Consumer, Health, and Children’s Groups Urge Governor to Sign Bill to Prevent Sale of Expired Baby Food and Over the Counter Medicine

For Immediate Release

Consumer Federation of California
Contact: 

Contact: Richard Holober, CFC, (650) 307-7033, Zack Kaldveer, CFC, 650-375-7846

Consumer, Health, and Children’s Groups Urge Governor to Sign Bill to Prevent Sale of Expired Baby Food and Over the Counter Medicine

Bill supporters display dozens of expired products recently purchased at Rite Aid stores

CALIFORNIA - A coalition of consumer, health, and children's
organizations joined Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) today on the steps of
the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles to urge Governor
Schwarzenegger to sign Assembly Bill 1512 (Lieu), which would outlaw the sale
of expired baby formula, baby food and over-the-counter medicines. 

Indicating the need for this legislation, displayed at the press
conference were dozens of expired baby food products and over the counter
medicines purchased by volunteers over a one week period at California Rite Aid
stores in late September to early October.

According to volunteers, of the 59 Rite Aid stores investigated, 24 were
selling expired products
- a staggering 41%. Since only 10% of
Rite Aid stores in California
were sampled, hundreds, possibly thousands of expired products designed to
nourish babies and alleviate various ailments likely remain on shelves for
unsuspecting consumers to purchase.

"California
consumers should be entitled to purchase medications that are safe and
effective and parents and children deserve assurances that their baby food is
nutritional and healthy," said Richard Holober, Executive Director of the
Consumer Federation of California (CFC).
"Shockingly, we found that fully 41% of Rite Aid stores fail the
test."

AB 1512 (Lieu) - sponsored by the CFC - would prohibit a retailer from
selling infant formula or baby food after the "use by" date and
require the same prohibition for the sale of expired over the counter
pharmaceuticals.

"Over-the-counter medicines, baby food and infant formula have
expiration dates for a reason," said Assemblymember Lieu. "Parents
who purchase expired formula and baby food beyond their expiration date put
their children's health at risk. In addition to the health risks,
consumers who purchase expired medications discover they have wasted their
hard-earned dollars on products that are no longer effective and may in fact be
dangerous."

Assemblyman Lieu's legislation is in response to
recent investigations by the Attorney Generals of New York and California that
discovered many retailers were selling consumer products with expired labels.
In some cases, the "sell by" date was covered with price tags or
other store stickers.

The "use by" date serves an important
health and safety function for baby food and infant formula. The date is the
manufacturer's guarantee that until that date, the infant formula or baby
food, will contain the quantity of each nutrient as specified on the label and
that the formula or food is otherwise of an acceptable quality.

AB 1512 is supported by a wide variety of consumer protection, senior
citizen and health organizations, including the Consumer Federation of California,
American Academy
of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, California Alliance
for Retired Americans, First 5 - Los
Angeles, Children Now, California Labor Federation,
California Nurses Association, MOMS - Make Our Milk Safe, and the
International Formula Council.

The Governor has until October 11 to sign this legislation.

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