And he’s not pleased about it. It’s just a piece of paper but it can provoke amazingly strong reactions. When it gets rejected, lost, delayed, revoked. And also when it gets approved. I would love to know what label and what company are behind this tale of woe. This blog does not necessarily condone any of the views expressed in this video, but we were mighty surprised to find a rock song about, of all things … ALFD. In our experience TTB almost never loses things, so we eagerly await TTB’s video response. Here is an example of a good video response from another context.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
alcohol beverages generally
We like to think of the COLA database as a microcosm for the US economy. This got us wondering whether the economic meltdown has tamped down the number of labels submitted to and approved by TTB. In blue, above, is the S&P 500 Index from late 2004 through February 23, 2009. It shows the meltdown, from roughly the beginning of 2008 through February 23, 2009; a drop of 712 points or about 48%. In red are the number of TTB labels approved, during the December through January (2 month) period each year. We picked this 2-month time period because it best allows a comparison to the ugly last month of 2008 and first month of 2009. The red line shows no falloff in the number of labels approved each period, with 14,151 labels approved during the most recently completed two month period (and 11,041 approved during the comparable period from 12/1/2004-1/31/2005). It’s nice to see a graph that’s not headed south, and this should bode well for variety at the store, and many interesting labels to showcase here in the near future.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
It is likely that all beer, wine and spirits labels will change dramatically in the near future. TTB has been working on new rules since CSPI and other groups submitted a petition in 2003. The new rules would require a “Serving Facts” panel on every container. This panel would include a lot more information, such as the typical serving size, number of servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Because this is a big, controversial change, TTB has received more than 18,000 public comments during the past few years. There are far too many comments for most people to review, and so we will highlight and summarize the most noteworthy comments here. The most recent proposal and comments are here. This is comment 9 in a series; to see others, click on the “serving facts” tag below. Shape Up America! is a non-profit founded by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D.; its purpose is to promote a better diet. The group’s comment said:
- TTB’s proposal leaves out critical data such as serving size, alcohol in grams, definition of “standard drink,” and a moderation message. Without this, the proposal will fail as a public health tool.
- The information is important to combat the obesity epidemic and to reduce alcohol-related mortality “which is the third leading cause...
The back label says CONTAINS SUCRALOSE AND ACESULFAME POTASSIUM. The front label says PREMIUM MALT BEVERAGE WITH NATURAL FLAVORS AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. We think this is noteworthy due to the unabashed use of artificial sweeteners. Perhaps this marks a trend toward a much wider use of artificial sweeteners, in beverages so commonly sweetened with sugar over so many centuries. It is partly a liberalization, on the part of FDA and TTB, allowing a wider variety of sugar substitutes. It may also be due to forward-thinking companies getting way out in front of the eventual need to disclose calories and carbohydrates. IFIC says sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, derived from sugar and:
can be used in place of sugar to eliminate or reduce calories in a wide variety of products. … Sucralose was discovered in 1976. … In 1998, [FDA] approved the use of sucralose in 15 food and beverage categories — the broadest initial approval ever given to a food additive.
Acesulfame Potassium, according to Wiki, is:
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a calorie-free artificial sweetener, also known as Acesulfame K or Ace K (K being the symbol for potassium), and marketed under the trade names Sunett and Sweet One. … It was discovered accidentally in 1967 by German chemist Karl Clauss at Hoechst AG (now...
It is likely that all beer, wine and spirits labels will change dramatically in the near future. TTB has been working on new rules since CSPI and other groups submitted a petition in 2003. The new rules would require a “Serving Facts” panel on every container. This panel would include a lot more information, such as the typical serving size, number of servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Because this is a big, controversial change, TTB has received more than 18,000 public comments during the past few years. There are far too many comments for most people to review, and so we will highlight and summarize the most noteworthy comments here. The most recent proposal and comments are here. This is comment 8 in a series; to see others, click on the “serving facts” tag below. Wine Institute is the trade association of over 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses. Wine Institute’s 34-page comment said:
- Serving facts should not be required. 20 years after putting similar information on food labels, at a cost of about $2 billion, Americans are more obese than ever.
- Some comments link the US Dietary Guidelines with a “standard drink.” This is inappropriate because the term has never appeared in any edition of the Guidelines.
- The 18,000 or so form-generated comments,...
Former Senator George McGovern is 86 years old and he’s still slugging away. In the video above, he is urging TTB to mandate calorie and carbohydrate-type serving facts on every beer, wine and spirits label, forthwith. He said:
It’s time for the federal government to issue a regulation that will be useful and … list complete information about the amount of alcohol and calories contained in the drinks we are consuming. … It looks like the government is trying to keep that a secret.
Mr. McGovern has been closely connected to this issue for more than thirty years. His daughter died of acute intoxication in 1994. This 2001 Congressional Research Service Report explains that Mr. McGovern has been pressing for wider nutrition labeling since the 1970s:
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The most comprehensive bills for mandated nutrition labeling for most packaged foods and meat products were introduced in the late 1970s by Senator McGovern and Congressman Richmond. Most bills took a more limited approach to mandatory labeling; i.e., sodium labeling. These labeling bills received little attention, and none was enacted. In considering these bills, Congress faced the same dilemma as the agencies. The science was slowly evolving, but there was still inadequate evidence on the relationship of nutrients to chronic disease to require the nutrient content listing...