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Volume 9, Number 10 - October 2008


About Food Consulting Company

"Thank you very much. The label review was extremely clear and helpful. Your added value and quick turnaround are highly appreciated."

– Gilles A. Deloux

Dear Readers,  In July 2008, Food Consulting Company posted the article Due Diligence with Database Nutrition Analysis on the company website. The article was announced in Food Label News July 2008. If you missed this article, we invite you to read it now.

Q.  Since fish/aquaculture are excluded from National Organic Program standards, is labeling fish and seafood with the term “organic” acceptable in the U.S.?
M.S., Retailer, New York


A.  An official from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) told Food Consulting Company that USDA has no jurisdiction over how organic is used outside of the rules of the National Organic Program (NOP).  Read more.

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

FDA Proposes Rule Regarding Food Importers

On September 18, 2008, FDA issued a proposed rule that would require that shipping containers of food barred from entry to the United States, and any accompanying documents, be labeled as refused; the intent is to make it easier for FDA to detect previously-refused food and prevent the reintroduction of refused food into the United States. FDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until December 2, 2008.

Read proposed rule.

Read press release.

Commentary:  Food for import to the United States that is not in compliance with U.S. food labeling requirements can be refused for entry. The degree of noncompliance is a factor on how mislabeled food is handled (accepted, detained, refused) at U.S. ports. Order Full Label Compliance for your product label.

Comments to FDA Regarding Salt/Sodium

Stakeholders in the debate about whether FDA should change salt's regulatory status from Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) to Food Additive and require limits on salt in processed foods can read the many comments submitted to FDA on the topic.

Food Label News reported on FDA's call for comment in November 2007, January 2008, and July 2008 issues.

Read stakeholder comments.

Commentary:  Food Consulting Company and Food Label News continue to follow the salt debate because it could potentially lead to significant changes in product formulas and in labeling regulations. In addition to reports on FDA's call for comments, the newsletter has reported on the salt debate numerous times; see archive.

COOL - Mandatory Date Arrives

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) became mandatory September 30, 2008, for all covered commodities except wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish. COOL for wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish became effective April 4, 2005.

COOL originated in the 2002 Farm Bill as a marketing provision. The Bill amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require retailers to notify customers of country of origin for beef, lamb, pork, fish, perishable agricultural commodities, and peanuts. The 2008 Farm Bill included provisions to amend COOL to also cover chicken, goat, macadamia nuts, pecans, and ginseng; the latter Bill also added provisions for labeling products of multiple origin.

On August 1, 2008, an interim final rule for COOL was published in the Federal Register to provide the newly affected industries the opportunity to comment.

Covered commodities produced or packaged before September 30, 2008, are not required to comply with COOL regulations.

Read interim final rule.

Commentary:  COOL requirements are complex; the interim final rule is a must-read for stakeholders with any of the covered foods.

At Your Service:  Plan now for 2009 regulatory support. With Food Consulting Company's FDA Regulatory Support in 2009, labelers will quickly move past technical information roadblocks that can slow label completion. Contact Us to set your plan in motion.

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