The food industry is keeping a close watch on the F.D.A.'s rule-making on fiber definition and claims.
How to make fiber claims without getting sued
Labeling claims and accompanying lawsuits continue to be a top concern for food manufacturers. George Salmas, managing principal, The Food Lawyers, proposed several ways to avoid legal action and navigate the Food and Drug Administration’s (F.D.A.) labeling rules.
New Nutrition Facts Panel labeling rules, including the labeling of fiber, go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, for companies with $10 million or more in annual sales and Jan. 1, 2021, for companies with less than $10 million in annual sales. Mr. Salmas urged companies to prepare for the changes as soon as possible.
Companies may need to file a citizen petition with the F.D.A. when working with potential fibers that are isolated or synthetic. Mr. Salmas noted that researching and writing a petition could take two months, and four to six months might be a more likely timeline. Other factors to consider are label designs, legal reviews and print orders, which all together could take four to six months.
He also advised companies to hire outside professionals to analyze the information on the labels.
Learn more about labeling from Mr. Salmas here.