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Bush Gets Product Tampering Bill

November 15, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress on Friday passed legislation that would make it a crime to insert illicit or pornographic material into packaged food products.

Now on its way to the White House, where President Bush is expected to sign it into law, the legislation would close a loophole in consumer safety policy. Under current law, it is a crime to tamper with a product to endanger the health or safety of consumers or render the labeling of a product false or misleading. But the law does not apply to inserting unauthorized material that does not alter the product or labeling.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa., would give authorities the ability to find and prosecute those who insert materials in food products and punish violators with fines up to $250,000 and up to three years in prison.

The bill is aimed at heading off problems such as one in which a 10-year-old boy found a pamphlet with racial slurs in a cake mix box. Hart said KRAFT foods has reported more than 100 such incidents in the past five years.

The Senate amended the original House bill in October. The House early Friday accepted that version, sending it to Bush.


The bill is H.R. 2621.


On the Net:

Bill text: http://thomas.loc.gov

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