On Jan. 16, 2009, USDA approved the transfer of the Child Nutrition (CN) Labeling review function from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). This transfer will provide adequate staffing and technological support for the efficient operation of the CN Labeling Program through a fee-for-service program.
The CN Labeling Program helps local food service professionals to determine the contribution that commercial products make toward the meal pattern requirements for meals served in FNS Child Nutrition Programs. The existence of a CN label on a product provides schools and other Child Nutrition Program operators with a guarantee that the product contributes to the meal pattern requirements as printed on the label.
The value of the CN Labeling Program was affirmed at a 2007 stakeholders’ meeting of representatives from school districts, State agencies, and industry. The stakeholders unanimously supported continuation of the CN Labeling Program despite diminished resources available at FNS to support this program. In addition, a September 2006 report by the USDA’s Office of Inspector General identified the lack of inspections for many CN labeled products as a significant concern.
Unlike FNS, AMS has statutory authority to charge and expend user fees for a variety of services in support of the marketplace, such as user fees for CN label reviews and inspections. AMS began reviewing Quality Control (QC) Programs for compliance with the CN Labeling Program requirements on April 1, 2009 as a fee-based service.
FNS staff has been providing training to AMS staff on the CN label review process at FNS since May 2009. In January, 2010, the CN label review function will transition to AMS offices with continued support and training provided by FNS staff. The CN Labeling Program Operations Office will open at AMS on January 19, 2010 as a fee-based service.
FNS will retain overall program administration authority of the CN Labeling Program and continue to establish related policies, instructions, and regulations. FNS staff will continue to perform the oversight activities and provide ongoing technical assistance to AMS.
The transfer will consolidate management of the CN Labeling Program under AMS, Processed Products Branch (PPB). AMS-PPB is a user fee organization and as such will implement a fee for all CN Labeling Program activities. This will enable the program to continue to provide a valuable service to the industry in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
December 1, 2009
- Fee Notice to the Trade provided by AMS to expeditors and industry
- Billing account and service agreement documents available
December 21, 2009
- Last day for expeditor appointments at FNS
December 31, 2009
- Last day for acceptance of CN Label applications at FNS without a fee. Applications received after December 31 will be sent to AMS and assessed a review fee.
- Review of labels received after December 31 will not begin until January 19, 2010 at AMS
January 4-15, 2010
- AMS and FNS staff move CN labels and files to AMS
- AMS and FNS staff review CN labels received or postmarked by December 31, 2009
January 19, 2010
- CN Labeling Program Operations Office opens at AMS
- First day of CN label review at AMS with fee assessment
Information and Resources
Additional information about the AMS CN labeling review fees, billing account and service agreement applications, and the AMS application process:
- Notice to the Trade: Fee for Child Nutrition (CN) Labeling Review and Approvals
- Billing Account application with AMS Processed Products Branch (PPB)
- Service Agreement with AMS Processed Products Branch
- FNS/AMS PowerPoint Presentation: Providing Standardized Food Crediting Statements on Product Labels (11/30/09)
During the transition phase, FNS/AMS will post frequently asked questions (and their answers) regarding the transfer. Please visit the CN Labeling site often for the latest updates on the CN Labeling Program.
AMS Contact Information
Staff Phone Number: 202-720-9939
Staff Fax Number: 202-690-3824
Program E-mail: CNLabeling@ams.usda.gov
AMS-CN Technical Review Staff
Audrey Draper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Tung-Tayman: email@example.com
Richard Boyd: firstname.lastname@example.org