FUR INDUSTRY PRAISES US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR PASSAGE OF FUR LABELING LEGISLATION
July 2010, West Hollywood, CA
The U.S fur industry reacted positively this week to the passage by the full House of Representatives of a revised version of HR 2480, the Truth in Fur Labeling Law, that was amended over the course of the legislative process to remove several provisions that were opposed by the industry. The legislation, first introduced in 2007, removes the $150 small value exemption from the Fur Products Labeling Act. The fur industry supported this provision from the outset recognizing that it would bring greater transparency to the consumer in the sale of all fur products, including lower value items containing small amounts of fur trim.
Beginning in 2008, fur industry representatives visited offices on Capitol Hill to educate Congress about other provisions in the bill including those which would have confused consumers over the proper nature of certain legitimately-trade fur trim products. As a result of these efforts Congress rejected these additional provisions. The 2010 version of the legislation also included a provision (section 4) which would permit states or localities to enact their own “more restrictive” labeling provisions. The industry, most recently in testimony presented to Congress by FICA Executive Director Keith Kaplan, vigorously opposed that provision based on its potential to create significant confusion among both consumers and members of the US fur retail sector as well as undermine the effectiveness of the Fur Products Labeling Act. The final version of the bill strikes section 4, thereby removing any allowance for inconsistent state or local labeling jurisdiction. The bill also includes an amendment, added by the full Energy and Commerce committee, which exempts from labeling requirements fur apparel or accessories produced from pelts that were trapped or hunted and sold directly by the individual who trapped or hunted it.
Mr. Kaplan expressed appreciation, on behalf of the fur industry, to the members of Congress and their staffs with whom the industry worked to achieve a balanced bill that would protect the consumer, while not harming legitimate fur retailers and manufacturers. In particular, Mr. Kaplan expressed his appreciation to the bill’s sponsors, Congressman Jim Moran and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, as well as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Waxman and Mr. Barton and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Mr. Rush and Mr. Whitfield. “As a result of the collective efforts of these members of Congress, a balanced bill has passed the House that has as its principal objective the protection of the consumer,” Mr. Kaplan noted.
A similar bill will has been presented in the Senate and is likely to be considered after the summer recess.