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Rep. Berman Opposes Bill that Undermines Food Safety

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Berman Opposes Bill that Undermines Food Safety

Bill Would Invalidate State's Existing Protections

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) announced his opposition to H.R. 4167, the National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005. Passage of this bill could eliminate 200 state and local food safety laws across the country, including California?s rules concerning advisories about mercury in fish and restrictions on toxic lead in candy. It would also invalidate California?s Proposition 65, which requires warning labels on food containing chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects at levels which cause significant risk.

The bill is opposed by Attorney General Bill Lockyer and 38 other state attorneys general, as well as state departments of agriculture and food safety officials in all 50 states. Governor Schwarzenegger has not declared his position on the legislation yet.

"This bill is an anti-California, anti-consumer protection measure, which is being brought to the floor with no record, no Committee hearing, and no understanding of the consequences. The House leadership wants to eviscerate 200 state food safety laws to do a favor for food processors and grocery manufacturers," said Berman. "Food and drug officials in all 50 states are warning that this bill undermines key state public health and consumer protections, such as warnings about mercury in fish, limitations on arsenic in bottled water, and restrictions on toxic lead in candy. Theres simply no credible justification for its consideration and I strongly oppose it," he continued.

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