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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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This Week In FDA History - July 8, 1965

Photo with captionphoto with caption
 
Peanut products that met the new standard could be called "peanut butter" (top photo) on their labels, assuring consumers that the product had the required percentage of peanuts. Products not meeting the standard were required to carry an alternative name, such as "peanut spread" (bottom).

July 8, 1965:
Under a revised food standard published today, peanut butter must contain at least 90 percent peanuts. The standard allows 10 percent optional ingredients which, with proper label declarations, may be used to create products with eating characteristics acceptable to a wide variety of consumers. All optional ingredients used must be declared on the label.
FDA in 2006

The standard for peanut butter is still in effect, with the same ingredients required for this favorite food. But changes since 1965 have made the food label for peanut butter and all other foods more readable and informative. At the time this standard was set, the FDA did not require that all ingredients be listed on a standardized food's label, since it was assumed that consumers would know what these common foods contained. The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990 changed this labeling convention, so that now all ingredients must be listed on the label,
including the required ingredients of standardized foods. Other changes instituted by the NLEA include an easily read Nutrition Facts panel on food labels, and a new requirement that all flavorings, food colors, and spices must be listed separately by their common names. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 added a requirement, effective Jan. 1, 2006, that foods containing protein derived from the eight major allergenic foods must clearly state this on the label, making it easier for people with food allergies to identify those ingredients in foods.