House Bill 2490 – Plant Pest and Agricultural Commodity Certification Act

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On May 17, 2016, Governor Brownback signed into law House Bill 2490, granting the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to quarantine growing crops in the field due to the known presence of biological and chemical plant toxins. This is a new authority over growing crops that the Secretary did not previously enjoy. The law, which becomes effective July 1st, is beneficial to our member grain elevators as crops with plant toxins can now be quarantined in the field or segregated before they are harvested and unknowingly co-mingled with other grains. KGFA, KARA, and the KCC testified in favor of this bill. KGFA, KARA, and the KCC testified in favor of this bill.

Plant Toxicants and Plant Pests – HB 2490 adds the definition of the term “toxicant” to the definitions of the Plant Pest Act. Under the bill, the term “toxicant” means any chemical, including agricultural chemicals which, if present in unsafe levels, can render a plant or plant product unsafe for human or animal consumption. The definition of the term “plant pest” is amended to include “toxicant” and to include anything “which can cause a threat to public health.” The bill grants additional authority to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to quarantine the state or parts of the state when it is necessary to contain a plant pest for the protection of public health. New authority also is given to the Secretary to prevent the spread of a plant pest through quarantine into the state through its movement or transportation.