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Volume 8, Number 10 - October 2007


About Food Consulting Company

"I want to thank you for the (full label compliance) service you provided. The report is detailed and answered all my questions I needed. My graphic artist will have no problem following the instructions and you certainly made his life easier! The work was done in the time frame promised and we will definitely recommend your services."

~ Alfred Nasti
MIT Commodities

Dear Readers, Questions to Food Consulting Company tell us trans fat labeling is still challenging. Food Label News has provided several use-now-tips in the 2007 issues.  Choose the following links to refresh understanding of trans fat labeling: Trans Fat on Nutrition Labels Still Puzzles, Trans Fat Labeling or Definition of Trans Fat Free. Peruse the Food Label News archive to find more helpful labeling information.

Q.  Is FDA approval of food labels required? If yes, does Food Consulting Company include this step in my label order?
T. T., Start-up, Washington, DC


A.  FDA does not require or provide a service for the Agency's approval of food labels. However, labelers must comply fully with the labeling regulations on their own or through the help of their choice. Food Consulting Company helps you produce 100% FDA compliant labels with Full Label Compliance and Label Compliance Review. Read more: Reader Q&A page.


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

FDA Reminds on Food Labels Sugar Free Claim

In a September 2007 Dear Manufacturer Letter Regarding Sugar Free Claims, FDA states concern about products that contain claims regarding the absence of sugar (e.g., sugar free) but that fail to bear the required disclaimer statement when the foods are not "low" or "reduced in" calories or fail to bear the disclaimer in the manner specified in the regulations. Products labeled as "sugar free" but that are not low or reduced in calories according to FDA definition, are required to disclose this fact with "not a reduced calorie food," "not a low calorie food," or "not for weight control."

Enforcement of regulations regarding "sugar free" labeling is an FDA priority. FDA stated the Agency intends to take action against products that claim the absence of sugar but that fail to fully comply with the regulation that defines "sugar free."

See FDA letter to manufacturers.

Commentary: Before claiming a food is sugar free, a labeler must determine several related characteristics of the food including calories per serving and if the portion fits FDA definition for small serving, main dish, or meal.

Food Consulting Company understands the desire of food companies to use label claims to promote product appeal and increase sales. Choose Full Label Compliance or Label Compliance Review to get expert and timely help.

About Food Labels Allergen Warning

Based on questions received by Food Consulting Company in recent weeks, confusion exists regarding allergen advisory statements when foods are processed with shared equipment or in a shared facility. At this time the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) does not require the use of advisory labeling to describe the potential presence of unintentional ingredients resulting from the food manufacturing process. Labelers may voluntarily use an advisory statement as long as it is truthful and not misleading; however FDA has stated that advisory labeling such as "may contain [allergen]" should not be used as a substitute for adherence to current Good Manufacturing Practices.

FALCPA does require products with ingredients that contain one of the "big eight" food allergens (milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans) to indicate this by listing the common or usual name of the major food allergen in the ingredient panel.

Commentary: To fully understand allergen labeling requirements, labelers must carefully read Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 and FDA Guidance-Questions and Answers Regarding Food Allergens.

Your labels will be allergen compliant when you order Food Consulting Company's Ingredient Statement service, Full Label Compliance or Label Compliance Review.

Food Labels Health Claims & 2008 Appropriations

In September 2007, Food Label News reported that a U.S. House of Representatives 2008 appropriations bill includes the statement "No funds in this Act may be used to authorize qualified health claims for conventional foods." Since then Food Consulting Company learned from Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a supporter of the measure, that if the final bill contains the measure and is signed into law, "FDA will not have to take any affirmative action. Theoretically, the Agency could announce in a short Federal Register notice that it is no longer accepting requests for qualified health claims for foods because of the appropriations restriction."

Also from CSPI, supporters of the measure assert "the results of consumer research conducted by both the FDA and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) indicate that disclaimers do not cure the deception created by claims based on emerging science."

To become law, the measure must be part of the final appropriations bill that the president signs. As of September 30, 2007, the appropriations bill is stalled in the U.S. Senate.

See Food Label News September 2007.

At Your Service: Plan now for 2008 regulatory support. With Food Consulting Company's FDA Regulatory Support in 2008, labelers will quickly move past technical information roadblocks that can slow label completion. Choose a plan that matches your needs.

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