The Food and Drug Administration is “cracking down on baby food manufacturers and other companies for misleading nutrition labeling on their products, the beginning of a larger effort to set stricter standards for the labels” (M. Jalonick, AP Washington, 3/5). Recent warning letters sent to 17 food companies highlighted unauthorized claims made regarding health and nutrient content.
The agency communicated to big name companies including Nestle/Gerber, Beech-nut, First Juice, Inc., Want Want Foods, and PBM products. Although there is nothing wrong per se with the baby food, the agency is concerned that labels on the products make claims regarding heath and nutrition that are not empirically supportable.
The agency said back in October “that nutritional labels from food manufacturers may be misleading consumers about the actual health benefits of cereal, crackers and other processed foods and sent a letter to companies saying it would begin cracking down on inaccurate food labeling. On Wednesday, the agency said it would soon propose new guidelines for calorie and nutrient labeling on the front of food packages.”
In response to the letters, companies have fifteen days to propose solutions to the label issues. As a products liability attorney in Chicago, I am pleased that the FDA is addressing these labeling issues quickly.