8, Number 5 - May 2007
IN THIS ISSUE:
About Food Consulting Company
"Because of you I could sleep at night
knowing my work was being done right. Your
team shows a high degree of expertise and is
savvy in regards to business and customer
service. I know I chose best when I chose
Food Consulting Company to do my label work.
Again I thank you for the incredible job!"
Greetings to our clients and guest subscribers!
We work to get your products properly labeled
and positioned in the best light within the law
so that your efforts can be focused on
maximizing product sales. Visit our
for information on Full Label Compliance and
Ongoing Regulatory Support; see our
Reader Q&A Page
for answers to featured questions from Food
Label News subscribers.
Q. Can I use my product
tell how my food fits into MyPyramid guidelines?
S.P., Established Food Manufacturer,
has not issued formal guidance on using
MyPyramid on food labels, but in conversations
with Food Consulting Company the Agency has
referred to USDA's guidance document to explain
how MyPyramid can be used on FDA-regulated food
labels. Read more at
Reader Q&A Page.
Submit a question
for Reader Q&A (no charge).
Out-of-Compliance Food Labels - Who Cares
Food labels are routinely scrutinized for
compliance with FDA regulations and for
integrity of the various claims printed on food
FDA posts warning letters on the FDA
website. According to a spokesperson for FDA's
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,
FDA learns of non-compliant labels on foods
via random checks, checks during inspections,
consumer groups, individual consumers,
competitors, etc. Warning letters direct food
packagers to correct problem labels or face
further FDA action.
One well-known consumer watch group (CSPI,
Center for Science in the Public Interest)
established a litigation project in 2005.
Food Label News
reported on the project in June 2005. The group
remains active and most recently forced an
agreement by Quaker Oats Company to drop certain
claims on labels and in advertising that the
litigation group says exaggerated the health
benefits of eating oatmeal.
Commentary: FDA warning letters can
be instructive for labelers. Recent letters have
addressed noncompliance with ingredient
statements and allergen labeling. See
FDA warning letters.
CSPI frequently threatens a company with
litigation for claims the organization deems as
misleading or not truthful. See
CSPI press releases.
Certain Foods May Be Expelled From School
On April 25, 2007, the Institute of Medicine of
the National Academies published "Nutrition Standards for Foods in
Schools: Leading the Way toward Healthier
Youth." The report follows a mandate by Congress
for the Center for Disease Control and the
Institute of Medicine to review and recommend
appropriate nutritional standards for foods
available at school.
In part the report specifies complex standards
for what foods can and cannot be served in
limits on calories, fat, trans fat, sodium,
and added sugar per food portion as packaged
minimums for how much fruit, vegetable or
whole grain must be present in combination
foods per portion
limits on when sport drinks and beverages
with nonnutritive sweeteners can be
The report recommends incorporating the
nutrition standards into
school wellness policies and passing supportive
legislation or regulation at federal, state or
Also on the horizon for changing what can and
cannot be served/provided in schools are U.S.
House of Representatives (H.R.1363) and Senate
(S.771) bills that would amend the Child
Nutrition Act of 1966 to improve the nutrition
and health of schoolchildren by updating the
definition of "food of minimal nutritional
value" to conform to current nutrition science.
nutrition standards report.
Proposed FDA Regulation - Irradiation on Food
On April 4, 2007, FDA issued a proposal to
revise the Agency's regulation for the labeling
of foods treated with irradiation. The proposal
deviates from current regulation published April 18, 1986, in part by:
requiring labeling only for food in which
the irradiation causes a material change
(change in organoleptic, nutritional, or
functional properties) that is not readily
apparent to the consumer at the point of
purchase in the absence of appropriate
requiring explicit language on the label
describing the material change caused by
allowing use of alternate terms for
irradiation, such as "pasteurized" that
would be accompanied by explicit language
describing the change in the food or why it
is used e.g., "irradiated to inhibit
The proposal requires that the "radura" logo be
present on the label of affected foods, as does
the current regulation. Comments on the proposed
rule should be submitted by May 4, 2007
Commentary: As reported in
Food Label News
(April 2007), an FDA spokesperson cited
irradiation labeling as a 2007 fiscal year
priority for FDA's Center for Food Safety and
Service Tip: Food Consulting Company offers help with label
statements and claims, including use of MyPyramid on food labels.
Ongoing Regulatory Support
provides periodic help (multiple times)
throughout the year for one or more labels;
Support provides one-time help for
Please share this newsletter in its entirety, including subscription and copyright information.
For reprint permission, please
Food Consulting Company
13724 Recuerdo Drive
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA