FDA Cracks Down On Pet Supplement Labels in 2018: 3 Issues That Could Land Brands In Legal Trouble (And How To Avoid Them)

Your product label is everything. It not only helps your product line stand out from the rest of your competition, but also attracts the engagement of your target consumers. For those who fail to create accurate labeling, however, it can prove to be your biggest liability.

We have seen this becoming particularly true for those in the pet supplement industry; whereas it has been much more lax in the past. Those days are over but we at Private Label Supplement are here to help.

Just as they did for products intended for human use several years back (such as Skin Care products and Dietary Supplements) the FDA are now enforcing their labeling guidelines for pet supplements. This is why you no longer see definitive claims such as “All Natural” on many products.  All claims now must be backed up with valid 3rd Party Substantiation or FDA approved testing methodology in house including proper documentation to back up those tests. The FDA’s motto is – “if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen”. And this is only one area where this holds true as these are steadfast numbers we are looking at with parameters in which they must measure up to make that label claim and each claim varies for the qualification. All the more reason to work with a company like mine where we go out and audit these facilities with an esteemed organization prior to ever quoting you on your products to ensure each of our suppliers measures up to the astringent policies of the FDA in all aspects of the categories of products we represent.

If you don’t abide by their specific guidelines, you could quickly find yourself in hot water with the FDA or even in a lawsuit (thanks to an eager attorney who alerts the authorities about your mistake). My team at Private Label Supplement knows these rules and the FDA Labeling Guidelines inside and out, and ensure our Clients stay compliant. Our manufacturer also holds 50% of the responsibility for your labels compliance. Once you sign off, it’s then handed to the manufacturer for approval prior to printing so your bases are covered by working with us.  Here are a few of the items that we look out for when meticulously crafting the copy of our Clients’ labels, packaging, and marketing:

– Misleading Claims: Certain wording will turn copy into liability.  It’s important to stay away from definitive statements such as “Cures Disease X” or “Prevents Condition Y.” Instead, the wording on your product must not make guarantees or claims that can be otherwise proven false.

– Statements that require 3rd Party Testing/In-House Testing (where applicable): Claims such as “No Gluten, Soy, Dairy, Wheat Sugar, Salt, Artificial Flavoring, or even Dyes” require further testing than just referencing the origin of the ingredients. Claims must meet specific requirements and contain (or exclude) specific ingredients. If you make one of these claims without data-driven evidence, you may find your brand in a costly situation which requires attorney’s and sometimes even the option of shutting down and starting over or exiting altogether. This applies to dietary supplements and NOT pets.

– Comparing Your Label to Others on the Market: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to compare what the FDA is telling you to do and what you see on the market. We hear in our Creative and Sales Department’s when we educate our Clients on the FDA Labeling Guidelines continually: “Well, “XYZ Brand has it on their label” or something along those lines. I am here to tell you that has zero relevance when the FDA shows up at your door for an audit…and they will. In order to have your own brand, you must be a responsible brand owner.

The label is not a place to try and over-market your product. It is a place to educate the consumer on what is inside the package. The label is small, the contents are large. The FDA catches up to everyone in due time. That is not your concern. With as many challenging calls as I have personally taken, I get just as many telling me that Amazon removed an entire category of images I wouldn’t allow on a label because the FDA doesn’t allow that type of image.

Private Label Supplement can save you a lot of money and keep to your branding and marketing story while adhering to the laws of the government in which you sell your products.

Don’t risk the FDA issuing you a warming letter, or possibly even hefty fines due to non-compliance or ultimately shutting down your business. Make sure a team with expertise, evidence, and proper testing methods is by your side.

At Private Label Supplement, we are trained in the FDA Labeling Guidelines and are extremely vital to the success of our Clients’ line of products. We understand what the FDA wants, requires, and enforces. Professionals looking to create a lucrative line of supplements come to us for our resources and expertise so they do not have to worry about running into problems like this.

Call 855-209-0225 (US Press 2 for Sales)  to find out more information on pricing and to learn about our process. Don’t forget to ask how we can save you $7,000-$10,000 on your private label supplement product line.

All my best,
Stefani Thionnet
Stay focused and never give up!

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Stefani Thionnet

Owner & CEO, Private Label Supplement, Private Label Hemp + CBD Products, and StartUp TakeOff. A cowboy entrepreneur, a nearly three-decade veteran in the health & wellness industry, Stefani thrives on Clients’ success and is relentlessly seeking new ways to deliver quality GMP product that furthers a company’s marketing and drives volume with the confidence that comes from successful strategic partnerships. With an inventive, innovative approach to product development and a commitment to Client relations, her professional motto is, “If we are lucky enough to fill one order but haven’t earned your repeat business, we haven’t done our job.” Thank you!

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