Publishes Food Security Guidance Documents
By Karen Freelove (202) 927-8100
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 http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/
under Recent News - What's New - FDA Food & Cosmetic Announcements.
Malt Beverage Study
By Charlie Tull (210) 805-2777
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.
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.
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
Policy for Beverage Alcohol Products Made with Hemp
By Roberta Sanders (202) 927-8450
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.