Poll: 74% support banning sale of expired baby food, formula and over the counter meds
74% of California voters support legislation on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk which would ban the sale of expired infant formula, baby food and over the counter medication, according to an opinion poll conducted from September 15 through September 18, 2011. Assembly Bill 688, by Assemblyman Richard Pan, won bipartisan support in the state legislature.
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates polled 443 likely November 2012 voters. The Consumer Federation of California sponsored the poll.
The question posed was: ‘Recently, the California State Legislature passed a bill that prohibits grocery and drug stores from selling infant formula, baby food, and over-the-counter medications after the expiration date. Do you support or oppose this bill’?
74% of voters surveyed support AB 688. 58% said they strongly support AB 688. Only 15% oppose the measure. 11% have no opinion. Support runs across the ideological spectrum. 74% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats support the measure. 69% of voters who identify themselves as conservatives, 76% of moderates, and 74% of liberals support the bill.
‘Californians across the political spectrum support AB 688 because it is a common sense regulation that protects our families’ health,’ stated Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California.
AB 688 fills a gap in the regulation of food and medications. Federal regulations require expiration dates on labels of over-the-counter drugs, and ‘use by’ dates on labels of infant formula and baby food, as the manufacturer’s guarantee that the food will remain nutritional, and that the medication will remain safe and effective until that date.
Despite the federal requirement for these dates, there is no prohibition against retailers selling food and drugs after the guaranteed date of quality and effectiveness has expired. AB 688 would correct this inconsistency, and prohibit supermarkets, drug stores and big box retailers from selling expired infant formula, baby food and over the counter medications.
Investigations by state agencies, consumer advocates and news reporters in California and other states have found repeated instances of sales of these expired products by large retail chains, including Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, and Rite Aid pharmacy stores.
Governor Jerry Brown has until October 9 to sign or veto AB 688.