The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act: Something We Can All Be Thankful For

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act: Something We Can All Be Thankful For

Joanne Zurcher

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect as environmental health professionals and as a nation about what we are grateful for this year. Traditionally, we sit with family and friends and eat a bountiful meal, that has been handled safely, inspected thoroughly and packaged correctly.

As pointed out in a previous blog, being an EH professional means never taking a day off, so when it comes to Thanksgiving it’s no different. Thinking about food safety, cooking temperatures, and if what’s on the label is really in the product, may be overwhelming, but thanks to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966, we can rest assured that the label doesn’t lie.

The point of the Act was to reduce falseness on the part of the business to the consumer and allow consumers to make purchases based on truth, not deception, which is something I think we all can be thankful for.

Only 50 years ago, this wasn’t the case. In fact, there were no regulations that addressed what the net contents of a package was, what business produced it, or what those crazy ingredients actually were (Sorbitan Ester anyone?). Additionally, the packages were made to appear fuller than they were and even priced cheaper, despite the fact, that they were poor quality.

Acts are passed and laws are made when people care enough to say this can be better and when communities work with their local, state, and federal government to make a difference. Thanks to the efforts of the public, the FTC and FDA, the law was passed and regulations were issued that require all consumer commodities be labeled to disclose ingredient descriptions, true weight, business name, etc.

This year, I am grateful for my beautiful family, friends, my NEHA family and the opportunity to represent all of you -- our environmental health professionals who make our food, water, air and homes safer every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Date posted: 
Friday, November 4, 2016 - 11:15