So why are the Republicans so hot on a bill that prevents states and municipalities from requiring multinational corporations to disclose what they're putting in foods?
It's that Culture of Corruption (again):
House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and several other lawmakers support a bill that would keep states from adding warnings that go beyond federal rules.
The lawmakers have family, friends and former staff among the lobbyists for the bill.
"This helps explain why the food industry has blocked any efforts to have hearings," said Ben Cohen, attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group.
"They think they've got it greased by using well-connected lobbyists to slip this thing through the full House without following the normal procedures," Cohen said.
Too bad American citizens can't put our legislators' families on the payroll. We pay only the legislators themselves, and apparently that's not good enough.
According to reports filed with Congress, the bill's lobbyists include Blunt's wife, Abigail, who works for Altria, parent of Kraft Foods. They also include former Boehner staffers Mason Wiggins, lobbyist for the Food Products Association, an industry group, and Brenda Reese, lobbyist for the American Beverage Association.It's a Who's Who of paid influence ... They're literally in bed with each other.
Oh, and not wanting to be left out, Democrats have elbowed their way to the Republican feeding trough.
Also listed is Brad Card, brother of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and former top aide to Rep. John Sweeney (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y. Brad Card has lobbied on food labeling issues for the Food Products Association. The association is headed by a former congressman, Democrat Cal Dooley of California.
"It's a perfect storm of insider access, big money and bad policy," said Andy Igrejas of the Washington-based National Environmental Trust, which did the lobbying research. "They're sweeping away 200 state laws without a hearing, all because very wealthy interests want them to."
The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent the bill to the floor without a hearing. The bill has broad support and is expected to win House approval later in the week. Supporters expect a Senate version of the bill to be introduced soon.Oh, but we have a quibble!
A spokeswoman for Blunt said his wife does not lobby any House members but may have contacted members of the Senate.
Ah, now that's totally different!
So kiss goodbye any extra protections your state may have in place for your food. (Are you listening, Californians?) The Republicans know better, and they're convinced you don't need to know anything. Just shut up and eat.