California legislators are considering legislation that would require labeling by CPGs.
Senate Bill 258, authored by Senator Lara would require cleaning products carry labels listing all ingredients, along with a pictogram illustrating potential health effects. This bill has passed the Senate, and is awaiting further consideration in its Assembly committee assignment.
Assembly Bill 1575, introduced by Assemblyman Kalra, would require beauty salons to label cosmetics used on customers in-store. A similar requirement is already in place for those sold at grocery and other retail outlets. This bill has passed through the Assembly, and is awaiting further action in the Senate. The California legislature adjourns for their summer recess on July 21st.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently posted a question and answer document regarding warning requirements that will apply to businesses beginning August 30, 2018.
OEHHA’s new regulations place primary responsibility for providing warnings on product manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers or distributors.
Specifically, suppliers of ingredients that contain a listed PROP 65 chemical would only have responsibility for a consumer warning if it has knowledge that the end use of the component part or ingredient will expose a consumer to the listed chemical at a level that requires a warning.
Consumer products manufactured prior to August 30, 2018, and labeled with a warning that is compliant with the September 2008 version of the regulations will be considered in compliance with the 2018 regulations. Additional PROP 65 guidance information will be provided by OEHHA prior to the 2018 compliance deadline.
Two weeks ago, the USDA provided a list of 30 questions for stakeholder input, as they begin to craft the language and parameters for GMO labeling, as required by Congress. The USDA is seeking guidance on symbols, how multi-ingredient food products would be treated, and viability of “digital/electronic disclosure” on food packages.
The agency intends to issue a proposed draft rule later this fall, which would outline GMO label wording and package placement, among other elements. They have not yet delayed the July 2018 GMO labeling requirement for manufacturers.
Late last month, the FDA indefinitely delayed forthcoming nutrition labeling requirements for individual food and beverage packaging. As previously reported, companies with sales of over $10 million annually would have been required to comply with the new regulations in August of 2018. The FDA stated that additional time is needed for industry to develop and procure printing associated with the new labels. Several large consumer product goods (CPGs) companies had also requested additional time to comply.
It’s anticipated that a new timeline and compliance schedule will be printed in the Federal Register later this year. The updated nutrition panel was the most significant food and beverage labeling requirement to come out of the FDA during the Obama Administration.
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On Friday the FDA announced updated nutritional panel information for the majority of food and beverages sold in the US. The final requirements
are a result of feedback and analysis of agency research, industry input and available scientific data. Virtually all food and beverage packaging will need to adjust their current labels as a result of the final rule.
Major changes to the current label include:
- Highlighting “Calories,” “servings per container,” and the “Serving size” declarations by increasing the type size and placing the number of calories and the “Serving size” declaration in bold type.
- Requiring manufacturers to declare the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value, of mandatory vitamins and minerals.
- Addition of any “Added Sugars” directly beneath the listing for “Total Sugars”
- Changing the footnote to better explain the percent Daily Value.
The new label, as provided by the FDA, is below:
Opponents of the new requirements believe the new label directly contradicts the FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (under which the FDA received its 2016 funding). A section of that Act prohibited the FDA from using data from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee Report as part of its justification for rulemaking, unless there was significant scientific agreement. Opponents claim no such agreement exists, therefore, the rule should be struck down by the courts and sent back to the FDA for redrafting.
Food and beverage manufacturers with sales of over $10 million annually will be required to comply with the new label requirements by July 26, 2018. Those with sales less than $10 million annually will have an additional year to comply.
Industry wide, food companies are preparing for the Vermont GMO labeling law (effective July 1, 2016), which requires all food products containing GMOs to be labeled.
As previously reported, federal legislation that would prohibit states from requiring mandatory labels for food products containing GMOs failed a key “test” vote last month on the Senate floor. While Congressional supporters of the bill still are pursuing avenues to advance the legislation, they’ve been unable to reach a compromise approach with bill opponents.
On May 11th, California retailers are required to post signage at the register, warning customers that certain food and beverage packaging sold in the store may contain bisphenol-A (BPA). This was a compromise between requiring retailers to place signs on specific aisles and labeling food and beverage containers containing BPA.
The state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment will continue to assess the science surrounding potential health impacts of BPA, however we do not anticipate required on-package labeling in the near term.
As a result of the KIND Healthy Snacks company petition, the FDA has reconsidered the term “healthy” for labeling on food and beverages.
Under the FDA’s current application of food labeling regulations, whether or not a food can be labeled “healthy” is based on specific nutrient levels, rather than its overall nutrition quality. The “healthy” labeling requirements tied to nutritional content have not changed.
What has changed is a company’s ability to label its products as “healthy” in a way that is clearly presented as a corporate philosophy, but not as a nutrient content claim. It cannot be labeled in the nutrition facts portion of the label.
The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 is a key piece of legislation. The bill would authorize $9.3 billion for improvements and maintenance for ports, coastal navigation channels, river channels, canals, dams, locks and levees, as well as funding for ecosystem restoration projects and financial assistance for public drinking water and wastewater systems.
WRDA contains a “voluntary” labeling fee provision for the right of a brand/customer to place a label on their packaging stating that they are contributing to the water infrastructure fund and supporting clean water – each label would require a 3 cent per unit contribution to the Fund.
The labeling provisions would be overseen by FDA, and although not specifically stated, would likely focus on food and beverage customers who wish to participate in the right to label their products. Fees collected would be used to pay for clean water infrastructure as well as port and marine related infrastructure.
The bill also expands the existing WaterSense labeling program, currently overseen by EPA, by adding products that may qualify to carry the label should they meet program requirements.
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee recently passed the bill out of Committee by a 19-1 vote. Senate Republican leadership is working for floor passage this summer. The FDA would undertake a rulemaking to determine label standards, including size, recyclability and other compatibility issues.