FTC Seeks Comment on Fair Packaging and Labeling Act Rules

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing amendments to its rules under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).

Enacted in 1967, the FPLA requires that certain products carry labels identifying the contents, source, item quantity, and other information to help consumers compare products.

In March 2014, the FTC sought public comment on the FPLA rules as part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides. In response to comments received, the Commission proposes amendments to the rules, including modernizing the place-of-business listing requirement to incorporate online resources and eliminating obsolete references to commodities advertised using the terms “cents off,” “introductory offer,” and “economy size.”  The agency also proposes to revise the rules to incorporate a more comprehensive metric chart.

Product categories exempt from FTC regulations under the FPLA are meat products, poultry, tobacco products, drugs under the Food and Drug Administration’s jurisdiction, alcoholic beverages, commodities subject to the Federal Seed Act, and any commodity subject to packaging or labeling requirements imposed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or certain provisions of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act. In addition, the FTC has specifically listed numerous products that are not subject to the FPLA.

The Commission vote approving the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 5-0. It is available on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received on or before March 30, 2015. All comments received will be posted on the FTC’s website. (FTC File No. R411015; the staff contact is Megan Gray, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3408, mgray@ftc.gov).

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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