F.D.A. updates food labeling guidance

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration has published "Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide."

The guidance, which supersedes the previous version issued by the F.D.A. in 1994, contains nonbinding recommendations in regards to food labeling.

"(The guidance) does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind F.D.A. or the public," the F.D.A. said. "You can use an alternative approach if the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statues and regulations."

The F.D.A. said that while it is impractical to attempt to answer every food labeling question that might arise, the guidance addresses the most frequently raised questions through a "question and answer" format.

"We believe the vast majority of food labeling questions are answered," the F.D.A. said.

"The F.D.A. receives many questions from manufacturers, distributors and importers about the proper labeling of their food products," the F.D.A. said. "This guidance is a summary of the required statements that must appear on food labels under these laws and their regulations. To help minimize legal action and delays, it is recommended that manufacturers and importers become fully informed about the applicable laws and regulations before offering foods for distribution in the United States."

The food labeling guide is available on the CFSAN’s web site at www.cfsan.fda.gov.

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