September 12 , 2006 :
HR 4167, the "National Uniformity for Food Act", is before the Senate Commitee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. This bill is being promoted by "Big Food" - the giant agribusiness corporations and the junk food industry. The bill passed the House in March and is awaiting Senate action. The Consumers Union testified on this bill when it was before the House. Read their testimony.
We wrote to our Florida Senators, to Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions before which the bill sits, and to Senator Ted Kennedy, ranking minority member of that Committee. Here's what we said.
As health conscious consumers and constituents, we urge you please to vote "No" on the "National Uniformity for Food Act."
Despite industry claims, this is a profoundly undemocratic and anti-consumer bill that will take away the right of local governments and states to require food safety labels on food and grocery items. This bill is a child of, and is being promoted by, agribusiness and the junk food industry with the goal of minimizing the amount of important information passed to consumers about the food they’re buying and eating.
The “National Uniformity for Food Act” will eliminate current food safety food labels such as those required in California and other states on foods or beverages that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning. This bill would also prevent citizens in local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients be so labeled.
As consumers we strongly resent this denial of our basic right to know what's in our food, and this denial of our local and state governments' power to protect our health and that of our families.
Please vote "No," on the National Uniformity for Food Act.