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Volume 8, Number 7 - July 2007


About Food Consulting Company

"I couldn't do my job without your newsletter. It's invaluable."

~ Kimberly Lord Stewart

Greetings! Food Consulting Company stays on top of the latest food labeling requirements so that your products can be properly labeled in your most efficient and economical way. Choose Full Label Compliance to get comprehensive food label help for one product; this includes development of FDA required label components. Choose Ongoing Regulatory Support to get help when you have questions about regulatory compliance for labels you develop yourself.

Q.  My product (non perishable grain) was stamped with an incorrect and too early "best before" date. Does FDA allow me to use a sticker to cover the incorrect information with the correct date?
E.R., Food Importer, California


A.  Yes, it is permissible to use an over-sticker to correct a label inaccuracy. While best before/shelf life labeling is not an FDA requirement, it is a wise consumer-friendly business practice. Food Consulting Company helps with Shelf Life Evaluation. Read more at Reader Q&A Page.


Submit a question for Reader Q&A (no charge).

CFSAN FY 2007 Priorities for Food Labels

In June 2007, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) posted the Center's FY 2007 (October 1, 2006 to September 31, 2007) Report to Stakeholders. The report includes FY 2007 Program Priorities, FY 2006 Program Priority Accomplishments, and FY 2006 Other Significant Accomplishments.

The FY 2007 Program Priorities are separated into five categories: Food Defense, Food Safety, Nutrition Labeling, Dietary Supplements and Cosmetics, Priority Ongoing Activities. In part food label related priorities include:

Nutrition Facts
- publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comments on updating Daily
  Values in nutrition labeling
- develop analytical methods for analysis of low levels of trans fatty acids in foods

- solicit input from stakeholders on current use of food allergen advisory labeling
- publish a proposed rule for gluten-free labeling

- develop a proposed rule to implement FDAMA (FDA Modernization Act) notifications for
  nutrient content claims and health claims
- publish guidance on the evidence-based scientific review system for health claims (including
  qualified health claims)

Ingredients/Food Categories
- solicit input from stakeholders concerning regulatory status and labeling of salt
- hold a public meeting on foods that companies are marketing as "functional foods"
- publish a proposed rule to revise the existing regulation for irradiated foods
- complete a proposed rule to amend the standards of identity for yogurt
- publish a final rule on in-lid labeling for shell eggs

Consumer Knowledge of Food Labeling
- develop and disseminate food label training materials for teachers
- launch nutrition label media campaign for children/adolescents
- determine percent of American consumers aware of U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Read CFSAN FY 2007 Report to Stakeholders

Commentary: Food Label News is devoted to reporting on FDA action affecting food labels. Monthly topics are selected to meet client need-to-know and general reader appeal. See Food Label News archive and read new issues as they arrive each month so that you can stay informed on food label regulatory matters.

Carb Claims on Food Labels Work Continues

The FY 2006 CFSAN Program Priorities published in May 2006, listed priorities related to carbohydrate claims on food labels, including:

  • publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on certain carbohydrate claims (e.g., "net")

  • publish a proposed rule on terms such as "low", "reduced" and "free" for carbohydrate claims

  • complete consumer studies research and economic data to help develop principles for use of the word "net" and other terms in relation to carbohydrate content

Carbohydrate claims are not listed in FY 2007 Program Priorities that were posted by CFSAN in June 2007. However, according to an FDA spokesperson, FDA is actively working on these priorities with the intent of publicly addressing claims and other statements related to the carbohydrate content of foods. Also, FDA has completed the data collection for the consumer study and is in the process of writing a paper for peer-review.

Commentary: Food Label News will keep you posted as FDA reports on food labels carbohydrate claims progress. Food Consulting Company helps write truthful label statements regarding carbohydrate. See services.

More Detail on Food Labels Priorities

Food Consulting Company sought explanation from CFSAN for two FY 2007 Program Priorities for food labeling that were posted in June 2007. The priorities and the comments from a CFSAN spokesperson follow.

Priority: Hold a public meeting to solicit input from stakeholders concerning the regulatory status and labeling of salt

Comment: "The meeting (actually a public "hearing") will seek comment on a citizen petition received from CSPI that asks FDA to require reductions in the salt content of processed foods and require new labeling. FDA will seek comment on this petition and pose questions about the petition and our regulation of salt generally."

Priority: Develop analytical methods for analysis of low levels of trans fatty acids in foods

Comment: "This action item is to assist FDA in the enforcement of trans fat labeling since foods can declare 0 g trans fat when it contains <0.5g trans fat per serving."

Commentary: Food Label News writers were curious about CFSAN's intent with these priorities because health professionals (medical, dietetic) and consumer advocates frequently voice dissatisfaction with current regulations. Food Label News has reported on this in March 2005 (CSPI) and July 2006 (American Medical Association). The vocal groups believe that sodium intake limits should be lowered and that food manufacturers should be pressured to reduce sodium content of packaged foods. Regarding trans fat labeling, health advocates are dissatisfied that a food with 0.49g of trans fat can be labeled as containing 0g trans fat, and manufacturers can highlight this on the front label panel even when the food contains a considerable amount of saturated fat.

At Your Service:  Food Consulting Company offers a service that can help assure your product is fresh for product patrons. Order Shelf Life Evaluation and learn how long your product will stay fresh on the shelf. Voluntary inclusion of a freshness date on labels encourages retailers to rotate products and lets consumers know when the time is up for highest product quality.

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Food Consulting Company
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