FTC Seeks Fair Packaging And Labeling Act Comments

Enacted in 1967, the FPLA requires that certain products carry labels identifying the contents, source, item quantity, and other information to help consumers compare products.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is soliciting comments on proposed amendments to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). The 1967 law requires that certain products carry labels with identifying information such as the source, content and quantity and specifically excludes—among other categories—meat products, poultry and alcohol beverages.

FTC sought comments on the existing rules in March 2014 and used some of the suggested changes in the proposed amendments, which include (i) “modernizing the place-of-business listing requirement to incorporate online resources”; (ii) “eliminating obsolete references to commodities advertised using the terms ‘cents off,’ ‘introductory offer,’ and ‘economy size’”; and (iii) incorporating “a more comprehensive metric chart.” Comments must be received by March 30, 2015.

The FTC is proposing amendments to its rules under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).

Enacted in 1967, the FPLA requires that certain products carry labels identifying the contents, source, item quantity, and other information to help consumers compare products.

In March 2014, the FTC sought public comment on the FPLA rules as part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides. In response to comments received, the FTC proposes amendments to the rules, including modernizing the place-of-business listing requirement to incorporate online resources and eliminating obsolete references to commodities advertised using the terms “cents off,” “introductory offer,” and “economy size.” The agency also proposes to revise the rules to incorporate a more comprehensive metric chart.

Product categories exempt from FTC regulations under the FPLA are meat products, poultry, tobacco products, drugs under the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction, alcoholic beverages, commodities subject to the Federal Seed Act, and any commodity subject to packaging or labeling requirements imposed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or certain provisions of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act. In addition, the FTC has specifically listed numerous products that are not subject to the FPLA.

The FTC vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 5-0. It is available on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received on or before March 30, 2015. All comments received will be posted on the FTC’s website. (FTC File No. R411015; the staff contact is Megan Gray, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3408, mgray@ftc.gov).

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