Senator Kennedy\'s bill

Posted on: Mon, 06/04/2001 - 8:13am
CVB in CA's picture
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pDo any of you savvy action types have the bill # for the bill senator Kennedy introduced recently to improve labeling? I know this isn't the perfect bill, but I want to support any congressional action in the right direction./p
pI want to support him by writing my senator and representative on the issue, but would like to refer to the bill by name and number in the correspondence so they know which item I am talking about./p

Posted on: Tue, 06/05/2001 - 12:48am
Heather's picture
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Here's his web site but I can't find it either and I would like that info. as well. Just a reminder, Ted Kennedy's nephew (Bobby Jr.'s son) is severely PA (smell and touch sensitive, I believe.
[url="http://www.senate.gov/~kennedy/"]http://www.senate.gov/~kennedy/[/url]

Posted on: Tue, 06/05/2001 - 12:59am
Heather's picture
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I'm still looking for a number but I think this is the bill (from the FAAN website):
Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act
FAAN participated in a recent press conference where Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced her plans to introduce the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act. The bill as proposed will:
1. Require that food statements list in common English, what, if any, of the eight main food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat) are contained in the product;
2. Close the additive loophole by requiring ingredient statements to take into account if any allergens were used in the spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings;
3. Require food manufacturers to include a working telephone information number on food labels;
4. Require manufacturers to better prevent cross-contact between products produced in the same facility or on the same production line;
5. Allow the FDA to assess civil penalties against processors and plants that are in violation of the Act; and
6. Require the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to track food-allergic related deaths.
Representative Lowey says, "You shouldn't have to be a scientist to determine what you and your family are eating. I hope the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act will end the tedious process food-allergic consumers suffer through day after day, label after label, to determine what they are eating."
Here's Nita Lowey's web page:
[url="http://www.house.gov/lowey/"]http://www.house.gov/lowey/[/url]
Another article:
[url="http://www.house.gov/lowey/foodallergen.html"]http://www.house.gov/lowey/foodallergen.html[/url]
[This message has been edited by Heather (edited June 05, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/05/2001 - 2:04am
blackmoss's picture
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I think this is it... but I'm not sure...
H. R. 5532

Posted on: Tue, 06/05/2001 - 2:13am
blackmoss's picture
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The Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act was introduced last year (the number listed above), more recently in the house H.R. 1947 (May 22, 2001)- Safe Notification and Information for Fragrances Act (To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that fragrances containing known toxic substances or allergens be labeled accordingly.) and H.R. 1356 (April 3, 2001)- Food Ingredient Right to Know Act (To amend the Federal Food , Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that foods containing spices, flavoring, or coloring derived from meat, poultry, other animal products (including insects), or known allergens bear labeling stating that fact and their names.)

Posted on: Wed, 06/13/2001 - 3:36am
CVB in CA's picture
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Well, I searched the congressional record. I must have been confused. The only bills metioning allergens are house bills 1356,1947 and 1151(can't read my own note on the last one). Does it make any sense to write a senator about a house bill?

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 9:21am
CVB in CA's picture
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I have written my congressional house representative about the house bills on food labeling.
I cannot find anything in senator ted kennedy's web site, flashy as it is, about any bill he introduced on the subject of labeling or allergies.
I recieved the impression he had introduced legislation or was proposing legislation from the quotes on the media board about the article in the new york times in May 2001. I think this may be a bit of a red herring, because I can't find it anywhere else.
I have also sent a letter to Senator Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island about the media article on the food allergy benefit in New York, requesting he follow up on his remarks about the "epi pen should be on all ambulances" with legislative action. I'm not in his state, so don't expect a response.

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 11:20pm
Heather's picture
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I was under the impression that Nita Lowey introduced the bill and Senator Kennedy is going to co-sponsor it. I have sent Kennedy's office an e-mail but have not heard back yet. I hope that, because of their familial ties to PA, the Kennedys lend the cause a lot of support.
[This message has been edited by Heather (edited June 15, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/03/2001 - 5:26pm
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Everyone,
I called Lowey's office and got the answer.
Send your letter to BOTH the House of Representative and the Senate members, because the bill will go to Committee in both places, some day with lots of hard work and a little luck, it will be voted on by the entire Senate and the entire House.
The Latest Scoop on the Bill
I spoke with Rep. Lowey

Posted on: Fri, 08/03/2001 - 5:36pm
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Everyone,
This is the Official Government Summary of the Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act from Rep. Lowey's Office. Kate Winkler gave me permission to post it. Call her with any questions. She is very nice and explains the process very well! The entire post below is a direct text quote:
___________________________________
Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act Summary
Seven million Americans suffer from food allergies. Recent studies estimate that 150 Americans die each year due to the ingestion of allergenic foods. With the government's help, many of these deaths could be prevented. That is why Rep. Lowey will introduce legislation to make food ingredient statements clear, accurate, and reliable.
Food-allergic consumers are forced to decipher labels for every food product they purchase, every time they shop -- a tedious, intensive, and timely process. Unfortunately, their lives are made even more difficult because ingredient statements are written for scientists, not consumers. Currently, ingredients that may cause allergic reactions are listed on food labels using many different terms that are often difficult to understand.
Current regulations exempt spices, flavorings, and certain colorings and additives from ingredient labeling requirements. Because some natural flavorings contain allergens, this exemption can pose a health threat to susceptible consumers. Although flavorings and additives are present in foods in small quantities, no amount is too minor or insignificant for the millions of Americans with food allergies. It is clearly time to close the food additive loophole.
Beyond the additive exemption, mislabeling is a serious problem. A recent FDA study found that one quarter of all food manufacturers did not list ingredients that can cause potentially fatal allergic reactions, and 47 percent of manufacturers did not check their products to ensure that all ingredients were accurately portrayed on the label. In part, mislabeling occurs because some manufacturers prepare multiple products with the same cooking utensils or production lines without washing the equipment. This practice can unintentionally add ingredients to a product that may cause potentially fatal allergic reactions. The evidence makes clear that food manufacturers must be required to maintain conditions that minimize, to the extent practicable, the contamination of foods with food allergens.
Finally, some food manufacturers indiscriminately use "may contain" language to indicate the unintentional presence of food allergens in their products. It is important that manufacturers take all the necessary steps to eliminate the possibility of cross contact before tagging their product with a "may contain" warning.
The Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act would:
* Require that food ingredient statements identify in common language that an ingredient is itself, or is derived from, one of the eight main food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, fish, Crustacea, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat);
* Close the additive loophole by requiring food ingredient statements to identify food allergens used in spices, natural or artificial flavorings, additives, and colorings;
* Preserve the Food and Drug Administration's current authority to regulate the safety of certain products bioengineered to contain proteins that cause allergic reactions;
* Require food manufacturers to include a working telephone information number on food labels, including one for telecommunication devices for deaf persons;
* Require food manufacturers to better prevent cross-contact between foods produced in the same facility or on the same production line;
* Disallow the use of "may contain" language in food labeling, except as provided for in regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration for foods that are manufactured to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination;
* Allow the Food and Drug Administration to assess civil penalties against processors and plants that are in violation of the labeling and manufacturing requirements for food allergens;
* Require the Centers for Disease Control to track food-allergic related deaths; and
* Direct the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of experts to develop a plan for research activities concerning food allergies.
American families deserve to feel confident about the safety of the food on their tables. The Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act would allow food-allergic consumers to more easily identify a product's ingredients, protect themselves from foods that would harm them, and stay healthy.
Kate Winkler
Legislative Assistant
Congresswoman Nita Lowey
2329 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-6506
202-225-0546 (fax)
______________________________
I also made the above post under Chris'draft letter post. Should I remove the information from the other thread, or leave it in both places?
Stay Safe,
Rhonda

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