Home>Articles>Human Composting Burial Signed into Law by Gov. Newsom

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Human Composting Burial Signed into Law by Gov. Newsom

AB 351 will allow natural organic reduction burials beginning in 2027

By Evan Symon, September 20, 2022 2:09 pm

A bill to allow Californians to choose to be composted after death, along with cremation and burial options, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this week.

Assembly Bill 351, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), will require the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs to license and regulate natural organic reduction (NOR), which places bodies of the deceased in a container with woodchips and other organic material and has them decompose into soil over around a month. The Bureau will also have NOR facilities to pay fees for every body reduction, as well as licensing and renewal fees.

Under the bill, the California Department of Public Health would create standards for NORs and approve all reduction facilities in the state. Local registrars would also add “reduced human remains” to the list of body dispositions on permits, along with cremation and burial.

AB 351 is set to go into law on January 1, 2027.

Assemblywoman Garcia wrote the bill to give an environmentally more friendly burial option compared to cremation, which releases 534 pounds of carbon into the air every cremation, or around 360,000 metric tons of carbon each year from the US alone. Specifically, Garcia noted that during the pandemic, when Los Angeles County suspended air quality standards and emissions for funeral homes that cremated bodies, carbon emissions went drastically up, an alternative was badly needed due to the higher air pollution. With the passage of AB 351, she argued that the more environmentally friendly option would help combat climate change and sea-level rise.

“AB 351 will provide an additional option for California residents that is more environmentally-friendly and gives them another choice for burial,” said Assemblywoman Garcia in a statement. “With climate change and sea-level rise as very real threats to our environment, this is an alternative method of final disposition that won’t contribute emissions into our atmosphere. For each individual who chooses NOR over conventional burial or cremation, the process saves the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon from entering the environment.”

Opposition to AB 351

While many were in favor of the bill, especially environmental groups who pushed for the carbon-emission fighting method of burial, many others opposed the bill. In particular, religious groups were outraged by the bill as they said it reduces humans to a commodity and takes away any dignity that comes from death.

“The process reduces the human body to simply a disposable commodity. NOR uses essentially the same process as a home gardening composting system,” noted California Catholic Conference executive director Kathleen Domingo on Monday. “The process was developed for livestock, not humans. These methods of disposal were used to lessen the possibility of disease being transmitted by the dead carcass. Using these same methods for the transformation of human remains can create an unfortunate spiritual, emotional and psychological distancing from the deceased.”

Sarah Caulfield, a funeral director in Southern California, added, “These kinds of funerals do not give comfort to a lot of people. So the body becomes soil – to many they have images of people walking on it and things. It doesn’t make people feel good about what they did. It is part of the circle of life, but Garcia completely forgot about the most important factor in this: the human connection. She’s thinking in terms of carbon emissions, which I concede is a good point, but she did not explain it in a human way. You know, in a way that comforts people who lost a loved one.”

“She could have easily provided a statement, a paragraph even, giving a heart to heart about how good this would be for the deceased to become part of the earth or something. It wouldn’t convince many, but she would at least look human. Instead, she went this route, and made a lot of people mad in the process. This is only going to be an option now, but if her intention was to get a lot of people to do this, her way of explaining this has turned a lot of people off to it, at least for now. She was using logic for this. She forgot that you also needed a heart.”

Despite the large amount of opposition, AB 351 easily passed both the Assembly and Senate last month, leading Newsom to sign the bill into law on Sunday.

Following the bill signing, California became the 5th state in the country to legalize NOR burials following Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont.

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13 thoughts on “Human Composting Burial Signed into Law by Gov. Newsom

  1. So now you can’t even DIE in California without a greenie tsk-tsk’ing and wagging his finger at you if you or your loved ones wish to have a dignified, religious burial. Great!
    Asm Cristina Garcia needs to mind her own business in such matters and stick with what she knows best: Hosting keggers in her assembly office and sexually harassing staff members.

  2. Again, the Democrats LIE and spin this to make this awful process more palatable sounding…
    What this really does is place the body in a chamber filled with a lye solution that reduces the calcium of the bones to “soil” or small fragments, similar to cremation, where the cremains are pulverized into large grains of sand…
    The awful part of this is that the flesh is reduced to sludge…
    This is literally a “Wicked Witch of the West” scenario where people are reduced to sludge and “sand” and these lying Democrats spin this as “soil”…
    Just like their lies about electric vehicles they are lying about lye-reduction procedures….
    This woman is detestable….

    1. Wait a minute! It’s impossible for this woman to be detestable. She is a member of an oppressed minority and needs not live in accordance with the standards of Western civilization. I can’t sleep at night thinking about the carbon released into the atmosphere by deceased humans. Repeat after me: “O Great Planet, have mercy on us animals. O Great Ocean, please don’t flood our wonderful coastal cities like New York and San Francisco.”

  3. We have a lot of problems in this state like water shortage, energy shortage, inflation, homeless population, and of course crime! Doesn’t the Democratic Legislature have anything better to do? Oh wait, they caused those problems!

  4. It’s doubtful that the residents and voters of Bell Gardens demanded that Democrat Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia push this creepy composting legislation? No doubt the ghoulish Assemblywoman got a payoff from some source…but who and why? Is she another one of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum globalist minions?

    1. If you’re a Hispanic resident of Bell, you look at two things on the ballot: (1) the name “Garcia,” and (2) the “D” after her name. She could compost all their grandmothers overnight, and they’d still vote for this cretin.

  5. Please we all know that the end goal of this is Soylent Green for the masses as our masters dine at the French Laundry or its equivalent on Steak, Lamb and Pig.

  6. So our options now are 1) burial 2) cremation or 3) slow decomposition in a pile of CA shit. Then they will charge you an astronomical fee for “decomposing”as well as added fees for gaseous containment or some other nonsensical idea! Glad this one was on top of Newsom’s pile.

  7. The unelected incompetent Calif air resources board will follow up shortly to outlaw the other normal forms of burial just like they did with gas powered autos.

  8. This bill seems like the language emphasis on carbon is what is so offensive, not the actual process. If you are buried in an individual container-coffin and put the ground-cemetary unembalmed and lie undisturbed, I don’t see how it conflicts with having a religious service as well. If your body is dug up and then recycled after then I can see how that is repugnant. If you are put in a bin with other bodies that sounds weird.

  9. Yeah, I always get comfort after losing a loved one knowing that they will not be emitting excess carbon into the atmosphere. So so comforting, Not!

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