Ethan A. Huff,
April 25, 2011
The “Food Safety Accountability Act” — which was introduced last year by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), but died not long after due to significant opposition from the natural health community — has been resurrected this year as bill S. 216.
This new bill, which is slightly less of a threat to the natural food and supplement industries than its predecessor, still contains dangerously vague language that may easily be misused by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to target and threaten the natural health community. Your help is needed to help get the bill amended or killed altogether.
The original bill, which was introduced last year as S. 3767, upped the penalty for “misbranding” or “adulterating” foods and supplements from a one-year maximum prison sentence to ten years.
The major problem with this, however, is that “adulterated” and “misbranded” are two terms that the FDA has already manipulated and used to target various food and supplement companies that are selling safe, honestly-labeled products. Because of the vague wording in the bill, the FDA could have illegitimately used it to target practically any company it wanted to.
A slight improvement, the new version of the bill has been revised to encompass only specific violators of certain sections of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), and who “knowingly and intentionally” misbrand, adulterate, defraud, mislead, or otherwise deceive consumers. This wording helps to clarify whom the real target is, but it is still vague enough to be twisted by the FDA and used to terrorize honest producers and sellers of natural food and supplements.
Obviously on the fast track, S. 3767 has already been passed in the Senate. But it has not yet been passed in the House, which means there is still time to stop it. In fact, a House version of the bill has yet to be introduced, which is why now is the time to oppose the bill in its current form.
The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) has set up an ACTION page that you can use to contact your representatives and urge them to oppose S. 216. Tell them to either amend the bill to be specific in clarifying precisely WHAT and WHO the bill is targeting, or else scrap it altogether.
You can access the ACTION page here:
You can also read a full ANH review of S. 216 here:
Sources for this story include:
This article was posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 at 2:21 am