The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4167, the National Uniformity Food Act, by a vote of 283 to 139, moving this much desired piece of legislation one step closer to law. The legislation benefits the baking industry by establishing a single standard for food safety regulations, eliminating varied state regulations that often pose problems for food manufacturers.
"This legislation recognizes that it makes no sense to have different states adopting different regulatory requirements for identical food products," said Robb MacKie, American Bakers Association's president and chief executive officer. "H.R. 4167 will provide consumers with a single set of consistent, science-based food safety regulations in all 50 states."
The food industry strongly has backed this legislation because it requires state and federal food safety laws to be substantially the same, preventing states from putting various warning labels on products that are not required at the federal level.
"Uniformity is already the standard for many food regulations-from nutrition labeling to meat and poultry requirements," said Bruce Josten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president for government affairs. "[this bill] Strikes an appropriate balance between national and state interests and ensures that consumers receive consistent information about the foods they buy."
The National Uniformity Food Act now moves to the Senate, where various industry organizations plan to continue lobbying government representatives for passage of the bill. "We thank our members for their strong grassroots support through communications to members of the House of Representatives," said Lee Sanders, ABA's senior vice president of government relations and public affairs. "We look forward to continuing our campaign as we now shift our efforts to the Senate as they consider this legislation."