These salad dressing regulations could get tossed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to stop regulating the ingredients of French dressing, which it has been controlling since the 1950s.
“The standard does not appear necessary to ensure that the product meets consumer expectations,” the agency said in a statement Friday. “The FDA has tentatively concluded that it is no longer necessary to promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers and may limit flexibility for innovation.”
The FDA currently requires that the dressing be composed of vinegar, oil, and lemon or lime. Under current guidelines, the dressing must be 35 percent vegetable oil and contain color additives to give the condiment its “traditionally expected” orange-red complexion.
The FDA said it is now looking to revoke the rules at the request of a lobby called The Association for Dressing and Sauces.
French dressing is among hundreds of food items whose ingredients the agency regulates. The FDA says it’s rethinking its oversight as part of its Nutrition Innovation Strategy, which was enacted in 2018 to “take a fresh look at what can be done to reduce preventable death and disease related to poor nutrition,” according to its website.
The new proposal comes after a day after the Trump administration officially moved to deregulate rules on cherry pie, and looked to also strike down regulations on milk and other common foods.
Food companies contend the strict rules prevent innovation or invite lawsuits.
But NYU professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health Marion Nestle told the New York Times the lobbyists’ motives are not in the interest of public health.
“They want to do it because they want less fat than what’s in the standard of identity, and they want to put more junk in it,” she told the paper. “And their argument is everybody knows what these things are, and everybody knows what they’re buying.”