The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed revoking “the standards of identity for artificially sweetened jelly, preserves and jam,” concluding that these standards “are both obsolete and unnecessary in light of  regulations for food named by use of a nutrient content claim and a standardized term.” Responding to a citizen petition submitted by the International Jelly and Preserve Association (IJPA), the proposed rule notes that standards implemented in 1959 for fruit spreads containing nonnutritive sweeteners (NNSs) only provided for the use of saccharin, sodium saccharin, calcium saccharin, or any combination thereof (21 CFR 150.140 and 150.160). These standards did not include other NNSs approved for food use since 1959, although FDA later established under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act a general standard of identity for foods named by a nutrient content claim such as “low calorie” or “sugar free” “in conjunction with a standardized food term,” e.g., “low calorie grape jelly.”
FDA has “tentatively” agreed with IJPA that these later regulations make the 1959 standards of identity for artificially sweetened fruit spreads obsolete. According to IJPA, the general standard of identify for foods named by a nutrient content claim “provide fruit spread manufacturers with sufficient flexibility to use newer, intense [NNSs] in lieu of traditional nutritive sweeteners.” The association also argued that “nutrient content terms (e.g. ‘low calorie’)… better communicate to the customer the benefit of the use of [NNSs] than does the term ‘artificially sweetened,’ which is required to appear on the labels of products manufactured in conformity with §§ 150.141 and 150.161.” FDA has therefore concluded that revoking the standards for artificially sweetened fruit spreads “would promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers,” and has requested comments on the matter by March 4, 2013. See Federal Register, December 4, 2012.