Product labeling is a vital area of marketing. Product labeling is an indicator of the manufacturer’s integrity, because a misleading product labeling can bring problems to both consumers and the organization itself. The US has always attached the highest importance to product labeling, as just one deviation can result in chaos in the marketplace.
The measure of importance the US has attached to product labeling can be understood from the fact that it implemented the federal law, The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) way back in 1967. The core aim of the FPLA is its requirement from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FDA for issuing regulations on what it considers “consumer commodities”. The FPLA strengthens product labeling by making it mandatory for manufacturers to disclose the following vital bits of information on the product labeling:
- Net contents
- Identity of commodity
- The name and place of business of the product’s manufacturer, packer, or distributor
Means for reinforcing product labeling
With the intention of further protecting and fortifying product labeling; the Act has additional regulations to use product labeling as a means to prevent the manufacturer from taking the consumer for a ride. In places where it is warranted and necessary; it seeks to do this with respect to the following:
- Ingredients descriptions
- Slack filling of packages
- Using lower price product labeling
- Properly characterizing package sizes of the products
The FPLA seeks to use product labeling to bring about the fullest possible standardization and uniformity between States and the Federal regulations concerning product labeling by authorizing the Office of Weights and Measures to promote these product labeling requirements for consumer commodities.
Structured product labeling
The FDA has since 2005 added a new dimension to product labeling by introducing the concept of structured product labeling. The nub of the idea of structured product labeling lies in making the use of Structured Product Labeling standards-compliant Extensible Markup Language (XML) for electronic submissions for products mandatory.
In the FDA’s thinking, this process is aimed at bringing about
- In the FDA’s thinking, this process is aimed at bringing about
- Streamlining distribution, storage and review of product labeling
- Making product labeling legible for human comprehension.