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NFPA'S CRAWFORD SAYS NEW FOOD LABELING MAY DISRUPT TRADE

 NFPA'S CRAWFORD SAYS NEW FOOD LABELING MAY DISRUPT TRADE
 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration has not considered the impact on international trade of its proposed mandatory nutrition labeling regulations, according to Dr. Lester M. Crawford, executive vice president of the National Food Processors Association.
 Addressing a group of scientists under the auspices of the National Research Council, Crawford said, "It is not clear from the proposals that sufficient emphasis has been given to the potential for trade disruption. Each country or group of countries, including the United States, has unique requirements for the labeling of imported products. Are we unwittingly blocking the flow of imported products or impeding U.S. exports with the proposals?"
 Crawford said FDA should take the time to evaluate the trade aspects of its proposed rules. "Some countries are grumbling that the proposed rules represent artificial trade barriers and threatening to retaliate against our exported food products," Crawford added.
 "Congress heard no testimony and gave no consideration to the international trade impact of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act when it was being debated," Crawford said. "It is essential that FDA do the job that Congress didn't do," he said.
 Crawford said FDA must evaluate the trade effects of its regulations before requiring industry to implement them. "This is another reason why the agency should extend the deadline for compliance," he added.
 NFPA has asked FDA to grant a one-year extension of the effective date of its final rules, making the case that the existing effective date of May 8, 1993, gives industry too little time to relabel all food products. A survey by NFPA shows that meeting the current six- month relabeling schedule would cost some $4 billion and that extending the deadline by one year would cut the cost by about two- thirds.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. The association's three laboratories serve its 500 member companies, manufacturers of the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Coleman of the National Food Processors Association, 202-639-5935/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH -- DC035 -- 7218 05/06/92 15:18 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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