The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms issued a temporary halt on new wine industry label health claims, saying it wants to hold a public hearing before allowing more claims. U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, (R., S.C.) had vociferously opposed BATF's earlier decision to allow vintners to suggest on labels that wine might be part of a healthy diet. The Wine Institute said 19 companies have already won approval for labeling on 98 products and that it looked on the hearing as an opportunity to demonstrate the truth of its claims. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which had sued BATF for refusing to allow labeling on First Amendment issues, said it was considering going back for further proceedings in its case.
Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.