A group of 45 Senators led by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are leading the effort to fight attempts by the European Union (EU) to limit the use of common names of meat products.

In a letter to US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Senators urged the administration to hold firm against the EU’s attempt to include Geographical Indication (GI) restrictions as part of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations.

If the EU were successful, U.S. companies would be restricted in the use of common names of meat products such as bologna, black forest ham, bratwurst, wiener schnitzel and many others.

This would apply to domestic markets as well as foreign markets.  Senator Roberts said, “We cannot let the European Union slant the playing field to their advantage through absurd restrictions on what a food can be named.  American Producers should not be blocked from trading with other nations, especially those we have free-trade agreements with, based simply on what we name our product.” 

The EU would also like to place similar restrictions on dairy products.