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Food Labeling: Toward National Uniformity
of cases that involve modification of standardized foods (GMA, 1991). GMA also stated that "any state requirement relating to a common or usual name for a food product that is not identical with the Federal requirement [will] be preempted [by NLEA]."
A similar opinion was voiced by Kraft General Foods; that is, after the date of preemption under NLEA,
if a state considers it necessary to create a regulation which parallels or is identical to the FDA's section 102.5 governing common or usual names (or any other FDA regulation applicable to statements of identity), that State regulation will be required to specify that such product names may be established either through common usage by industry, or through resort to a Federal regulation as prescribed by section 102.5(d). We submit that there can be no other interpretation of the section 6 admonition that no state may directly or indirectly establish or continue in effect any type of product name requirement that is not identical to the FDA's requirement (KGF, 1991).
Consumer groups have raised a number of issues regarding the adequacy of FDA's common or usual name provisions. In a joint statement to the Committee, four consumer groups indicated that
improperly identifying food poses a health hazard to consumers with allergies, high cholesterol or other health conditions for which accurate identification of the product is essential. In addition, improper implementation of these sections [of FDCA labeling provisions] permits economic deception by allowing companies to misname inferior, less expensive products in the hope that they will be mistaken for those of higher quality (CSPI/CNI/CFA/NCL, 1991).
With respect to common or usual names, consumer groups have pointed out that regulations are sporadic and insufficient to address all concerns in this area. As shown in Table 5-1, there are only 17 regulations for nonstandardized foods (in 21 CFR Part 102), eight of which deal with fish and seafood (CSPI/CNI/CFA/NCL, 1991).
In contrast, the Arizona Consumers Council (Rudd, 1991) indicated that Federal regulation of common or usual names appeared adequate.
Based on its analysis and criteria, the Committee concludes that an adequate procedure currently exists in 21 CFR Part 102 for the development and application of common or usual names under FDCA Section 403(i)(1).