President Obama Signs Truth in Fur Labeling ActPosted by Stephanie Ulmer, Guest Blogger on February 10th, 2011
On December 18th, 2010, President Obama signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, a landmark consumer protection law that will restrict the sale of products containing real fur if they are not accompanied by truthful labeling, no matter their cost.
Under prior law, which had been in effect for years, an exemption allowed manufacturers not to label real fur as long as the cost of the item did not exceed $150. Under the new law all products that contain real fur “must be labeled with the species of the animal, the country of origin, and the manufacturer.” The law includes “an exemption from these requirements for fur products sold by an individual who trapped or hunted the animal, where the revenue from these sales is not that individual’s primary source of income.” The new legislation is to take effect no longer than 90 days after its enactment.
The legislation came about after it was discovered that many retailers were selling fur-trimmed items that were unlabeled or mislabeled as “faux fur.” In fact, many items labeled as “faux,” “raccoon,” or “coyote” were actually found to have been made with domestic dog or wolf fur. In December 2010, Nymag.com reported that, “…an estimated 13 percent of fur items sold in the U.S. fall into the unlabeled category.” “This bill is more than just empowering consumers to be able to make informed decisions about where their dollars go, and this kind of labeling is more than just picking the right size or the preferred brand,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), on njtoday.net. “This is about allowing consumers to make decisions about whether they want to support a practice — a practice that, given all the facts, so many would be adamantly opposed to.” This new law will mandate that the labels reveal the truth—very helpful indeed for those consumers who want to make informed decisions about fur.
December 2010 was a victorious month on the federal animal law front, with President Obama previously signing into legislation the ban against “crush videos.”