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Must the Net Weight on the Principle Display Panel Match the Net Weight on the Back Panel of a Package?

March 11, 2014
Question 

Through a printing error, the Principle Display Panel has the correct display net weight of 14.4 oz, but the back panel has 1 lb as the net weight. This is a retail package. Is this package legal?

Answer 

Section 403(e) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act provides that a food in package form is misbranded unless its label bears an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count. According to the Food and Drug Administration's regulations, the net content statement must appear in the lower 30% of the principal display panel (PDP) if the area of the PDP exceeds 5 square inches (see Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Section 101.105(c)). While the product you described meets this requirement, Section 403(a) provides that a food is misbranded if a label is false or misleading. Having two different net weights on the label could be confusing to the consumer and thus considered misleading. We would recommend that the manufacturer consult with legal counsel on this matter.