April 29, 2013
Such a test could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.
The bill, Senate Bill 747, is an addition to the current health and safety codes and is currently set for a hearing on April 17. It was written and introduced by Sen. Mark DeSauliner (D, Concord).
The introduction of the bill clearly says that the law would require the food service companies to pay the state for the testing in order to fill state coffers. It notes that without the assessment, the state would have the right to shut an offending restaurant down.
If the department determines that the criteria are met, the bill would require the manufacturer to create, for approval of the department, a public health impact report (PHIR) containing specified information, including a list of adverse public health impacts and a mitigation plan for those impacts.
As California politics watchdog Stephen Frank points out,
"Pass this and hundreds of thousands of Californians are out of work on Day One ~ and tens of thousands of Californians have lost their investments and businesses."
The big chains could afford the cost of these tests, but small restaurants would just have to close their doors before the state's inspectors do it for them.
Further, this requirement would tend to limit menu options at restaurants, as those that could not afford the tests would cut menu choices down in order to keep testing costs lower. Additionally, menus wouldn't change very often to avoid constant costly state testing requirements. This would prevent restaurants from trying new menu items to appeal to the changing tastes of customers.
And this is not to even mention that the expense of eating out would go up as restaurants pass on the costs of these expensive tests to customers.
Interestingly, the bill's sponsor, Sen. DeSauliner, is a party jumper; until the year 2000, he was a Republican. DeSauliner is also a big opponent of the Second Amendment and is supported by the anti-gun advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.