The Independent Bakers Association applauds U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) for introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure state-based labeling laws for food and other consumer goods meet minimum scientific standards. The Accurate Labels Act, HR 6044, would preserve vital nutrition and allergy information, while diminishing inaccurate or misleading labels. IBA and a coalition of more than 60 industry and consumer groups are urging Congress to address how some state labeling laws are based on less-than-stellar science. As a result, large swaths of safe products must bear "warning" labels that provide little aid to the consumers who look to them as a trusted resource. As a member of the Coalition for Accurate Product Labels, IBA cosigned a letter of support for HR 6044.
Though some food activist groups oppose Congress setting baseline standards for labeling laws, Nicholas Pyle, President of IBA, views the current patchwork as so conflicted, it borders on detrimental to consumers. "The fact that California requires a warning label for virtually any product containing traces of a compound that occurs naturally as the result of baking, toasting, or otherwise browning food is useless and misleading," Nick said. In addition to California's Proposition 65, states like New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Alaska and New Jersey all considered state-specific labeling legislation in the past five years on issues ranging from allergen warnings to bioengineered ingredient declarations. In some situations, a proposed labeling law for the an ingredient directly conflicted with another state's existing standard for the same ingredient. IBA looks forward to educating Congress about why a baseline standard for clear, accurate and useful product labels is preferred over a state patchwork.