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Food-safety labeling law draws opposition

March 7, 2006 at 12:58 PM

WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Thirty-six state attorneys general oppose a law that would establish a national food-safety labeling system and eliminate states' authority, a report said.

The U.S. House of Representatives is to vote this week on the National Uniformity for Food Act sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who said the bill would eliminate varying state food safety standards.

"We have national nutritional labeling, and yet we have 50 different standards for food safety," Rogers told Booth Newspapers. "I think the average person sitting at their kitchen table says that's crazy."

A coalition of food industry organizations supports the measure, but environmental groups oppose the bill they say would eliminate some warnings, such as the mercury content of fish.

Democrats hope to add an amendment that would allow states, without federal approval, to require safety labels for ingredients that cause cancer or severe health problems.

The amendment is close to a California law some food industry officials have called too onerous, the Michigan newspaper group reported.

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