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5 Trends to Watch in 2023: Food Industry Regulation

  1. Sesame is the Ninth Major Food Allergen – Pursuant to the FASTER Act, sesame becomes the ninth major food allergen as of Jan. 1, 2023. Sesame will now need to be declared on food labels for foods containing intentionally added sesame. Despite the year-plus period of preparation time to get ready for it, we expect many companies to be scrambling to comply. Difficulty in effectively cleaning equipment used for processing products with sesame may be a complicating factor in 2023 as well.

  2. PFAS Prohibitions in Plant-Based Packaging As concerns over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) grow, states are continuing to pass legislation outlawing PFAS in food packaging. New York’s law banning PFAS in food packaging derived from plant fibers went into effect Dec. 31, 2022, and California’s similar rule is effective Jan. 1, 2023. At least a half dozen other states have laws or regulations slated to go into effect in 2023. As more state laws get passed, the need for federal legislation, similar to that for GMOs/bioengineered food, could become more critical.

  3. Bottle Bill Changes in Connecticut While the Connecticut bottle bill law previously covered carbonated beverages and non-carbonated “water” beverages, the bottle bill is now expanded so as of Jan. 1, 2023, it will cover almost all non-alcoholic beverages other than mineral water. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2024, the redemption rate will be increased from 5¢ to 10¢. Companies will have to either change the rate by 2024 or use the Connecticut redemptive value declaration “CTRV.”

  4. FDA Treads Lightly on CBD/Hemp Regulation The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued some half dozen warning letters to companies in late November 2022, with a focus on the delivery form of CBD/hemp in beverage, gummies and other more traditional food forms. But the FDA has continued to defer on any further guidance or regulation, leaving it to individual states to regulate the use on an increasingly different state-by-state basis. Will 2023 be the year the FDA finally provides further guidance on the regulation of CBD/hemp? It could be likely, but it has also seemed that way since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December 2018.

  5. FTC and FDA Revisiting Guidelines for “Healthy” and “Green” Claims – The FDA issued some proposed revisions to the definition of “healthy” in 2022, focusing on added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in late December 2022 that it will be revisiting the “Green Guides,” which were last revised in 2012 and are designed to help marketers avoid making environmental claims that could mislead consumers. Comments were requested by both agencies and we could see final revised versions for both in 2023.

About the Author

Justin J. Prochnow assists companies with regulatory, business, and legal needs in the beverage, food, dietary supplement, cosmetic, medical device, and OTC industries. He works closely with companies to ensure regulatory compliance with statutes and regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory agencies.