Clean Label Regulations: Not a Clean Process [Presentation]

Originally Published: May 20, 2022
Last Updated: October 13, 2022
Clean Label Regulations: Not a Clean Process Presentation

Abstract: Creative new products and product claims wishing to communicate a food or beverage’s benefits to consumers often are crucial elements for marketplace success. Due to complex and evolving regulations and private party litigation, R&D staffs should consult regulatory experts early in the product development process to minimize risk and increase development efficiencies. To help clarify concerns, this presentation provided an overview of pitfalls and opportunities when striving to take maximum advantage of an innovative product or claim. It examine whether there is a common understanding of permissible evolving claims and who within the legal system decides. What issues arise when striving to substantiate these claims? Recent legal challenges to products entering the market will give insights into limiting risks (and gain rewards). Clean Label Regulations: Not a Clean Process delved into all of these concerns.

Chip English, Partner-in-Charge, Washington D.C., Davis Wright Tremaine, Clean Label Opportunities & Challenges Arising from Innovative Products and Claims – Speaker at the 2022 Clean Label Conference

Extract from a summary article titled Clean Label Challenges of this presentation is as follows:

Claims about nutrient content are one way food companies may create a clean label. However, disclaimers may be required depending on the product’s specific claim and nutrient profile. English used the FDA-defined claim “sugar-free” as an example. A company may want to state that its product is sugar-free and to keep the label design simple. But a disclaimer about calorie content will be required—either “not a low-calorie food” or “low calorie,” depending on the product. This contrasts with the claim “healthy”—another FDA-defined nutrient content claim some include within the concept of clean label—which does not require that specific disclaimer.

“Healthy” is an implied nutrient content claim that can be used only if the product meets certain nutrient thresholds for fats, cholesterol and sodium (low in those); and specific vitamins and other so-called “good” nutrients (high in those). Even if a product meets the regulatory definition of healthy, other express or implied claims may result in an allegation that the product is not healthy–e.g., because of sugar content.