Fomentation About Fermentation: A Study on Ingredient Labeling on Alcoholic Beverages
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CitationFomentation About Fermentation: A Study on Ingredient Labeling on Alcoholic Beverages (2002 Third Year Paper)
AbstractSince the creation of the Federal Food and Drug law in 1906 up until a district court decision in 1976, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shared concurrent jurisdiction with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) over both the adulteration and misbranding (labeling) of alcoholic beverages. As a policy matter, the FDA deferred the regulation of alcoholic beverages labeling to the BATF in order to avoid duplication, as long as the regulations were consistent with the food labeling requirements of the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act. However, as a result of a District court ruling in 1976, the BATF now possesses exclusive jurisdiction over the labeling of alcoholic beverages under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. This has led to the some peculiar results and a confusing regulatory scheme. For instance, the FDA requires affirmative ingredient and nutritional labeling of all â€œfood and drinksâ€ within its jurisdictional boundaries, whereas the BATF does not require ingredient labeling requirements for any alcoholic beverages within its jurisdictional boundaries and still follows the mandate of an alcohol labeling law that dates back to the enactment of the Federal Administration Act in 1935. This has resulted in a lack of consumer information regarding the ingredients and contents in alcoholic beverages, as ingredient and nutritional labeling give consumers the information they need to make responsible choices about their consumption of food and beverages. Today, the FDA still holds concurrent jurisdiction over the adulteration of all alcoholic beverages, and exclusive labeling jurisdiction over wine and cider with less than ten percent alcohol, but the BATF has not yet issued ingredient labeling requirements, nor has a congressional mandate granted the FDA the power to assume jurisdiction over the labeling of alcoholic beverages.
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