Statement of CSPI Senior Staff Attorney Benjamin Cohen on Proposed Food-Safety Rollback

April 24, 2006

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to propose a bill that wouldeliminate more than 200 state and local food safety laws on restaurant sanitation, milk pasteurization, and shellfish safety—and to then simultaneously claim that the bill does none of those things. If the bill truly does as little as these K Street lobbyists now claim, it would be hard to explain why they are pushing it so hard. The industry obviously objects to California’s popular Proposition 65, which requires notices on products that contain a cancer- or birth-defect-causing ingredient. But needless to say, the ambiguity about what this bill does or doesn’t do is due to the fact that the food industry has tried to ram this bill through Congress without a single hearing and without a single witness testifying under oath.

Within the last two weeks the Governor of California, and officials in Baltimore and New York City have all expressed opposition to the so-called National Uniformity for Food Act. They are part of rising tide of bipartisan opposition by Governors, Attorneys General, and state and local food safety officials that has stung the food industry. We call on the United States Senate to block this ill-intentioned legislation.


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