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 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/286ab693-1dc8-42ac-b295-1868b1b743a9/2016-0030.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.


Source: Constituent Update – November 10, 2016

October 4, 2016

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FTC, USDA Set Agenda for Roundtable on Consumer Perceptions of “Organic” – Vitamin Retailer Magazine

FTC / USDA

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the agenda for their upcoming joint-agency roundtable on consumer perceptions of “organic” claims for non-agricultural products. The event, first announced in August, will be held in Washington, DC, on October 20, 2016.

Source: FTC, USDA Set Agenda for Roundtable on Consumer Perceptions of “Organic” – Vitamin Retailer Magazine

August 19, 2016

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USDA Guidance on Voluntary GMO labeling

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) has released guidance on voluntary labeling statements for bioengineered and genetically modified ingredients  or animal feed.

  • Negative claims are “special statements and claims”and
  • are not generically approved and
  • establishments are required to submit labels with negative claims to FSIS for prior approval before using them on labels or labeling.
  • UNLESS  For meat, poultry or egg products with negative claims [i.e. claiming the absence of GMO ingredients] that FSIS has previously approved,
  • [then] the establishment is allowed to change the termsnon-genetically engineered” or “non-GE” to “non-GMO” or “no genetically modified organisms” without approval.”

Essentially if you have USDA regulated product (meat, poultry, or egg) and you want to voluntarily declare “no-GMO” then you must submit your labels for approval, except if you previously received label approval and are swapping terms “non-genetically engineered” or “non-GE” to “non-GMO” or “no genetically modified organisms”.

February 22, 2016

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The USDA Proposed Nutritional Fact Panel for Meat and Poultry Products [UPDATED]

Update (Feb 22, 2017) : The commentary period has been extended from 60 days to 90 days.  Comments are due by Wed April 19, 2017. The commentary period is being extended to adhere to the the  ‘Regulatory Freeze Pending Review’ memorandum of January 20, 2017, to the heads of executive departments and agencies from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff. 

Source: Federal Register 

 

Now that the FDA label rules are in place, the USDA is following suit and aligning.  A few weeks back they announce temporary/voluntary naming guidelines.  (USDA regulated meat and poultry products may voluntarily use the new FDA Nutrition Label Format.) You now have 60 days to comment on their the USDA Proposed Revisions to Nutritional Fact Panel for Meat and Poultry Products | USDA Newsroom. In summary,
  • Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
  • Provide updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
  • Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
  • Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
  • Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
  • Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
  • Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs or reference amounts); and
  • Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.