Gibsons, BC, Canada–North American Reishi Ltd (Nammex) has filed a Citizen Petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At issue, according to a press release: Nammex is requesting that the agency "address the mislabeling of dietary supplements and functional foods as 'mushroom' or containing 'mushrooms' when they contain other fungal parts, and do not contain 'mushrooms' as claimed, or fail to disclose added grain ingredients."
Outlining its reasoning, Nammex said it has been advocating for full transparency in product labeling and urging companies to identify ingredients from fungi according to the part of the fungal organism from which they are derived. This, Nammex said, is consistent with FDA’s labeling requirement for botanicals, yet the company added that there is ambiguity in FDA’s labeling regulations and compliance policies. Looking to address this, Nammex Founder Jeff Chilton opted to file the petition in an effort to raise public awareness, request guidance, and secure increased attention from FDA to ensure industry compliance.
“Given the explosive growth the mushroom category is undergoing and entry of new companies marketing products with fungal ingredients that may not be aware of the regulatory requirements, it made sense to undertake this action now," Chilton said. "We hope to raise awareness of the mislabeling problem that exists today in the U.S., and obtain FDA regulatory guidance on the labeling of mushrooms and other fungal ingredients to ensure truth-in-labeling. When consumers buy a product labeled as 'mushroom,' they should feel confident that they are getting a genuine mushroom product.”
Nammex's Citizen Petition asks FDA to:
- Correct ambiguity in the dietary supplement labeling regulations to clarify that proper listing of ingredients from fungi on product labels includes identification of the part of the fungal organism from which the ingredient is derived.
- Issue industry guidance regarding the proper labeling of fungal ingredients, including a Glossary of Mycological terms.
- Increase regulatory enforcement to ensure foods and dietary supplements containing fungal ingredients are accurately labeled.
- Take appropriate action against products labeled as “mushroom” when they do not contain mushrooms as claimed, but contain other fungal parts, such as mycelium, and fail to identify the presence of grain in the product.