The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has issued a final rule ordering “the disclosure of the presence of cochineal extract and carmine on the labels of any alcohol beverage containing one or both of these color additives.” According to TTB, the rule responds to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation that took effect on January 5, 2011, and requires manufacturers to label these two additives on all food and cosmetic products due to the potential for severe allergic reactions.

Effective March 16, 2012, with a final compliance date of April 16, 2013, the
TTB rule notes that FDA does not compel labels to disclose that cochineal
extract and carmine are derived from insects native to subtropical South
America and Mexico. In issuing its final decision, TTB rejected one comment
that called for listing the additives’ source despite industry concerns that
some consumers “would find the thought of insect derivatives unappealing.”
As the bureau concluded, such disclosure was not necessary “in order for
consumers to have adequate information about the product” and “to allow
persons with sensitivities to cochineal extract or carmine the opportunity
to avoid ingestion or contact with these additives.” Additional details about
FDA’s final rule and TTB’s proposed rule appear in issues 287, 296 and 371 of
this Update.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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