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Food Labeling: Toward National Uniformity
Hawaiian Administrative Rule §11-29-6 defines poi (a paste made from taro root tubers) and provides standards for the percentage of solids in poi and in ready-mixed poi. Hawaii believes that this rule contributes to consumer protection through prevention of economic fraud and adulteration of this unique product.
Conclusions In view of the highly localized and culturally specific nature of poi, the Committee suggests that Hawaii petition FDA to exempt its poi provision from preemption.
The State of Georgia has a regulation providing a common or usual name for the Vidalia onion in terms of its botanical identity and locality of production (Ga. Code Ann. §2-14-131 to 2-14-134). Its unique flavor has been credited to the low sulfur soil in the area in which it is grown (Harris, 1983).
Conclusions This State requirement appears to be predominantly protectionist in that no specific justification is provided for limiting the source to the defined producing locality. However, because of the widespread recognition of the Vidalia onion name, the Committee suggests that Georgia (or any other group or industry) consider submitting a petition to FDA to establish a common or usual name for the Vidalia onion based on measurable geographical, botanical, and/or quality criteria that justifiably differentiate it from other varieties or species of onion.
Specific regulations concerning wild rice exist in only two States—Minnesota and Wisconsin (Minn. Stat. §30.49; Wis. Stat. §97.57). These requirements specify the nature of the product and the mode of harvest. Wild rice (botanically a grass) constitutes a minor part of the overall rice market, compared with polished rice, brown rice, and their derived products and is only a minor part of the American diet. The Minnesota and Wisconsin wild rice regulations may be viewed as mainly protecting State industry economic concerns. However, the high price of wild rice makes the possibility of consumer fraud an issue.