The federal and state governments are increasingly focusing on food labeling as a method to support good health. Many such laws are opposed by the food industry and may be challenged in court, raising the question of what is legally feasible. This article analyzes outstanding questions in First Amendment law related to commercial disclosure requirements and conducts legal analysis and policy evaluation for three current policies. These include the Food and Drug Administration's draft regulation requiring an added sugar disclosure on the Nutrition Facts panel, California's proposed sugar-sweetened beverage safety warning label bill, and Vermont's law requiring labels of genetically engineered food to disclose this information. I recommend several methods for policy makers to enact food labeling laws within First Amendment parameters, including imposing factual commercial disclosure requirements, disclosing the government entity issuing a warning, collecting evidence, and identifying legitimate governmental interests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy