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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

October 17, 2014


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a fascinating and resolute week! This week's top stories include announcements about our new TTB Tip Line, two new grape varieties that can be used to designate American wine, an FDA notice regarding revised regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act, a USDA notice regarding organic hops, and a list of the past week's top Wine pages at TTB.gov/.

TTB Tip Line TTB Tip Line Tips@ttb.gov/

REPORTING SUSPECTED FRAUD, DIVERSION AND OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

We investigate alcohol and tobacco diversion, which refers to the movement of alcohol and tobacco products into domestic commerce without the payment of taxes. Federal law also prohibits the production of alcohol and tobacco products without the necessary permits we issued by TTB. Manufacturing alcohol or tobacco products (such as moonshine) without a permit and without payment of applicable taxes is one example of diversion. Other examples of alcohol and tobacco diversion include manufacture of product in excess of quantity reported to TTB, domestic distribution of products intended for export, smuggled products, and distribution of counterfeit products.

If you suspect alcohol or tobacco diversion, or otherwise believe a TTB permittee is not operating in compliance with Federal requirements, contact the TTB Tip Line.

ADDITIONAL GRAPE VARIETIES APPROVED FOR DESIGNATING AMERICAN WINE

We recently granted administrative approval for the use of two new grape variety names on American wine labels:  Caladoc and Marselan.  Wine bottlers may use these names to label American wines pending the results of our next rulemaking to revise the list, contained in 27 CFR 4.91, of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines. Anyone may petition TTB for the approval of a grape variety name. Under 27 CFR 4.93, petitioners should submit evidence that:

  • The new grape variety is accepted;
  • The name for identifying the grape variety is valid;
  • The variety is used or will be used in winemaking; and
  • The variety is grown and used in the United States.

Mail petitions to:
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Director, Regulations and Rulings Division
1310 G Street NW, Box 12
Washington, DC 20005

Visit our American Grape Variety Names page at TTB.gov/ for additional information about our regulation of grape variety names.

FDA ISSUES REVISED PROPOSED RULES TO IMPLEMENT THE FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT

On September 29, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued several revised proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act passed in early 2011.  Currently, we are evaluating the possible impact of these proposed FDA regulations on TTB-regulated industry members. In general, the revised proposed rules concern food processers and manufacturers, the growers of certain fruits and vegetables, and food importers.  The FDA issued these revised proposed rules in response to the public comments received on its original 2013 proposals.

You may view the revised proposed rules, the public comments received by the FDA, the original proposed rules, and other relevant documents at Regulations.gov/:

FDA-2011-N-0920, Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food

FDA-2011-N-0921, Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption

FDA-2011-N0143, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals 

Comments on these three revised proposed rules are due to FDA by December 15, 2014.  See the individual proposed rules for details on how and where to comment.

USDA FINAL RULE AMENDS NATIONAL LIST OF ALLOWED AND PROHIBITED SUSTANCES

A final rule recently published by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) removes hops from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, as its use exemption expired on January 1, 2013.

The rule notes that, since January 1, 2013, you cannot use non-organic hops in any product labeled "organic" under the National Organic Program.  In other words, any beer or other product containing hops and claiming to be organic must be produced using only organically grown hops. Beers or other products containing non-organically grown hops may no longer claim to be organic under the AMS National Organic Program regulations contained in 7 CFR part 205.

The AMS final rule also made other changes to the approved ingredient lists for organic products; see the AMS final rule for details.  Find organic labeling guidance at the AMS National Organic Program website or the TTB organic alcohol beverage labeling page at TTB.gov/.

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Please visit the homepage of TTB.gov/ for the most recent news, or visit the Contact Us page if you have any questions.