Your article, “Food bill could trump state law” (Aug. 29), completely misinforms readers about the scope of the National Uniformity for Food Act. Nearly every single state law cited in the story is outside the scope of this bill.

First, the bill would not affect laws related to milk safety or the safety of foods sold in restaurants – it expressly preserves state authority for sanitation inspections, licensing, enforcement, emergency rapid response mechanisms and the protection of public health.

Second, saying warning labels on Maine’s alewives would vanish is way off the mark. The bill provides for a petition process that allowing states to apply for a local exemption, which would happen in the case of the Maine Alewives law.

Finally, this legislation would not impact laws that prohibit economic adulteration – fruits that are sprayed with pesticides after harvest will continue to be labeled accordingly.

Contrary to your report’s suggestion, this legislation maintains the strong federal/state partnership in food safety. It would provide for uniform, national standards for food safety tolerances and warning labels, as we have now for nutrition and allergen labeling. It is the logical next step in food safety, providing consistent information that consumers deserve, and putting food safety in the hands of experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

I applaud Rep. Michaud for supporting this legislation and encourage Sens. Snowe and Collins to do the same.

Susan Stout, vice president of federal affairs

Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C.

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