Fair Packaging and Labeling Act
15 U.S.C. §§ 1451-1461
FTC Regulations: 16 C.F.R. Parts 500,
501, 502, 503
What is the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act?
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA or Act), enacted in 1967, directs the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations requiring
that all "consumer commodities" be labeled to disclose net contents, identity of
commodity, and name and place of business of the product's manufacturer, packer, or
distributor. The Act authorizes additional regulations where necessary to prevent consumer
deception (or to facilitate value comparisons) with respect to descriptions of
ingredients, slack fill of packages, use of "cents-off" or lower price labeling,
or characterization of package sizes. The Office of Weights and Measures of
the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, is
authorized to promote to the greatest practicable extent uniformity in State and Federal
regulation of the labeling of consumer commodities.
- Basic Requirements: The FPLA requires each package of household "consumer
commodities" that is included in the coverage of the FPLA to bear a label on which
- a statement identifying the commodity, e.g., detergent, sponges, etc.;
- the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor;
- and the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count
(measurement must be in both metric and inch/pound units).
- Purpose of the Act: The FPLA is designed to facilitate value comparisons and to
prevent unfair or deceptive packaging and labeling of many household "consumer
- FDA: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administers
the FPLA with respect to foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. The FTC administers
the FPLA with respect to other "consumer commodities" that are consumed or
expended in the household.
Exemptions from this law:
- The FTC's regulations under FPLA do not apply to products distributed for industrial or
- Insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides are under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- The following products, and miscellaneous others, do not fall under FPLA jurisdiction:
|bottled gas for heating or cooking
|Christmas light sets
||small arms ammunition
||lawn and garden supplies
|clothing and other textiles
||magnetic recording tape
||stationary and writing supplies
||paints and kindred products
|gift ties and tapes
||pet care supplies
- Many products that are exempt from the FPLA nevertheless fall within the purview of the Weights and Measures laws
of the individual states.