US FDA – Guidance on the use of term “evaporated cane juice”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a final guidance for industry stating FDA’s view that sweeteners derived from sugar cane should not be declared on food labels as “evaporated cane juice”.

The FDA’s view is that the term “evaporated cane juice” is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is fruit or vegetable juice or is made from fruit or vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient’s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.

The FDA encourages firms that market sugar cane-derived sweeteners or products that contain a sugar cane-derived sweetener to review the final guidance and consider whether their labeling terminology accurately describes the basic nature and characterizing properties of the sweetener used. The guidance recommends that ingredients currently labeled as “evaporated cane juice” be relabeled to use the term “sugar,” optionally accompanied by a truthful, non-misleading descriptor to distinguish the ingredient from other cane-based sweeteners.

The ingredient was at the center of several class actions and court cases. See more, for example, at the following links:

https://foodlawlatest.com/2014/05/14/evaporated-cane-juice-figy-v-lifeway-foods-arnie-friede-comments/

http://www.allaboutadvertisinglaw.com/2016/03/ninth-circuit-stays-class-action-food-labeling-lawsuit-until-the-fda-completes-review.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whole-foods-sued-for-misleading-sugar-claims_us_55a01e1de4b0a47ac15c8b48

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