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IDFA Supports FDA Proposal for Carmine, Cochineal Extract Labeling

May 08, 2006

IDFA Supports FDA Proposal for Carmine, Cochineal Extract Labeling

IDFA recently submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supporting the agency's proposal on labeling changes for carmine and cochineal extract.

FDA wants to provide more information to consumers who suffer allergic reactions to these color additives.

As written, the proposal would require companies that use carmine and cochineal in food products to list the additives as ingredients on the label. The dairy industry uses carmine and cochineal extract in a number of foods, including port wine cheese spreads, strawberry yogurt and cherry water ices. Many IDFA members who use the color additives already list them as ingredients on a voluntary basis.

IDFA agrees with FDA that there is no need to declare on the label that the color additives are derived from insects. This declaration has been requested in a petition to FDA by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"Identifying the original source will not be of any additional assistance to consumers who suffer allergic reactions to carmine and cochineal extract and need to avoid them," the IDFA comments state.

FDA has proposed a target implementation date of 24 months following publication of the final rule, but IDFA suggests a compliance date of 36 months after the final rule is released to give companies more time to prepare and produce new labels.

"The 36-month time frame would allow adequate time for the collection of information from suppliers, product or ingredient reformulation, use of existing label stock, and the design and printing of new labels," the comments conclude.



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Posted May 8, 2006


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