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Industry Issues Index



Added Sugars

FDA, as part of its effort to promote public health, is currently studying consumer reaction to “added sugars” listed separately from “sugars” on the panel. Several consumer groups would also like added sugars to be listed separately on the Nutrition Facts panel to help consumers understand the ingredients included in their food and beverages. 


Ochratoxin and aflatoxin are naturally-occurring mycotoxins formed under the certain conditions by particular types of molds, particularly certain species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. These molds may be found in many types of commodities such as grains, beans, coffee, vine fruits, nuts and spices. Sometimes very low levels may be found in food products including cocoa and cocoa products.


The confectionery industry makes every effort to protect consumers with food allergies through labeling as well as comprehensive food safety systems.

Ammonia hydroxide

Ammonia hydroxide is sometimes used in the confectionery industry in dutch processed cocoa.

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Candy Taxes

Although many nations and U.S. states see an excise tax on candy and soda as a way to decrease the prevalence of obesity in the United States, they actually fail to achieve this goal. Instead, they place an unnecessary burden on businesses because the of costs to administer these taxes. The most up-to-date tax rates for candy can be found here.

Choking Prevention

The risk of choking on a food product is multi-faceted and is not dependent only on food. Any object small enough to lodge in the throat, including many non-food items, can present a choking hazard. NCA and the confectionery industry feels very strongly about protecting the health and well-being of children and strive to make products safe for everyone.

Cocoa-Farming Families

The U.S. chocolate and cocoa industry seeks to ensure that cocoa is grown in a responsible, sustainable manner, and that cocoa-farming families have the skills and resources necessary to support their farms.


Colors are an important component of many foods, including confections. Colors provide distinguishing characteristics, flavor recognition and visual appeal, and colors have been regularly added to foods for decades. All food colors used in food production in the U.S. are carefully produced to meet stringent FDA requirements and are safe for human consumption.

Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL)

In 2009, the U.S. passed legislation requiring country-of-origin labeling on meat and meat products to better inform consumers of the supply chain origins. In 2011 Canada and Mexico brought a dispute before the World Trade Organization against U.S. COOL requirements. In May of 2013 the U.S. implemented new regulations in an effort to comply with WTO obligations; Canada and Mexico contend the new requirements are now even more onerous than before. The WTO is expected to make a ruling in 2014 to determine whether current U.S. measures are WTO-compliant. Retaliatory tariffs are expected to be implemented late 2014/early 2015, only if the WTO (a) finds the U.S. is not in compliance, and (b) authorizes Canada to retaliate. 

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Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are published every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These guidelines provide evidence-based nutrition information and advice for people age two and older.

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Ebola prevention in West Africa cocoa communities

The National Confectioners Association supports the many humanitarian efforts that are needed for Ebola care and prevention efforts in the cocoa-growing communities in West Africa. 

Estate Taxes

The majority of NCA companies are family-owned, small businesses. Estate taxes have a proven record of inhibiting economic expansion and employment opportunities among companies. It is critical for Congress to focus on increasing the exemption rate and reducing the tax rate with the long-term objective of repealing the estate tax.

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Food Safety/FSMA

The safety of the food supply is of utmost importance, and ensuring the safety of confectionery products is a priority for NCA and its members. The Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law in 2011, has revolutionized the food safety system in the United states. We have gone from a reactionary approach to a preventive one with mandated food safety plans and other requirements.

Front-of-Package Labeling

In spring 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama called upon the food industry to create front-of-pack (FOP) labeling that could be easily understood by busy shoppers. Front-of-pack labels are one way to quickly communicate product information to the consumer. NCA has created a confectionery specific FOP system that brings calorie information to the front of packages so busy consumers can find calorie information easily.

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Genetically engineered food labeling

The labeling of genetically engineered or modified food and food ingredients is currently of great interest to many U.S. consumers and food manufacturers, and NCA is following the debate both on the state level and the national level.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)

Good Manufacturing Practices are a set of requirements for food manufacturers designed to guarantee product safety and quality.

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Healthcare Reform

Healthcare costs have risen significantly over the past decades; however, the rising costs are unsustainable. Since 1999, employer-sponsored health care premiums have increased by nearly 120 percent. Since most NCA companies provide health benefits to their employees, these premiums are making it harder for them to operate

Heavy Metals and Cocoa

The U.S chocolate industry has always made every effort to provide a safe product and continues to do so; cocoa powder and chocolate are safe to eat.

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Imitation Tobacco Products

Occasionally it is suggested that one way to reduce the use of tobacco products is to discourage the production of imitation tobacco candy products.

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FDA regulates the labeling of all food and beverages, and NCA is dedicated to ensuring that the confectionery industry is aware of industry labeling requirements.

Lead in Candy

The confectionery industry adheres to FDA’s guidance for safe levels of lead in candy.


In December 2014, the Center for Disease Control tentatively linked the reported consumption of packaged caramel apples to a recent outbreak of listeria.

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Marketing to Children

The U.S. confectionery industry supports responsible marketing where children are concerned and has adopted a set of voluntary guidelines for candy manufacturers.

Menu Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized a rule that mandates calorie labeling for "restaurant-type foods" sold in restaurants or similar establishments with 20 or more locations. This menu labeling rule is required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

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Natural Labeling

FDA allows food comapnies to make a range of claims on food packaging. The use of the "natural" claim as recently become a hot topic due to the lack of a formal definition as to what is and what is not natural. Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits targeting food companies that make a "natural" claim. FDA recently rejected a request by three judges to define the term “natural”. The judges are presiding over cases brought against food companies for using the “natural” claim when the consumer believes there are ingredients that would not fall into that category.  

Nutrition Facts panel

FDA has released its proposed updates to the Nutrition Facts panel in to make the information easier for consumers to understand. FDA proposed two rules: the first focuses on "reference amounts customarily consumed" and serving sizes, and the second focuses on the design of and content display in the Nutrition Facts panel.

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Ochratoxin and aflatoxin are naturally-occurring mycotoxins formed under certain conditions by particular types of molds, particularly certain species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. These molds may be found in many types of commodities such as grains, beans, coffee, vine fruits, nuts and spices. Sometimes very low levels may be found in food products including cocoa and cocoa products.

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Palm Oil

Palm oil is used in a wide range of products, from margarine and chocolate to ice cream, soaps, cosmetics, and fuel for cars and power plants. Confectionery products and some chocolatey candies use palm oil as an ingredient because of its smooth, creamy texture, absence of smell, and its natural preservative effect which can extend product shelf life. 

Partially Hydrogenated Oils

FDA has made a tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils may no longer be considered “generally recognized as safe”. The decision is not a new rule or regulation, but the start of a potentially lengthy regulatory process intended to further reduce consumption of trans fats.

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School Nutrition

Increasing obesity rates, especially among children and adolescents, have focused the attention of parents and policy makers on ways to reverse the trend, including an examination of the foods that are available in schools.

Sugar Policy

Current U.S sugar policy limits the supply and inflates the price of sugar, creating a serious business challenge for the U.S. confectionery and sugar-using industry.

Sugar in the diet

Policy and professional groups, nutrition experts, and the scientific community generally agree that consumers can continue to enjoy sweetened foods and beverages when consumed as part of a balanced diet with a physically active lifestyle.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

It is critical that every American have the basic resources necessary to purchase and prepare a nutritionally adequate diet. For many in the U.S. who live in households that face a constant struggle against hunger, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides vital assistance in meeting that goal. At times, policy makers and political groups that would limit food choice for consumers dependent on SNAP funding.

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Third-Party Food Safety Certification

Third-party food safety certification requests from retailers have increased in frequency following the peanut recalls of 2009; requests vary between retailers from simple good-manufacturing-practices audits to compliance with the Global Food Safety Initiative standard. 


Throughout the past few years, the integrity of U.S. food supply has been compromised by several safety breaches. As a result it is likely that new legislation will mandate a more cohesive traceability system.


NCA is an advocate for free trade and supports agreements to allow U.S. confectionery companies to export and compete globally. With 95% of the world's consumers living outside of the United States, it is critical for NCA's members to reach those consumers in order to grow and create jobs.

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Vending Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration released the final rule on vending labeling that mandates calorie labeling for foods sold in vending machines where operators have more than 20 machines. Calorie labeling for foods sold in vending machines was required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Vending machine operators have until December 1, 2016, to comply with this rule. 

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