Saturday, February 13, 2016

Do Conservatives Actively Want To Make Your Family Less Healthy-- Probably Not; They Just Don't Care


Friday morning, the House passed the GOP's so called Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act 266-144, originally written by lobbyists for Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Blue Dog John Barrow (GA), who has since wisely been retired by his district's voters. The bill had several corporate-friendly Democratic co-sponsors, Blue Dog Henry Cuellar (TX), New Dem chief Ron Kind (WI), Blue Dog Loretta Sanchez (CA) and 33 corporate Democrats skipped across the aisle to vote with Republicans and prepare for big PAC checks that will come for the AYE vote. Mostly it was the regular suspects, anti-working family corrupt careerists like Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL), Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL), Pete Aguilar (New Dem-CA), Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)... you know the characters.

During Thursday night's debate Hillary disingenuously tried tagging Bernie with an anti-Obama label but of course, all the whores who voted for the bill are on her leadership committee and the White House had warned them Obama would veto the toxic legislation and explained that "H.R. 2017 would undercut the objective of providing clear, consistent calorie information to consumers. If enacted, it would reduce consumers’ access to nutrition information and likely create consumer confusion by introducing a great deal of variability into how calories are declared. The legislation also would create unnecessary delays in the implementation of menu labeling."

Of course, that's exactly what the GOP and the New Dems and their corporate paymasters want. But it wasn't only the White House opposing the lobbyist-written legislation. Alliance for Justice, Center for Justice & Democracy, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Consumers League and Public Citizen sent a letter to Joe Pitts, the corrupt and reactionary chairman of the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, urging him to alter the bill so that it would not cause the kinds of damage they envision.
The undersigned organizations are writing to express opposition to H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015. The bill would undermine the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu labeling regulations, which require chain restaurants and similar food establishments to provide consumers with calorie information for standard food and beverage items on menus and menu boards. We join the many public interest and health organizations that have written in opposition to the numerous anti-consumer provisions of this bill.

In addition, we strongly oppose Section 3 of the bill, which preempts civil litigation for violations of this federal law as well as any state laws that may exist. The bill does not replace state remedies with federal remedies. It eliminates all remedies and provides total immunity to any unscrupulous business that may violate this law.

As some experts have written, "Congress historically has considered preemption of state law a rather drastic step that should be taken only where clearly necessary for a federal statutory program to work" because if used too casually, it greatly disturbs the balance of power between the federal and state systems. Clearly, there is no need for radical preemptive language contained in H.R. 2017. Litigation in this field is not creating problems for businesses. In fact, it does not even exist.

Yet immunity will have a destructive impact. For the tort system’s deterrence function to work, wrongdoers must know that certain types of conduct will not be tolerated. The prospect of tort liability is one of the best ways to ensure compliance with the law.

We strongly oppose H.R. 2017 and in particular, Section 3. This provision interferes with traditional state authority and shields chain restaurants and similar food establishments from any legal accountability for violating this important law.

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