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Volume 7, Number 6 - June 2006


About Food Consulting Company

"Food Consulting Company has consistently provided us with reliable, usable label and regulatory information, quickly, and always with the patience we look for in a quality service provider. Every month this service is supported with valuable information in the email newsletter that allows us to plan ahead."

– Phil Brooks
Jones Soda

Dear Readers,

With this issue, Food Label News introduces a Reader Question/Answer spot. Readers are invited to submit questions for consideration in upcoming issues. Submitters of the top three questions during 2006 (in terms of value and broad appeal to Food Label News readers) will be acknowledged with a $25 thank you check in January 2007.

Q.  Where can I find information on the U.P.C. barcode?
      C.L., New Food Company Start-Up, Ohio

A.  See *NEW* Reader Q&A Page for the answer.

To submit a question for future consideration, please send us an email.

Natural On Food Labels Gets Attention

At least two consumer advocacy groups have taken steps to raise industry and public awareness that the term natural on food labels is not truthful in all cases.

The Certified All Natural Association (CANA) is a nonprofit organization that is "policing" the labeling practices of products that claim to be "all natural." According to a CANA press release, the organization has tested various products in a third party lab finding that some "all natural" claims are falsely made. The organization intends to publicize mislabeled products in the media and on its website.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) threatened to sue a soft drink manufacturer for labeling a drink "100% natural" when the drink contained high fructose corn syrup. According to a CSPI press release, the organization has complained to FDA regarding misuse of the "natural" term and FDA responded that "natural" was not among the Agency's current enforcement priorities.

Presently, the FDA policy on the term natural is that the Agency will not restrict the use of this term on food labels except for those foods that contain artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and added colors.

Commentary: For more information on FDA regulations pertaining to "natural" see August 2005 Food Label News archive.

Incidental Additives as Allergens - FDA Guidance

FDA has issued "Guidance on the Labeling of Certain Uses of Lecithin Derived from Soy." The Guidance indicates that FDA will temporarily exercise enforcement discretion for a food in which lecithin derived from soy is used as a component of a release agent and the label for such food does not declare the presence of soy lecithin.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that incidental additives, such as soy-derived lecithin used as a release agent, must be declared as an ingredient, using the common or usual name, and with the plant source declared.

FDA is exercising enforcement discretion because the Agency believes the level of soy protein in the finished food is likely to be very low and that there is no danger to soy-allergic persons when such foods are eaten.

FDA's enforcement discretion will extend for approximately 18 months.

Read the Guidance.                                                                                                             

Commentary: Allergen labeling continues to puzzle many food labelers. Food Consulting Company can help with a Full Label Compliance Package or an Ongoing Regulatory Support Plan. See our website:

CFSAN Priorities Announced - Includes Food Labels

On May 3, 2006, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition released Program Priorities for fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005 to September 31, 2006). The report is structured differently than in past years; instead of an "A" and "B" list priority format, the priority list includes 62 items and a category entitled "Priority Ongoing Activities."

In part, priorities pertaining to food labels are:

  • Issue allergen compliance program and implement enforcement strategy

  • Publish a proposed rule for gluten-free labeling

  • Publish an ANPRM to update daily values in nutrition labeling

  • Publish draft guidance on whole grains

  • Publish an ANPRM on "net carbs" and a proposed rule on other carbohydrate claims

See CFSAN priorities report.

Commentary: FDA gives a lengthy explanation of how the Agency's funding has diminished and how this will limit the number of issues that can be addressed. Food Label News will keep Food Consulting Company clients and newsletter readers informed on what will and will not be happening with food labeling regulations.

Service Tip: Glycemic Testing & Labeling
Food Consulting Company is partnered with a clinical research facility that conducts human (in vivo) studies to determine the glycemic index and glycemic load values for food products. This service provides the substantiation needed to make glycemic-related label claims and to determine if a product is suitable for diabetics. For more information

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