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Volume 6, Number 1 - January 2005


About Food Consulting Company

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OPTIMideas / Value Quest Foods

Happy New Year! Welcome to the new name – FOOD LABEL NEWS – and the new look of Food Consulting Company’s monthly update on government action affecting food labels.

Food Consulting Company’s goal with Food Label News is to be informed, keep our clients informed, and promote our premium food labeling services.

Food Labels Carb Claims and Calories are CFSAN 2005 A-Priorities

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Fiscal Year 2005 Program Priorities were published December 1, 2004. The priorities are identified as “A,” “B,” or "Priority Ongoing Activities." The Center intends to complete 90 percent of the A-priorities and to make significant progress on B-priorities.

In a letter that introduced the priorities, Robert Brackett, director of CFSAN, said "Helping consumers improve their nutrition is an increasingly urgent part of the FDA mission."

In part, A-priorities relating to food labeling include:

  • Carbohydrate claims and terms, including “net carb”

  • Calorie prominence on food labels

  • Allergen labeling and compliance, including gluten-free labeling

  • Daily Values for nutrition labeling

  • Trans fat claims and disclosure statements

  • FDA/USDA collaboration regarding Standards Of Identity for product names

  • Health claims and nutrient content claims

Read CFSAN program priorities:

Commentary:  In November and December of 2004, this newsletter reported on newswire reports and personal communication with CFSAN that FDA intended to announce rulemaking for carbohydrate claims and calorie prominence before the end of 2004. However, there are no Federal Register notices regarding either. The program priorities report indicates that rulemaking for each issue is coming.

Agendas Summarize Nutrition Labels Regulations Under Development

As required by Executive Orders, the semi-annual regulatory agendas for U.S. Federal Regulatory Agencies, including FDA and USDA, have been published in the Federal Register. The agendas list all rulemaking actions currently under development by the agencies.

See FDA semi-annual agenda under Health and Human Services Department and USDA semi-annual agenda under Agriculture Department in the December 13th Federal Register at:

Commentary:  This newsletter attempts to report on all pertinent food label rulemaking soon after publication in the Federal Register. Therefore, almost all agenda items related to food labeling have been previously reported. It is noteworthy that the FDA agenda indicates that calorie emphasis on food labels, serving sizes of products, updating of reference amounts customarily consumed, and approaches for recommending smaller portion sizes are in the pre-rule stage.

Regulatory Initiatives for Dietary Supplements Announced

In November 2004, FDA announced initiatives to further implement and enforce the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. The initiatives include a regulatory plan and a draft guidance document for industry.

The regulatory plan includes monitoring product safety, assuring product quality and evaluating product labeling. The draft guidance for industry describes the amount, type, and quality of evidence FDA recommends a manufacturer have to substantiate a claim.

Read FDA news release:

FYI:  January 1, 2006, is FDA’s uniform compliance date for all food labeling regulations issued by December 31, 2004. For all food labeling regulations issued between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2006, the uniform compliance date is January 1, 2008. To be consistent with FDA, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has also established January 1, 2008, as the uniform compliance date for rules issued after January 1, 2005.
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