Several federal agencies are involved in the regulation of food labels in the United States. Food labeling is generally regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a public health agency within the USDA, is responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe and correctly labeled and packaged. FSIS issues policy guidance and information, memorandums, and nutrition labeling information. The FDA is responsible for the majority of other food products and their labeling. The FDA assures that most prepared foods, such as bread, cereals, canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts, drinks, etc., are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. The National Organic Program (NOP), a regulatory program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, develops organic food labeling standards
Other agencies involved in the regulation of specific labels include the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau within the Department of the Treasury, which governs alcohol labels, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which manages treaty negotiations concerning food labeling in international trade.
Key Federal Laws