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May 26, 2006

US: Uniformity act welcomed by consumer and industry groups

The introduction of the National Uniformity for Food Act to the US Senate today (26 May) has been met with encouragement from consumer groups in the States.

The introduction of the National Uniformity for Food Act to the US Senate today (26 May) has been met with encouragement from consumer groups in the States.

The act would demand nationally uniform food safety standards and warning labels on packaged foods throughout the US.

President and CEO of the Food Products Association (FPA) Cal Dooley said: “The introduction in the Senate of the National Uniformity for Food Act is a strong step forward for this important legislation, which will provide consumers with the same accurate, science-based information on food safety, regardless of where they live.”

The FPA is the largest trade association serving the food and drinks industries on scientific and public policy issues worldwide.

“The act is a logical extension of the approach to consumer information that currently exists for nutrition labelling, allergen labelling, meat and poultry standards, prescription drugs, pesticide residue standards and medical devices,” Dooley said.

“It will put food safety in the hands of the nation’s top food scientists and food safety experts. Under national uniformity, consumers will be able to pick a product off the grocery shelf in any state and find on the label consistent, science-based information that has been reviewed and accepted by government health authorities.”

Likewise, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an industry body representing food manufacturers in the US, applauded the acts introduction to the Senate.

“We commend Senators Burr, Roberts and Nelson for their vision and foresight in introducing this important bill,” said C. Manly Molpus, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

“The National Uniformity for Food Act ensures the same level of protection for consumers no matter where they live, places our nation’s food safety in the hands of the world’s leading experts at the US Food and Drug Administration, and preserves the appropriate role for states and the federal government when it comes to food safety.

“Consumers across the country deserve consistent information. Virtually every other piece of information regarding packaged food is uniform at the national level, including allergen labelling, nutrition information and pesticide tolerances. It is time we did the same for safety standards and warning labels, and we urge the Senate to quickly consider and pass this vital piece of legislation,” concluded Molpus.

Meanwhile, consumer organisation the National Uniformity for Food Coalition also welcomed the introduction, following the act’s referral from the US House of Representatives, with the support of 283 Members of Congress.

“The National Uniformity for Food Act is an important piece of legislation that will help consumers make educated decisions for themselves and their families in an ever-changing and confusing food labelling environment,” said the National Uniformity for Food Coalition.

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