DISCUS

Kentucky Distillers Warn Congress H.R. 5034 Could Destroy Bourbon Industry

May 23, 2010 08:00 PM

Bill could “wipe out centuries of Kentucky craftsmanship, quality and heritage”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), a Kentucky-based trade group representing world renowned Bourbon brands, today sent a letter to the Congressional Bourbon Caucus and every member of Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation, urging strong opposition to wholesaler-crafted legislation that would significantly damage Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry.

KDA President Eric Gregory highlighted the legislation’s “many far-reaching and negative consequences” noting that under the bill individual states could establish their own formulas, labeling and bottling standards for Bourbon, overriding uniform federal requirements as now prescribed by the U.S. Treasury Department. 

“For more than 200 years, Kentucky’s legendary distilleries have crafted the world’s finest Bourbons, using a time-honored process that today is regulated by strict federal ‘standards of identity’…Allowing individual states to concoct a whiskey and call it ‘Bourbon,’ based on their own definition, would destroy the industry as we know it today,” Gregory wrote. “On behalf of Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry, I strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 5034 and ask that you make your colleagues aware of its potentially disastrous repercussions.”

H. R. 5034 strips away the protections of the Commerce Clause and effectively exempts state alcohol laws from all federal laws, such as the federal antitrust statutes, the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and other important laws that provide critical consumer protections and prohibit price-fixing and other anti-competitive behavior. 

Click here for a downloadable version of KDA’s letter to Members of Congress; and below is the text of the letter.

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