Thursday, April 27, 2006

USA Food Fight

Just over a month after the National Uniformity for Food Act was approved by the House of Representatives, introduced on October 27th by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY), opposition is flying in on all fronts ...creating one of the biggest food fights over USA food safety labelling requirements in recent years.

Supporters of the Act claim the legislation would establish a uniform national system of food safety. Opponents say the bill will dissolve State food safety protections.

Meet some of the opposition:
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Senator Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif (see news quote)
National Conference of State Legislatures
Consumer's Union - the non-profit publishers of Consumer Reports magazine
And MANY more!

Meet some of the supporters:
ConAgra Foods
General Mills
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
National Uniformity for Food Coalition (comprised mostly of food industry GIANTS)
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
And 283 Members of Congress, representing 44 states, including Califonia

One of the state laws that would be particularly affected by the National Uniformity for Food Act is California's Proposition 65, which requires that food manufacturers alert customers about the existence of cancer-causing compounds in food.

Other state laws that could be affected by the proposed bill include laws in Illinois and Pennsylvania regulating the safety of eggs; laws in California, Florida, and Louisiana requiring warning labels on shellfish; regulation for smoked fish in Wisconsin and Michigan; and laws in Maryland requiring that labels disclose if "fresh" food was previously frozen and thus should not be refrozen.

“...The legislation passed by the House would do away not only with Prop. 65, but with more than 200 food safety laws and regulations on the books in all 50 states. Overriding these stringent consumer protections gambles with the health of hundreds of thousands of Americans. I will do everything in my power to stop this legislation from passing the Senate,” said Senator Feinstein. “Any weakening of Proposition 65, or any other state or local food safety measure, could undermine the health and safety of all Americans."

So watch out, folks... we have a major food fight on our hands ...and our health and safety is at the heart of it!