National Funeral Directors Association Statement: 60 Minutes Story on Cemetery Practices

May 21, 2012
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Brookfield, Wis. – On May 20, 2012, the CBS program 60 Minutes aired a story that highlighted the disgraceful treatment of human remains at some cemeteries in the United States. The members of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) extend their condolences to all those whose loved ones were not properly cared for by a cemetery. NFDA members believe that funeral professionals have an ethical obligation to treat each deceased person with the highest respect and dignity at all times.

The 60 Minutes story reinforces NFDA’s long-held position that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Funeral Rule, a federal consumer protection regulation that all funeral homes must abide by, should be revised and updated so that key consumer protection elements also apply to cemeteries, crematories and all third-party sellers of funeral or burial goods and services. To that end, NFDA supports Rep. Bobby Rush’s (D-IL) legislative efforts to direct the FTC to adopt regulations that would govern other providers of deathcare goods and services.

This change is long overdue. Given a dramatically changed marketplace – with new and non-traditional sellers offering consumers many more options for purchasing funeral or burial goods or services – consumers face risk when dealing with sellers that operate in a lightly, or even unregulated environment.

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An updated Funeral Rule would bring the essence of what funeral directors do – and the high ethical and professional standards that NFDA members live by every day – to a federal level for all providers of funeral and burial goods and services. It would provide minimum, uniform standards, regardless of state law, and, most importantly, help protect consumers.

About the National Funeral Directors Association
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.

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