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Food Labeling: Toward National Uniformity
and associated FDA regulations are adequate unless demonstrated otherwise (Thompson, 1991).
The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), Inc., made two specific points regarding adequate implementation:
We have no objection to learning from the states, where they have clearly and significantly improved upon the Federal law and regulations. Where a state cannot demonstrate a unique local condition that requires a unique local solution, but rather has identified a local approach that is superior to the national approach, that approach should indeed be adopted for the entire country. Only in the very rare situation where a state has a unique local condition that requires a unique local solution that is in fact not applicable to the rest of the country should the exemption approach set forth in Section 403(A)(b) be invoked... (GMA, 1991).
In its section-by-section evaluation, GMA concluded that current FDA implementation is adequate for all six provisions.
SUMMARY OF CONSUMER INTEREST GROUP COMMENTS
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other consumer groups provided extensive written comments on the issue of adequate implementation. They concluded that while uniformity is an important goal of NLEA, it is also important that the standards imposed represent the "highest common denominator" of all existing legal requirements, whether Federal, State, or local (CSPI/CNI/CFA/NCL, 1991). This position was echoed by a panel of representatives of both consumer interest groups and government consumer affairs offices who appeared before the Committee. This panel strongly supported the position that the mere existence of a Federal regulation does not in itself constitute adequate implementation and urged that under any circumstance the strictest requirement be adopted as the Federal regulation (Karas, 1991; Rubin, 1991; and Silverglade, 1991).
CSPI and other consumer groups also stressed the important leadership role that States play in responding rapidly to emerging regulatory needs. They provided the following example:
Another area in which the federal government has not taken the initiative is the issue of "downsizing" or "package shorting," a practice where manufacturers reduce the amount of their product while maintaining the same size container. This area, which relates both to Section 403(d) (misleading containers) and to Section 403(h) (standards of fill), has been the subject of increased public concern as consumers continue to fall prey to this form of economic deception. Foods which have been downsized by manufacturers include canned tuna fish, coffee, tea, cereals, spaghetti sauce and soup mixes. New York is one state which has taken the initiative on this