Labeling updates

Following is a brief wrap-up of recent labeling-related news: * FDA has established January 1, 2000, as the single effective date for required label changes issued during 1997.

* Meat products derived from domestic cattle could carry labeling that indicates U.S. origin. The Cattle Industry Improvement Act of 1997, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), includes a provision directing the Secretary of Agriculture to develop such a labeling system. * A proposal from the Food Safety and Inspection Service-part of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-would give poultry manufacturers the flexibility, under certain conditions, to interchange the amounts and kinds of poultry used in poultry products without changing the label for each new formulation. This labeling flexibility current exists for certain meat products. * The American Heart Association's "Heart Check" symbol may now be placed on packages of skim and 1/2% white and chocolate milk. The symbol tested well in consumer surveys in terms of on-package language that would motivate consumers to buy more of these products.

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