Ooh La La! US Food and Drug Administration Revokes Standard of Identity for French Dressing

CC0 / / sauce
sauce - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
The term standard of identity refers to the mandatory requirements set by a government body to determine what ingredients a product must contain to be marketed under a certain name. This ensures a product's label accurately reflects what is inside of it.
The US Food and Drug Administration has revoked the standard of identity for French dressing. According to a press release posted online, the decision came in response to a citizen petition submitted by the Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS).
ADS has claimed that the standard of identity for French dressing "no longer serves as a benchmark for other dressings because of the wide variation in composition to meet consumer interests". It also restricted innovation, the organisation said.

The Food and Drug Administration sided with ADS, saying that the standard "no longer promotes honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers". The agency emphasised that the move would give companies "greater flexibility" in manufacturing the product, consistent with comparable, non-standardised foods available in the marketplace.

"Standards of identity are intended to protect consumers against economic adulteration, maintain the integrity of food, and reflect consumers' expectations about the food. This rulemaking is part of our comprehensive effort to modernise food standards to reduce regulatory burden and remove barriers to innovation", the press release read.

The agency said that while deliberating on the issue it concluded that the revocation won't affect tribal governments or impact "the relationship between the national government and the states".

The standard of identity for French dressing was established in 1950. French media outlets write that although American authorities have laid out the requirements companies must meet in order to sell their products under the name French dressing, the sauce had little in common with that consumed in France. For example, the FDA's press release read that "most, if not all, products" currently sold in the US under the name French dressing contain tomatoes or tomato-derived ingredients, which are permitted, but not required.
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