Food Uniformity Bill Passes in the House Despite Widespread Opposition

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) 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.