Skip to content

Avoid These Top 10 Regulatory Mistakes


Informa’s New Hope Natural Products, SupplySide and Food Ingredients North America prioritize regulatory compliance at live and digital events. Businesses participating in these events demonstrate their shared commitment to compliance. Informa’s resources can help them fulfill that commitment.

The Standards Department reviews product ingredients, labeling and marketing for digital and live events. It identifies prohibited products, ensures trademarked certifications are current and makes exhibitors aware of non-compliant claims and labeling. It helps maintain a level playing field, consistent with event standards, for all participating businesses.

MarketReady Insights™ offers affordable expertise that puts regulatory compliance consulting within reach. Start-ups, international businesses entering the US market, and those focused on innovation and acceleration find answers about labeling, digital compliance, substantiation, supply chain security and advertising with MarketReady. It helps businesses meet event standards while also conforming to broader US regulatory requirements.

Through their work with exhibitors, Standards and MarketReady Insights™ see some kinds of problems repeatedly. We hope the following list of our Top 10 will be helpful to all of our partners and customers!

Products

1. Prohibited products
Some types of products are prohibited at events, including vapes, and for natural products events, foods with artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. If prohibited by our event standards, they also may not appear in promotional literature for Informa events.

New cannabinoid products should be reviewed by Standards prior to exhibition. Exhibitors can receive specific guidance from MarketReady Insights™.

Certifications

2. Expired Certificates for Trademarked Certifications
The Standards Department verifies that products bearing the USDA Organic seal or claiming to be “certified organic” are certified and that the certification is current. It does the same for non-GMO and gluten-free products bearing a trademarked certification symbol. Standards does not verify the reliability of statements in the absence of trademarked certifications.

Because businesses frequently describe their uncertified products as gluten-free, non-GMO, etc., MarketReady Insights™ helps them evaluate these claims against market conditions. It also helps businesses understand how much consumers value particular certifications.

3. Organic Certifier Missing on USDA Organic Products
Products labeled as “100% Organic,” “Certified Organic,” “Organic,” “Made with Organic,” or bear the USDA Organic seal must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel. Many of our customers omit this information from their labels.

Labeling

4. Identity Statements Missing on Dietary Supplements
Failing to include the word “supplement” in a product’s statement of identity is one of the most common labeling errors we see.

5. Plant Parts Missing on Botanical Supplements
Supplement facts panels must identify the part of the plant from which botanical ingredients are extracted. We frequently encounter labels missing this information.

6. Net Quantity of Contents Missing on Foods
Another common and basic labeling error is failing to include the net quantity of contents for products in both US customary and metric measure. International businesses, especially, seem to struggle with this requirement.

Claims

7. Misusing Structure/Function Claims
Structure/functions claims describe how a nutrient or dietary ingredient affects the normal, healthy structure or function of the human body, e.g. calcium builds strong bones. Conventional food products should focus on traditional nutrients. Dietary supplements involve non-nutritive, dietary ingredients. Cosmetics should almost never use structure/function statements.

8. Failing to Distinguish Disease Claims from Structure/Function Claims
Disease claims – with some important exceptions – are prohibited from foods and dietary supplements. . These can include specific diseases or characteristic symptoms of disease.

9. Unsupported Nutrient Content Claims
Nutrient content claims characterize the level of a nutrient (e.g. rich in, excellent source of). The levels of the nutrient must meet the minimum standard established by FDA. Many customers’ labels fail to demonstrate that this requirement has been met.

Substantiation

10. Unsubstantiated Claims
Claims must be truthful, not misleading and supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Human studies on a healthy population, peer review and reliable methodology are important indicators.

MarketReady Insights™ helps domestic and international businesses identify whether a claim is supported by proper substantiation and if it is, whether it’s the type of claim that can be made for a class of products.

Businesses that choose to partner with Informa events are supported by MarketReady Insights™ and the Standards Department, and together they can influence the industry for the better.

If you have questions about event standards, please contact Standards@NewHope.com. If you need help meeting U.S. regulatory requirements, please contact MarketReady@Informa.com.