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FDA “Natural” Food Labeling

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On November 12, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced that it is soliciting public comments on how the Agency should define the term “natural” and regulate its use in food labeling. The FDA has engaged the public’s input after receiving two Citizen Petitions requesting the agency take action on establishing a formal definition of the term “natural” for use in food labeling and one requesting asking that the agency prohibits the use of the term “natural” on food labels. The FDA also notes that this recent move is driven by recent private litigation surrounding the term “natural” in…
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What’s in a Name? Everything, for “Standard” FDA Food Labeling

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FDA Particular words mean everything to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It takes great pains and uses specific words to proclaim its position, and clarify what it names something, especially when it comes to setting a standard.  Most of us who have dealt with or follow FDA activities are well aware of FDA rules, such as those set forth in 21 CFR. What many do not know or realize is that the FDA has set standards for what is in, and what is not in, a commonly named food, such as mayonnaise, or tomato paste. These standards are…
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FDA Bans Trans Fats

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FDA Issues Final Determination Concerning Partially Hydrogenated Oils The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long reacted to the public concern over trans fatty acids (also known as TFA or trans fats) found in foods as a part of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs).  FDA recently issued its final decision on how it would categorize PHOs.  Following through on an effort the FDA began in 2013, the categorization of PHOs officially changed to not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in food, effectively banning trans fats.  This change in categorization now puts PHOs under the regulations that govern food…
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FDA Issues Tobacco Warning Letters for Tobacco Retailer Inspection Violations

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been ramping up their enforcement efforts against tobacco retailers in recent months for compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by issuing countless tobacco warning letters in connection with tobacco retailer inspection violations. The FDA has the authority to regulate tobacco products under the FD&C Act as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). The Tobacco Control Act, which was enacted on June 22, 2009, amends the FD&C Act and provides FDA with the authority to regulate tobacco products. The FDA has…
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Potential Changes to FDA Regulation of Homeopathic Drugs

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On April 20, 2015 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) heard testimony regarding homeopathic drugs and the Agency’s role in the regulation thereof. These two-day long hearings come after the FDA received over 1,500 public comments about the possibility of regulating homeopathic drugs in a manner consistent with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. A primer for the public hearing can be found in the federal register, here. Homeopathy began in the 18th century, based off of teachings from a German scientist, Samuel Hahnemann. The main concept in homeopathy is that, “like cures like” (similia similibus curentur) meaning that disease causing substances can…
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US Marshals Seize Topical Products Deemed Drugs by FDA

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On April 16, 2015, U.S. Marshals seized what the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) classified as unapproved prescription drugs from Stratus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Miami, Florida. Stratus purchased these unapproved prescription drugs, worth over $1.5 million, from Sonar Products, Inc. of New Jersey and marketed the topical products, deemed drugs by the FDA to consumers. The FDA conducted an inspection in late 2014 that revealed that Stratus was marketing these topical products without first acquiring the required FDA-approved drug applications, which is typically required when marketing drug products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FFDCA”). The FDA found…
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Food & Drug (FDA) Attorney Katherine Giannamore Interviewed on Complexities of Marketing Cosmetics

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On March 31, 2015, Attorney Katherine Giannamore, of Mejia Shehadeh Giannamore, PLLC, was interviewed by Ryan Nelson of “The Rose Sheet” about the challenges that companies face when marketing cosmetic products. “The Rose Sheet” is one of the industry’s premier sources for specialized, in-depth coverage and analysis of regulatory and market developments across the personal care and cosmetics industries. The full text of the article interview may be accessed here. The article focuses on cosmetics companies’ efforts to simultaneously promote their products effectively while abiding by all applicable laws and regulations. On this blog, we have previously discussed the challenges…
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FDA Warns of Marketing Cosmetics with Drug Claims

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The difference between a product being marketed as a cosmetic and marketed as a drug can be a very thin line. However, the differences in regulation between the two are stark. The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (The Act) governs the regulation of drugs and cosmetic products. The Act defines a cosmetic, in part, as something designed for the, “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance [of a person].” By contrast, the Act defines a drug, in part, as a product “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease," or “intended to affect…
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FDA Regulation of OTC Sunscreen Products

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Have you ever wondered who ensures the safety of your sunscreen? With many people, including pregnant women and children, choosing to wear sunscreen on a daily basis throughout the summer months, it is imperative that the sunscreen on the market is safe and effective. With that in mind, on November 26, 2014, Congress enacted the Sunscreen Innovation Act to provide an alternative process for review of safety and effectiveness of nonprescription sunscreen with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”). The Sunscreen Innovation Act does not relax the FDA’s scientific standards for evaluating safety and effectiveness of sunscreen ingredients. It…
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FDA Stops Company from Marketing Unapproved New Drugs

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On January 30, 2015, and at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal judge granted a consent decree of permanent injunction against Laclede, a U.S.-based manufacturer in connection with the marketing of unapproved new drugs. The permanent injunction prohibits Laclede from selling and distributing unapproved new drugs or misbranded drugs and devices. According to FDA’s announcement, Laclede had a long history of violations with the FDA. In 2012, FDA inspectors found numerous violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals and other issues surrounding the marketing and sale of unapproved new drugs.…
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