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Volume 11, Number 3 - March 2010


Hello from Food Label News. As your virtual food labeling department, we understand your challenges and concerns and we're delighted to keep you current and in the know. In this issue we spotlight the ongoing negotiation with marketing. We hope you find the insights useful. Please do let us know!

In this issue you'll find:

Karen C. Duester, President


" Just a note to say thank you for all your help and support. We're now headed to a feature spot on QVC's Food Fest and four days of sampling, selling, and fun at Costco. Getting our labels right was critical to our mission."

Shawn & Ashley Mendel, 
Funley's Delicious


Say "YES" to Marketing

What do you do when your marketing department wants to get creative with the package copy and they're on the brink of regulatory blunder? How do you position your products in the best light while ensuring FDA compliance?

It is possible to both ensure your labels are 100% compliant and give marketing the saleable claims they need. We suggest taking these three guidelines into account:

  1. Approach your "negotiation" with a can-do attitude Consider what would be allowed instead of focusing on what is not allowed. You may be surprised how your cooperative approach can set the tone for effective problem solving.

  2. There's more than one way to say what you mean If the objective is to communicate a benefit to consumers, consider a statement of fact in a starburst rather than a defined nutrient content claim.

  3. Know your facts If you have a clear understanding of nutrient content claims, health claims, structure/function claims, dietary guidance statements and statements of fact, you will be more confident in suggesting alternatives that achieve both regulatory and marketing objectives.

With these guidelines in mind, it's reasonable to believe that we can balance a powerful message to consumers while ensuring 100% regulatory compliance. Our Instructional Series (see below) provides guidance so that you can say "YES" to marketing.

  Keeping You Current

Institute of Medicine's Study Staff for Front-of-Pack labeling posts FDA presentations from first meeting [1, 2, 3] and announces second meeting

CFSAN issued warning letters
to 16 companies for false and
misleading food label claims
in February 2010

FSIS extends comment period for nutrition labeling of single-ingredient meat and poultry products

FDA issued a proposed rule requiring research sponsors to report information regarding  falsification of data for label claims

New York Times reports that FDA is actively re-evaluating serving sizes used in nutrition labeling

White House establishes a task force on childhood obesity

Health Canada proposes stricter ingredient labeling for added colors

Often it's tricky to navigate the nuances of FDA food regulations. Food Consulting Company offers a clear understanding of nutrient content claims, health claims, structure/function claims, dietary guidance statements, and statements of fact. As a result, we're able to help our clients craft label statements that satisfy the needs of both marketers and the FDA.

Statements of Fact on Food Labels:
Instructional Series Part 7 of 10

This month's installment in our ten-part series describes the use of statements of fact on food labels. This 10-part instructional series is based on a 2009 publication titled "Silliker Nutrient and Health Claims U.S. Regulatory Guide" that was cooperatively developed by Food Consulting Company and Silliker, Inc., a leading provider of laboratory nutrition analysis. 

View/print Part 7 of the series.

As we pointed out in last month's series, the words "only 3g carb per serving" constitute a disallowed implied nutrient content claim. If you drop the word "only" and simply state "3g carb per serving" you are making a statement of fact which is allowed. You will see several other useful examples in the Guide. Also, view a previous Reader Q&A about 0g trans fat on food labels.

If you missed earlier parts of the series you can view and download them now. (Get Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.) The pages from all parts will add up to the complete booklet.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.


What does FDA require regarding redemption value labeling for beverage containers?
A.S., Beverage Marketer, Florida


FDA does not regulate this aspect of beverage labeling. Rather, it is regulated by the individual states. The requirements vary depending on type of container (plastic, glass, aluminum, etc.), contents of the container (carbonated, non-carbonated, juice, etc.) and if the container is marketed as single or multi-serving. The Container Recycling Institute maintains a website at that outlines the various requirements for U.S., Canada and worldwide. More reader questions

At Your Service

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA regulations. With over 1,000 clients worldwide, Food Consulting Company's services are ideal for start-up and established food manufacturers, distributors, food importers, brokers, and restaurateurs. Contact Us for more information about your food labeling needs.

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