Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990

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Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleTo amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prescribe nutrition labeling for foods, and for other purposes.
Acronyms (colloquial)NLE Act, "NL&E Act"
Enacted bythe 101st United States Congress
EffectiveNovember 8, 1990
Public law101-535
Statutes at Large104 Stat. 2353
Acts amendedFederal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
Titles amended21 U.S.C.: Food and Drugs
U.S.C. sections amendedChapter 9 § 301
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 3562 by Henry Waxman (DCA) on October 31, 1989
  • Committee consideration by House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • Passed the House on July 30, 1990 (passed voice vote)
  • Passed the Senate on October 24, 1990 (passed voice vote) with amendment
  • House agreed to Senate amendment on October 26, 1990 (passed voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on November 8, 1990
United States Supreme Court cases
New York State Restaurant Association v. New York City Board of Health

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) (Public Law 101-535) is a 1990 United States Federal law. It was signed into law on November 8, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush.[1]

The law gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to require nutrition labeling of most foods regulated by the Agency; and to require that all nutrient content claims (for example, 'high fiber', 'low fat', etc.) and health claims meet FDA regulations.[2] The act did not require restaurants to comply with the same standards.

The regulations became effective for health claims, ingredient declarations, and percent juice labeling on May 8, 1993 (but percent juice labeling was exempted until May 8, 1994).[2]

Effective Jan. 1, 2006, the Nutrition Facts Labels on packaged food products are required by the FDA to list how many grams of trans fatty acid (trans fat) are contained within one serving of the product.[1]

Dietary Supplement Act of 1992[edit]

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced the Health Freedom Act of 1992 which would have blocked the FDA from using health claims as a reason to regulate dietary supplements as drugs. The senator said he "entered the controversy after hearing from constituents in his home state, including both consumers and makers of dietary supplements". Hatch stated that the FDA "can put anybody out of business if they want to." Hatch's bill did not get very far, but it encouraged Congress to pass the Dietary Supplement Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-571), which blocked the FDA from applying its forthcoming labeling rules for conventional foods to dietary supplements for another year, until the end of 1993.[3][4]

The Nutritional Health Alliance, an industry lobby group,[5] claimed credit for getting the Dietary Supplement Act of 1992 passed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nutrition Labeling AHA Advocacy Position". American Heart Association.
  2. ^ a b "Nutritional Labeling". United States Food and Drug Administration. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Nestle, Marion (2002). Food Politics. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24067-7. p. 255
  4. ^ Williams, Lena (August 9, 1992). "F.D.A. Steps Up Effort to Control Vitamin Claims". New York Times. Source of quotes.
  5. ^ Miller, Susan Katz (August 7, 1993). "The return of the medicine show". New Scientist.

External links[edit]