House Subcommittee Approves Language that Prevents States from Protecting their Citizens

Well I was going to start my vacation until this entered my inbox…

Washington May 24, 2007 – Earlier today, the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry approved new language slipped into the 2007 Farm Bill that pre-empts any state prohibitions against any foods or agricultural goods that have been deregulated by the USDA. The passage appears to be aimed at several recently enacted state laws that restrict the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops, but could also prohibit states from taking action when food contamination cases occur.

“Given the recent spate of food scares, it’s shocking to see this attempt to derail safeguards for our food and farms,ˮ said Joseph Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety. “We need a Farm Bill that will promote stronger food safety standards, not one that attacks these vital state-level protections.”

The passage approved by the House Subcommittee today states that “no State or locality shall make any law prohibiting the use in commerce of an article that the Secretary of Agriculture has inspected and passed; or determined to be of non-regulated status.ˮ

Or to put it another way – Even though it’s been proven that the USDA’s authority to protect small farmers has been compromised, and that their track record in protecting the health of citizens and environments has been put behind the need to increase the profit of industrial-agriculture complex, we’re supposed to take the USDA’s word over that of the states who have put consumer and environmental concerns into their charter?

Yeah, I ain’t buyin’ that at all.

Feel free to contact the congresscritters below to let them know that until the public can trust the USDA, that it’s not a good idea to let them be the final word of food regulation.

Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
Leonard L. Boswell, (D-IA) Chairman

Jurisdiction: livestock; dairy; poultry; meat; seafood and seafood products; inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities; aquaculture; animal welfare; and grazing.

  • Leonard L. Boswell, (D-IA) Chairman
  • Kirsten E. Gillibrand, (D-NY)
  • Steve Kagen, (D-WI)
  • Tim Holden, (D-PA)
  • Joe Baca, (D-CA)
  • Dennis A. Cardoza, (D-CA)
  • Nick Lampson, (D-TX)
  • Joe Donnelly, (D-IN)
  • Jim Costa, (D-CA)
  • Tim Mahoney, (D-FL)
  • Robin Hayes,(R-NC) Ranking Minority Member
  • Mike Rogers, (R-AL)
  • Steve King, (R-IA)
  • Virginia Foxx, (R-NC)
  • K. Michael Conaway, (R-TX)
  • Jean Schmidt, (R-OH)
  • Adrian Smith, (R-NE)
  • Tim Walberg, (R-MI)

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