Ginseng Labeling Act Introduced in CongressGinseng Labeling Act Introduced in Congress
August 27, 2007
WASHINGTON—On Aug. 3, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives introduced legislation that would require ginseng (Panax spp.), when sold in its whole form, to have country of harvest labeling. The Senate bill (S. 1953), called the Ginseng Harvest Labeling Act of 2007, was sponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), while the companion bill in the House (H.R. 3340) was introduced by Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.). These bills are similar to those Sen. Feingold introduced in previous legislative sessions.
In his floor statement, Feingold noted 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 (UNPA).
He further noted American ginseng grown in Wisconsin—where 90 percent of U.S.-grown ginseng is cultivated—is of the highest quality, but smugglers often label ginseng grown in Canada or Asia as “Wisconsin-grown.” He added the legislation is intended to correct this problem and is a simple but effective way to help consumers make informed decisions.
“AHPA is pleased to have an opportunity to cooperate so closely with Wisconsin’s ginseng farmers, and with Sen. Feingold’s attentive and responsive staff,” said Michael McGuffin, AHPA 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.”
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