IDFA Hails House Passage of National Uniformity Bill
Last week's passage of the National Uniformity for Food Act in the House was hailed by IDFA as a victory for consumers and dairy product marketers, a positive step toward harmonizing the unwieldy national patchwork of food regulatory standards. The House voted 283-139 in favor of the bill.
"We were pleased that despite misinformation circulated about the bill, reason prevailed and the bill passed with a wide margin," said IDFA Senior Vice President Chip Kunde.
As pressure tightened surrounding the bill, opponents circulated statements saying that the bill called into question food safety standards for such products as milk. IDFA worked with the House Agriculture Committee's Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Minority Member Colin C. Peterson (D-MN), as well as Gil Gutknecht (R-MN), chairman of the House agriculture subcommittee with jurisdiction over dairy policies, on a "dear colleague" letter to House members. The letter clarified that the bill would not preempt state laws on milk safety.
"Dairy farmers and dairy food manufacturers are full partners in ensuring that our children and families receive a healthy and wholesome supply of milk and dairy products," the three members wrote. "H.R. 4167 will not change the responsibility and obligation of state regulators to ensure milk safety." (Click here to read the full text of the letter.)
"Our thanks go out to these three congressional leaders, and to all others who voted in favor of this important legislation," said Kunde. "We also thank IDFA member companies who wrote to Congress in support of the bill."
It is not known when the Senate might consider the legislation.
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Posted March 13, 2006