“We are a nation built on the strength of individual initiative. But there are certain things that we can't do on our own. There are certain things that only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat …are safe and don't cause us harm.” – President Barack Obama, March 14, 2009 This situation is about to change with the Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) which was scheduled for consideration this week under suspension of the standard rules governing congressional legislation. The Ranking Member of the House Agricultural Committee urged his colleagues not to rush The Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) through Congress. The move to suspend the rules was defeated by two votes. The suspension would mean limited debate of 20 minutes and no opportunity to offer amendments. Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) rang an alarm. He said the proposed legislation is the result of a flawed and incomplete process that would lead to huge regulatory burdens that would force the majority of America’s farmers and ranchers out of business without contributing much, if anything, to the goal of safer food. Though the rules have not been suspended, the legislation, according to Congressman Lucas, is still expected to meet with House approval.
But few on Capitol Hill are heeding Congressman Lucas’s warning.
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