Due to evolving nutrition research and a citizen petition filed by KIND LLC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided it’s a good time to reevaluate its definition of the term “healthy”. The agency plans to gather public comment on use of the term “healthy,” along with other nutrient content claims, in the near future.
The decision was announced as part of a statement FDA published last week regarding KIND LLC’s use of the term “healthy” on its food labeling. FDA issued a warning letter to KIND in March 2015 due to KIND’s use of the term “healthy” on products that did not meet FDA’s criteria for labeling products as such. After evaluation of KIND’s corresponding corrective actions, FDA issued a closeout letter to KIND in April 2016. After KIND received its closeout letter, the company asked FDA if it could use the phrase “healthy and tasty” to present its corporate philosophy so long as the phrase:
- Isn’t represented as a nutrient content claim, and
- Is not placed on the same display panel as nutrient content claims or nutrition information.
FDA agreed to allow KIND to use the phrase under these circumstances.
FDA’s Current Definition of Healthy
Industry has taken issue with FDA’s current regulation of “healthy” because it rules out foods widely recognized as healthy and nutritious, such as almonds, salmon and avocados, due to high fat content.
FDA currently allows “healthy” and similar terms to be used as implied claims on food labeling if the food meets the following conditions:
Read more on KIND’s Citizen Petition for examples of suggestions the company gave to FDA for updating its regulations.
Reevaluating Use of the Term “Natural”
In a similar instance, FDA recently decided to reevaluate the use of the term “natural” on food labeling. There is currently no formal definition for the term natural, but FDA has received four citizen petitions on the matter since its decision not to regulate the term in 1991. FDA began accepting comments on use of the term “natural” in November 2015. The comment period closed on May 10, 2016. The New York Times reports that FDA is currently in the process of reviewing those comments, a process which could take months.
FDA’s food labeling regulations are strict and extensive, and understanding the requirements to make certain claims can be complicated. Registrar Corp’s Labeling and Ingredient Review Specialists can review food and beverage labeling for FDA compliance, including ensuring the product meets FDA requirements to make any claims listed. For more information, contact +1-757-224-0177 or chat with a Regulatory Advisor 24-hours a day atwww.registrarcorp.com/livehelp.