"No" vote on the "National Uniformity for Food Act"

This letter was sent to U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, urging a "No" vote on S. 3128, the so-called "National Uniformity for Food Act" that would eliminate nearly 200 state food safety and labeling laws.

June 16, 2006

Re: S. 3128

Dear Senator __,

On behalf of our 38,000 member households, I respectfully urge you to vote "No" on S. 3128, the so-called "National Uniformity for Food Act." Our company is the oldest and largest consumer-owned natural food grocery chain in the United States. We believe that S. 3128 works against the best interests of consumers and is dangerous for the public health and safety.

In the name of "uniformity," S. 3128 would eliminate nearly 200 state food safety and labeling laws that aren't "identical" to federal law — most of them more stringent than federal rules. The bill would prevent notice of the presence or potential risks from mercury in seafood. It would preempt Alaska's new law to label genetically engineered fish, and California's Proposition 65, a law that requires labeling food and consumer products containing substances known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. It would void state laws governing the safety of milk and food damaged by fire and flood. It would prevent any state or local labeling on genetically engineered foods.

The "uniformity" to be achieved by the bill would be the uniform absence of stricter food safety regulations that some in the food industry desire. If this bill passes, future state food safety and labeling initiatives could be impossible to put in place.

It's troubling that the House version of this bill was pushed through Congress without a single hearing. Haste often is a hallmark of measures that represent effective lobbying efforts by special interests but cannot withstand careful scrutiny.

We believe the citizens of the State of Washington will thank you for voting "No" on the Senate version, S. 3128.

Sincerely,

Tracy Wolpert
Chief Executive Officer

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