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Milestones in U.S. food labeling.

1906 The federal Food and Drugs Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act authorize the federal government to regulate the safety and quality of food. The responsibility falls to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Bureau of Chemistry, FDA's predecessor.

1913 The Gould Amendments requires food packages to state the quantity of contents.

1924 In U.S. v. 95 Barrels Alleged Apple Cider Vinegar, the Supreme Court rules that the Food and Drugs Act condemns every statement, design or device which may mislead, misdirect or deceive, even if technically true.

1938 The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act replaces the 1906 Food and Drugs Act. Among other things, it requires the label of every processed, packaged food to contain the name of the food, its net weight, and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor. A list of ingredients also is required on certain products. The law also prohibits statements in food labeling that are false or misleading.

1950 The Oleomargarine Act requires prominent labeling of colored oleomargarine to distinguish it from butter.

1957 The Poultry Products Inspection Act authorizes USDA to regulate, among other things, the labeling of poultry products.

1966 The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires all consumer products in interstate commerce to contain accurate information and to facilitate value comparisons.

1969 The White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health addresses deficiencies in the U.S. diet. It recommends that the federal government consider developing a system for identifying the nutritional qualities of food.

1973 FDA issues regulations requiring nutrition labeling on food containing one or more added nutrients or whose label or advertising includes claims about the food's nutritional properties or its usefulness in the daily diet. Nutritional labeling is voluntary for almost all other foods.

1975 Voluntary nutrition labeling, postponed from its originally planned 1974 date, goes into effect.

1984 FDA add sodium to the list of required, and potassium to the list of optional, nutrients on the nutrition panel. Effective in 1985, the new regulation also defines terms, such as "low sodium," that may be used on labels to make sodium-content claims.

1988 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop releases The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, the federal government's first formal recognition of the role of diet in certain chronic diseases.

1989 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences issues Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk, which presents additional evidence of the growing acceptance of diet as a factor in the development of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and cancer.

Under contract with FDA and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences convenes a committee to consider how food labels could be improved to help consumers adopt or adhere to healthy diets. Its recommendations are presented in Nutrition Labeling: Issues and Directions for the 1990s.

FDA publishes an advance notice of proposed rule-making on food labeling and, with FSIS participating, holds a series of four public hearings around the country.

1990 FDA proposes extensive food labeling changes, which include mandatory nutrition labeling for most foods, standardized serving sizes, and uniform use of health claims.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act reaffirms the legal basis for FDA's labeling initiative and establishes an explicit timetable.

1991 FDA issues more than 20 proposals to implement NLEA. In addition, the agency issues a final rule that sets up a voluntary point-of-purchase nutrition information program for raw produce and fish. FSIS unveils its proposals for mandatory nutrition labeling of processed meat and poultry and voluntary point-of-purchase nutrition information for raw meat and poultry.

1992 FDA's voluntary point-of-purchase nutrition information program for fresh produce and raw fish goes into effect.

1993 FDA issues the final regulations implementing NLEA. Regulations covering health claims become effective May 8, 1993. Those pertaining to nutrition labeling and nutrient content claims are effective May 8, 1994.
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Title Annotation:includes glossary for food labels
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:Illustration
Date:Jun 22, 1993
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