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PUBLIC LAW 101-535


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Sections of Title 21 of the United States Code were affected in 1990 following congressional approval of House of Representatives Bill No. 3562 [hereinafter referred to as “H.R. 3562”], which enacted the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 Act.  (See Exhibit A, #1)

This bill was introduced on October 31, 1989 by Representative Henry Waxman.  (See Exhibit A, #3a)  At this time, Representative Waxman served as chair of the House Health and the Environment Subcommittee, the sponsor of this measure.  (See Exhibit A, #9b, page 576)


H.R. 3562 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which amended the bill.  (See Exhibit A, #7)  The bill was then referred to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, which proposed amendments that were accepted or negotiated by the House.  (See Exhibit A, #9b, page 576)  Once both sides agreed to the Senate amendments, the bill was presented to President George P. Bush, who signed it into law on November 8, 1990, enacting Public Law 101-535.  (See Exhibit A, #8, page 1795)


The House Report on H.R. 3562 provided the following description, in part, of this bill:


   The bill would require that food products disclose the amount of specified nutrients in foods.  Every covered food would have a uniform nutrition label disclosing the amount of calories, fat, salt and other nutrients.  In order to make this information meaningful, the bill requires the FDA to issue standards providing that uniform serving size information and information concerning the number of servings be furnished on the food label.

   Where full labeling is impractical, the bill provides for an exemption or requires that the information be provided in a modified form. . . .

   The bill also addresses the issue of claims that may be made about nutrients in foods. . . .


. . .


   The bill also contains a provision that would prevent State and local governments from adopting inconsistent requirements with respect to the labeling of nutrients or with respect to the claims that may be made about the nutrients in foods.  However, these governmental entities are explicitly permitted to enforce Federal requirements with respect to nutrition labeling.

   Finally, the bill requires the FDA to issue final regulations for implementation of the nutrition labeling and claims requirements within 18 months of enactment.  Individuals and companies subject to the bill’s provisions would be given six additional months to comply with the requirements.

(See Exhibit A, #7, pages 7 and 8)