Performance Improvement 2000. Food Safety and Nutrition

01/01/2000

1997 Food Label and Package Survey (FLAPS): Status of Nutrition Labeling Health Claims, and Nutrient Content Claims on Processed Foods

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors food labels through the Food Label and Package Survey (FLAPS). FDA uses FLAPS as a tracking mechanism to keep abreast of the market response to regulations via changes in product package labels. The agency uses FLAPS data to support policy, regulatory, and food safety decisions, as well as economic impact assessments. For example, FDA has used FLAPS data to gain information on the prevalence of nutrition labeling on product packages; the extent of quantitative labeling of various nutrients, such as fatty acids; the extent of use of specific product ingredients (e.g., potassium bromate, monosodium glutamate, gelatin); the accuracy of product serving sizes; and the prevalence of various health claims on food products (e.g., the association between increased calcium and the reduced risk of osteoporosis.) In 1997, FDA conducted the eleventh FLAPS survey. The data reflect the status of processed, packaged food labels subsequent to the publication of regulations promulgated in response to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (the NLEA). The current study focuses on nutrient content claims and health claims, as well as the percentage of packaged food products sold annually that bear quantitative nutrition labeling. Findings indicate that nutrition-labeled products accounted for an estimated 92% of the annual sales of processed, packaged foods. An additional 3% of the products sold were exempt from labeling. Nutrient content and health claims appeared on an estimated 39% and 4%, respectively, of the products sold.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Anderson, Ellen
202-205-5662

PIC ID: 5711.2

PERFORMER: A.C. Nielsen Company
Schaumburg IL

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Economic Cost Benefit Studies: Analysis of Changing Food Labels to Include Information on Trans Fatty Acids

On February 14, 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a citizen petition from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), requesting that the FDA amend the definition of saturated fatty acids to include trans fatty acids. The CSPI requested that certain fat and cholesterol claims be based on the combined level of saturated and trans-fatty acids. The FDA is currently preparing to respond to this petition through rulemaking. When considering rulemaking, the FDA is required to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select the regulatory approach that maximizes net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity.) A rule is classified as significant if it meets any one of a number of specified conditions, including having an annual effect on the economy of at least $100 million, or adversely affecting in a material way a sector of the economy, competition or jobs, or if it raises novel legal or policy issues. In addition, the FDA is required (by the Regulatory Flexibility Act) to determine the impact of its rules on small entities. To fulfill its requirements, the FDA needs certain information. This study will, address the impact of changing food labels in order to provide information on trans-fatty acids. (See also 6865, 6865.1)

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Devices and Radiological Health

FEDERAL CONTACT: Nardinelli, Clark
202-205-8702

PIC ID: 6865.2

PERFORMER: Research Triangle Park
Research Triangle Park, NC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Economic Cost Benefit Studies: Consumer Attitudes Toward Potential Changes in Food Standards of Identity

On December 29, 1995, the FDA announced its plan to review its regulations pertaining to identity, quality and container fill for standardized foods, and its common or usual name regulations for non-standardized foods. The agency solicited comments from interested parties on whether these regulations should be retained, revised, or revoked. The FDA solicited comments on the benefits or lack of benefits of such regulations in facilitating domestic and international commerce. The FDA also asked for comments on the value of these regulations to consumers, and on alternative means of accomplishing the statutory objective of food standards. This was done in an effort to promote honesty and fairness in the interest of consumers. The FSIS published a similar announcement regarding its intent to consider whether to modify or eliminate specific Standards on Identity for meat and poultry products, or to modify its overall regulatory approach to standardized meat and poultry products. The FDA and the FSIS need information on how consumers would be affected by changes in Federal Standards of Identity for foods. Most importantly, the two agencies need information on whether consumers would prefer particular elements of standards to be retained, modified, or eliminated for various types of food. (See PIC ID 6865.1, 6865.2)

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Nardinelli, Clark
>202-205-8702

PIC ID: 6865

PERFORMER: Research Triangle Park
Research Triangle Park, NC

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Food Contact Substance Procedures Team (FOCUS)

In November 1997, the OPA created the FOCUS team to reevaluate current procedures and recent streamlining efforts relating to the review process for food additive petitions for the approval of food contact substances. This group was also charged with the development of necessary procedures, plans, guidance, and regulations to implement the premarket notification process for food contact substances. Based on the work of this group, the OPA expects to announce revised guidance for premarket submissions for food contact substances in the first half of FY 1999. In addition, the OPA is currently developing the capability of incorporating Structure Activity Analysis (SAA) into the premarket review process for food contact substances and will continue training and process development in this area during FY 1999. Finally, during FY 1999, FOCUS will develop regulations required to implement the premarket notification process for food contact substances.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Rullis, Alan M.
202-418-3100

PIC ID: 7096

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Food Labeling and Package Survey (FLAPS)

This survey was implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1977 with the purpose of producing a database containing label and package information obtained from a sample of processed food products. Food Labeling and Packaging (FLAPS) data enable FDA personnel to keep abreast of market responses to food labeling rules via changes in package labels.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Benedict, Mary E
410-786-7724

PIC ID: 5711

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Food Safety and Nutrition Evaluation Studies

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Levy, Alan
202-205-9448

PIC ID: 7294

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville, MD

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 9/30/2000

Survey of Current Hazard Assessment Quality Control Points (HACCP) Practices of the Food Industry

This project consists of a two-part survey of current hazard assessment quality control points (HACCP) that will: (1) yield information for the purposes of estimating the HACCP-related practices of the food industry (except seafood, meat and poultry), and (2) estimate the marginal costs to firms for compliance with HACCP.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Nardinelli, Clark
202-205-8702

PIC ID: 6866

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD

EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: 3/2/2001