Uniform food safety labeling bill approved by House panel
Over the vehement objections of California lawmakers, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved a bill that would pre-empt stricter state food safety laws in favor of uniform federal safety standards. The committee approved the bill (HR 2699) by 30-15. Every member from California voted no except Republican Darrell Issa, who said he opposed the bill but was not present for the vote.
The bill would prohibit states from establishing or enforcing standards for food labeling and notification that are not identical to federal standards. States would be given six months to stop enforcing state laws that do not meet the uniformity requirement. Californians on the committee said the bill would effectively overturn their strict food safety standards, in particular an 18-year-old law that requires consumer notification of exposure to toxic substances.