Congress Passes Fur Labeling Law

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate has given final approval to legislation authored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that will guarantee all fur products, regardless of cost, will be accurately labeled with the species of animal used, the manufacturer, the country of origin, and other information. The Truth in Fur Labeling Act eliminates the $150 threshold that exists for a product to require a label. The bill has passed the House previously and is headed to the President’s desk.

“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 Menendez. “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.”

Many garments, such as jackets, parkas, sweaters, vests, and accessories, are trimmed with fur. If either the manufacturer’s selling price of the finished garment or merely the cost to the manufacturer of the fur pelts is $150 or less, the product currently does not have to be labeled and consumers are left to guess whether the fur is real. Laws applying to other garments don’t have an exemption like the fur industry. The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 does not provide any exemptions for apparel based on value or cost. The labeling of fur garments should be treated no differently.

A recent investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed that a number of fur-trimmed garments were mislabeled as “faux,” “raccoon,” “coyote,” or not labeled at all, but actually turned out to be trimmed with domestic dog, wolf, or raccoon dog fur.

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