Congress Poised to Pass Bill Taking Away Right to Know What's in Your Food

Action Alert from the Organic Consumers Association

Tell your Congressman or Congresswoman to vote "No" on House of Representatives Bill H.R. 4167, the "National Uniformity for Food Act".

The House of Representatives will vote this week on a controversial "national food uniformity" labeling law that will take away local government and states' power to require food safety food labels such as those required in California and other states on foods or beverages that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning. This bill would also prevent citizens in local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients such as Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) be labeled.

The House will vote March 2, 2006 on a bill that would gut state food safety and labeling laws. H.R. 4167, the "National Uniformity for Food Act," lowers the bar on food safety by overturning state food safety laws that are not "identical" to federal law. Hundreds of state laws and regulations are at risk, including those governing the safety of milk, fish, and shellfish. The bill is being pushed by large supermarket chains and food manufacturers, spearheaded by the powerful Grocery Manufacturers of America.

Big food corporations and the biotech industry understand that consumers are more and more concerned about food safety, genetic engineering, and chemical-intensive agriculture, and are reading labels more closely. They understand that pesticide and mercury residues and hazardous technologies such as genetic engineering and food irradiation will be rejected if there are truthful labels required on food products. Industry-sponsored H.R. 4167 is gaining momentum and must be stopped! Act now! Preserve local and regional democracy and protect yourself and your family from unsafe food by sending an email or calling your Representative and urging them to vote "No" on H.R. 4167.

Please Take Action Now--Send a Message to Your Congress Member in the House of Representatives to Vote "No" on H.R. 4167 http://www.organicconsumers.org/rd/labeling.cfm

And please call your Congress Member at 202-224-3121

Regards & Solidarity,

Ronnie Cummins,
Organic Consumers Association

--------

We'd like to thank OCA supporters who responded to our action alert earlier this week and contacted your House of Representatives member to vote against H.R. Bill 4167. This blatantly anti-consumer Bill would eliminate over 200 state food safety labeling laws.

Yesterday, March 2, we won an unexpected and important victory, when the House decided to delay a scheduled vote on the controversial "National Unity for Food Act" until March 8. Industry lobbyists representing major food, biotech, and retail chains were shocked at the nationwide backlash against the legislation.

Congress members felt the heat as 50,000 consumers, including over 30,000 from the Organic Consumers Association, barraged Congress with email letters and phone calls over the past four days. Siding with consumers, a number of major newspapers published editorials against HR 4167, while Attorney Generals from 35 states sent a strong letter to Congress opposing the Bill. But Congress is still poised to pass this Bill, which takes away your right to know what's in your food.

How You Can Help

* If you have not already done so, please Take Action Now--Send a Message to Your Congress Member in the House of Representatives to Vote "No" on H.R. 4167 http://www.organicconsumers.org/rd/labeling.cfm

* Please forward this Action Alert to five or more of your friends to ensure that the House votes "no" on HR Bill 4167 on March 8. We need to continue to inundate Congress with letters, sending a strong message that we want food safety laws and labels strengthened, not weakened.

* Also please consider picking up your phone and calling the Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121 and have them connect you with the office of your Representative. Phone calls at this point are extremely important.

* In addition, OCA needs to raise at least $10,000 to crank up our phone bank next week to get thousands of organic consumers in key Congressional Districts to call or send a letter to their Representative. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the OCA now http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

Again thanks for taking action on HR 4167. Our cause is just and our numbers are growing. We will provide you with an update next week, as soon as Congress votes on this important issue of local democracy and food safety.

Regards & Solidarity,
Ronnie Cummins and the OCA Team

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