Shusterman touts bicameral food safety legislation

HARRISBURG, March 19 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester, is touting a bicameral legislative package with state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington, and state Sen. Devlin Robinson, R-Allegheny, that would prohibit the use of dangerous chemicals from being used in foods produced and sold in Pennsylvania.

The group of legislators introduced the package at a news conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday.

“The citizens of PA should be able to trust that the food at the grocery store is safe. Worrying about health risks contained in the additives in foods, and scouring the fine print of labels, should not be something consumers have to add to their grocery lists,” Shusterman said. “I hope these food safety bills will be ones that legislators can come together in a bipartisan manner to support, and I want to thank Rep. Mihalek for taking the lead on this issue in the House.”

“The list of health issues related to poisons like Red Dye No. 3 are well documented to increase hyperactivity in children and jeopardize brain development. They also have been linked to cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration went as far as to prohibit them from use in cosmetics more than 30 years ago, but we can’t wait any longer for the feds to ban them from our food supply,” Mihalek said. “Rep. Shusterman’s and Sen. Robinson’s investment demonstrates this topic transcends political lines. This is not a political thing; it’s public safety thing.”

Legislation in the package includes:

House Bill 2116 (Mihalek), which would prohibit the use of Red Dye No. 3, Red Dye No. 40, Yellow Dye No. 5, Yellow Dye No. 6, Blue Dye No. 1 and Blue Dye No. 2.

House Bill 2117 (Shusterman), which would prohibit the use of potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and butylated hydroxyanisole.

Senate Bill 1114 (Robinson), which would combine the list of prohibited ingredients from H.B.s 2116 and 2117.