Regulatory Hot Topics - March 2019


Posted by Ashley Brooks on 3/12/19

What’s going on in the ever-changing world of regulatory? Our resident regulatory guru, Ashley Brooks, is here to help! Here are some of the most pressing hot topics in regulatory that food companies should be paying attention to.

Cannabidiol or CBD-infused Foods

CBD has been getting a lot of buzz lately as a trendy ingredient for food products. At Natural Products Expo West last week, it was seemingly inescapable – it was everywhere! But besides being trendy, what’s the deal with CBD from a regulatory perspective?

AdobeStock 94135649In December 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed industrial hemp from the federal government’s list of controlled substances and made it a lawful agricultural commodity. Hemp that follows the regulations in the 2018 Farm Bill can be used as an additive in foods and comes in granule, powdered, and oil forms.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp and is growing in popularity. However pure CBD isolate is not currently an approved additive for foods and beverages. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a statement saying the agency would continue enforcing a ban on adding CBD to food and drinks. The FDA is open to considering the status of CBD-infused foods and beverages. “In addition, pathways remain available for the FDA to consider whether there are circumstances in which certain cannabis-derived compounds might be permitted in a food or dietary supplement,” Gottlieb stated. “Although such products are generally prohibited to be introduced in interstate commerce, the FDA has authority to issue a regulation allowing the use of a pharmaceutical ingredient in a food or dietary supplement. We are taking new steps to evaluate whether we should pursue such a process.”

As we were writing this blog post, we learned that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has resigned and is expected to leave his position within a month. While we don’t expect this to impact the FDA’s current stance, we will continue to monitor if there are any significant policy shifts

Meanwhile, Canada has issued draft regulations for cannabis derived edibles. Additionally, some US states are taking their own actions regarding CBD.

Lab-Grown Meat

Another regulatory hot topic? Lab grown meat. Producing lab-grown meat, by in-vitro cultivation of animal cells, is gaining a lot of attention recently. A number of animal protein companies around the world have been making investments in “cultured meat” research. The hype is far enough along that it gained the attention of the USDA and FDA and joint public hearings were held this past November. It was decided that the FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks and cell growth. After the cell harvest stage, the USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.

Need help navigating regulatory requirements? Reach out to Ashley at abrooks@fuchsna.com.


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RCA 2019 Preview


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 3/4/19

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Get Slushed at RCA!

Mint julep slushies and T-shirts for a good cause. Need we say more? Chef Elizabeth Lindemer will be pulling out all the stops at RCA 19 to bring beloved Southern flavors to life. Here's just a little taste of what you have to look forward to in Louisville:

• Mint Julep Slushies (of course!)
• Fried Chicken Seasoned Crackers with Creamy Pimento Cheese Dip
• Bootlegger's Bread Pudding with Bourbon Salted Caramel Sauce

But for us, it’s not just about the food; we’ll be continuing our more than five year tradition of supporting the Culinology® Scholarship Fund by selling commemorative RCA T-shirts. Donate at least $5 to the Culinology® Education Foundation when you stop by and we'll give you a free T-shirt! Fuchs will match all donations. Visit us at booth 506 for a T-shirt and some seriously good Instagram-worthy food!

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Rosemary Profile


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 2/20/19

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What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen of the mint family whose origin is the source of an interesting legend. It is said that the Virgin Mary spread her blue cloak on a white-flowered bush one night. The next morning, when she removed the cloak, the flowers on the bush had turned blue and have remained so ever since. Legend has it that the plant became known as the “Rose of Mary.” A more scientific explanation comes from its botanical name (ros meaning foam or dew, and marinum, of the sea). Rosemary is often found on the coasts of the Mediterranean thriving under the fog and spray of the sea.

Under proper conditions, the rosemary bush can grow to a height of 5 to 6 feet producing pale blue flowers, narrow leaves and woody brown stems. The leaves are the primary source of the spice and have an appearance that is similar to pine needles. Though the plant has historically been used for medicinal purposes and funeral rituals, it is cultivated today primarily for its spice value to flavor foods.

What is it used for today?

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Rosemary is a component of numerous herb blends particularly those for seasoning potatoes and green vegetables. It is found in lamb dishes as well as several soups and stews. Bakers have also begun to use more of the spice in herbed breads and croutons for its pleasant bittersweet flavor and aroma.

To learn more about the spices and seasonings that Fuchs has to offer, click here. Our experts are ready to educate your team on all things spices and seasonings. To find out more, contact us


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Parsley Profile


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 1/22/19

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What is Parsley?

Although parsley has been cultivated for thousands of years, its use was primarily symbolic, medicinal and based in superstition until the sixteenth century. Before that time, one of the plant’s main functions was to prevent intoxication when worn as a wreath at ceremonial banquets while drinking alcoholic beverages. It was also used by ancient Greeks to decorate the graves of loved ones, and transplanting parsley was considered an act of bad luck.

Parsley originated in the Mediterranean region and is still a substantial export product of Israel. It is a biennial that can grow to a height of up to 2 feet, producing a dense foliage of dark green leaves the first year and flowers and seeds the second year. Parsley harvest takes place in the first year when leaves are cut and quickly dried to retain their dark green color. In the second year, these same branches produce small yellowish green flowers which carry seeds and can be used for the following year’s plantings.

What is it used for today?

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Due to its mild, pleasant flavor and visual appeal, parsley is used on and in most types of foods with the exception of sweet goods. As dehydrated parsley flakes, the herb is part of many seasoning blends for the leafy texture and green color imparted. It is a popular addition to soup bases, sauce mixes and all-purpose herb blends such as Bouquet Garni.

To learn more about the spices and seasonings that Fuchs has to offer, click here. Our experts are ready to educate your team on all things spices and seasonings. To find out more, contact us


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Regulatory Hot Topics


Posted by Ashley Brooks on 1/15/19

What’s going on in the ever-changing world of regulatory? Our resident regulatory guru, Ashley Brooks, is here to help! Here are some of the most pressing hot topics in regulatory that food companies should be paying attention to.

The Final Rule on Bioengineered Food Labeling

The USDA announced the final National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (GMO labeling) on Dec. 20, 2018 and set the implementation date at Jan. 1, 2020, except for small food manufacturers, whose implementation date is Jan. 1, 2021. The mandatory compliance date is Jan. 1, 2022.
The final rule defines BE foods as those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.

If a food or food ingredient is BE and if records cannot prove it is not BE or not highly refined, the food must bear a BE disclosure. The USDA provides a List of Bioengineered Foods as a “tool” but the list is not exhaustive. Options for disclosure include: text, symbol, electronic or digital link, and/or text message. Additional options such as a phone number or web address are available to small food manufacturers.

The USDA has approved the following on-pack symbols:

 BE Image

 

This final version differs little from its draft versions – the key changes are:
• The BE rule will not require disclosure for highly refined products that do not contain genetic material.
• There is an option to voluntarily disclose information about highly refined foods derived from BE sources, using specific text (“derived from bioengineering”) or symbol, but is narrow in scope.
• Incidental additives will not be required to be disclosed. Only an additive required to be labeled as an ingredient would trigger the disclosure requirement.
• The BE final rule establishes a threshold where no disclosure is required when the food contains no more than 5% per ingredient of inadvertent or technically unavoidable BE substances. There is no threshold allowance for any intentional BE presence.
• The rule removes the proposed option to use the term "may be bioengineered"
For more information, see the USDA site:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/be and this FAQ Fact Sheet

FDA Considers Declaring Sesame a Major Food Allergen

The FDA is looking into treating sesame as an allergen. Currently, sesame is not required to be disclosed as an allergen, and in some cases, sesame may be exempt from being listed by name in the ingredient statement on food packages. The move would put sesame alongside the eight allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soybean, wheat, fish, and shellfish) named by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. The public comment period closed Dec. 31st 2018. We now await the FDA’s determination. FDA Sesame Docket [Now Closed]

Approval of 7 Artificial Flavors Revoked

In October 2018 the FDA issued a ban on six artificial flavors, after research demonstrated a link to cancer in laboratory animals, including synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, methyl eugenol, myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. The de-listing of approval applies to the synthetic substances only and does not apply to natural forms of the flavoring substances. Additionally, the agency revoked approval of styrene, which is no longer used by the industry. The agency is giving food processors 24 months to phase out these substances in question. Constituent Update: FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List

Nutrition Facts Label Compliance Date Extended Until 2020

The FDA published its final rule on changes to the Nutrition Facts Label in May 2016 and gave the original compliance date. Some of the changes included a larger type size for calories, a mandatory declaration of added sugars, and a mandatory listing of vitamin D and potassium. Then in May 2018, FDA extended the compliance dates for the rules from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and to January 1, 2021, for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.
In November, the FDA issued guidance to support industry compliance with the upcoming rules:
FDA Guidance FAQ Compliance Date, Added Sugars, Vitamins, Minerals
FDA Guidance Serving Sizes and Miscellaneous Topics

FDA Sets Uniform Compliance Date
Last month, the FDA announced that January 1, 2022, will be the uniform compliance date for all final food labeling regulations issued in 2019 and 2020. The compliance date does not apply to final rules issued by the FDA before January 1, 2019.

Need help navigating regulatory requirements? Reach out to Ashley at abrooks@fuchsna.com.


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