Delaney Clause in crosshairs

The Delaney Clause is unlikely to survive the current assault from GOP lawmakers, which is coming from several directions. H.R. 1627, the "Food Quality Protection Act of 1995," whose provisions include replacement of Delaney with a negligible risk standard, has strong bipartisan support from ranking Republican and Democratic members of key committees including Agriculture and Department Operations and Nutrition.

Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-VA) is pushing the bill, which has garnered a large number of co-sponsors, and has the enthusiastic backing of the food industry and packaging interests. "H.R. 1627 strengthens and updates America's food safety laws," said the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) in a prepared statement. "There is widespread agreement by the food industry, regulatory agencies and consumer organizations alike that existing pesticide law-particularly the 1950s-era Delaney Clause-is outdated, unworkable and must be reformed." The Delaney clause, or the elimination thereof, also was included in the comprehensive regulatory reform measure that was pending in the Senate at presstime.

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