WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
March 9, 2006
Members of the House put special interests before public interest
Despite opposition from many environmental, health and consumer rights organizations, 39 state Attorneys General, 7 state Governors, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the National Conference of State Legislators and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 4167, The National Uniformity for Food Act, on Wednesday, March 8th.
Pushed forward by the food industry under the guise of promoting “uniformity” of food safety and labeling laws in the U.S., the bill requires all state food safety laws to be identical to the requirements of the Federal Food and Drug Administration. If the FDA has not passed a regulation on a food threat, then all state regulations on that threat would immediately be voided. And, since the states regulate many food safety issues not covered by the FDA, many food safety laws will be voided and replaced with no law at all. For example, the bill would preempt Alaska’s newly passed law to label genetically engineered fish and California’s Proposition 65, a very effective law that requires labeling of food and consumer products that contain substances known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. It also threatens state laws governing the safety of milk and shellfish.
The bill passed the house with a vote of 283 to 139 (see how your Representative voted here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll032.xml) even though in eight years of repeated introduction, there has NEVER been a hearing in either the House or the Senate on this “uniformity” bill.
While special interests trumped public interest in the House yesterday, we still have a strong chance to stop this dangerous legislation in the Senate. At least 7 Senators have already come out in opposition to the Food Uniformity bill. Our Senators need to know we oppose any attempts to strip state’s abilities to protect and inform their own citizens concerning food safety and labeling issues.
CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW AND ASK THEM TO STRONGLY OPPOSE ANY COMPANION BILL IN THE SENATE!