CONTACT: Penelope Miller, (202) 332-9110 x358,
Caroline Smith DeWaal, (202) 332-9110 x366
H.R. 3200, authored by Rep. Scott Klug (R-WI) "is a Congressional blueprint for undoing decades of pro-consumer legislation that ensure the safety and honest labeling of the food we eat," charged Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
"This proposal is a symptom of 'Mad Congress Disease,'" added Jacobson. "It reads like a Christmas wish list for the food and chemical industries." Jacobson spoke today at a Washington, D.C. press conference called to voice opposition to H.R. 3200. The House Subcommittee on Health and Environment begins two days of hearings on the bill tomorrow.
If passed, Klug's proposed legislation would:
"Congress should be fighting to increase public confidence in the nation's food supply. This bill does just the opposite," said Rep. Lowey. "It weakens federal food safety laws, but it does not stop there. This bill reaches down to the states and tells them that they cannot do more to protect the health and well-being of their own citizens."
"How can Congress rob Florida consumers of the warning label that could have saved my father's life?" said Peal.
CSPI led the effort to win passage of the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act that has stopped the proliferation of deceptive health and nutrition claims. Jacobson said, "The food industry views this anti-regulatory Congress as a long-awaited opportunity to substitute Betty Crocker for Uncle Sam as the food-safety cop. Make no mistake about it: Passage of H.R. 3200 would result in dirtier food, more dangerous additives, and more misleading labels. The end result would be an increased toll of food-related disease and death."
A Senate bill (S.1477), which is somewhat weaker than HR 3200, was recently approved by the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. The Senate will likely vote on S.1477 in late May.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that focuses primarily on food safety and nutrition. CSPI, which was founded in 1971, is supported largely by the 750,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter.