Amendment Could Threaten Maryland Food Safety

An opinion piece recently printed in the Baltimore Sun asserts that  Farm Bill amendment currently under consideration in Congress cold threaten state’s ability to make laws that safeguard public health, food safety, animal welfare and the environment.  The piece was written by Delegate Tom Hucker and Senator Jennie Forehand of the Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Federal Relations.

The King Amendment passed the House of Representatives but was not included in the Senate version of the bill, so it could be stripped by the conference committee.  As described,

The King Amendment prohibits states from imposing conditions on the production of any agricultural product sold in the state if the production occurs in another state, and if the condition is in addition to federal standards or standards of the state in which production occurs. Take a minute to process the enormity of that proposal. This would force states to allow commerce in products they have banned — no matter how dangerous, unethical or environmentally destructive. It would prohibit states from setting standards for products sold within their boundaries. Questionable agricultural products allowed in Mississippi or Texas would have to be sold to Marylanders and Virginians, even over the objections of their own elected lawmakers. It is the lowest-common-denominator approach to policymaking, and puts all states at the mercy of one or a handful of states. This is a radical assault on the states.

For more information, see the full piece in the Sun.