HARTFORD, CONN. (CBSNewYork) — Sen. Richard Blumenthal is introducing new legislation to combat food waste in America.

The lawmaker said so-called ‘Sell By’ dates are confusing and not necessarily an indication of food safety, prompting consumers to throw away tons of food that is still good to eat, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

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“What’s needed is a national standard for food labels that eliminates the conflicting laws and confusing criteria the different states have,” Blumenthal said. 

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Blumenthal believes the confusing labels are costing consumers money and clogging local dumps with food that is still good to eat or donated.

The senator welcomed a host of food industry professionals to voice their opinions on food label reform Thursday, with hopes of giving momentum to the new legislation.

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The new law would establish a national standard that would accurately tell consumers when specific products are no longer safe to eat.