained production
system that offers protections for the environment and allows for the
use of conservation-oriented production technologies, including drip
irrigation, water recycling, and hydroponics, and the use of energy
23.7. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that vermiculture
in the state is a growing industry and that use of vermiculture and
vermiculture by-products for the commercial purpose of producing
agricultural commodities should be encouraged. As used in this
section, "vermiculture" is the raising of animals belonging to the
order Oligochaeta, class Chaetopoda, phylum Annelida.
Vermiculture, and the processing, packaging, sale, and use of its
by-products, shall be considered a branch of the agricultural
24. It is hereby declared, as a matter of legislative
determination, that the provisions of this section are enacted in the
exercise of the power of this state for the purpose of protecting
and furthering the public health and welfare. It is further declared
that the floriculture and nursery industry of this state is affected
with a public interest, in that, among other things:
(a) The production, processing, manufacture, and distribution of
floriculture and nursery products constitute a paramount industry of
this state which not only provides substantial and required revenues
for the state and its political subdivisions by tax revenues and
other means, and employment and a means of livelihood for many
thousands of its population, but also furnishes substantial
employment to related industries that are vital to the public health
(b) Basic research and development for floriculture and the
nursery industries contribute substantially to food production in
this state which is essential to the welfare and health of its
It is also declared that the elimination of disorderly marketing
of California floricultural and nursery products, and the development
of new and larger markets through education, promotion and other
means for these products, are affected with the public interest.
(c) All production of floriculture and nursery products in
greenhouses shall be deemed equivalent to the production of
floricultural products in open fields.
24.5. Inasmuch as plants growing in native stands or planted for
ornamental purposes contribute to the environmental and public health
and welfare needs of the people of the state, the Legislature hereby
finds and declares that such plants shall be considered as a part of
the agricultural industry for the purpose of any law that provides
for the protection of the agricultural industry from pests.
25. Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions in the
following sections govern the construction of this code.
25.5. "Aquaculture" means that form of agriculture devoted to the
propagation, cultivation, maintenance, harvesting, processing,
distribution, and marketing of aquatic plants and animals in marine,
brackish, and fresh water. "Aquaculture" does not include species of
ornamental marine or freshwater plants and animals not utilized for
human consumption or bait purposes that are maintained in closed
systems for personal, pet industry, or hobby purposes.
26. "Commissioner" means any county agricultural commissioner.
29. "County" includes city and county.
32. "Department" means the Department of Food and Agriculture.
33. "Greenhouse" means a structure covered with transparent or
translucent materials for the purpose of admitting natural light and
controlling the atmosphere for growing plants, including
floricultural, ornamental, or other nursery and agricultural
35. "Secretary" means the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.
38. "Person" means any individual, partnership, association,
corporation, limited liability company, or any organized group of
persons whether incorporated or not.
39. "Qualified representative of the commissioner" means a deputy
commissioner or inspector who holds an appropriate certificate of
qualification issued by the director as provided in Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 2101) of Division 2 of this code.
41. "Section" means a section of this code, unless some other
statute is specifically mentioned.
44. "Sell" includes offer for sale, expose for sale, possess for
sale, exchange, barter, or trade.
47. "Shall" is mandatory, and "may" is permissive.
49. "Subdivision" means a subdivision of the section in which that
term occurs unless some other section is expressly mentioned.
50. Whenever the term "department" or "Department of Agriculture"
appears in any law, it means the "Department of Food and Agriculture."
Whenever the term "director," "secretary," "Director of
Agriculture," or "Secretary of Agriculture" appears in any law, it
means the "Secretary of Food and Agriculture."
Whenever the term "Agricultural Code" appears in any law, it means
the "Food and Agricultural Code."
51. (a) If, in connection with the use of roads, highways, and
freeways, the assistance, control, or protection by Highway Patrol
officers is desired, applications by an entity engaged in
agricultural production to utilize services of Highway Patrol
officers in the transportation of agricultural commodities shall be
made to the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. The
commissioner may approve the application provided that employees are
available and the department is fully reimbursed for additional costs
(b) Applications to utilize Highway Patrol employee services shall
be approved or disapproved by the Commissioner of the California
Highway Patrol within 30 days of receipt of the application and shall
be approved sooner, if possible.