House passes industry-beloved food-labeling bill
Yesterday, the House of Representatives stood up to a powerful business lobby to protect public health and safety. Ha ha! Just yanking your chain. Actually, the House approved by 283 to 139 an industry-backed bill that would wipe out over 200 state laws requiring safety and warning labels on foods — noting the presence of cancer-causing ingredients, for example — and establish a (weaker) national standard. States would have to petition federal regulators to retain tougher laws. Several of the legislation’s major supporters have, believe it or not, close ties to the food industry. Take, for example, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), whose wife lobbies for Altria, the parent company of Kraft Foods. “It’s a perfect storm of insider access, big money, and bad policy,” said Andy Igrejas of the National Environmental Trust. The measure now moves on to the Senate, where it’s expected to face stiffer opposition.