The National Uniformity for Food Act – Now it’s the Senate’s turn

Back in March of this year, our House of Representatives passed House Resolution 4167, aka the National Uniformity for Food Act. This act seeks to take away the state’s right in deciding, establishing or continuing any authority or notification requirement in regard to food production. Instead, this bill seeks to put the full authority of Food regulations under the auspices of the relevant Federal authorities, probably the FDA with some responsibilities going to the USDA.

When the bill passed the House, and I said not to worry, as there has been no movement in the Senate, and that I would alert you when there was.

Consider this the alert.

Senate Bill 3128, the National Uniformity for Food Act, will be the the subject of a hearing tomorrow in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

If you are against this proposal..well first, you would be in good company, along with the Consumers Union, Sierra Club, and a multitude of Governors and Attorneys General across the country, both Republican and Democrat.

Second, you should contact members of the HELP committee and voice your objection to the bill. I’ve listed the various members below, along with their phone numbers and e-mails. Senators tend to be swayed more by phone calls than e-mail, so keep that in mind. Also, if you call, ask them their current position on S. 3128 and post the comment here. We’ll see if we can get an idea on where this is going.

The basic talking points to discuss when calling your Senators are as follows (note: Feel free to use them, but know that there are other issues beyond those I list here):

  • It would undercut the role of state and local governments and reduce food safety laws to the federal government’s “uniform” lowest common denominator.
  • The task of overseeing the majority of the regulations will fall to the FDA, an agency that is already underfunded and understaffed.
  • The task of overseeing the majority of the regulations will fall to the FDA, an agency that has shown such disregard for consumer safety, that they’ve allowed Carbon Monoxide Treatment of Meat (LI: accidental PW:hedonist).
  • By advocating for a homogeneity of standards, it would harm or even destroy the various regional regulations in food industries such as Vermont Maple Syrup, Alaskan Salmon, Wisconsin Cheddar and other regionally based foods..
  • It makes it easier for larger food corporations to erode current food standards at the expense of the safety of the consumers.

Please feel free to copy these to your own blog, or point them here.

The Senators reviewing these standards are as follows:

Republicans

  • Michael B. Enzi – Wyoming – (202) 224-3424 or (307) 772-2477
  • Judd Gregg – New Hampshire – (202) 224-3324 or (603) 622-7979
  • Bill Frist – Tennessee – 202-224-3344 or 615-352-9411
  • Lamar Alexander – Tennessee – (202) 224-4944 or (865) 545-4253
  • Richard Burr – North Carolina – (202) 224-3154 or (336) 631-5125
  • Johnny Isakson – Georgia – (202) 224-3643 or (770) 661-0999
  • Mike DeWine – Ohio – (202) 224-2315 or (614) 469-6774
  • John Ensign – Nevada – (202) 224-6244 or (775) 885-9111
  • Orrin Hatch – Utah – (202) 224-5251 or (801) 524-4380
  • Jeff Sessions – Alabama – (202) 224-4124 or (251) 414-3083
  • Pat Roberts – Kansas – 202-224-4774 or 785-295-2745

Democrats

  • Edward M. Kennedy – Massachusetts – (202) 224-4543 or (617) 565-3170
  • Christopher Dodd – Connecticut – (202) 224-2823 or (860) 258-6940
  • Tom Harkin – Iowa – (202) 224-3254 or (515) 284-4574
  • Barbara Mikulski – Maryland – (202) 224-4654 or 410-263-1805
  • Jeff Bingaman – New Mexico – (202) 224-5521 or (505) 988-6647
  • Patty Murray – Washington – (202) 224-2621 or (206) 553-5545
  • Jack Reed – Rhode Island – (202) 224-4642 or (401) 528-5200
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton – New York – (202) 224-4451 or (518) 431-0120

Independents

  • Jim Jeffords – Vermont – (202) 224-5141 or (802) 658-6001

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