"That's irrelevant. Did you read the article? It says restaurants won't be able to falsely advertise that their chile ORIGINATED in New Mexico. It does not say anything about the name."
You put a lot of trust in the LC news reporting being complete and accurate (but that's another topic). The law says:
"It is unlawful for a person to advertise, describe, label or offer for sale chile peppers as New Mexico chile, unless the chile peppers were grown in New Mexico."
So my point is if someone grows New Mexico chiles in Mexico and want to sell them here, what do they call them? Our laws ALREADY require country of origin labeling (as of 2008) so you know where they're from.
The statute does say that, you are right. But nevertheless, Diana's interpretation of the statute appears to be correct, given the last sentence of the paragraph, which you cited. That's because the phrase "New Mexico chile" implies chile that originated in New Mexico. It doesn't make any difference whether that is the cultivar. When you hear the words "Georgia peach," do you think of a peach that might have been grown in China?
Foreigners can call their chile whatever they want, as long as they don't describe the chiles as New Mexico chiles when they're selling it within the boundaries of New Mexico. They can even continue to market it as "New Mexico chile" in other states.
So what if our laws already require country of origin labeling? That doesn't prevent us from passing more laws on top of that.
And no, I really don't have much trust at all in Jim Lawitz and his right-wing rag.