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Volume 10, Number 8 - August 2009


About Food Consulting Company

" Your company is a pleasure to do business with. The method of communication for initiating and working through projects is very streamlined and professional."

– Russell Nabors
Lopez Foods, Inc.

Dear Readers, This month Food Label News reports on good news for organic labelers and important but alarming news for some food processors. Read Food Label News every month to stay informed on food labeling issues. Visit for help with your food labeling projects.

Q.  Will either the LEAN Act or the MEAL Act affect supermarket foodservice operations?        K.P., Trade Association, WI


A.  LEAN Act and MEAL Act are separate bills introduced to the U.S. Congress that would require mandatory nutrition disclosure in certain restaurant/retail food service establishments. In June 2009, the bills were subject to compromise in the U.S. Senate and the compromise is to be a component of health reform legislation currently being debated. Read more.


See Food Label News archive (April 2009, June 2009, July 2009) for reports on LEAN, MEAL and compromise.

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

U.S./Canada - Organic Equivalency Agreement

In a June 17, 2009, press release the United States Department of Agriculture announced that an equivalency agreement has been reached between the United States and Canada that allows producers and processors that are certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited certifying agent to be automatically certified to the Canada Organic Product Regulation (COPR) standards. Likewise, Canadian organic products certified to COPR standards are automatically certified to NOP standards. As of June 30, 2009, certified products from either program can be labeled with both the USDA Organic seal and the Canada Organic Biologique logo.

Read USDA press release

Call for President's Commission on Healthy Weight

In a June 2009 letter to President Obama, a group of individuals and health organizations requested that the President sign an executive order that would create a Presidential Commission on Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives. The letter urges the President to act boldly and promptly since the increased rates in obesity will negate many of the nation's investments in health-care reform. As a model for action the group recommends the United Kingdom's anti-obesity strategy; advocates say this strategy is well-funded and involves the national government, local health agencies, new laws, and "full use of the bully pulpit."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is the lead organizer and issued a press release June 22, 2009.

Read letter to President Obama

Commentary: Food Consulting Company expects U.S. government agencies to enact policies and programs aimed at reducing obesity and that food and food labeling will be affected.

Consumers Demand Food Labels and Restaurant Disclosures

Four New Jersey residents with the help of two health-action groups have filed separate class action lawsuits that address nutrition disclosure on food labels and restaurant foods.

  • One New Jersey man, assisted by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) seeks to compel Denny's restaurants to disclose on menus the amount of sodium in each of its meals and to place a notice on its menus warning about high sodium levels. The lawsuit was filed in Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County July 23, 2009. A statement from the press release reads: "By concealing an important material fact about its products—namely, that these foods have disease-promoting levels of sodium—Denny's is failing its responsibility to its customers and is in violation of the laws of New Jersey and several other states."

  • Three New Jersey residents assisted by the Cancer Project (an affiliate of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) seek to compel five makers of hot dogs to place cancer risk warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey. The label would read "Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer." The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County July 22, 2009.

Read CSPI press release

Read Cancer Project press release

At Your Service: Does your product suit the health conscious buyer? Do you need help formulating a product that will look better up against the U.S. Dietary Guidelines? Contact us for help.   

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