MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 14, 2014

MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 14, 2014


- Wednesday, July 16, 2014



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BOTTLE BILL EXPANSION PROPOSAL RELEASED BY COMMITTEE

On Tuesday, July 15 the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy released a proposal to expand the state’s bottle deposit law.  This latest proposal is different than the attempted compromise the Joint Committees’ Sub-Committee crafted earlier this year, on which both proponents and opponents agreed to disagree, and is a redraft of a different piece of legislation (H2973 as amended).  On releasing the bill, 5 Committee members voted favorably, 4 Committee members voted unfavorably, 6 Committee members reserved their rights to vote, therefore nullifying a favorable or unfavorable position, and 2 Committee members did not vote at all.  The bill now moves to House Ways & Means, where it is expected to remain through the rest of the session.  The question on expansion is still scheduled to appear before the Massachusetts voters on the November 4 ballot.

 

SENATE PASSES BILL ALLOWING

LIQUOR SALES AT 10:00AM ON SUNDAYS

On Tuesday, July 15 the MA Senate followed the House lead and passed legislation allowing liquor sales at 10:00AM on Sundays, two hours earlier than the present noon restriction.  After formalities the bill will be sent to the Governor for his signature into law.  We will keep you updated.

 

RULES RELEASED BY FDA ON USE OF “GLUTEN FREE”

According to the Food Marketing Institute, FDA has published a Small Entity Compliance Guide which provides a plain-language question and answer overview of FDA’s regulatory requirements for use of the term “gluten-free” on food labels.  Starting August 5, 2014, the compliance date of the rule, all FDA-regulated food products labeled on or after that date and bearing the gluten-free claim must comply with the rule’s requirements.  Retailers should comply with FDA’s 20 ppm definition in the regulation.

The final rule defines the term “gluten free” to mean the food bearing the claim does not contain:

(1) a gluten-containing grain, which is defined to include wheat, rye, barley, or a crossbred hybrid of those grains;

(2) an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten; or

(3) an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten but still contains 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten.

If the food inherently does not contain gluten, any unavoidable presence of gluten must be below 20ppm in order for the food to bear a gluten free claim. The final rule permits gluten free claims on foods inherently free of gluten without any qualifying language. That is, the claim would not need to include qualifying language such as “a naturally gluten free food.” The final rule deems a food to be misbranded if it bears the claim “gluten free,” “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten” but does not meet the requirements of 21 C.F.R. § 101.91. A food will also be deemed misbranded if it bears a “gluten free” or a similar claim and also bears the term “wheat” in the ingredient list or in a separate “Contains wheat” allergen statement, unless the reference to “wheat” is linked by an asterisk to a statement in close proximity that reads: “The wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for gluten-free foods.”

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MFA NEWS SCAN JULY 14, 2014


- Wednesday, July 16, 2014



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