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A warning label is a label attached to an item, or contained in an item's instruction manual, warning the user about risks associated with the use of the item, and may include restrictions by the manufacturer or seller on certain intended uses. Most of them are placed to limit civil liability in lawsuits against the item's manufacturer or seller. That sometimes results in labels which for some people seem to state the obvious.
In the United States warning labels were instituted under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. Cigarettes were not required to have warning labels in the United States until in 1965 Congress passed the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA).
Abnormal warning labels
Warning labels have been produced for different items. In some cases, these labels warn against some very strange occurrences such as the legendary microwave warning that states 'do not dry pets in microwave'.
Products that don't require warning labels despite potential health risks
Many products intended for human consumption should require warning labels due to the health risks associated with using them. As it currently stands only tobacco products have adequate information on the health risks labeled on there products. Alcohol, energy drinks, and soda can lead to many health complications with regular use. The use of these products can lead to ailments ranging from cirrhosis, diabetes, heart problems or even death. Despite these facts the Food and Drug Administration has yet to enforce regulations that would require manufactures of these products to display informative warning labels on these health risks.
- California Proposition 65 (1986)
- Tobacco packaging warning messages
- Warning Labels for Soft Drinks
- History of warning labels in the US
- Wogalter, Michael S. (2006). "Introduction". In Wogalter, Michael S. Handbook of warnings. Mahwah, New Jesey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 978-0-8058-4724-6.
- Egilman, D. and Bohme, S. R. (2006). "Purposes and Scope of Warnings". In Wogalter, Michael S. Handbook of warnings. Mahwah, New Jesey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 978-0-8058-4724-6.
- Khoury, Clarke E. (1989). "Warning Labels May Be Hazardous to Your Health: Common-Law and Statutory Responses to Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturers' Duty to Warn". Cornell Law Review 75: 158–188.
- Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act, Pub. L. No. 75-717, 52 Stat. 1040 (1938) (codified as amended at 21 U.S.C. §§ 301-99 (2006))
- Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, Pub. L. No. 89-92, 79 Stat. 282 (1965) (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1331-40 (1970)).
- "The Microwaved Pet". Snopes.
- "M-Law Announces Winners Of Seventh Annual Wacky Warning Label Contest". 2004. Archived from the original on 9 June 2004.
- ""Danger: Avoid Death" Warning Wins Top Prize In M-Law's Eleventh Annual Wacky Warning Label Contest". 2011. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013.
- Nelson, Brett and Finneran, Katy (23 February 2011). "Dumbest Warning Labels". Forbes. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011.
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