(January 24, 2006, Silver Spring, MD) -- AHPA’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to support legislation currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives that would generally prohibit individual states from requiring food products in interstate trade, including dietary supplements, to conform to state regulations or labeling rules that are not identical to federal provisions.
The National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005 (H.R. 4167) is quite similar to other legislation that has been offered in the House every year since 1998 and AHPA has supported in the past. At this point, there are 226 co-sponsors for H.R. 4167, which exceeds half of the House, suggesting that there are sufficient votes to assure passage.
“AHPA believes there is value in maintaining uniform national labeling of herbal products in interstate commerce in the United States,” stated AHPA president, Michael McGuffin. “The most effective means for assuring uniform national labeling of herbal products is through science-based federal labeling regulation, developed in cooperation with knowledgeable industry representatives and other stakeholders. We will communicate our support for this bill to our contacts in the House and will also work to see that it is introduced in the Senate, and to encourage other industry organizations to support this legislation.”
The National Uniformity for Food Act would allow a state to petition for an exemption or for the establishment of a national standard regarding any requirement under federal laws relating to food regulation. The bill would also allow a state to establish a state-specific requirement if needed to address an imminent hazard to health that is likely to result in serious adverse health, and would continue to allow state and local laws relating to labeling or a consumer advisory relating to food sanitation imposed on a food establishment. Any state laws that conflict with this legislation and that are in effect on the date on which this federal law is passed would remain in effect for 180 days.
The text of H.R. 4167 can be found at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h4167ih.txt.pdf.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. Representing the responsible center of the botanical trade -- comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products -- AHPA’s 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 herbs are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org