Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/16/2004 03:20 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 35-MAD COW DISEASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELS                                                                               
Number 0664                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 35, Relating  to mad  cow disease                                                               
and country-of-origin labeling for meat products.                                                                               
CHAIR ANDERSON noted that Representative  Crawford had joined the                                                               
Number 0672                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE BETH  KERTTULA, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HJR 35, introduced her staff, Aurora Hauke.                                                                                  
Number 0686                                                                                                                     
AURORA  HAUKE,  Staff  to Representative  Beth  Kerttula,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  introduced HJR  35 with the  story of  a girl                                                               
from  the  United   Kingdom  who  moved  to   Florida  and  began                                                               
experiencing   memory   loss;   she'd  contracted   a   form   of                                                               
Creutzfeldt-Jakob  disease  from  eating beef  contaminated  with                                                               
bovine  spongiform encephalopathy  (BSE)  or  "mad cow  disease."                                                               
Noting  the  10-year incubation  period  in  humans and  that  it                                                               
affects mostly  young people,  Ms. Hauke said  the median  age at                                                               
death is 29  years old.  It  was as recent as  December 2003 that                                                               
the first instance  of the disease appeared in  the U.S., causing                                                               
the U.S.  Department of  Agriculture to try  to control  it; this                                                               
resolution supports those efforts.                                                                                              
MS.   HAUKE   pointed   out   that   country-of-origin   labeling                                                               
implementation  has  been  delayed by  Congress  until  September                                                               
2006,  and  the  resolution  suggests moving  the  date  back  to                                                               
September 2004.   She said  43 countries currently  have country-                                                               
of-origin labeling  as a  way to  address the  spread of  mad cow                                                               
Number 0875                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM asked if other states have country-of-                                                                 
origin labeling requirements.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  noted  that the  information  could  be                                                               
Number 0925                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  began  discussion  of  what  later  became                                                               
Amendment  2.   He  asked if  "bovine spongiform  encephalopathy"                                                               
could  be  used  throughout  the   bill,  rather  than  "mad  cow                                                               
disease",   in   order  to   address   the   issue  legally   and                                                               
scientifically.  He suggested an  amendment [on line 1] that says                                                               
the resolution  addresses "bovine spongiform  encephalopathy (mad                                                               
cow disease)".                                                                                                                  
MS. HAUKE  observed that the  resolution uses  "bovine spongiform                                                               
encephalopathy" throughout the remainder.                                                                                       
Number 0990                                                                                                                     
CHAIR ANDERSON  turned to a  different issue.  Referring  to page                                                               
2, lines  11-13, he  asked whether there  was agreement  with the                                                               
wording.    He  questioned  the phrasing,  though  agreeing  that                                                               
Americans need to know what is in their food.                                                                                   
Number 1005                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  responded that  she, as a  consumer and                                                               
parent, definitely wants to know where  her food comes from.  She                                                               
suggested changing the  semantics and asked if  the sponsor could                                                               
fix it.                                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said he had  the same question, and offered:                                                               
"are better served by an awareness of".                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  suggested:  "WHEREAS it's  important for                                                               
Americans to know".                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  offered:  "WHEREAS Americans  want  to                                                               
know" or "... Americans need to know".                                                                                          
Number 1103                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  said  he  didn't  want  to  weaken  the                                                               
resolution in any  way.  He emphasized that  Americans deserve to                                                               
know  what  is in  their  food,  where  it  comes from,  the  fat                                                               
content,  and country  of origin.    The wording  [as it  stands]                                                               
states his feelings very well, he added.                                                                                        
CHAIR ANDERSON  responded that "deserve"  is one issue  and "need                                                               
to know"  another.  He  pointed out that  the FDA [U.S.  Food and                                                               
Drug Administration] already has requirements in place.                                                                         
Number 1155                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  remarked, "There  are many  people that                                                               
do need  to know what's in  their food for purposes  of allergies                                                               
or  things that  would be  life-threatening if  they were  to eat                                                               
CHAIR ANDERSON  said he didn't  intend of offer an  amendment and                                                               
opined that readers would understand the resolution's intent.                                                                   
Number 1205                                                                                                                     
MS. HAUKE  offered Amendment 1, which  read [original punctuation                                                               
     Page 1 line 16 through page 2 line 2                                                                                       
     Delete "identify and destroy cattle that are from the                                                                      
      same herd as the infected cow and other animals that                                                                      
     may have been exposed to that cow"                                                                                         
     Insert "control bovine spongiform encephalopathy"                                                                          
Number 1245                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM   moved  to  adopt  the   foregoing  as                                                               
Amendment 1.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                      
Number 1259                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO moved to adopt Amendment 2 as follows:                                                                     
     Page 1, line 1                                                                                                             
     After "Relating to"                                                                                                        
         Add "bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow                                                                         
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
Number 1290                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HJR 35, as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with   individual   recommendations   [and   the                                                               
accompanying   fiscal  notes].     There   being  no   objection,                                                               
CSHJR 35(L&C)  was reported  from  the House  Labor and  Commerce                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

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