In 1966, Congress passed the Fair Packing and Labeling Act. The Act set out the law for how foods, drugs, devices and cosmetics must be labeled. We will refer to these food, drug, device and cosmetic products as "commodities" in this article. We've summed up some of the important points below, and provided a link to the FDA website for you to look at the bill in full.
- Every commodity must display a label which states what the product is and the name and location of the manufacturer, packer or distributor.
- Every commodity must have a separate label in a standard location on the "principal display panel of that label" stating the net quantity of the contents of the product. This quantity can be expressed in weight, mass, measure, or numerical count. The font of the wording on this label must be easy to read. Any lines on this label must be placed parallel to the base on which the product rests.
- The label stating the quantity of the product must include serving sizes, except for foods packaged at the retail store level.
- Net quantity statements may not exaggerate how much is actually in the package.
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services may enact any regulations regarding establishing packaging standards, requiring commonplace words be used for products and product ingredients, listing ingredients in order of prominence, etc.
- Any commodity that is a food, drug, device or cosmetic that is found to violate any of the standards set out in this bill will be deemed misbranded and "shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in commerce."
For more information and to read the whole act, click here: