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      Small businesses get pass on nutrition labels

      When grocery shopping, looking at the nutrition labels on the products you buy can help you maintain a healthy diet.

      However, you have probably noticed some products do not offer nutritional information on their goods.

      That is because the government has created a list of exemptions for small businesses. The goal is to allow them to grow without being bogged down with the cost of providing nutrition labels.

      According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act:

      ??One exemption, for low-volume products, applies if the person claiming the exemption employs fewer than an average of 100 full-time equivalent employees and fewer than 100,000 units of that product are sold in the United States in a 12-month period. To qualify for this exemption the person must file a notice annually with FDA. Note that low volume products that bear nutrition claims do not qualify for an exemption of this type.Another type of exemption applies to retailers with annual gross sales of not more than $500,000, or with annual gross sales of foods or dietary supplements to consumers of not more than $50,000. For these exemptions, a notice does not need to be filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).??These exemptions are particularly important for small northern Michigan farm markets.

      ??If you hire a company to do nutrition analysis for you, it can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to, depending on production, a thousand dollars or more. For every label you produce, you would have to do the same thing, so if you had 10 labels, it could cost you as much as $10,000 just to do the nutrition analysis?? said Jason Homa, Cherry Republic.

      Homa said the exemption also helps small businesses introduce new products into the market.