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Food Labeling

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

Food labeling laws cover product packaging, point-of-purchase advertisements for foods or dietary supplements sold in retail establishments, restaurant menus, labels on alcoholic beverages, and more. Food labeling also covers claims made on these marketing endeavors, including claims about the purity of food products or health benefits. Additional laws and regulations require sellers to describe how foods are prepared or processed, the origin of the ingredients, the nutrients, additives in the foods, or other aspects of the product.  This information may be required on the packaging or in related marketing efforts.

Legal

U.S. Government Publishing Office.
U.S. Government Publishing Office.
U.S. Government Publishing Office.
U.S. Government Publishing Office.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
U.S. Government Publishing Office.
U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Agricultural Law Information Partnership

National Agricultural Law Center. 
Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. Vermont Law School. 

USDA

USDA. Food Safety Inspection Service.
USDA. Food and Nutrition Service.
USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.
USDA. Food Safety Inspection Service.
USDA. Food Safety Inspection Service.
USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.
USDA. Food Safety Inspection Service.
USDA. Agricultural Marketing Service.
USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

Other

Penn State Extension Service. 
DHHS. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
DHHS. FDA. Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition.
DHHS. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Cornell University. Cornell Food Venture Center.