Last week we reported on the botched language in the new Leahy bill, and how it was on a fast track. Last Thursday, unfortunately, the Senate passed the bill. But there’s still time to get the House of Representatives to listen to us! Take action now to ensure the House doesn’t introduce and pass a similar bill!
The Senate’s Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 contains language that is open to interpretation. While intended to protect the public from food manufacturers who would harm the public with their negligence, the vague language may also be used by the FDA to attack innocent natural health food and dietary supplement producers.
A bill must, of course, be passed in both the Senate and the House, and often their versions of the same basic bill may be quite different from one another. This bill has not yet been introduced in the House, so we need to seize the opportunity and contact our representatives to tell them what needs to be fixed in the bill’s language before it is introduced, or else oppose the bill altogether. The fact that it passed in the Senate so easily shows just how much education is needed on this issue on Capitol Hill.
A House version of the The Food Safety Accountability Act of 2011 must address the vagueness in the language and carve out certain exemptions in the definition of misbranding and adulteration—or better yet, define them anew instead of referring to the extremely broad Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
We would prefer, of course, that a similar bill is not introduced in the House at all, because we can’t be certain that even a much better House bill won’t be amended by the Senate during the conference process. Please contact your representative immediately and ask him or her to fight this bill’s introduction, or work to ensure that its language doesn’t target the wrong people!
For more on the substance of the Senate bill, please see this.
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