Labeling Requirements (Rules & Regulations)

  • Looking at the Road Ahead for Food Labeling

    Eyes on Upcoming Changes

    If you operate in the food manufacturing industry, your product labels change every few years. Even if you decide to stay aesthetically consistent, there are shifting regulations to comply with. In a way, these new rules are a good thing. If you have to switch up the way you list ingredients, nutrition facts and more, these enforced changes serve as great reminders to change other parts of your label designs and keep them fresh. Provided you have a helpful and capable third party handing your labeling needs, making periodic adjustments is a good approach to design.

    Now, with 2017 just underway, it's time to think about which requirements and rules are likely to either change this year or at least move toward new drafts. Will the new administration in Washington enforce new national laws, or roll them back? Or will the wheels set in motion in years past turn uninterrupted? Will states work on individual standards? Will industry-specific or overarching guidelines prove more influential this year? These questions and more will set the scene for 2017.

    Looking Back and Awaiting Guidance

    A Lexology article from law firm McGuireWoods LLP predicted the major themes affecting food and beverage labeling, explaining that legal action against labels has picked up. With the FDA considering new rules for when "natural" and "healthy" apply to products, some of the class actions have been set aside until the federal agency makes its recommendations. However, there are plenty of cases ongoing. The law firm pointed to appellate courts as the site of a significant amount of labeling-related legal wrangling.

    When it comes to concepts that will be ruled on in 2017, possibly leading to new rules or standards, McGuireWoods LLP suggested that trans fats, the word "craft," claims that items were "made in the U.S.A." and more could be the hot topics. The source explained that similar cases filed in the recent past could work their way up to the supreme court, yielding judgments that set precedent for the food and beverage industries.

    As for labeling issues to watch outside the legal system, the law firm pointed to two of the most popular recent sagas ongoing in the food and beverage industry. These are the passage of national GMO labeling rules and the FDA's ongoing quest for consistency and clarity when it comes to making claims on packages. It may seem redundant to watch these cases - you may have gotten downright sick of them in 2016 - but it pays not to look away. These guidelines might be very relevant for your next packaging revision.

    Restricting Waste

    Another rule that has previously drawn attention, but will remain relevant in the year ahead, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service's new guidance on expiration dates. Columbus Dispatch columnist Lisa Abraham explained that this is one of the "buzz" topics affecting food manufacturers at the moment, as it standardizes information that has never had universal guidelines before. For every type of product except baby formula, the introduction of standard language and a regular dating approach is a new wrinkle.

    The overall goal behind the program is reducing food waste, encouraging consumers not to throw away items that are still safe. The steps toward this objective include the uniform use of the term "best if used by," which makes it clear that the date is a measure of optimal quality, rather than safety. The USDA performed testing and determined that "best if used by" is the most likely phrase to elicit this kind of response from consumers.

    Abraham noted that the numbers indicate waste by consumers is a major overall cause of food going uneaten, and there will have to be progress in this arena if the USDA is to reach its ambitious overall waste reduction goals. For instance, the agency believes that either retailers or customers throw out 30 percent of the total wasted food in the country, just because they are unsure whether it's still safe to eat. With an overall aim of cutting waste by half in the next 13 years, and eventually preventing food waste from reaching landfills, the USDA is moving ahead with the new label style.

    Ready to Change

    The trends described above are likely to force you to print out new product labels within the next two years. However, if you're only updating your food and beverage items' appearance when legally required to do so, you are likely behind the curve. Changing a product's look is a great way to make that item draw consumers' eyes, and when you work with a labeling partner capable of printing high-quality custom labels in reasonable amounts, it's easy to make periodic updates.

    Working with Lightning Labels as your trusted third party makes a lot of sense - true to its name, Lightning Labels is fast and responsive, available to give your custom labels a new look whether you're updating your packages due to a legal requirement, or just to make them more appealing.

  • New Nutrition Facts Labels: What's Coming, and What Could be Next

    Gradual Changes on the Way

    With the new FDA-mandated nutrition facts label on the way, it may seem too soon to project what will eventually replace the recently unveiled design. However, it's important to remember that there will likely be another style on the way in a few years, with yet another to follow. So when you work with a labeling partner to change your food products' backs and get in compliance with the latest FDA style, be sure to stay in touch with that company. You never know when another new design requirement may come down the pipeline.

    Imagining Possible Next Steps

    One hint that further evolution may be in store for the nutrition facts label is that the current round of changes isn't truly that drastic. Some industry watchers would doubtless like a more thorough revision. Law Street contributor Mary Kate Leahy recently explained that while the most recent round of changes does have the potential to positively affect decision-making about food purchases, consumers may benefit more from a graphically based "traffic light" system.

    While some manufacturers would doubtless resist the traffic light labeling style due to the fact that foods without nutritional merit would be forced to say so in the form of red light graphics, there is precedent for its use. Leahy explained that the U.K. currently mandates this kind of packaging as a measure against consumer confusion. It may therefore be worth studying up on such a design, both in case the U.S. decides to follow in the U.K.'s footsteps and to see if an optional version of the traffic light graphic may prove helpful to customers.

    Canada's Changes

    After considering the potential merits of the U.K. model, it's time to see the approach Canada has taken to its own nutrition facts label. Whether for another point of comparison or because you're interested in selling your products across the border, this design is worth studying. The government's new plans for labeling include enforcement of consistent serving sizes and a font size increase for sodium. Furthermore, there is a new list of minerals and nutrients that labels should include, to reflect changing consumer priorities.

    Clarity is clearly an objective for the Canadian model, as the new labels must include actual amounts of nutrients alongside percentage daily values. This could help shoppers make decisions without referring to other sources, which is a major step in the direction of simplification and clarity. The whole design will now be capped by an explanatory note pointing out that 5 percent or less of a recommenced daily value is "a little" and greater than 15 percent qualifies as "a lot."

    Examining the FDA's Design

    While it pays to look at other countries' designs and think of how U.S. labeling laws could change in the future, the fact is it's almost time to shift to a new set of labels here, making it most worthwhile to focus on those incoming changes. Whole Foods Magazine recently took such a look, explaining some of the most important elements you'll have to take into account as a manufacturer. For instance, the new list of minerals you must declare the presence and amount of consists of calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin D. Other declarations are optional.

    The source also explained that, like in the Canadian model, there will be a footnote on American nutrition facts panels. Unlike Canada's distinction between "a little" and "a lot," this text will specify that the percentage daily values are taken from a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Today's labels have a similar message, but the revised version has been reworded for clarity.

    A simple side-by-side comparison of new and old labels, provided by the FDA, shows that text formatting is one of the main elements that will change when the new design comes into effect. The number of calories is far larger than before, and the serving size has been bolded and enlarged. While the previous version of the nutrition facts label is largely a list of similar-sized items, the new one's hierarchy of importance is clearer.

    A Loyal Labeling Partner

    Getting ready to print new nutrition facts labels on your products is a great opportunity to redesign other elements. Whether that means adding additional health information or just adopting compelling new imagery, it's time to work with a competent labeling partner to ensure your project goes well and the revised designs roll out on schedule, potentially far in advance of the FDA's hard deadlines.

    Lightning Labels can become your ally in this mission of modernization, using its state-of-the-art digital processes to turn your project around quickly and efficiently. Lightning Labels has a commitment to customer service that helps it strike up long-term relationships with clients. This will prove helpful when the next regulatory changes come down the pipeline and you have to change your designs again. As long as you have a great food label provider in your corner, you can take shifts in policy in stride and keep up.

  • New USDA Rules Coming for Food Product Labeling

    Obeying Food Labeling Rules

    Companies that produce foods and beverages face unique product packaging demands, with a host of regulations to oblige before they even get around to aesthetic decisions. If your business operates in this area, you've already navigated the rules and gotten into compliance. However, in the years ahead, important changes are on the way. The latest announcements come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and have to do with the "sell by" or "use by" label - which has a new name, as well as the compliance dates for meat and poultry regulations.

    Cutting Down on Food Waste

    Food Processing explained that the USDA's recommendation - to implement a new "best if used by" label across the food production world - is designed to prevent waste. Today, different manufacturers use a variety of expiration date formats. These listings are voluntary for all products except infant formula, which requires the use of expiration dates. The new guidance is meant to ensure that wherever optional dating is employed, companies are working with the same vocabulary and format.

    Faced with a patchwork of phrases, including "sell by" and "use by," consumers may be thinking of the listed dates as hard cutoffs for freshness, and throwing food away that is still good. Food Processing noted that by standardizing the use of dating systems, and employing the phrase "best if used by," the USDA is hoping to ensure that shoppers will be better informed. People will now gain the knowledge that products of a certain age may have degraded in quality, but aren't necessarily unsafe. A hard-seeming "use by" date encourages individuals to throw food out, which causes waste.

    The recommendation comes after a period of research into the effects of different types of phrases. According to Food Processing, the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service settled on the final wording because high rates of people get the intended meaning. Implementing a blanket description across the food world is a big moment for the industry, and it was important for the agency to make sure its chosen version of the label is helpful.

    Meat and Poultry Compliance Dates

    Another announcement from the USDA FSIS concerns the meat and poultry industries. According to Food Safety News, this release isn't about any one rule. Rather, it's a notice that any regulations applied to meat and poultry production in 2017 and 2018 will go into effect on the first day of 2020. This gives producers a minimum of two years to adapt and get in compliance, though the agency would rather companies change practices as soon as rules are added to the books, rather than waiting for the deadline.

    The news source reported that the January 1, 2020 date will keep the FSIS in line with the Food and Drug Administration's labeling deadlines. Two years between announcement and implementation will allow organizations more than enough time to revise their labeling strategies. According to the FSIS guidance, a hard deadline for label changes is friendly to both companies and customers, as businesses won't have to change their labeling strategies too often, alterations which could lead to higher sticker prices.

    Ready for Anything

    The strategy you apply to your food labels will necessarily be impacted by regulations, but you don't have to worry about staying current in compliance, at least when you work with Lightning Labels. As an all-digital printing partner, Lightning Labels enables you to order relatively small quantities of stickers and labels for your products. This means no leftover or wasted labels when regulations change, and an ability to react quickly to any new regulations, getting well ahead of the deadlines. With a third party such as Lightning Labels on your side, you'll be able to stay ahead of the USDA's schedule rather than barely keeping up.

  • 2017 Begins with New FDA Labeling Requirements

    Keep an Eye on New FDA Labeling Requirements

    When you produce food or beverages, there's never a good time to tune out or stop paying attention to labeling laws and regulations. Regulators make sure to give you time to adjust your labels and comply with the rules, but you should still be as prompt as possible at identifying and responding to relevant moves by the major bodies in charge of packaging.

    The early days of 2017 have borne out the need for vigilance, with the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already rolling out some announcements regarding upcoming adjustments to the laws. When you have a good grasp of the legal situation and an agile labeling partner on your side, it's possible to stay up on these requirements, and even to get ahead of them and give your customers a smooth transition from one type of labeling to the new standards.

    Comment Period Extended

    Do you have any valuable input on what should be considered "healthy"? If so, you have a few months left to tell the FDA. According to Food Safety News, the public comment deadline for what the word "healthy" is allowed to mean on food packages is now March 26, 2017. This is a revision from the previous date of January 26, and if you have anything to submit, this extension gives you time. Comments can be made either publicly or directly to the FDA in confidence.

    According to the news source, industry groups asked for the extension. The Grocery Manufacturers of America wanted more time for comments due to the fact that the end of the year tends to be busy for retailers and customers alike, leaving less time for affected parties to register their opinions about the "healthy" label.

    As for groups that have already made comments, Food Safety News specified that the United Egg Producers stepped up in favor of adding eggs to the definition of "healthy." Current restrictions involving saturated fat and cholesterol are the sticking point, but the industry body cited eggs' place in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans model diets as proof that eggs can be a healthy food and deserve the use of the related language.

    The very fact that the word "healthy" is back up for debate is due to an actual issue encountered by the FDA in 2015, according to the source. The inciting incident was a legal showdown between KIND, makers of fruit and grain bars, and the government body. The FDA told KIND that four of its "healthy"-labeled products did not comply with the present definition of that word, while KIND claimed that the science behind that label has since been superseded. Now, it's time for the public to have its say before the new law comes into effect.

    Are your products currently eligible to be called "healthy?" Might they be under a revised version of the labeling law? If you have any stake in this ongoing process, it's likely worth watching what happens next regarding the legal wrangling.

    Final Guidance Documents

    The first days of 2017 have been a busy time for FDA announcements, as Natural Products Insider recently noted the existence of two new draft guidance documents, both of which are entering their own comment periods. Now, you have 60 days from their publication on January 5 to register your opinion. The first draft concerns many important elements of the new labels - rounding of figures, the compliance date, how to label added sugars and even the thickness and spacing of lines in graphics are all discussed in the document. The second release consists of examples to help manufacturers develop serving sizes.

    With the new Nutrition Facts label representing a significant updating of a packaging element that has been stagnant for a long time, it is likely worthwhile to study these new documents and potentially register comments. No matter what kind of food or beverage you produce, the way you note the values of different ingredients, nutrients and serving recommendations could have an effect on consumer perception.

    When will you finally have to implement the coming changes and shift over to the new label format? This is one of the questions tackled in the latest round of guidance, as Natural Product Insider highlighted. Items that receive their labels before July 26, 2018 are the last batch that do not need the new-style Nutrition Facts panel. This date is one year later - July 26, 2019 if you sell less than $10 million of food each year.

    Time to Partner Up

    With regulations changing and new rules always being mooted, it's clear that you'll need a labeling partner on your side in the years ahead. This is where Lightning Labels can help, offering custom product labels for food and beverage manufacturers that look great and keep products in compliance with all relevant laws. Due to Lightning Labels' all-digital processes, you don't have to order huge amounts of labels at once. This means that when rules change, you don't end up with wasted labels fitting the old regulations.

  • Stay Ahead of the Vape/E-cig FDA Guidelines with Lightning Labels

    Regulations Keep Shifting

    When a product's packaging requirements are codified by law, it's not that challenging to get into compliance - but when those rules keep changing, that can cause problems. It can be tricky to efficiently and affordably package an item when it's subject to shifting requirements: Print too many labels in the old style and they go to waste. Work with a slow printing partner and you'll have to suffer long wait times when you change designs to comply with the latest rules and regulations.

    E-cigarettes and other vaping products are great examples of items with changing labeling rules. If you work in this industry, you've doubtless already encountered warnings about the FDA's impending label changes. It's time to get ready for the next generation of vape labels. This is also a great opportunity to sign up with a responsive partner such as Lightning Labels to ensure you'll be ready for any further labeling law changes.

    Upcoming Legal Changes

    To recap the FDA's recent announcements, the department plans to begin treating vape and e-cig products as tobacco, exerting far more control over these categories than it previously did. This means that, as of 2018, such items will have to contain the same nicotine warnings as traditional cigarettes, provided they contain nicotine. If your products don't have nicotine in them, you'll have to submit a self-certification statement to that effect, along with data to prove it. Even then, there is a "made from tobacco" alert that you'll have to add to your packages.

    The 2018 deadline is fast approaching, and means you'll have to carefully regulate your supply of labels. Staying in compliance means never using a label type once it's been phased out, but ending up with unused e-cig labels is a problem as well. This is why it's important to work with a label provider capable of small, efficient print runs. When you don't have to order too many packages of any one design, you'll be able to change with the times, even if you only produce a limited amount of your product each year.

    E-cig labels will present a challenge for years to come, as they are a perfect storm of labeling requirements - FDA regulated and relatively untested. While the next announced changes come into effect as 2018 begins, there's no telling what may happen after that. Picking a labeling partner that can help with this next change, and sticking together, could prepare you to face whatever requirements follow and stay unfailingly in compliance.

    A Third Party That Can Help

    What makes Lightning Labels such an ideal team member to help with your custom vape labels? The all-digital printing process is the key factor. When you order from Lightning Labels, you can buy in small quantities affordably, and receive your batch of labels in days, rather than weeks or months. Working with such an agile partner will help you deal with regulatory changes, or even make shifts for the sole purpose of improving your products' image and branding. In a fast-moving industry, you need quick, efficient allies.

  • High Quality Custom Labels for Cannabis Products - The Importance of Branding

    A New Market Appears

    Some thought they'd never see it in their lifetimes, others said it was only a matter of time, and now it's come to pass. Cannabis products are becoming legal for recreational use and sale in more states, and it's time to step into this new market. It's rare to have a previously unavailable type of product appear on the market, but that's what legal cannabis represents. It's important not to lose sight of the importance of branding and creating a memorable image. Long-term success could be in the cards for companies that are quick off the blocks and stand out in the early stages of legalization.

    An Urgent Need for Branding

    Just about every consumer product has a few iconic brands, ones whose names and imagery are indelibly associated with that type of item. Legal recreational cannabis is just in its beginning stages, so companies have a chance to step up and become those leading providers. This all depends on picking the right moment, and being ready with a strong image right as the market heats up. Organizations ready out of the gate with custom cannabis labels that make a strong, positive impression may prove victorious in establishing their place in the market.

    Competition comes along with new opportunities, and early entrants into a market can expect to have company very soon. Launching with an established and professional-looking brand is one way to stake out a unique and attractive place within the multitude of brands sure to spring onto the scene. Cannabis product labels should be created to target buyers' preferences and interests, the same as with any more established category of merchandise. Getting this kind of look right means performing market research and working with a labeling partner that can deliver high-quality imagery, sharp text and more hallmarks of great packaging.

    The fact that the legal situation around cannabis products is still evolving means companies have to be agile about how and where they enter the market. The current inconsistent state of regulation around the country has led to an uneven distribution of sales channels. Companies in Colorado have already had a chance to tout their wares. Groups hoping to operate in places such as Massachusetts or California are likely still in the planning stages. When organizations call on fast-moving labeling partners to produce their new cannabis labels and related branded materials, however, they gain a path through this fractured environment.

    Lightning Labels Can Help

    Working with Lightning Labels means gaining access to a high-speed all-digital printing process. Lightning Labels operates from domestic facilities rather than outsourcing, adding another layer of speed and affordability. Therefore, in industries that are evolving quickly, such as cannabis products, labels can reflect the latest developments within a matter of days, not weeks or months. The all-digital process also means clients can order smaller batches of labels without paying unreasonably elevated rates, so if a producer is starting small or anticipating changes in the state of the market, that company doesn't have to buy more labels than it can use.

  • Companies, Consumers Parsing GMO Food Labeling Laws

    Checking in on the GMO Food Labeling Question

    When it comes to food product labels displaying new nutrition information, genetically modified organisms are the latest battleground. If you've been following the news over the past few months, you've likely noticed that the question of whether there is a need to identify such ingredients on packaging has intensified, fought by legislators, consumers and trade groups at both state and federal levels. Now, it's time to take stock of the situation, especially if your own products fall into this category.

    Rather than risk fines or legal suits for mislabeled products, it's best to get ahead of the curve, react effectively to each newly applied law and refresh your food labels when necessary. Fortunately, the last part of that process is easy - having a new set of custom food labels printed has become a quicker and more efficient process in the age of all-digital printers.

    Customers, Companies, Congress Weigh In

    The Wall Street Journal recently captured the corporate reaction to the current GMO labeling standards. Many organizations today insist that their customers want these ingredients to be noted with specialized labels, and therefore they are taking this approach. This is beyond what is federally mandated, and it's worth stepping back to remember what the current status of law is regarding GMO alerts.

    The source explained that the nationwide GMO law signed by President Obama in July only requires companies to create a way for consumers to reach the business and access GMO data. Labels may contain a web address or hotline number, rather than a list of ingredients that have been genetically modified. Organizations have two to three years to commit to changing their labels to meet the requirement. That nationwide regulation comes as an answer to and replacement for a Vermont statute which was causing consternation, due to the fact that for companies that wanted to sell in Vermont in addition to other places, it essentially was a global labeling law.

    The older, state-level law was more strict, asking for full labeling of GMOs. So, are companies happy that they now just have to place a link on their labels? Maybe not. The Wall Street Journal contained quotes from several corporate higher-ups noting that what the public wants is clear and accurate GMO notation, so that's what they'll provide. Campbell Soup is voluntarily placing such information on its goods, and has voiced support of a nationwide regulation. Panera Bread has publicly stated that it doesn't want to take a stance for GMO labeling that others will have to follow - but it is highlighting any such ingredients in its own food.

    That response, however, doesn't contain the full spectrum of corporate opinions collected by the news source. Wal-Mart Vice President of Food Safety Frank Yiannas believes that any labeling debate is premature, and the focus should be on determining for certain whether there are any ill effects of eating GMO-containing food. He, in contrast to the other corporate executives, puts GMO disclosure further down shoppers' lists of priorities, and stated that buyers are more interested in the prices and relative quality of the foods they buy.

    A Stable Regulation

    While there may not be universal agreement on whether it's a good idea to print limited GMO information on food packaging, at least the law is standardized across the country. Packaging Digest contributor George Misko pointed out that before the national rule went into effect, more states were stepping up with their own labeling laws.

    Vermont, as mentioned above, actually passed its version. Laws were accepted provisionally in Maine and Connecticut and rejected in California, Illinois and New York, with the potential for more states to get involved. That's over now, as Misko specified that provisions within the federal version of the regulation make it clear that states can't introduce their own competing laws.

    The battle over GMO disclosure may not be over, of course, as those in favor of both less and more information are still out there. The author noted that the legal struggle and series of challenges has spanned more than two decades. Now that the national version of a labeling standard is in place, you can relax somewhat, especially regarding possible patchwork rules that affect states where you do business. As for whether the rules established will change, it's impossible to say for sure, and it pays to keep monitoring the rules and stay compliant.

    Time for a Food Product Label Shake-up

    GMO disclosure isn't the only rule relating to food labeling practices set to change over the next few years, but it's as good a reason as any to step back and observe your food product labeling strategy. High-quality, custom food labels in compliance with all current laws could transform your offerings in multiple ways, keeping your brand ahead of the curve from a legal perspective and giving you a chance to either add a new visual identity or sharpen your products' classic look. Changes in labeling law can be an opportunity for reinvention your products with customized food labels rather than an imposition.

  • How are FDA Regulations Affecting Vape Labels?

    An Evolving Marketplace

    As members of a fairly new family of product, vape pens, e-cigarettes and e-juice are in the early days of regulation. This means that if you're in the business of making or selling these items, there's plenty to learn - and it's changing all the time. Becoming more aware of what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates will help you create vape labels that are in compliance with the latest rules. No matter what comes next, obeying the law and providing customers with pertinent information will remain key virtues. Fortunately, when you work with a fast and effective printing partner, updating e-juice labels is easy and affordable.

    The Latest Regulations

    The FDA recently extended its reach into the e-cigarette space. The organization explained that this is due to a desire to prevent teens and children from e-cigarette use. Namely, between 2011 and 2015, as the technology took off, high-school-age use of vape products rose 900 percent. This means new regulations are coming for vape equipment and e-juice producers. If this is your field, it's time to seriously look at the regulations just taking effect and how this impacts vape product labels.

    From a vape labeling perspective, there will be a difference depending on whether the product in question contains nicotine or not. As of 2018, the e-juice labels and ads for any items containing the chemical will have to say so. Tobacco-derived products without nicotine will have to bear a different disclosure.

    Reacting to the Rules

    A recent report by Washington-based paper The News Tribune sought out retailer opinions on both vape FDA regulations and rules put in place by the state government. The business owners contacted by the source attested to being more worried about the cost of reacting to the FDA rules than the local laws. With laws previously restricted to traditional tobacco products set to expand to e-juice, there are worries the process of getting direct approval for each item could be costly.

    The FDA replied, with The News Tribune stating that the group sees the cost of compliance as lower than vape manufacturers project. This is on top of the group's insistence that close inspection of new products is an essential security precaution. In such a new industry, there are still many unknowns.

    Keeping Vape Labels Accurate and Compliant

    While it's unclear what form e-juice regulations will take in the years ahead or what the long-term effects of regulating vape products like other tobacco derivatives will be, one step of the process is easy - whether producers are independent businesses or larger companies, it's possible to get attractive and compliant vape labels for e-liquid bottles.

    Working with an all-digital printer such as Lightning Labels ensures that your company won't have to face long turnaround times. Even faced with a quick change in vape labeling laws, it's possible to get a new batch of labels delivered in a matter of days, not weeks or months. These high-quality and colorful vape labels can help your brand stake its place, even in an industry dominated by bold imagery. Keeping an eye on regulations as the FDA ramps up its involvement in the vape space is important, but the right labeling ally can help.

  • Important Pesticide Information to Include on Lawn and Garden Labels

    Guidelines for Labeling Home and Garden Products

    If you make and/or sell your own goods, there are a lot of regulations and guidelines you have to pay attention to. Making sure you adhere to the mandatory requirements is imperative if you want to avoid fines or legal ramifications. But, many times, it is also important for ensuring consumer safety.

    Today, shoppers are going increasingly conscious of the ingredients used in the products they purchase - especially if they consume the goods, like food and beverage items. However, this scenario can be slightly different for products that contain known chemicals and harsh ingredients because they are meant to - as is the case with pesticides.

    In order to get their garden or lawn looking spectacular, many people need to use pesticide and other lawn products. If you are a maker of these goods, it is crucial that you are careful, strategic and aware of the information you are including when printing the product labels.

    According to Broomfield Enterprise columnist and CSU Master Gardener Ann Montague, the United States Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides and brands must register each one before selling them - and this process includes the pesticide product labels. The information on the packaging of these items instructs consumers on how to use the formulations. And such guidance shouldn't just be treated as suggestions but, rather, legal requirements.

    What to Print on Pesticide Labels

    The signal words used to indicate its hazardousness or toxicity follow a scale. For example, on pesticide and insecticide product labeling, "warning" means it is marginally toxic, "danger" highly toxic - possibly even corrosive - and "caution" is used when it is moderately dangerous. If it can be severely damaging if it enters the body - either through consumption, inhalation, or exposure to skin or eyes - then it should be labeled "poison." All of these terms should be printed in large font, prominently displayed on the front of packaging.

    It should be noted that, as pointed out by the EPA, this policies are for both inert and active ingredients of the product.

    Obviously, considering the powerful and potentially dangerous effects of these chemicals, it is important that if you sell these home and garden products you also include steps for safety in the event that a person does come into contact with the substance in a way that is not intended. In addition, Montague added that it is critical that lawn and garden labels also include information regarding the time when a consumer should use the product for optimal results and effectiveness. For example, what temperatures are best for applying it to the plant, as well as when it should be reapplied and the conditions in which it should be.

    Furthermore, makers are required to disclose what the exact pest, insect, disease or weed is that the product is used to kill or prevent. To ensure they keep not only their lawn, but home, health, environment and loved ones out of harm's way, users need to make sure they carefully follow all of the instructions labeled on the home and garden product. But in order to help them do that, sellers have a responsibility to make sure they are going above and beyond to provide consumers with the most accurate, detailed and useful information possible.

    Other factors that you should take into consideration when designing custom lawn and garden labels are the quality of images, as well as the packaging materials used. Working with a quality label printing partner to make sure you are maximizing the potential of your products can help streamline operations and significantly improve your bottom line.

  • Study Indicates Front-of-Pack Labels Have Little Nutritional Relevance

    Front-of-pack labels are not a good representation of actual nutritional value of food products.

    Labels on Front of Food Packaging May Be Misleading There has been a lot of recent debate concerning what should be included on the labels of food products. For example, how much, or rather how little, detail should be offered to consumers? What requirements should a company have to meet before being allowed to make a certain health claim?

    It is important to many people that they can look at a label and easily find what they are looking for, whether that be the ingredients or amount of sugar an item contains or whether or not it was made using genetically modified organisms. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Even when these nutritional details are included on the product packaging, they can sometimes be deceptive, such as when the serving size has been strategically manipulated to present smaller values.

    Not all consumers turn to the nutrition facts label, often located on the side of packaging, to determine how healthy an item is. Some simply focus on the front of package, or FOP. However, recent research has indicated that the health claims made on this area of a food product may not be an accurate representation of its actual nutritional quality.

    Nutritional Value of Health Claims The Institute of Food Technologists conducted a study that was published in this month's issue of the Journal of Food Science which evaluated the FOP health labels of more than 2,200 food products. All the items are or had been on the market at some point throughout the past decade and included cereal and prepared meals products.

    In the research report, the authors said that "the results show that the FOP environment - the number and type of claims - are not good indicators of whether or not a food is healthy as defined by [the United States Food and Drug Administration]."

    The source also added that the findings indicated the regulations set by the FDA are limiting in the kind of comprehensive explanation these labels offer consumers about nutrition quality. Put simply, just because a packaged item claims it is healthy in huge letters across the label, that doesn't necessarily mean it is.

    However, although the researchers found that the claims made on front packaging don't offer a definite guarantee of nutritional value, the study did reveal that "certain types of FOP claims were significant predictors of higher or lower levels of key nutrients."

    Properly Understanding Food Labels Existing FDA guidelines recognize three main categories of FOP nutrition claims: health claims, nutrient content claims and structure/function claims.

    Terms such as organic, local and natural have become especially buzzworthy words over the past few years. According to Medical Xpress, these phrases are displayed on the front of packaging because they are classified under nutrient claims.

    A person may take notice of one of these words and assume it means the product is good for them. But, based on what the research study suggests, these FOP health claims are, essentially, just words. They don't actually reveal any concrete information about the nutritional value, which is what consumers should focus on if they are looking to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

    This is why, the Medical Xpress indicated, people should look to the Nutrition Facts panel, usually located on the side of the packaging, to get the real information they are looking for about how healthy a product is.

    As the food industry continues to examine and evaluate the influence certain aspects of product labeling have on consumer purchasing decisions, these findings could initiate a shift in what companies put on FOP labeling. It's possible that manufacturers will start including more nutritional values and fewer buzz-phrases that make vague claims open for interpretation.

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Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.