Notice of Proposed Rulemaking re: Cochineal Extract and Carmine in Alcoholic Beverages


On November 3, 2010, TTB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding possible amendments to the Federal regulations for labeling of wine, distilled spirits and malt beverages. The proposed amendment would require disclosure of the presence of cochineal extract and carmine on alcoholic beverages containing one or both of these color additives. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published a final rule which requires all foods containing cochineal extract and/or carmine to declare the presence of these additives in the statement of ingredients. The FDA rule is based on evidence that a small percentage of consumers experience allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock when exposed to these additives. In light of these findings, TTB finds it appropriate to amend the labeling regulations to require a statement such as �Contains Cochineal Extract� and/or �Contains Carmine� on alcoholic beverages that contain one or both of these additives. TTB contends the new requirement will affect few labels and proposes implementation of this new requirement 90 days after a final rule is published in the Federal Register. TTB is seeking comments, specifically whether 90 days is a sufficient amount of time to incorporate the changes, through January 3, 2011.

As of December 29, 2010 TTB extended the comment period. The new deadline is March 4, 2011.

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