Specifically, some eco-labels, especially "eco-seals," offer misleading and incomplete information and could serve as a barrier to U.S. trade, she argued. Eco-seals, which are awarded by centralized certification panels, have become popular overseas, particularly in Europe. But, said Kochenderfer, the criteria used to award eco-seals are subjective, not scientific and can be barriers to innovation. In some cases, they are discriminatory and protectionist, becoming a barrier to trade, she noted. She also said they fail to educate consumers about the environmental attributes or trade-offs associated with a specific product. Kochenderfer was testifying on behalf of the 1겨-member multi-industry Coalition for Truth in Environmental Marketing, which favors a system modeled on the Federal Trade Commission's environmental labeling guidelines.
Coming up with international eco-labeling standards that don't impede U.S. packagers is important, according to Karil Kochenderfer, director of environmental affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), testifying before Congress in late February.