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Guidance clarifies beverage/supplement distinction

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA is concerned some of the novel ingredients added to conventional beverages may adulterate the products if the substances are not generally recognized as safe for those intended uses or appear at higher levels than traditional in the food supply. In a Dec. 3 draft guidance, the agency says firms may attempt to circumvent the GRAS standard for ingredients by including them in products labeled as supplements, but such products are not supplements if they are packaged as foods or use conventional food terms including "drink," "water" or "juice." While the 1guidance, "Factors that Distinguish Liquid Dietary Supplements from Beverages, Considerations Regarding Novel Ingredients, and Labeling for Beverages and Other Conventional Foods," likely is aimed at clarifying rules for energy drinks, many of which are marketed as supplements, attorney Marc Ullman said the guidance could have a "pretty broad impact" on other liquid supplement products
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