The Sugar Association informs FDA of the emerging practice of the soft drink industry whereby manufacturers change the sweetener ingredient of their products from “sugar” to “high fructose corn syrup” but do not reflect this change on the label, thereby materially misrepresenting the nature and quality of the soft drink.
FDA notifies the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) that “the ingredient declaration of ‘sugar’ on products containing non-sucrose sweeteners.. .is in violation of the (FD&C) act and the regulations.” The agency’s action goes unheeded by the soft drink industry and FDA fails to uphold its established policy through enforcement action.
NSDA petitions FDA for permission to use “and/or” ingredient labeling for sweeteners.
FDA meets with NSDA representatives. A Memorandum of M.eeting (l/27/84) states that soft drink industry representatives were told: “If a combination of high fructose corn syrup and sugar are being used to sweeten beverages and the labels declare sugar and/or corn sweetener(s) the products are misbranded”
The Sugar Association petitions FDA to issue a regulation formalizing its policy that the term “sugar” in ingredient labeling designates sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beets. The petition was granted. 2 1 C.F.R. 184.1854; 2 1 C.F.R. 101.4(b)(22). This rulemaking was significant in establishing a clear and concise definition of “sugar” that comports with consumers’ expectations.
FDA Atlanta Field Office sends a Notice of Adverse Findings 1.0 the Coca Cola Company stating that labels for Coca Cola products “are not in compliance with federal regulations and are in violation of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Among the violations listed is” “The term “high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose’which appears in the ingredient statements is not the specific common or usual name of a sweetener. These ingredients may only be declared if actually present and, and if present, must be declared separately in the proper overall order of predominance in the food.”
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