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Recent Changes in US Regulations
By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Is the US Congress going crazy? I will be sending this article, once published, to my Congressman and Senators to ask them why our limited taxpayers’ dollars are being wasted—and to ask them whether they even read this legislation before they voted on it. I urge all readers to do the same.
Since there are fines and imprisonment provisions, compliance becomes crucial, even if the Act is unclear about what must be registered. A coalition of affected trade organizations has proposed a two-year moratorium on enforcement of this legislation and requests that the Government Accountability Office examine the scope and impact of this act. This law needs to be changed to accomplish its real intent.
“The 2008 Farm Bill amends the Lacey Act to extend its protection to a broader range of plants, particularly timber, and the wood and paper products created from those logs. So it is now unlawful to import or purchase plants—or articles made from them—that are taken or traded in violation of U.S. or state laws, or most foreign laws. The reasoning is straightforward: illegal logging robs countries, destroys forests, depresses global timber prices and puts money into the hands of criminals. It competes unfairly with legal production and trade. Further, profits from illegal logging have been used to fuel conflict and purchase arms. It is a bad deal and the Lacey Act is an effort to prevent it.”3
Again, this may be its intent but will it be achieved? Or will the USDA just drown in data?
This amended Lacey Act goes into full effect on April 1, 2009.