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ATF Explosives Industry Newsletter Masthead
 Volume 3, Issue 1
January 2002 
FDA Publishes Food Security Guidance Documents
By Karen Freelove (202) 927-8100

News FlashOn January 8, 2002, FDA posted to their web page under the Federal Register documents section, an advanced notification of availability - Docket No. 01D-0583, CFSAN 200175, two guidance documents related to food security, entitled, "Food Producers, Processors, Transporters, and Retailers: Food Security Preventive Measure Guidance" and "Importers and Filers: Food Security Preventive Measures Guidance". These documents identify the kinds of preventative measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of food being subjected to tampering or criminal or terrorist actions. The direct link for these documents can be found on under Recent News - What's New - FDA Food & Cosmetic Announcements. q

Flavored Malt Beverage Study
By Charlie Tull (210) 805-2777

bottleThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is conducting a study of the flavored malt beverage product category. Our study of the evolution and classification of the flavored alcohol beverage category is something we are considering seriously. The statutory framework governing the labeling and taxation of alcohol beverages has changed little since the repeal of Prohibition and presents challenges in application to products that have emerged over the last decade or so. Products currently marketed as "flavored malt beverages" that lack the traditional characteristics (taste and appearance) of malt beverages, and which derive a significant portion of their volume and alcohol from other than the malt beverage base, do not fit neatly within the definitions crafted by Congress over 60 years ago.

In early 1996, we published ATF Ruling 96-1, which discussed concerns related to flavored malt beverages and set some interim rules pending rulemaking. For a variety of reasons the rulemaking has been postponed. While this ruling addresses primarily the labeling of certain malt beverage products, any final determination on the issues may also reflect our assessment of the tax consequences of the classification of these products.

ATF is aware that our decisions in this could have significant impact on individual brands and producers. For that reason, ATF is studying carefully the issues and options before taking any position. ATF's intention is to make a decision on how to proceed within the next several months. If ATF pursues rulemaking, it will be a public and participatory process that will afford all interested parties the opportunity to comment. q

ATF's Policy for Beverage Alcohol Products Made with Hemp
By Roberta Sanders (202) 927-8450

On April 6, 2000, ATF issued a policy on the use of hemp or hemp components in alcohol beverages and on the use of the term "hemp" or depictions of the hemp plant on labels for alcohol beverages. The policy does not ban the use of hemp in alcohol beverages, but was created to assure that beverage alcohol products do not contain a controlled substance (tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)). ATF also determined that the appearance of the word "hemp" or depictions of hemp plants on labels was likely to create a misleading impression as to the true identity or quality of the product. As of this writing, there are no approved certificates of label approval for products containing hemp.

Alcohol and Tobacco Newsletter

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