Volume 12, Number 2 - February
Hello from Food Label News.
In this issue we cover the distinction between food labels
and food labeling - it's a fine line to be sure. You'll also
find an opportunity for you to get visibility for your work
within your company and among your peers. As your virtual
food labeling department, we're here to support you and we
look forward to hearing your feedback.
Labels & Labeling: Splitting Hairs?
Not really. FDA has authority
over labels for most food products. FTC has authority over
advertising. Both FDA and FTC have authority over labeling.
So what is the difference between "label" and "labeling"?
According to the Federal Food,
Drug & Cosmetic Act, the "label" is defined as the "written
printed or graphic material on the immediate package" and
"labeling" means "all labels and other written, printed, or
graphic matters upon any article or any of its containers or
wrappers, or accompanying such article." Therefore, labeling
encompasses the label and all accompanying material on or
near the package at the point of purchase.
Here are some
Hang tag – This is an
extension of the product label and is considered
labeling. It must comply with FDA requirements and if
there is any issue with non-compliance, FDA and/or
FTC will step in to remedy the situation.
Shelf tag – This is
accompanying material at the point of purchase and must
comply with FDA regulations. Non-compliance issues would
be handled by FDA and/or FTC.
Print or TV advertising –
While any advertising claims must comply with FDA
requirements as defined in the Code of Federal
Regulations, non-compliance issues are policed by FTC.
The bottom line? While FDA
generally has authority over labels and labeling, when false
claims are made in advertising or promotional material,
FTC will get involved. In general, FTC levies harsher
penalties and bigger fines. This underscores the importance
for companies to follow all requirements for labels,
labeling and promotional material to ensure communication is
truthful and not misleading.
CFR Title 21 for
CFR Title 9 for
FDA Food Labeling
FTC Enforcement Policy on Food Advertising
USDA Policy Book for
Food Standards and Labeling
Canadian Food & Drug
Guide to Food Labelling and
Silliker/Food Consulting Company Label Claims
From the Archive
FDA Reminds on Food Label Claims
network in food labeling. Join the
Food Label Community on
When a website URL
appears on the printed label or accompanying material at the
point of purchase, it is considered labeling and is under the
jurisdiction of both FDA and FTC. However, when the URL
is not printed on the label, the website is considered
promotional material or advertising and while governed by FTC
must still comply with all FDA regulations for food labeling.
Get Visibility for Your Work
We know that providing
a compelling and informative label is a must-have
to compete effectively in the market today. However
as food labelers, when we do our job successfully,
it often goes unnoticed.
To help you showcase
your work and get noticed in your company, we are
launching a case study program to shed light on
important food label issues. We invite our valued
clients to celebrate the work we've done together.
We will select four to six companies to feature in
this newsletter and on our website. In addition,
you'll have the final case study to highlight your
work – both internally and among your peers.
To be a part of the
program, simply send an email to
We look forward to hearing from you.
Here's to a win-win: logos for all companies who express an
interest will be highlighted on our website. It's free
marketing to improve your search engine rankings.
I work for the Anchorage school district for student
nutrition and we have students that have an allergy to
MSG. I need to know if it is used in CN-labeled foods?
− S.H., School District, Alaska
Whenever MSG (monosodium
glutamate) is added to a food, it must be declared in
the ingredient statement. This is true for foods labeled
for the Child Nutrition (CN) program or any other foods.
There are some ingredients, however, that contain
naturally occurring monosodium glutamate. This naturally
occurring substance is the result of a free glutamate
that combines with sodium in processing to create
monosodium glutamate. Some ingredients that contain free
glutamate are: yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract,
disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and hydrolyzed
More reader questions.
At Your Service
founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling
and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA
regulations. With well over 1,000 clients worldwide, we’re
pleased to provide
information to address your
food labeling needs.
We value our relationships and
are working to stay connected. To build your network, we
invite you to connect with us via
LinkedIn and while you’re
there, join the
Food Label Community.
You may reprint all or part of this newsletter,
provided you attribute it to Food Label News
and include a link to
2011. Food Consulting Company, Del Mar, CA. All rights reserved.