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Recently, I (and several other kossacks) posted diaries about proposed legislation to change food labelling.  BooMan Link   H.R.4167 is an attempt, at least in part, to roll back the more stringent California labelling standards.  Apparently pressure brought to bear has caused the vote to be delayed for a one week period.

This, from the Organic Food Consumers site:


WASHINGTON, DC ­ In a partial victory for consumers across the nation, the House has delayed the vote on H.R. 4167 for a week. H.R. 4167, the "National Unity for Food Act", was set to come before the House of Representatives today. If passed, this Act will take away the power of local and state governments to require food safety warning labels on food and beverages, keeping consumers in the dark about what is truly in their food. Thus far the bill has been met with widespread opposition from consumers, health groups and state legislators. The Organic Consumers Association is concerned that lawmakers are selling out consumer health for campaign contributions.

So there is still time to contact your congresscritters and state your disgust in no uncertain terms.  As always, the numbers are: 888 355 3588 or 888 818 6641.  And of course, operators are standing by.

In the meantime, the New York Times has printed an editorial now featured at the Organic Consumers site.  It appears below.


The Abusive New Federalism

After a murky legislative process distinguished by a lack of any public hearing, the House is ready to rush to approve a special-interest measure for the food industry today. The bill would pre-empt all state food safety regulations that are more protective than federal standards. A bipartisan majority behind this clearly dangerous bill is echoing the industry's line that the goal is simply to end consumers' confusion about varying state regulations that govern warning labels and protective inspections.

If consumers believe that, then we have some bottled water to sell them that no longer warns of arsenic levels, and a salmon fillet that drops the distinction between fish originating in the wild and fish from a farm. Such information and a much larger array of warnings could be expunged under the bill.

Professional associations of state health, farm and consumer officials < denied a hearing before Congress and taxpayers < warn consumers that countless protections on the state and local levels would be gutted in favor of a lowest-common-denominator dictated by food and retail interests. The broad proposal threatens existing food safety programs affecting things like restaurant sanitation and sales of milk and numerous other vital products.  The bill would invent a burdensome process by which states would have to petition federal officials to restore the safety regulations they now have.  The driving force behind the bill seems to be the challenge to industry forces posed by California, which is leading the way in demanding consumer warnings about mercury levels in fish, lead in calcium supplements and other hazards. Other states have followed suit. Proponents of the bill in the food industry and Congress claim that their goal is being misunderstood. If so, they should pull the bill back and prove their case at open hearings that treat the public interest as something more than a nonentity.

€ Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Sheesh, don't Republicans and DINOs eat the same food as everyone else?

The remaining time can be well used for contact with your respective legislators.  I urge you to do so.

Originally posted to boran2 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 04:14 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  The Organic Consumers site... (4.00)
    ...has other useful information.  

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin Survivor Left Blogistan

    by boran2 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 04:14:34 PM PST

  •  Caveat Emptor (none)
    and I guess eater beware as well.

    If a company finds the labeling standards too "burdensom" they are free not to sell us granola eatin' bastages (read Californians) their product.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 04:15:49 PM PST

  •  damn (4.00)
    I thought you meant the aging food in my refrigerator would be good for another week.....

    "You'd like that's all political and morose."

    by Miss Devore on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 04:16:12 PM PST

  •  Ah (4.00)
    the bill to increase the supply of soylent green has been delayed a week?
  •  No. They don't. (none)
    Sheesh, don't Republicans and DINOs eat the same food as everyone else?

    and if they do, I'm sure they are sniggerd at, and written off as dumbass. Or think that they are invincible. From Ms. Slaughter's diary yesterday. Laura feeds Chimpie organic.

    Thanks for the word. I was wondering how that went. I'll call again. And again, and again, until they make me so poor that I have my phone turned off.

  •  Not a reprieve (none)
    A delay tactic to allow attention to wane. . .

    Although the following rant may seem like it is not related to the subject at hand, I really must say that I am sick and tired of the 'delay' tactic used by the Republicans over and over.  And quite effectively, I might add.

    It seems whenever an issue that is important to a free and/or healthy nation attracts attention from the natives (i.e. us) the legislation is 'delayed' only to be brought to the floor later when there is less attention on the matter.  And voila!  The legislation is passed - usually with overwhelming support.  

    I call bullshit on it.  Bullshit. On. All. Of. It. All!

    The Patriot Act was the final straw for me.  It appeared we had enough support a few weeks ago to not only delay the passage of this liberty-sucking law, but also enough support to keep it from passing altogether.  And then came the big 'delay' tactic followed by the overwhelming support for passage.  

    You can bet the same will happen with this legislation regarding the labeling of our food.  Do you really think Congress cares about what we think?  Or cares about what we want?  Congress doesn't give a fuck about what we want!  And they prove it over and over, each and every day.

    And while this rant will not change a single thing, I thank you for the opportunity to express my rage and my dismay at what feels like never ending outrage after outrage.  And so I will now unplug from the Internet for awhile.  I just can't take any more news for awhile. . .I am totally and utterly bushwhacked!

    Suspicion is a Virtue if it is in the interests of the good of the people.

    by givmeliberty on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 07:30:28 PM PST

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