Can someone point me to the statute that prohibits the name "absinthe"? I'll be damned if I can find it and I've crawled all over the Code of Federal Regulations.
I'm betting that there isn't one, and that "absinthe" is prohibited based on presumed content.
The only one I've found is the customs "prohibited" list and since they will differ you to ATF (which will now differ you to the FDA) it seems to be presumed that absinthe contains wormwood and thujone.
ATF (now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive moved to the Justice Department from Treasury) has pretty wide-ranging authority over the labels of alcoholic beverages. If they don't like the word "absinthe" they could probably make that decision stick.
However, absinthe, by name, is not banned in either the CFR or USC. Ironically, this is part of the problem with having it legalized. Because there is no definition as to what constitutes absinthe, it's even harder to get approved. Most substances for humaan consumption have an FDA and/or USDA definition. For example, Grading Manual for Canned Fruit Cocktail
An essential step to allowing absinthe to be legalized for sale in the US to establish a definition. Easier said than done. However, establishing a definition of absinthe offers an opportunity to make sure that ONLY absinthe is allowed if it is legalized. The lack of clear EU definition is one reason why both Hills and Jade can be called absinth(e). It would be relatively easy to use the definition to prevent Czech windex, artificial colors and even any oil mix from being called absinthe. The definition could also be used to set the permissible de minimus
quantities of certain organic compounds -- preferably the same levels set by the EU.
The fight (and there was one) over whether something could be called "fruit cocktail" if it did not contain maraschino cherries is another story...