The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is on the verge of allowing the first food-specific health claim to be made on packaging. In early January, FDA announced it was considering allowing use of the following model language: "Diets high in oatmeal or oat bran and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease." Previously, only broad claims about general nutrients were allowed.
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Judging by the results of a recent exclusive Packaging World survey, pressure-sensitive labels are gaining in popularity at the expense of other forms of container decoration, including direct printing, glue-applied labels and screen printing.
Packagers of edible or otherwise nontoxic oils and greases now have a little more breathing space from the regulatory hand of Uncle Sam. Under a newly enacted law, federal agencies--except FDA and FSIS--must now differentiate between edible oils (fats, oils and greases from animal, vegetable or marine sources) and other oils/greases like petroleum when developing or enforcing regulations relating to transportation, storage, release, emission or disposal.
USDA isn't the only agency embracing HACCP. At the Food &Drug Administration, mandatory HACCP regulations will be implemented over the next two years for seafood processors, the agency announced in December.
In response to a petition from the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), FDA has proposed several changes in its food labeling regulations. After reviewing all its health claims rules, the agency is poised to propose simplified, flexible model claim language for some of the existing longer health claims.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow a health claim on dairy products stating that adequate calcium intake may reduce the risk of high blood pressure.