By  on December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent Tuesday night that would require companies to label fur apparel when the value of the fur is less than $150.

The House passed the bipartisan bill in July. The measure next goes to President Obama for his signature. The White House has not taken a position yet on the bill, but proponents are optimistic the President will sign it into law, citing support from the Federal Trade Commission.

“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 Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) in a joint statement with the Humane Society of the U.S. “This is about allowing consumers to make decisions about whether they want to support a practice — a practice that, given the facts, so many would be adamantly opposed to.”

The legislation closes what proponents said was a “loophole” in federal law that currently allows some apparel with animal fur, usually used as trim, to go unlabeled if the value of the fur is below $150. Under current law, an estimated 13 percent of fur garments sold in the U.S. fall below the $150 threshold and do not have to be labeled.

“Many consumers prefer to avoid buying and wearing animal fur, and everyone deserves to have accurate information to make informed purchasing choices,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer for the Humane Society. “The Truth in Fur Labeling Act will protect consumers by requiring all garments containing animal fur to be accurately labeled.”

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