The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967 directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue regulations that require all consumer commodities to be labeled.  Labels must disclose net contents, the identity of the commodity, and the name and place of business of the product’s manufacturer, packer, or distributor.  Also authorized are additional regulations where necessary to prevent consumer deception. 

Why Does the FPLA Exist?

The FPLA was meant to facilitate value comparisons and to prevent unfair or deceptive packaging and labeling of consumer commodities.  The FPLA is administered by the FDA with respect to foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.  The FTC administers the FPLA with regard to other consumer commodities consumed in the household.  

Are there Exemptions?

There are certain exceptions to the FPLA, including:

  • The FTC’s regulations under the FPLA do not apply to industrial or institutional products
  • The Environmental Protection Agency regulates insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides
  • Other products also do not fall under the FPLA (e.g., automotive products, greeting cards, souvenirs, tools, toys)
  • Many exempt products still may fall within the Weights and Measures laws of individual states

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Been Deceived or Misled by Product Packaging?

Forcing a company to comply with the FPLA can be very difficult.  An experienced consumer lawyer can help you prepare a legal case against a manufacturer, producer or distributor of improperly labeled products.