Dr. Gary Spedding Joins Truth in Labeling Initiative

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New Appointment Adds Strength to Advisory Board

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Having Gary on our team greatly strengthens our ability to give consumers the information they need to make informed decisions about the kombucha they consume.

Dr. Gary Spedding, an independent analytical chemist with extensive experience in the beer and spirits industry and founder of Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services of Lexington, Kentucky, is the newest member of the Truth in Labeling Initiative (TILI) advisory board. In making the announcement, advisory board Chairman Art J. Libertucci said, “Having Gary on our team greatly strengthens our ability to give consumers the information they need to make informed decisions about the kombucha they consume.”

Developed in direct response to warnings issued by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), TILI is a national program established to ensure that kombucha probiotic beverages, which are created through a fermentation process, are accurately labeled so consumers know whether certain kombucha products are or could become alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 0.5 percent by volume.

“Lots of people--including pregnant women, parents, people who don’t want to drink alcohol because of the jobs they have or their overall health—need to know that their kombucha is non-alcoholic,” said Rinaldo Burtoco, founding president and CEO of the nonprofit World Business Academy of Santa Barbara, California, which created the initiative. “This initiative will benefit these folks and the public, in general, who have a right to know what is in the food they consume. It also will benefit the kombucha industry by restoring public confidence in the non-alcoholic choices within the industry.”

Dr. Spedding will serve on TILI’s advisory board with Mr. Libertucci, a former top official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the federal agency charged with regulating the kombucha beverage category. As members of the advisory board, Dr. Spedding and Mr. Libertucci will provide guidance concerning the accuracy of scientific and procedural testing methods and their compliance with TTB requirements.

Under the program, kombucha products are purchased from grocery stores and other retailers after manufacturers voluntarily request testing of their products for alcohol content under TTB guidelines. Tested kombucha beverages shown to contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume will be listed on the truthinlabelinginitiative.org website, a reference source for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers of kombucha products.

The World Business Academy is a business think tank, action incubator, and network of business and thought leaders, whose mission is to inspire business to assume responsibility for the whole of society and to assist those in business who share their values.

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