from the already posted links above http://www.afdo.org/afdo/HR4167.cfm
"HR 2699 has been reintroduced in this Congress as HR 4167 by Congressman Mike Rogers (MI-8). This bill is identical to HR 2699, which failed to pass during the 108th Congress. Once again, state and local resources dedicated to ensuring consumer public health and safety in food processing, storage and retail sales are at risk. Similarly at risk is our non-federal resources directed towards ensuring compliance with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE a/k/a Mad Cow Disease) and medicated feed regulations.
As before, this bill undermines proven consumer protection programs. This opinion is the collaborative position of Counsel for eleven (11) state food safety agencies. HR 4167 contains many provisions that will preempt state and local laws and ordinances. The preemptive sections of this bill will dismantle the authorities of all state and local laws that address adulterated foods which includes food laws, antiterrorism laws, etc. The preemption embodied in this legislation is broad, vague and sweeping. State and local food safety programs are our fist line of defense against acts of terrorism involving the food supply - now is NOT the time to dismantle the very programs that are essential to a national food safety system that maintains the safest food supply in the world..."
Marion Aller, President, AFDO
There is no question in our minds that the adoption of this legislation, in its current form, will destroy the ability of state and local food protection programs to identify and resolve situations involving adulterated food products. It will also destroy our ability to tailor these programs to the particular needs and circumstances of the communities we serve. We are also deeply concerned that the proposed legislation would remove the ability of local food safety programs to appropriately respond to a terrorism event involving food. In fact, we are concerned that local food safety programs would or could be decimated by the federal program envisioned in this proposed legislation.
The bill purports to establish uniform national food labeling standards. Were that the only aim or effect of the legislation we would not be taking this position. H.R. 4167 in our view, and in the view of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) as well as numerous other public health and consumer protection organizations, goes far beyond this uniform labeling standard. It will impose a federal preemptive standard that will strip local and state food protection programs of their statutory authority to remove contaminated foods from the market place and to regulate food service operations consistent with the circumstances of particular local communities.
We respectfully suggest that this is bad public health policy. It also represents an unwarranted, though perhaps unintentional, intrusion into our local and state food protection programs – which are today responsible for effectively conducting 80% of the current food safety work being done nationally. Moreover, these programs are being implemented successfully! Why would we want to compromise them?
We urge caution before undertaking a congressionally mandated change in a food safety system that works effectively, is responsive to the nation’s needs and is in tune with local circumstances and opportunities.
NEHA would be pleased to work with you and your colleagues in addressing and correcting the deficiencies in this legislation. We look forward to hearing from you and we appreciate your consideration of our concerns.