Organic Consumers Association


Previous Page

Click here to print this page

Make a Donation!


OCA & Others Force Congress to Delay Vote on Bill Eliminating State Food Safety Labeling Laws

March 2, 2006

Ronnie Cummins 218.349.3836
Adam Eidinger 202.744.2671

House Delays Vote on Anti-Consumer Bill

"National Unity for Food Act" Would Kill Strict State Food Safety Labeling

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.

"As we look at this bill it appears that House members have sold their votes
to big business interests that fear consumer labeling laws which save lives
and expose harmful ingredients commonly used in conventional foods and
beverages," says Organic Consumers Association Executive Director Ronnie
Cummins. "Our members have sent 30,000 letters to Congress in the few days
we have had to mobilize opposition before the expected vote. We are
optimistic that this delay in voting means that Representatives have been
listening to the emails and phone calls they have been getting and will
ultimately defeat this bill."

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is calling on Congress to reject the
"National Unity for Food Act" as an assault on local democracy and food
safety. HR 4167 will only make it harder for food safety advocates to
protect consumers from harmful ingredients or trace containments found in
the nation¹s food supply. States like California that have strict laws
requiring labels on food and beverages that could cause cancer, birth
defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning would be preempted by this
federal law. Alaska has a law requiring labels on genetically modified
fish. The passage of this Act would nullify these and other state food
safety labeling laws as well as prevent future laws from being passed.

"We are seeing increasing demand by consumers to know what is in the food
that they are buying. As more consumers refuse to buy food that is labeled
as containing potentially dangerous chemicals, big agribusiness is moving to
restrict consumers' right to know. Rather than clean up their products,
they make huge campaign contributions to Representatives. In the end we
hope that our Representatives will listen to their constituents and not
their major donors and defeat H.R. 4167".

Tens of thousands of consumers have responded to alerts from the Organic
Consumers Association, Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety, the
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, and other groups also working
to defeat H.R. 4167.