US congressman Eliot Engel is looking for a senator to sponsor his controversial proposal to introduce labels to chocolate bars guaranteeing no forced labour has been used in its production. The proposal was formed as an amendment to an agriculture spending bill that passed the House of Representatives last month but has yet to hit the Senate. Engel's measure sets aside $250,000 for the US Food and Drug Administration to develop and administer the new labelling scheme. A spokeswoman from the US Chocolate Manufacturers' Association said the group was in talks with Engel to clarify how it could work in practice. "We're troubled by it," she said. "Engel's heart is in the right place and his goals are admirable but this is not the way forward." Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance director John Newman said imposing a blanket labelling scheme would send out the flawed message that abusive labour practices were widespread in cocoa producing regions. "Hasty action to introduce product labelling could damage the interests of the hundreds of thousands of cocoa producing smallholders who are acting in a perfectly ethical and legitimate manner. "Any action should await an objective and factual assessment of the situation." {{NEWS }}