Food Labeling Requirements Always in Flux

by Jim Scanio, on August 7, 2017

Food labeling has its own ever-changing regulations.
Food labeling has its own ever-changing regulations.

Being up to date on food and beverage labeling requirements means keeping up with a host of different rules and regulations - and that's just thinking about the domestic market. With companies increasingly able to leverage global supply chains and expand their reach, there is a very good chance that leaders will have to think about several different companies' systems at once.

It's worth looking at recent decisions that may have an impact on the labeling of food and beverage products for consumption by U.S. consumers while noting that these affect just a few of the many rules governing organizations. Change is always on the way, and enterprise labeling solutions should be able to keep up.

Decisions to watch

A recent Lexology article by law firm DLA Piper gave food and beverage companies advance notice of several government actions that may soon impact their operations, especially where labeling is concerned. For example, California recently added a new herbicide ingredient to its list of substances that must be disclosed on food labels - glyphosphate. The state has proposed that food with more than 1,100 micrograms of glyphosphate in them will have to amend their labels. While the rule is a California one, it's rare for an item to have a label just for one state, so the regulation has wide applicability.

DLA Piper also gave an update on the GMO disclosure regulations being finalized by the Department of Agriculture: The fourth draft of the rule should make its debut this fall, leading up to the final text in July of next year.

The FDA's approval is important for labeling claims.The FDA's approval is important for labeling claims.

Proactive labeling

Regulations govern the labels companies are required to put on their packages - and the ones they place there by choice. Food Dive recently noted that following a petition to the Food and Drug Administration, soybean-based products have been cleared to receive the Heart Healthy seal of approval. Making such claims without fitting FDA requirements could lead to fines and other legal entanglements.

Dealing with the ever-shifting world of food packaging requirements requires a focus on enterprise labeling. Centralized systems that ensure updates across a whole supply chain are important today.

For more on F&B labeling check out our Q&A report on that topic.


Topics:RegulatoryLabelingFood & Beverage