Is it fish oil, or is it snake oil? Fish oil capsules, a popular source of omega-3 fatty acids, are among the most popular supplements in the country, with annual sales topping over $1.2 billion in 2013, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. However, major manufacturers of the supplements, including Nature Made, Nature's Bounty and Wal-Mart's Spring Valley, are changing their product labels in response to an outcry of consumer concern.
When news leaked that much of the fish being used in the process originated from questionable sources in China, consumers began calling for manufacturers to begin including country of origin on their labels. The Tariff Act of 1930 requires that all imported products be affixed with a country of origin label, but some fish oil manufacturers claimed that since they were bottling the supplements in the U.S., they should be considered domestic products and not imports.
According to the Kansas City Star, label enforcement is the responsibility of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, but industry critics allege that the agency has not been strict enough in its oversight.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition also recently petitioned a Washington, D.C. based law firm for its opinion on the matter. The firm warned manufacturers that "the dietary supplement industry should be aware of the potential liability that may be incurred by failing to properly mark products with the appropriate country of origin," according to the source.
These findings reflect the trend of consumers wanting to know more about food and nutritional products before making a purchasing decision. Your organization can be prepared for any change in regulations and satisfy consumer labeling demands by investing in an in-house product label printing solution.