- BELLOWS FALLS -- Responding to the U.S. House of Representatives'
passage of the controversial "National Uniformity in Food Act,"
the bill that would wipe out more than 200 state laws protecting consumers
from infected, toxic and carcinogenic food, leading food safety advocates
call for a boycott of the big food brands who wrote the legislation and
lobbied Congress to secure its passage. The legislation is the most sweeping
deregulation of our national food safety rules in the 100 years since the
passage of the nation's first food protections, the Pure Food and Drug
Act of 1906.
- This Act eliminates ways to alert the
public to health hazards in our food and water with potentially deadly
consequences for the most vulnerable-- infants, pregnant women, immune-compromised
and elderly individuals. States have played the main role for many decades
in protecting consumers from hazards such as mercury in fish, arsenic in
water, genetically modified ingredients in common foods, carcinogens in
processed foods, and pathogens in raw and undercooked foods, problems largely
ignored or inadequately addressed by USDA, FDA and EPA, which have already
been charged with this responsibility.
- "At a time when we know that there
are 72 million bouts of illness, 325,000 hospitalizations, and more than
5000 deaths each year as the result of food poisoning, what justification
can there be for destroying the minimal food safety protections now in
place? As we import more food from third world countries with poor food
sanitation, we need more and better regulations, not fewer and weaker ones,"
says former USDA insider, Dr. Luise Light, nutritionist and food safety
activist, who is calling for a big food brand boycott to drive home the
outrage of many consumers and food, health and environmental professionals
to the legislation passed in the House on March 8, 2006, without public
- Other groups on record as opposing the
bill are: 30 state Attorneys General, the Association of Food and Drug
Professionals, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture,
Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, the Organic Consumers
Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and numerous
other consumer and environmental groups all of whom urge the Senate to
vote to undo the damage done by the House.
- Join the boycott of big food brands whose
parent companies steamrolled this legislation. For just one month, buy
only local, regional, fresh, and organic food. Avoid all the packaged,
bottled and bagged foods and drinks in grocery and convenience stores,
and when eating out, avoid the chains. "If we speak with our wallets
and our actions, we will be heard," says Light.
- For more about Dr. Light and her new
book, "What to Eat; the Ten Things You Need to Know to Eat Well and
Be Healthy" (McGraw Hill, 2006), www.luiselight.com
- Mary Sparrowdancer, science and health
writer with extensive studies in clinical laboratory sciences; author of
"The Love Song of the Universe," (Hampton Roads, 2001). www.sparrowdancer.com
- Pam Killeen, Investigative Consumer Reporter
and Real Food Activist, www.pamkilleen.com