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March 1, 2006

Republicans Gutting State Food Safety Protections

-- by Dave Johnson

More Republican corruption. Why do Republicans corrupt everything they touch? (Answer at end.)

THIS time they're being paid by the big food and chemical companies to gut the food safety regulations in place now in the individual states. On top of that, they're gutting California's Prop. 65, which requires businesses to warn people when they might be exposed to dangerous chemicals!

Bill Would Standardize Warnings on Food, Drink,

The bill, which has 226 co-sponsors in the House, would amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to supersede existing state legislation and practices on food-warning labels. It would also require states to petition the Food and Drug Administration to restore laws and regulations they currently have.

Some of the state laws that could be affected cover farm and food plant inspections, whereas others involve rules on shellfish, dairy products, allowable levels of arsenic and other contaminants in bottled water, lead in food and serving dishes, and whether salmon has to be labeled as wild or farmed. Numerous states have food-safety laws that are considerably tougher than federal standards.

The House bill has been promoted for several years by a coalition of food companies and producer trade associations.

Another report, Bill to pre-empt state food safety rules,
In particular, the measure would pre-empt California's Proposition 65, a 1986 law that requires consumers to be notified about contaminants known to cause cancer or birth defects.

The California law, which led to the reduction of arsenic in bottled water and lead in calcium supplements nationwide, has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to tighten federal standards over the years. Most recently the state has required warnings for pregnant women about mercury in certain fish.

Erik Olson, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: "What the bill would do is assure the lowest common denominator of protection. Cheaper food that has poisonous chemicals in it is no bargain. They are being responsible and protecting citizens when the federal government hasn't done its job."

Republicans corrupt everything they touch because they believe in an ideology of greed, of wealth and ower over regular people, while Democrats believe that people should work together to make everyone's lives better -- democracy and community.

Posted by Dave Johnson at March 1, 2006 7:16 PM

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Comments

I couldn't agree more. Thank you for supporting those caring politicians, federal bureaucracies, and non-profit groups that have only my best interests at heart. How dare those agricultural concerns, who probably know nothing about processing food, try to get laws passed dealing with food packaging and preparation.

Being a Californian, I can attest to the warm feelings I get every time I see the state warning signs posted at the auto repair shop, and the entrance to Target. It's often at those times that I realize how much the state legislature cares for the little people, like me.

I know liberals everywhere take pride in the part they play to promote the growth of such a benevolent govenment. May God Bless You All.

Posted by: HappyOD [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2006 8:29 PM

Wait, I thought conservatives were supposed to be for local control, state control, not the Federal Government telling the states what they can and can't do.

I guess that only applies when the big corporations aren't slipping them the payola, right?

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2006 9:17 PM

Hey, HOD. I did not know you were so involved in agriculture.

It sounds like you saying that community is fine as long as they are all the way you want them to be?

Posted by: grannyinsanity [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2006 10:15 PM

NY will be affected because they have strict food safety laws. To help keep things under control until we can get back in control and reverse this, I have a few suggestions:

Buy local farm produce, but avoiding agribusiness produce.

Buy organic, but make sure it's really organic.

Buy Kosher.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2006 5:03 AM

From the WaPo article:
"The House bill...is sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.). The bill is co-sponsored by a majority of Republicans and a total of 40 Democrats."

So you have a childishly glib reason why Republicans would sponsor such a bill - your cartoonish "...ideology of greed, of wealth and ower over regular people..." but since your equally-cartoonish description of Democrats as caring types whose credo is, "...people should work together to make everyone's lives better" is seemingly at odds with the fact that a good portion of them are co-sponsoring this bill, I was just wondering how you rationalize this?
I mean, how in the world could someone (a Democrat) who is only interested in Making Lives Better actually co-sponsor a bill that is obviously intended to poison the public while sending freight-cars full of cash to the wealthy foodustrialists?
How can it be possible?

Posted by: tomaig [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2006 9:38 AM

40 is a small portion, not "a good portion." We're working on those few Demorats who enable Repubican corruption. That portion is smaller every day.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2006 10:00 AM

I watched the debate in the House about this bill on C-SPAN today. There were NO HEARINGS held about the changes in this law. It's being pushed as "uniform labeling" about warnings, but that's hiding the fact that food inspection and safety has primarily been a local and state activity that they're about to gut by tossing out all the local and state laws about food safety and reducing regulations to the lowest common denominator. Good God! The situation's bad enough now without making it even less safe!

It's fascinating, though, to see the Democrats taking over the conservative position on State's Rights while the Republicans are arguing for federalization that excludes the right of states to regulate food safety. Someone should make a list of all the ways the two parties have flipped. It's the Democrats who are now taking the traditionally conservative position on fiscal responsibility, too.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2006 5:38 PM

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