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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2013
CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association,
Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090; or Alexis Baden-Mayer, 202-744-0853
FINLAND, Minn. - (Sept. 24, 2013) – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has joined a broad coalition of more than 80 groups that have jointly signed a letter opposing Sec. 11312 of H.R. 2642, a provision to the Farm Bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. The provision, authored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa and adopted in committee following minimal debate, could wipe out countless state laws and rules regulating agriculture and food labeling.
“The King amendment is an outrageous federal overreach that could undo rules adopted by states over many decades, on everything from pesticide exposure to child labor, BPA in baby food jars to conditions for animals on factory farms,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the OCA. “We find it ironic that Rep. King, a Tea Party conservative who claims to champion states’ rights, would be willing to eviscerate states’ rights to protect the health and safety of their citizens, in order to protect the interests of the big industrial agriculture companies.”
If King’s amendment becomes law, labeling and other requirements for products and ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, maple syrup, milk fat, farm-raised fish, tobacco, additives in alcohol and potentially even genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be swept away. The same goes for controls on the import of firewood-carrying invasive pests, safety standards for farm workers handling dangerous equipment, fire safety standards for cigarettes, and laws restricting practices such as the killing of sharks for their fins and the sale of dog and cat meat.
The OCA, and the coalition, are calling on lawmakers to keep the King Amendment – and anything like it – out of the final version of the Farm Bill.
A bipartisan group of nearly 200 Members of Congress (15 Republican Representatives, 152 Democratic Representatives, and 23 Senators) wrote to the leadership of their chamber’s Agriculture Committee and expressed opposition to the King amendment.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.