HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FDA Cracks Down on Food Labeling

In an open letter to the food industry dated March 3, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stated that

[t]oday, ready access to reliable information about the calorie and nutrient content of food is even more important, given the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases in the United States .... I have made improving the scientific accuracy and usefulness of food labeling one of my priorities ....

The BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes reports that Commissioner Hamburg has put words into action (FDA press release here). 

The Food and Drug Administration has fired off warning letters to 17 companies including Nestle, Beech-nut, and Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, directing them to correct food product labels that run afoul of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The violations included unauthorized health claims, unauthorized nutrient content claims, and the unauthorized use of terms such as “health,” that have strict, regulatory definitions. Companies that received warning letters have 15 business days to inform the FDA of the steps they will take to correct their labeling.

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