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Bill Proposed to Exempt Utah from New FDA Law

Utah state Rep. Bill Wright is proposing a bill that would exempt his state from federal food regulations, including the recently enacted food safety bill, if the food is not sold across state lines.

“Within the state, it’s state’s rights. We already have regulations over those items,” Wright told the Salt Lake Tribune in an interview. “We function well now. We don’t think they have a right or authority to regulate those items that are not interstate commerce, as long as they’re grown within the state, packaged in the state and remain in the state.”

The historic FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama in January, contains exemptions for small farms, under certain conditions, to help reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. The new law does not apply to farms and very small businesses that sell most of their food directly to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores within the same state, or within 275 miles, and have less than $500,000 in annual sales.

The exemption, known as the ‘Tester Amendment,’ after Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), does allow the FDA to withdraw the exemption if food from an exempt farm or facility is associated with a foodborne illness outbreak.

As the Tribune noted, Wright’s bill is modeled after a Montana gun law that Utah adopted last year, which “built on the premise that if the product doesn’t cross state borders, the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce shouldn’t apply and there is no constitutional right to federal regulation.”

© Food Safety News
  • Doc Mudd

    “We already have regulations over those items,” Wright told the Salt Lake Tribune in an interview. “We function well now.”
    Well, Utah did score a “D” in this national ranking:
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/01/cspis-report-card-the-north-and-south-of-it/
    So, yeah, they’re good to go. No worries.
    Why talk of breaking away in this, of all issues?
    “It gives us some guarantee and some level of assurance that things will stay the way they are,” Wright said.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/51177864-90/bill-farmers-fda-federal.html.csp
    Just another Luddite flat-earther’s frantic insistence we ‘do nothing, change nothing’ or risk having the sky fall on our heads.
    Let’s hope what happens in Utah stays in Utah.

  • http://www.annwilkinsonphotography.com Ann Wilkinson

    Utah would like nothing better than to have the rest of the country look away as it just does its own thing….Give them an inch……. Be wary. I should know, I lived there for 12 years.
    Glad to be outa there,

  • Lou Alfano

    Wright is right. The Federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate INTRAstate commerce, so any law purporting to do so is unconstitutional. This is not to say that Utah’s laws are sufficient to protect public health within the state, merely that the Federal government has no right to do so under the Commerce Clause. And the “promote the general welfare” case is grossly overblown.

  • Utah resident

    And Lou, that’s why if this passes, as a Utah resident, I will start doing my grocery shopping in Nevada. This is a corrupt to the core backwards state, and I have no doubt that people here will die if this passes.

  • Another Utah Resident

    Huh . . . Utah Resident, I think I will take my chances. personally I think it is a good idea and I will be pulling for food sovereignty here in Utah.