(August 3, 2007) — Legislation was introduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives yesterday that would require that ginseng (Panax spp.), when sold in its whole form, is labeled to identify its country of harvest.
Senate Bill 1953, the Ginseng Harvest Labeling Act of 2007, was sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), while the companion bill, House Resolution 3340, was introduced by Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI).
In his floor statement and in a release on his website, Sen. Feingold noted that the bill has long-standing support from ginseng farmers and the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin as well as the support of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the United Natural Products Alliance.
Feingold stated that American ginseng grown in Wisconsin – where 90 percent of U.S.-grown ginseng is cultivated – “is of the highest quality,” but that “smugglers will go to great lengths to label ginseng grown in Canada or Asia as ‘Wisconsin-grown.’” He also stated that this legislation is intended to correct this problem, and is “a simple but effective way to enable consumers to make an informed decision.”
“AHPA is pleased to have an opportunity to cooperate so closely with Wisconsin’s ginseng farmers, and with Senator Feingold’s attentive and responsive staff,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA’s president.
“This bill will ensure that buyers of whole ginseng root are given truthful information as to its source, without creating unnecessary labeling requirements for other herbal ingredients or for finished herbal products,” he said.
These bills are similar to those Sen. Feingold introduced in previous legislative sessions.
Text of the bill is online at: http://www.ahpa.org/Portals/0/pdfs/07_08_S1953_ginseng.pdf.
The text of Sen. Feingold’s floor statement is also online at: http://www.ahpa.org/Portals/0/pdfs/07_08_S1953_ginsengStatement.pdf.
An announcement about the legislation is also online at: http://feingold.senate.gov/~feingold/releases/07/08/20070803.html.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.