Often, food producers ask if there is a way to exclude the Nutrition Facts Panel from their product. Additionally, the Nutrition Facts Panel can be unfamiliar to alcohol beverage producers, as such panels are not required on alcohol beverage products regulated by the TTB.
The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that FDA-regulated food products bear a Nutrition Facts Panel unless the product qualifies for an exemption. The Small Business Nutrition Labeling Exemption is one option for smaller or low-volume producers who may not want to display the facts panel on a label.
The Exemption applies if the individual claiming the exemption employs fewer than 100 full-time employees and less than 100,000 units of the product are sold (or expected to sell) in the U.S. during a 12-month period.
The Exemption must be applied for through the FDA every 12 months (based on time of filing), otherwise the Exemption expires and will no longer apply. FDA maintains a public list of products for which the Exemption has been granted along with the duration of the Exemption.
There are certain elements that can bar a product from qualifying for the Exemption, such as if the label, labeling, or advertising of the product contains a nutrient content claim, health claim, or other nutrition information. There can be other elements that may bar a label from qualifying for the Exemption, and it is best to speak with an attorney to determine the product’s qualification before filing an Exemption.
For more information about this topic, contact Robert Lehrman.