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Food Labeling: Toward National Uniformity
substituted the terms "alternative" or "substitute for the older "imitation" as a way of differentiating between standardized and nonstandardized versions of the same product (Hutt and Merrill, 1991, pp. 156–157).
Although the agency may not agree entirely with the position quoted above, FDA leadership has recognized the possibility that consumers may be misled and confused as a result of the labeling policies of the past 20 years. However, as FDA Commissioner David Kessler recently commented, "There must be an incentive for industry to develop new food products" (Van Wagner, 1991).
Many State statutes or regulations establish or have bearing on the common or usual names of foods, as revealed by the materials provided to the Committee. The discussion below illustrates State requirements currently in effect and outlines the concerns expressed by States regarding FDA implementation.
A number of State agencies expressed concern about the responsiveness of FDA in addressing local nomenclature problems. Many regulators feared that even with the petition process, their ability to deal with certain regulatory problems might be diminished following preemption. One key issue is the overlap among standards of quality, standards of identity, and common or usual names.
In this regard, the Arizona Department of Health Services specifically cited its rule for labeling of bottled water, which is more restrictive than Federal regulations (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §9R-8-204). The State has rules providing that defined common names be used for bottled water products in addition to quality standards and prefers that these requirements not be preempted (Englender, 1991).
The California Department of Health Services stated that its Health & Safety Code (§26594) establishes definitions and standards for bottled water products that have no similar Federal definitions. In addition, the California Code of Regulations (§15825) provides that shrimp, crab, and seafood cocktails must have at least 30 percent of the defining item and a pH of 3.70 (Sheneman, 1991).
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection reported several areas of common or usual name regulation that were of concern relative to preemption, including (1) names for certain meats (Conn. St. Regs. §21a-102-1 to §21a-102-6), (2) definitions for bottled water products (Conn. St. Regs. §21a-150a to §21a-150j), and (3) labeling of juices and ciders (CoraL St. Regs. §21a-146 to §21a-148). Connecticut recommended that FDA adopt