Claims/Labeling Sponsored by
Two recent changes to regulations will significantly impact the industry in 2009. These include changes to over-the-counter (OTC) labels, and the latest amendment to the Lacey Act. The most recent “Regulatory Review” column, published in December 2008, discussed the Lacey Act in brief but more details are emerging. Although neither of these regulatory changes will likely impact the way in which companies conduct business, they do require more information on product labels and will cause significantly more paperwork both for cosmetic companies and ingredient suppliers.
The Lacey Act Changes
John F. Lacey introduced a law that President McKinley signed on May 25, 1900, now known as the Lacey Act, which made it a federal crime to poach game in one state with the purpose of selling the bounty in another state. It became the first law to protect these endangered animals and birds. As the first federal conservation law, it remains one of the foundations of conservation law enforcement today.
The Lacey Act has been amended many times with significant changes in 1969, 1981, 1988 and now, 2008. In 1969, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks and crustaceans where added to the list. Penalities included fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. 1981 saw the addition of indigenous plants and increased fines and jail time. In 1988, falsifying documents to cover up violations was added as a crime; other changes included the addition of trees and lumber made from these endangered trees.
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (known as the Farm Bill) was passed on May 22 and expanded the Lacey Act to protect a much broader range of plants and plant products, along with wood—which is a change that ultimately will impact the industry. To read the entire 628 pages, visit http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills& docid=f:h2419enr.txt.pdf. Specifically, go to Title VIII Forestry, Subtitle C Amendments to Other Forestry Related Laws, and further, to Section 8204: Prevention of Illegal Logging Practices, which reads:
It shall be unlawful for any person to import any plant unless the person files upon importation a declaration that contains: