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Is anyone aware of a legal or regulatory definition of the food claim term 'simple'?

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Jim La

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 05:58 PM

Hi all, 

Is anyone aware of a legal or regulatory definition of the term "simple"?  Our Marketing group would like to use the term on our confectionery products.  We already rejected the term "simple ingredients". 

I haven't been able to find a definition from FDA so I assume that this falls under the "truthful" and "not misleading" labeling clause.  I also assume that the definition might have to come from litigation or legal precedent.

Any guidance on how I can justify (or not) the use of the term?



Brothbro

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 06:18 PM

Hi Jim La,

 

Perhaps some of the FDA links below can help you in your search. These sorts of questions can get complicated with the FDA (as you already know). I can't find anything on the FDA's regulation of the term "simple" either. Indeed, they're only just starting to define any boundaries to the term "natural". I think the best way your company could go about this is to understand how others are using the term "simple" in label claims, and create a definition for your firm that is backed by its current use in the industry. Although the FDA doesn't have formal regulations for it, that won't stop them from asking a few questions about your label on the next inspection. It's best to have some evidence prepared.

 

https://www.fda.gov/...ary-supplements

https://www.fda.gov/...ary-supplements

 

I'd be curious to hear what experience others on the forum have with this term.



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Jim La

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 06:28 PM

I agree, Brothbro.  My aim to is do just that, put down on paper a justification for its use, if we decide to use it.  I will likely have to use legal precedent or, as you mentioned, something that is backed by current use.  I just haven't found that yet!  I understand that what we use might be tenuous and subject to critique.



Slab

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 09:43 PM

Hi all, 

Is anyone aware of a legal or regulatory definition of the term "simple"?  Our Marketing group would like to use the term on our confectionery products.  We already rejected the term "simple ingredients". 

I haven't been able to find a definition from FDA so I assume that this falls under the "truthful" and "not misleading" labeling clause.  I also assume that the definition might have to come from litigation or legal precedent.

Any guidance on how I can justify (or not) the use of the term?

 

"simple" is not regulated per se, however if it is applied (implied) to "health", "nutritional", "dietary", "comparative product" labeling claims, it would be considered misleading. 

 

Work with your regional FDA liaison field officer. Believe it or not, they are quite helpful. 


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Charles.C

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 01:10 PM

Hi all, 

Is anyone aware of a legal or regulatory definition of the term "simple"?  Our Marketing group would like to use the term on our confectionery products.  We already rejected the term "simple ingredients". 

I haven't been able to find a definition from FDA so I assume that this falls under the "truthful" and "not misleading" labeling clause.  I also assume that the definition might have to come from litigation or legal precedent.

Any guidance on how I can justify (or not) the use of the term?

Hi Jim La,

 

A "simple" query - What is your "simple" intended to infer ?

 

I have never encountered this terminology although Google comments that "simple" sugars and "simple" carbohydrates apparently exist.

More unleading than misleading. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Ryan M.

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 11:58 PM

If you use that term your problem won't be with the FDA or other regulatory body since there is no formal definition for "simple" as a general term.

 

However, you may end up fending off lawsuits depending on how many predatory lawyers are out there looking for this.  It is amazing how much predatory lawyers has grown in the food industry over labeling.  I'm glad our company staffs multiple lawyers to help combat this and other support as well.





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