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TOO LITTLE CAPACITY EXISTS TO RELABEL ON TIME, SAYS NFPA

 TOO LITTLE CAPACITY EXISTS TO RELABEL ON TIME, SAYS NFPA
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Label makers would have to churn out 50 million new labels and packages an hour, 24 hours a day, for six months to meet the May 8, 1993, deadline for nutritionally labeling all foods, the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) said today.
 "There just isn't the capacity to do this," Regina Hildwine, NFPA industry analyst, told the International Food Media Conference in Orlando, Fla. She pointed out that printing is only one step in the relabeling: "We can't progress far toward label revisions until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes final rules. The laboratories can't analyze for some required nutrients, and the final list of label terms, conditions and definitions won't be known until then." FDA has yet to publish proposed format changes which could alter the nutrition label itself, Hildwine noted.
 The NFPA spokeswoman said the food industry needs the full one year extension that it is possible for FDA to grant under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. "There certainly will be economic hardship because data we are collecting shows that food companies will have tremendous costs in time and money to implement these rules," she added.
 Hildwine said the food industry welcomes new food labeling, but that "some of the regulators have proposed everything they ever wanted -- including a number of overly restrictive rules that go beyond the language and intent of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act." She added that NFPA is working now "to trim the Christmas list" to those items most useful to consumers.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. Its three research laboratories serve the association's 500 members, manufactures of processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and speciality products.
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Coleman of the National Food Processors Association, 202-639-5935/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH-DC -- DC026 -- 0677 02/19/92 17:32 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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