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November 13, 2015


Greetings! We hope you had an exultant and flawless week! This week's top stories include an announcement about the impending launch of Formulas Online 2.0, FDA rulemaking on the term “natural”, and a list of the past week's top formulation pages at TTB.gov/.


In just a few weeks, we will release Formulas Online version 2.0!  We are excited to announce that, among other enhancements and improvements coming with this version, you will once again be able to view ALL your submissions on your Formulas Online home page, no matter their status (In Process, Draft, Cancelled, Withdrawn, or Closed).

Also in version 2.0, we are piloting a “printable version” of approved beverage alcohol formulas where your formula will appear on TTB F 5100.51 Formula and Process for Domestic and Imported Alcohol Beverages. This is similar to COLAs Online, where you can view, save or print a copy of you approval on the official TTB form.

Please keep an eye out for future stories in the TTB Newsletter about additional Formulas Online enhancements coming with version 2.0.


The FDA announced that it is soliciting comments on the use of the term “natural” in the labeling of food products.  Because certain alcohol beverages are subject to FDA labeling regulations (including any wine with less than 7% alcohol by volume and certain IRC beers that are not malt beverages under the FAA Act), we are reproducing an article from the FDA Constituent Update November 10, 2015, for your information: 

Because of the changing landscape of food ingredients and production, and in direct response to consumers who have requested that the FDA explore the use of the term “natural,” the agency is asking the public to provide information and comments on the use of this term in the labeling of human food products.

The FDA is taking this action in part because it received three Citizen Petitions asking that the agency define the term “natural” for use in food labeling and one Citizen Petition asking that the agency prohibit the term “natural” on food labels. We also note that some Federal courts, as a result of litigation between private parties, have requested administrative determinations from the FDA regarding whether food products containing ingredients produced using genetic engineering or foods containing high fructose corn syrup may be labeled as “natural.”

Although the FDA has not engaged in rulemaking to establish a formal definition for the term “natural,” we do have a longstanding policy concerning the use of “natural” in human food labeling. The FDA has considered the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food. However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit.

Specifically, the FDA asks for information and public comment on questions such as:

  • Whether it is appropriate to define the term “natural,”
  • If so, how the agency should define “natural,” and
  • How the agency should determine appropriate use of the term on food labels.

The FDA is accepting public comments beginning on November 12, 2015. To electronically submit comments to the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/ and type FDA-2014-N-1207 in the search box.  

To submit comments to the docket by mail, use the following address. Be sure to include docket number FDA-2014-N-1207on each page of your written comments.

Division of Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

For more information:

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