03/30/2004 - In an election year, Congress has fewer days is session, and focuses on issues which will help get members re-elected. 2004 is a big election year! Food labeling affects millions of Americans, and an issue which both sides can claim credit for.

By passing S. 741 earlier this month, the Senate gave us much needed time to move the bill (or H.R. 3684) through the House. The process starts at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, then moves to the full committee, before going to the House floor. With a short session, it is crucial that committee approval happen before Memorial Day.

The following states have members on the Energy and Commerce Committee (or its Health Subcommittee):

California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.

If you live in any of these states, or have family or friends in any of these States, please go to www.capwiz.com/celiac
enter your zip code, and send an e-letter asking your Representative to vote for the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Or, call the local office of your lawmaker, and urge his or her support for S. 741 or HR 3684.

Call Congress Toll-Free -- Pass HR 3684 in 2004!

For those who have sent letters, or who want to do something more personal, how about making a toll-free call to your Representative.

Call (800) 985-8762 OR (800) 839-5276 to reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard.

Ask to speak to your Member of Congress. If you dont know who that person is, go to www.capwiz.com/celiac and enter your zip code.

When you reach the Representatives office, ask to speak to the Health Legislative Assistant. Tell the staffer you want the Members support for H.R. 3684, the "Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act" (FALCPA)

Explain why the bill is important to you.

  • Be sure to mention the FDA supports this legislation! It has already issued 2 press releases supporting the Senate version (incorporated in S. 741).
  • You can note that companies will have to re-label products by Jan. 2006, in order to comply with the new rules on trans-fats. It will save $$ to do all re-labeling at one time.
  • Finally, a number of food manufacturers have told us they support the bill because it will save them money in customer service calls.

Push the House -- Pass H.R. 3684 in 2004!

If you need our help, let us know.

Andrea Levario and Allison Herwitt
Co-Chairs, American Celiac Task Force
Internet: www.celiaccenter.org/taskforce.asp
E-mail: actf@fogworks.net

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).