The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week amended its rules under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), which requires certain products to carry labels identifying the contents, source, item quantity, and other information to help consumers compare products.   The changes include:

Copyright: ragsac / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: ragsac / 123RF Stock Photo
  1. Modernizing the “place of business” requirement to account for new technologies. Labels are no longer required to contain the street address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor if it is “readily access well-known, widely published, and publicly available resource, including but not limited to a printed directory, electronic database, or website.”
  2. Incorporating a more comprehensive metric chart. It is certainly helpful for business compliance but this may be less interesting to consumers who still eschew the use of metric measurements.
  3. Eliminating sections addressing the use of “cents off,” “introductory offer, or “economy size” since they are now rarely seen although the FTC notes that it has other compliance measures at its disposal should businesses use these phrases deceptively.

Product categories exempt from FTC regulations under the FPLA include meat products, poultry, tobacco products, items under the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction and alcoholic beverages.  Businesses should carefully review the Amendment which will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register which the FTC says will occur shortly. The full text can be found here.