U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Food Freedom: Polis Pushes Feds to Lay Off Kombucha Firms

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Washington, September 14, 2015 | comments

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) today pushed the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to refrain from fining kombucha firms in Colorado and across the country for taxing and labeling violations and to instead work with them on a compromise over kombucha’s regulation.

Over the last several weeks, the TTB have sent letters to kombucha companies telling them their product was “unlawful” for not following the proper taxing and labeling regulations that govern alcoholic products and that they could be subject to fines. According to TTB tests, these kombucha products had reached levels higher than the .5 percent threshold by which an alcoholic beverage is defined.

“Eight spoiled kombuchas are roughly the equivalent of one beer, but that doesn’t mean we should regulate it like we do alcohol – it makes absolutely no sense,” Polis wrote in a letter sent today to TTB. “The TTB should provide some common-sense clarity and relief for the kombucha firms in Colorado and across the country.”

Today’s letter comes on the heels of a breakfast Polis held with Republican Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) last month. Dubbed “The Forbidden Meal,” Polis and Massie dined on foods such as kombucha, hemp scones, and non-certified beef to draw attention to food freedom laws.

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

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Tags: Economy

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