The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule, effective October 13, 2020, to establish compliance requirements for fermented and hydrolyzed foods, or foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients, and that are labeled “gluten-free.”
Continue Reading FDA Finalizes Rule Related to Gluten-Free Labeling for Foods Containing Fermented or Hydrolyzed Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new policy to provide flexibility for restaurants and food manufacturers that have products on hand that are not labeled for retail sale (i.e. labeled for foodservice). To facilitate food distribution during the COVID019 pandemic, FDA released a guidance document, Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which allows restaurants and food manufactures to sell food products without nutrition labeling under certain circumstances. FSIS provided similar flexibility for FSIS regulated products last week.
Continue Reading Following FSIS Lead, FDA Announces Flexibility on Nutrition Labeling Requirements for Foodservice Products Diverted to Retail

New regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding nutritional information labeling are generating concern within the beer industry that the cost of compliance might be damaging and cost prohibitive for the industry.

Effective December 1, 2016, the FDA will require disclosure of nutritional information for regular menu items, including alcohol beverages, appearing on

Waning time and higher priorities have rendered the passage of federal genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling legislation a long shot this year despite early optimism. However, a renewed emphasis on preemptive federal legislation and talks of compromise give reason to believe bipartisan legislation could be passed in the near future, possibly even early next year.

As a bit of background, the FDA currently makes no distinction between marketing requirements for GMO and non-GMO foods. Because there is broad scientific agreement that GMO foods pose no greater health risks than non-GMO foods, federal labeling requirements were long deemed unnecessary. In fact, just last week the FDA declared genetically modified salmon to be safe and denied a petition seeking mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. However, GMO stances by companies like Chipotle and several state laws that would mandate GMO food labeling have reignited the debate. Proponents of GMO labeling mandates argue that consumers have a right to know what is in their food, whereas opponents of mandatory labeling argue that such labeling would unfairly stigmatize GMO products in the marketplace and increase costs.

Although the issue had been kept in mind by a few members of Congress, it came again to the forefront when Vermont passed a mandatory GMO labeling law set to take effect in July of 2016. Fearful of a patchwork of state laws regulating food labeling requirements, the House passed Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act this July by a wide margin (275-150). This bill would prevent states from issuing mandatory GMO labeling requirements and would set up a federal framework under the USDA for those who wish to label their products as “GMO-free.” That bill, however, has been stalled in the Senate since.
Continue Reading Federal GMO Food Labeling Legislation Unlikely This Year But Possible in Early 2016

In arguments before the Supreme Court earlier this week, Coca-Cola asserted that its label for Minute Maid “Pomegranate Blueberry” juice, which contained a “flavored blend of 5 juices” complies with FDA rules and therefore, Coca-Cola could not be sued by a competitor for using an allegedly “misleading” label under the Lanham Act.  Years ago, the

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to hear an appeal filed by POM Wonderful LLC in connection with its suit against The Coca-Cola Company under the Lanham Act alleging that Coca-Cola’s  “Pomegranate  Blueberry” juice labels are misleading. POM Wonderful asserts these labels are misleading due to the fact that, despite the name, the product contains very little pomegranate  or blueberry juice. Instead, the juice contains approximately  99 percent grape and apple juice, and only 0.3 percent pomegranate  juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice.

Coca-Cola argues that the product label has images of all five fruits contained in the beverage and that the name “Pomegranate  Blueberry – flavored blend of 5 juices” clearly informs consumers that the product is a blend of fruits and tastes like pomegranate  and blueberry juice. In essence, Coca-Cola asserted that its labels are technically in compliance with Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) regulations.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Coca-Cola on the ground that POM Wonderful does not have the right to challenge FDA regulations that allow Coca-Cola to label the beverage as Pomegranate  Blueberry juice. The Ninth Circuit asserted that the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) wholly regulates food and beverage labeling and as such, a plaintiff cannot sue under the Lanham Act to enforce the FDCA or its regulations or to interpret ambiguous FDA regulations. In other words, according to the Ninth Circuit, the FDCA expressly preempts product labeling claims, thus leaving no room for a company to challenge a competitor’s label under the Lanham Act.

Continue Reading High Court to Weigh In on Labeling Dispute Between Competing Beverage Companies