Daily News Archive
From March 22, 2006                                                                                                        

House Passes Bill That Would Gut Food Safety Laws
(Beyond Pesticides, March 22, 2006)
Despite a flood of calls and emails to members of Congress, the House of Representatives passed the National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005 ( H.R. 4167) on March 8. The industry-backed bill will take away local government and states' power to require 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, voiding California's Proposition 65 This bill would also prevent citizens in local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients such as Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) be labeled.

The bill is backed by large food manufacturers and trade organizations that have contributed millions of dollars to members of Congress. The vigorous opposition to the bill made it a much closer fight than it would have been, and set the stage for a battle in the Senate.

According to the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), H.R. 4167 could preempt approximately 80 state laws that are already on the books in 37 states. The bill will impact the strict laws in states such as California, Florida, Louisiana and Rhode Island that require warning labels on shellfish, which often carry lethal pathogens, laws in Illinois and Pennsylvania that regulate the safety of eggs; a law in Alaska requiring labeling of genetically modified fish or fish products; and state mercury warnings, such as California's strong point-of-purchase mercury warnings for fish.

TAKE ACTION: Please call your senators today and ask them to sign the letter that Senator Feinstein (D-CA) is circulating in opposition to this bill. Click here to find your senators' contact information. Click here to send a letter to your senators urging them to oppose this bill, or to learn more about this issue.