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Volume 8, Number 1 - January 2007


About Food Consulting Company

"We would like to thank you for all your efforts and hard work with getting our labels to us in such a short time. You were such a great help and so easy to work with. You went above and beyond the call of duty in order to get us what we required. Again thanks so much."

~ Gary Suhr
Gary's Super Foods

Happy New Year to our Clients and Guest Subscribers,

With January being a popular month for organizing clutter, it is the perfect month for food labelers to organize a strategy for efficient completion of food labeling projects throughout the year. To get started, pause a moment to reflect on the causes of project delays in 2006 and before. If pondering regulations was frequently involved, consider signing up for Ongoing Regulatory Support from Food Consulting Company. This can be your key to efficiency in 2007.

Q.  I would like to import a product from Europe for sale in both the USA and Canada; what should I be aware of so that my label will be allowed in both countries?  
     M.B., Food Importer, New Jersey


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


Submit a question for the Reader Q&A Spot (no charge). For confidential/guaranteed answers, see FDA Regulatory Support.

Food Label News Announces Q&A Winners

Food Consulting Company notified three newsletter subscribers that the questions they submitted to Food Label News in 2006 were selected as winning questions among those that were answered in the newsletter during 2006. The questions are winners in terms of value and broad appeal to Food Label News readers; each of the three winners received a $25 check in recognition of his/her contribution to Food Label News. The contributors and links to Q&As are:

All questions answered in Food Label News are posted on Food Consulting Company's Reader Q&A Page.

Commentary: Food Label News will continue to respond to one question per month as space permits. Submitters of the top three questions during the 2007 calendar year will be acknowledged with a $25 thank you check in January 2008.

NYC Requires Calories on Menus

On December 5, 2006, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that the New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to require restaurants that make calorie information publicly available (e.g., in a brochure, on packaging or online), to post it on menus and menu boards, where consumers can see it when they order.  The calorie information must be in a type-size that is at least as large as the price or name of the menu item.

Also on the same date, the New York City Board of Health voted unanimously that all City restaurants be required to remove artificial trans fat from menu items over the next 18 months. New York City is the first location in the nation to require this.

The adoption of both requirements by the New York City Board of Health was strongly supported by many leading national and local health connected organizations.

Read announcement for calorie posting requirement and trans fat requirement.

Commentary: According to news services, other cities and some states are considering similar requirements for calorie reporting and/or trans fat elimination. Also, opinions of nutrition and health experts that were quoted in news reports regarding New York City's trans fat and calorie labeling requirements lean toward the belief that New York City is a leader, and other cities and even states will follow with similar requirements. Even in locales where calorie labeling of restaurant foods is not required, restaurants can provide a helpful service to patrons by providing calorie and other nutrition information in a clearly visible format at point of purchase.

For background on FDA and other activity related to restaurant nutrition labeling see the Food Label News archive, January 2004, May 2004, May 2005, July 2005, July 2006, October 2006.

Food Consulting Company helps restaurants provide all types of nutrition and allergen information that can please customers. For more information

"Functional Food" Labels Debated

FDA held a public meeting regarding functional foods on December 5, 2006. According to various news reports the food industry urged federal regulators to allow broader health claims on energy drinks, power bars and other functional foods, while consumer advocates said many companies overstate the benefits of such foods, which are said to feature extra vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements.

Also, according to reports, an FDA official said the Agency will decide in 2007 whether it needs to develop new regulations for functional foods; FDA believes that Congress would have to act to make a new framework for functional foods happen.

Commentary: For background on meeting see Food Label News, November 2006.

Food Consulting Company's understanding of this debate is that a third food regulatory category - functional foods - would be established with its own set of regulations separate from conventional foods (covered under NLEA) and dietary supplements (covered under DSHEA).

Service Tip: Bosses Win with Ongoing Regulatory Support Plans
Happy employees and work done accurately and on time make bosses happy. Bosses can make labeling staff happy and increase productivity by purchasing an Ongoing Regulatory Support plan from Food Consulting Company. Regulatory Support delivers fast accurate answers to perplexing food labeling questions. Bosses: learn more and purchase plans.


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Food Consulting Company
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