Status (4/13/21): On 03/14/2019, the bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in the Senate. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass and progress on it has since stalled.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reopened the comment period on a 2005 proposed rule to establish a set of general principles to use when considering whether to establish, revise or eliminate a food standard of identity. PBFA submitted a letter earlier this month urging FDA to create a regulatory landscape that fosters innovation and to update standards of identity that will encourage innovative ingredients, practices and processes for new products. Here are the highlights of the letter:

  • PBFA urged the agency to avoid an over-reliance on nutritional equivalence by which changes in standards of identity should be measured, as many consumers are seeking out plant-based milks and other animal alternatives to avoid certain components like saturated fat and cholesterol. 
  • PBFA asserts that The Nutrition Facts panel, combined with the required Statement of Identity already provide ample information. In addition, the free speech clause of the First Amendment protects companies that label their foods with truthful, non-misleading names.
  • PBFA urges the FDA to support this area of growth that it is experiencing rapid innovation by adopting an approach that allows for labels to be clear, transparent and descriptive. 

The full letter is here.