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GMA Offers New Anti-counterfeiting Guidelines

WASHINGTON -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) here yesterday presented new guidelines for blocking the distribution of counterfeit goods, to Chris Israel, the international intellectual property coordinator at U.S. Department of Commerce, during the National Chamber Foundation's Anti-Counterfeiting & Piracy Summit.

A member of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP), GMA has led a task force of manufacturing and retail partners in creating broad industry guidelines to stop counterfeiting. The guidelines are steps companies should take to improve sourcing, selling, verification, and collaboration, to guarantee their products' authenticity. The anti-counterfeiting initiative was begun as part of CACP's work with the Commerce Department's Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy! Program.

"Although developed for the fast-moving consumer products industry, we intentionally produced a set of key principles that would be applicable to a wide range of business sectors," noted GMA senior director of international trade Sarah Thorn. "We believe that if all industries will commit to following the guidelines, we can significantly reduce the amount of counterfeit products."

According to the World Customs Organization and Interpol, worldwide trade in fake goods leads to around $600 billion in lost sales yearly. Counterfeit products are a particular concern in emerging markets, where intellectual property rights are often weaker.

In the near future, GMA will continue to collaborate with the government, the CACP, and other groups to add to the guidelines sector-specific information about policies companies can employ to prevent the distribution of counterfeit item in legitimate supply chains.
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