Lowey’s Labeling Bill Gets A Boost; Manton Campaigns
Lowey’s Labeling Bill Gets A Boost; Manton Campaigns
By John Toscano
Congressmember Nita Lowey’s bill to mandate simple labeling on food products to prevent deaths from allergic reactions to certain substances made progress last week as opponents of the legislation agreed to voluntary compliance.
But Lowey (D–Queens/Westchester) is still holding fast to mandated labeling. She introduced the bill to try to prevent the estimated 150 deaths that occur each year in cases where people unknowingly eat foods to which they’re allergic.
The agreement to voluntary listing came from the Food Allergies issue Alliance, a group of food trade associations acting on behalf of major food processors. The latter agreed to label in laymen’s terms even small amounts of ingredients that can sometimes cause a deadly allergic reaction.
But Lowey wants the food manufacturers to be subject to fines if they fail to list even a trace amount of an ingredient in a certain food. Trace amounts can get into a food inadvertently if, for example, several products are manufactured at the same location, using the same equipment.
The conciliatory move by the food manufacturers may be linked to the recent defection of United States Senator Jim Jetfords from the Republican Party, which gave the Democrats control of the upper house. The change in leadership means Senator Ted Kennedy may become head of the committee that would consider a Senate Version of Lowey bill, helping its chances of being approved in both houses.
MANTON MORE ACTIVELY INVOLVED: For many years, the great majority of Queens’ 14-member City Council delegation was on good terms with the borough’s party leaders, including Thomas Manton, county leader for the past decade.
Come November all 14 Council members will be out of office due to term limits and will be replaced by 14 others. Obviously Manton would want all the new city lawmakers on his team.
Which might explain why Manton has already made special endorsements in the case of three candidates, accompanied by special announcements via press conferences and news releases, in an attempt to help the trio’s chances of winning the party primary on Sept. 11. Victory in the primary would be tantamount to victory in the general election.
About a month ago, Manton and Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/ Bronx) endorsed Elizabeth Crowley as the candidate for the District 30 seat in Middle Village/Glendale. Elizabeth Crowley is a cousin of the Congressmember.
Then last week, Manton and Congressmember Crowley endorsed Matt Farrell in the 26th District race, in Sunnyside/Woodside, and candidate John Liu in Flushing’s 20th District. Both are running against several opponents, making their efforts more difficult, so an extra boost of firepower from the county leader ensuring support from county headquarters should be useful.
In making the Farrell endorsement, in which Assemblymember Margaret Markey (Maspeth) joined, Manton stressed that he had represented communities within the Council District for the past 29 years as Congressmember, Councilmember, and Democratic district leader.
"I cannot think of anyone more qualified to continue that tradition of public service than Matt Farrell," Manton declared.
Crowley, noting that Farrell had served as chief of staff to Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills) for the past several years, stated, "I believe that Matt’s experience in the community will make his an effective voice for all people."
Markey stated that Farrell will put our communities first and ensure that his constituents would have "a leader they can trust to fight for our fair share from City Hall."
WEINER BACKS MORE COPS: Renewal of the cops (Community Oriented Police Service) program is being supported by Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D–Queens/Brooklyn), who described the program as an overwhelming success in New York City since its inception in 1995.
Since that time, New York City has received $529 million to hire 7,357 new officers and establish computer systems. Another $25 million was used to replace 1,870 desk-assigned cops with civilians.
But, he complained, President George W. Bush’s budget cuts the COPS program by $182 million, eliminates the civilian hiring program and leaves New York City responsible for paying $12.5 million in salaries for 500 civilians.
Weiner has introduced a bill authorizing $1.15 billion for the cops program every year until 2007. It fully funds all aspects of cops, including civilianization.
QUEENS WOMEN HONORED: Three northeast Queens women were honored yesterday in Albany by the state senate as Women of Distinction. Submitted by Senator Frank Padavan (R-C, Bellerose) for the honor were: Amy Fischetti, director of the Queens County Farm Museum, Claire McIntee, superintendent of School District 26, and Irene Scheid, executive director of the Alley Pond Environmental Center.
Padavan said the trio had "enriched the cultural and educational standing of our community and our borough."
McCALL IS SPEAKER: State Comptroller Carl McCall, who’s seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in next year’s election, will be the featured speaker at the Long Island City Business Development Corporation breakfast meeting this Friday at 8 a.m. at Citibank, 1 Court Square, Long Island City.
GOP CLUB MEETS: The final meeting of the year of the Maspeth Republican Club will be held next Wednesday evening, June 13, at the Kowalinski Post, 61-57 Maspeth Ave., Maspeth, at 7:30 p.m.