U.S. Labeling Requirements—Important to all Food and Beverage Companies

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Registrar Corp addresses errors in food and beverage labeling as Coca-Cola is brought to the Supreme Court. Coca-Cola, charged with false advertising, argues that its products comply with U.S. FDA labeling regulations.

Supreme Court of the United States
“If Coca Cola wins, the Court may add new powers to the FDA, by granting a “safe harbor” to what otherwise might be deemed unfair competition, provided that FDA labeling rules were followed.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard an oral argument (No. 12­761) against the Coca-Cola Company. The case states that POM Wonderful, a pomegranate juice company, sued The Coca-Cola Company over the labeling of a blended fruit juice. Registrar Corp, a consulting firm specializing in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, comments on labeling errors made by food and beverage manufacturers.

The Coca-Cola Company, under its subsidiary Minute Maid, made a juice blend and labeled it as a “Pomegranate Blueberry” juice blend. The ingredients in this beverage are about 0.3% pomegranate juice. In fact, the main ingredients in the beverage are apple and grape juice. Pomegranate juice manufacturer and competitor, POM Wonderful, sued The Coca-Cola Company for false advertising.

According to Court documents, The Coca-Cola Company defends its labeling stating that the juice label meets with requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA regulates the labeling of foods and beverages sold in the United States. The Code of Federal Regulations, FDA Guidance Documents and FDA Warning Letters list the FDA’s labeling requirements for foods. All food and beverage manufacturers selling prepared food, beverages, and dietary supplements to the U.S. must comply with these regulations.

However, the Lanham Act allows for “businesses whose market is misappropriated by competitors that misrepresent the character of the goods they sell” to sue. POM Wonderful’s lawsuit claims that The Coca-Cola Company used labeling that mislead customers into thinking their Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry juice blend was predominately made with pomegranates and blueberries. The U.S. Supreme Court will have to decide whether an FDA-compliant juice label may be actionable as false advertising under the Lanham Act.

Registrar Corp’s Executive Director, Russell K. Statman, comments, “If Coca Cola wins, the Court may add new powers to the FDA, by granting a “safe harbor” to what otherwise might be deemed unfair competition, provided that FDA labeling rules were followed.”

FDA’s labeling regulations can be complicated. Even large companies with years of experience can face problems with their labeling. Registrar Corp recommends having your food labeling reviewed to prevent costly errors.

Registrar Corp’s Labeling and Ingredient review department has a team of dedicated specialists that can perform a label review for your food or beverage product. Registrar Corp helps companies comply with U.S. FDA's extensive food labeling requirements by cross referencing your food labeling against thousands of pages within the Code of Federal Regulations as well as the Federal Register, EAFUS Database, GRAS Notices, Guidance Documents, Labeling Guides, and Warning Letters issued by U.S. FDA.

About Registrar Corp: Registrar Corp is a FDA consulting firm that helps companies with U.S. FDA Regulations. Founded in 2003, Registrar Corp has assisted more than 20,000 companies to comply with FDA requirements. With 16 global offices, Registrar Corp's team of multilingual Regulatory Advisors can help your company to comply with U.S. FDA Regulations. For immediate assistance with U.S. FDA Regulations, phone Registrar Corp: +1-757-224-0177 or receive online Live Help from our regulatory specialists: http://www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp. Tweet Registrar Corp (@RegistrarCorp) with specific questions.

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David Lennarz

Liviana Callahan
since: 08/2010
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U.S. FDA Food Labeling Regulations