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USA - How does the first amendment apply to food and supplement labels?


Jul 15, 2021

The federal government has an interest in protecting consumers from false or misleading food and supplement labels. The government may enact laws that control what information is included on food labels, or prohibit certain statements outright. However, the First Amendment of the US Constitution limits the government’s ability to legislate speech, including label statements. This issue brief explains how courts have interpreted the First Amendment in the context of food labeling laws. For many consumers, food and supplement labels are the sole source of information about a product. To facilitate consumer knowledge and understanding, the federal government requires manufacturers and producers to disclose certain information on food labels to inform consumers about specific characteristics of the product, nutritional facts, and contact information.

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