Food identity labeling

The federal government is rethinking its regulations on standards of identity for food products and how such identities should be stated on package labels.

Responding to FDA's request for comment, the Grocery Manufacturers of America said it supports retention of the existing rule requiring the type size used for the statement of identity be "reasonably related" to the most prominent printed matter on the principal display panel. GMA warned, however, that "reasonably related" must be determined in the context of each label, rather than establishing an arbitrary rule that applies to all labels under all circumstances. GMA recommended dumping the requirement that the statement of identity be presented in lines generally parallel to the base of the label. There is no evidence that slanted or perpendicular lines are false or misleading, said GMA. It noted that "the shape of a distinctive package, by itself, often is sufficient to tell the consumer about the identity of the product it contains."

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