Permissible Metric-Only Labeling; Includes Proposed Amendments to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.
Kenneth S. Butcher
The United States adopted the metric system for use in trade and commerce in 1866. In 1988 Congress declared that the metric system was the preferred system of measurement for trade and commerece for this country. Congress also decided that conversion to the metric system is to be voluntary, with business and consumers deciding when it would be most convenient and advantageous to bring about change in the marketplace. The current initiative is to eliminate the conflict between the law that encourages the voluntary use of the metric system in trade and commerce and other laws or regulations that limit its use. The goal of this effort is to help industry obtain an amendment to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) that would allow packagers to label packages with only metric units. The FPLA currently requires that manufacturers provide both inch-pound and metric units on the principal display panel of their packages, called dual-unit labeling.