Connecticut Senators Call For Action to Protect Connecticut Shade Tobacco Industry from Mislabeling

Connecticut tobacco growers raise concerns about foreign growers mislabeling products as “Connecticut” products.

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Connecticut Shade Tobacco

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and U.S. Representatives John Larson (CT-1) and Joe Courtney (CT-2) held a hearing where they heard the concerns made by Connecticut residents and farmers in regards to foreign-grown tobacco being mislabeled as “Connecticut” products. Murphy, Larson and Courtney have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce existing regulations on tobacco labeling and prevent foreign competitors from undercutting Connecticut growers.

The three members of Congress sent a letter addressed to the FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff and FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen that warns of unfair and deceptive mislabeling practices of foreign growers and suggests that its endangering the economic vitality of Connecticut’s tobacco growers.

“Connecticut shade tobacco, which is used as a wrapper for premium cigars, is renowned worldwide for its superior quality and unique flavor profile,” the three Congress members write in their letter. “That distinctive quality and flavor clearly derives from the specific soil and climate conditions in the Connecticut River Valley, which is why we believe that a protected geographic indicator for Connecticut shade tobacco is justified. Such indicators in product names are unnecessary when the connection between climate or soil and the ultimate taste of the product is unclear, as is the case for cheese, but the uniqueness of Connecticut shade tobacco is due to the specific environment in which it is grown.”