Packaged beverages claiming to contain fruit and vegetable juice will be required to label their percentages starting in July this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday.
The FDA said that this applied to beverages bearing any fruit or vegetable names or their pictorial representations manufactured after July 1.
Only products that contain more than 10 percent fruit or vegetable juice can be named after the fruit or vegetable and the exact percentage must be labeled, the agency said.
Products named as “mixed fruit juice” are to specify in the product name or on the package what they mean by “mixed,” it said.
Beverages that contain less than 10 percent fruit or vegetable juice can either be labeled with the exact percentage contained, or declare on the package that the product contains “less than 10 percent juice.”
Any beverages that do not have fruit or vegetable juice must also be labeled as containing none, the FDA said, and if fruit or vegetable names are referred to in the product name, terms such as “flavor” or “flavored” should be included in the product name.
The agency said that if manufacturers fail to abide by the new regulations, they will be subject to a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million (US$990 and US$99,000).
Food products with labeling that is “false, exaggerated or misleading” will incur a penalty of between NT$40,000 and NT$4 million, it added.
Meanwhile, in related news, the FDA said that companies that sell imported food products should make sure the ingredients are clearly labeled in Mandarin, under the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法), FDA official Hsu Chin-feng (徐錦豐) said, or risk a fine of up to NT$3 million.
Hsu made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei that was called by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏), who raised the issue of imported food labeling.
Lin said some imported food products in supermarkets and grocery stores in Taiwan do not carry Chinese-language labels and he called for tighter inspections of such products.
Hsu said the law allows a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million for violations of the Chinese-language labeling regulation.
The label should clearly show in Mandarin the name of the product, its ingredients, weight, and additives, Hsu said.