The FDA: A Blessing or a Curse?

Guest post is provided by Food Trade Consultants. Food Trade Consultants provides seminars, webinars and classes to promote and develop start-up businesses in the culinary industry. Visit for more information.

Is my business FDA compliant? This simple question is often asked by new culinary entrepreneurs, but requires a very complex answer. As with any legal body, the FDA is full of twists, turns, loops and hurdles, and requires more than adequate knowledge about how it works. The FDA is a hall of mirrors that can be confusing and deceptive; trying to understand it’s regulations without help is a fool’s errand. The consequences for not following FDA standards in labeling and advertising are dire and can harm businesses so much that they fail soon after they begin. The following information is a brief explanation of what the FDA is and how it works and should be used as an introduction.

Adequate exploration of the question at hand takes time and expert instruction at seminars that are offered at places like Food Trade Consultants.

The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest consumer agency and was brought about during a time when poisons and animal waste was found present in food and medicines. If you want an idea of how bad it really was before regulations were enforced, read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. Make sure you have a trash-can ready, because it’s pretty disgusting. It will become very clear to you how necessary the FDA was back then, and still is today.

How food is labeled and advertised is a primary concern for consumers, and therefore the FDA as well. Consumers want to know what they are consuming. They want to know if it’s safe, they want to know the nutritional value, and they do not want to be mislead. The FDA defines a labeling as “All labels and other written, printed or graphic matter (1) upon any article or any of its containers or wrappers, or (2) accompanying such article,” (Section 201). Advertising is understood by the FDA as anything in publications or broadcast through audiovisual media such as radio, television, and telephone communication systems.

The following is a sample of some FDA requirements for labeling and advertising initiatives, and should give you a head start before attending recommended courses or seminars at www. foodtradeconsutlants .net:

• Claims must be consistent with facts.
• Untrue, misleading or omitted information is prohibited.
• Risks and benefits must be presented in a balanced form
• Advertisements must include a brief summary.

The hurdles that the bureaucracy of the FDA creates for entrepreneurs are necessary. They are for the protection of the consumer from those with less-than-honorable intentions. According to the government website, the FDA prohibits interstate commerce in adulterated and misbranded food and drugs. The FDA keeps the war between business enterprises to keep costs low in check. It makes sure that the consumer is not scarified along the way when these enterprises compete with one another.

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