March 29, 2017

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Sports Bean by Jelly Belly food label

Food label lawsuit – Jelly Belly hit for “Evaporated Cane Juice”

Once again the food label matters; ingredient names matter; word choice matters.

Law360, March 28, 2017 — reports that “Jelly Belly Mislabeled Its Sport Beans Candy”

A group of consumers have hit Jelly Belly Candy Co. with a proposed class action alleging it deceptively labeled its Sport Beans candy products as containing “evaporated cane juice” instead of sugar after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the phrase was misleading. The suit was filed in San Bernardino California.

Knowledge Bank’s take – First, always consult your lawyer on legal matters.  Second, evaluate each food label to determine if you are using the term “Evaporated Cane Juice” and understand your situation.  Third, if needed, develop your action plan.

As we previously posted, the FDA has been clear. The FDA says labeling sugar as evaporated cane juice ” is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is fruit or vegetable juice or is made from fruit or vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.”


March 21, 2017

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Image of Corn a source of High-Amylose Maize Resistant Starch used by new qualified health claim

Getting FDA approval for a qualified health claim

The following article is reprinted with permission; and provides an overview of the clinical trial research necessary to make a qualified health claim on front of food package labeling.   Companies needing a competitive edge must conduct rigorous studies to get a qualified health claim approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

High-Amylose Maize Resistant Starch Health Claim Approved for Type 2 Diabetes 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a qualified health claim which will enable food companies to include messaging on the packaging of products which contain high-amylose maize resistant starch (HAM-RS). Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by insulin resistance which, over time, leads to exhaustion of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Substantiation of the qualified health claim was supported by eight clinical trials, one of which was completed by members of the MB Clinical Research team. In this study, overweight and obese participants (11 men and 22 women) were randomly assigned to received either 0 (control), 15, or 30 g/d HAM-RS for four-week periods, separated by a three-week washout. In men, insulin sensitivity increased with daily intake of 15 and 30 g/d HAM-RS, relative to the control (48% and 56%, respectively, p <0.05 for both vs. control). However, there were no significant differences in insulin sensitivity for women, relative to control. The FDA concluded that the totality of the evidence supports the following claims:

“High-amylose maize resistant starch may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence for this claim.”

“High-amylose maize resistant starch, a type of fiber, may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited scientific evidence for this claim.”

Comment: We are hopeful that the approval of this qualified health claim will stimulate more research evaluating the effects of fermentable dietary fibers on carbohydrate metabolism. There is consistent evidence from observational studies that indicate higher consumption of certain fibers, especially cereal fibers, is associated with lower risks for metabolic syndrome and T2D. Research is needed to more clearly define the characteristics of dietary fibers that are associated with these benefits and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Based on our work and that of others, we hypothesize the liberation of short-chain fatty acids during fermentation of HAM-RS is a mechanism for enhanced insulin sensitivity. Other mechanisms may be important as well, particularly alterations in the microbiome.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. RE: Petition for a Health Claim for High-Amylose Maize Starch (Containing Type-2 Resistant Starch) and Reduced Risk Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Docket Number FDA-2015-Q-2352-0023), December 12, 2016.


Maki KC, Pelkman CL, Finocchiaro ET, Kelley KM, Lawless AL, Schild AL, Rains TM. Resistant starch from high-amylose maize increases insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men.  J Nutr 2012;142:717-23.

February 17, 2017

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Confused by? Best by – Use by – Sell by

The Grocery manufacturers association (GMA) releases new industry guidance on Product Date Labels.


The new voluntary initiative streamlines the myriad date labels on consumer products packaging down to just two standard phrases. “BEST If Used By” describes product quality, where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume. “USE By” applies to the few products that are highly perishable and/or have a food safety concern over time; these products should be consumed by the date listed on the package – and disposed of after that date.


Source: Grocery Industry Launches New Initiative to Reduce Consumer Confusion on Product Date Labels

January 6, 2017

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ConAgra Foods dealt blow by ninth circuit in ‘natural’ lawsuit

A hotly-anticipated opinion by the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit in a high-profile false advertising case, contains bad news for defendant ConAgra Foods (now ConAgra Brands), but may prove to be of less significance to other food manufacturers, say attorneys.

Source: ConAgra Foods dealt blow by ninth circuit in ‘natural’ lawsuit

January 6, 2017

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Plant-based ‘milk’ letter reignites standards of identity debate

According to the National Milk Producers Federation – and 34 members of Congress who wrote to the FDA before Christmas – using the term ‘milk’ on plant-based beverages misleads consumers, harms the dairy industry and violates milk’s standard of identity (lacteal secretions from cows). But where does the FDA stand?

Source: Plant-based ‘milk’ letter reignites standards of identity debate

January 6, 2017

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Milan’s Supermarket of the Future is Worth A Look


If you think labeling is tough now, wait until you have fully interactive systems. This news report by Phil Liebert, gives us a glimpse into the future. Remember the “label” includes anything that describes your your product in the marketplace. This includes websites and other product information beyond whats printed in the label.  At KnowledgeBank, we think providing customers with transparent information, is a winning strategy that allows customers to find products that meet their own individual food philosophies.

Learn how to shop for groceries smarter, eat healthier, and live better. With new food product video reviews, recipes, food allergy information, grocery coupons, tips and deals, Phil Lempert alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions.

Source: SupermarketGuru – Milan’s Supermarket of the Future is Worth A Look

December 20, 2016

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FDA Approves Health Claim for Resistant Starch and Reduced Diabetes Risk

The U.S. FDA has approved a petition filed by Ingredion Incorporated, Westchester, IL, resulting in a qualified health claim that will enable food manufacturers to communicate the relationship between high-amylose maize resistant starch and a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes on the packages of conventional foods.

Source: FDA Approves Health Claim for Resistant Starch and Reduced Diabetes Risk

December 19, 2016

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Nestlé USA to fight lawsuit over citric acid in Lean Cuisine

Nestlé USA is the latest in a series of food companies to be targeted by New York-based law firm Lee Litigation Group over its use of the label claim ‘no preservatives’ on products containing citric acid.’ .

Source: Nestlé USA to fight lawsuit over citric acid in Lean Cuisine

December 19, 2016

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Is it legal to call plant-based beverages ‘milk’?

Is it legal for nut or other non-dairy based beverages sold in the US to describe themselves as ‘milk’ (almondmilk, cashewmilk, soymilk) on food labels?

Source: Is it legal to call plant-based beverages ‘milk’?

November 16, 2016

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USDA regulated meat and poultry products may voluntarily use the new FDA Nutrition Label Format   

Establishments May Voluntarily Use FDA’s Updated Nutrition Facts Label Format on Meat and Poultry ProductsFSIS announces that while the Agency is in the process of rulemaking to update the Nutrition Facts label format for meat and poultry products, establishments may voluntarily choose to use the Nutrition Facts label format that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized on May 27, 2016. FDA finalized the “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement facts labels,” (81 FR 33742) and “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably be Consumed atOne-Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints and Technical Amendments”(81 FR 34000).As long as the information on the labels is still truthful and not misleading, FSIS will not find noncompliance if companies use the FDA format. When FSIS publishes a final rule to update the Nutrition Facts label format for meat and poultry products, companies would have to comply with that final rule by the effective date and will no longer be able to use the FDA format if it is different from the FSIS format. FSIS has posted an advance copy of the notice at

Source: Constituent Update – November 10, 2016