The United States will ban all products made from dried fruit by the end of next year, after a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushed through legislation that would require a warning label on all such products.
The law would also ban the sale of dried fruit to minors and make it harder to import and ship goods from overseas.
President Donald Trump signed the bill Thursday as he arrived for a trip to Asia.
It would not go into effect until 2019, but it was among several measures Trump has put in place to protect the health of Americans.
“Dried fruits, nuts and seeds are very high in sugars and fat, which contribute to obesity and diabetes,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., one of the sponsors of the legislation.
“These products contribute to chronic diseases that we must address.”
Trump signed the measure as he traveled to the region to promote economic development, a cornerstone of his presidency.
He touted the bill as an important step in reversing the global trade deals that have caused food prices to soar, especially in low-income countries.
The new law would require that fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and dried fruit from countries where the U.S. has a monopoly on processing should be labeled as such, and that any products sold from the U:C.
would include a warning.
The bill would also require all imports to include a disclaimer that the food was from a U.C. producer.
The ban is a direct response to rising prices for American produce that are already high, said Rep. Jim Langevin, D.R., a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is crafting the bill.
“This bill will put a stamp on imports that make our country’s food and food products more expensive for consumers,” Langevin said.
The measure would also give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to regulate imports from foreign producers that produce food for Americans and would make it easier to import fruit, dried fruit and vegetables from other countries.
A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the number of Americans who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes jumped by more than half between 2008 and 2016.
The agency found that nearly three-quarters of those cases were linked to fruit and nuts, a major source of sugar and fat.
The report also found that Americans were spending more on their diabetes than the cost of the drugs used to treat the disease.
The GAO said it found that some Americans were paying $300 for a pill that costs $200, but some are paying $1,200 for a drug that costs less than $50.
The GAO report found that American consumers are paying nearly $1 trillion more in healthcare costs each year than they are receiving in health care benefits from the federal government.
It’s unclear whether the new law will stop the epidemic of Type 2, which affects an estimated 6.5 million Americans.