Skip to content

A Spoonful of Sugar? Better Put It on the Label - FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Branding Honey

Addressing concerns about adulterated honey products, the FDA has issued draft guidance clarifying labeling requirements. According to the guidance, purveyors of honey products must specify on the product label and in the ingredient list any additional ingredients added to the honey. Products labeled only as "honey" cannot contain any additives. So, for example, if the manufacturer has added corn syrup, the label cannot simply identify the product as "honey"; rather, the product must be labeled "blend of honey and corn syrup." The ingredient list also must include both ingredients in the order of each ingredient's relative composition. Honey purveyors need not specify the floral source of the honey, such as clover, but may do so if they can demonstrate that the source identified is, in fact, the chief source. While the guidance does not alter the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it does make clear that from the FDA's perspective, even minor additions of flavors or sweetener cause honey to lose its status as "honey," and further, if a floral source for honey is described on the label, producers must be able to substantiate it as the primary source.

This client alert is a publication of Loeb & Loeb LLP and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This client alert does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations.

Circular 230 Disclosure: To assure compliance with Treasury Department rules governing tax practice, we inform you that any advice (including in any attachment) (1) was not written and is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) may not be used in connection with promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein.