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Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
§5.42 Prohibited practices.
(a) Statements on labels. Bottles containing distilled spirits, or any labels on such bottles, or any individual covering, carton, or other container of such bottles used for sale at retail, or any written, printed, graphic, or other matter accompanying such bottles to the consumer shall not contain:
(1) Any statement that is false or untrue in any particular, or that, irrespective of falsity, directly, or by ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by the addition of irrelevant, scientific or technical matter, tends to create a misleading impression.
(2) Any statement that is disparaging of a competitor's product.
(3) Any statement, design, device, or representation which is obscene or indecent.
(4) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to analyses, standards, or tests, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer.
(5) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to any guarantee, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer. Money-back guarantees are not prohibited.
(6) A trade or brand name that is the name of any living individual of public prominence, or existing private or public organization, or is a name that is in simulation or is an abbreviation thereof, or any graphic, pictorial, or emblematic representation of any such individual or organization, if the use of such name or representation is likely to falsely lead the consumer to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of, such individual or organization: Provided, That this paragraph shall not apply to the use of the name of any person engaged in business as a distiller, rectifier, blender, or other producer, or as an importer, wholesaler, retailer, bottler, or warehouseman, of distilled spirits, nor to the use by any person of a trade or brand name that is the name of any living individual of public prominence or existing private or public organization, provided such trade or brand name was used by him or his predecessors in interest prior to August 29, 1935.
(b) Miscellaneous. (1) Labels shall not be of such design as to resemble or simulate a stamp of the U.S. Government or any State or foreign government. Labels, other than stamps authorized or required by this or any other government, shall not state or indicate that the distilled spirits are distilled, blended, made, bottled, or sold under, or in accordance with, any municipal, State, Federal, or foreign authorization, law, or regulations, unless such statement is required or specifically authorized by Federal, State, municipal, or foreign law or regulations. The statements authorized by this part to appear on labels for domestic distilled spirits are “Distilled (produced, barreled, warehoused, blended, or bottled, or any combination thereof, as the case may be) under United States (U.S.) Government supervision”, or in the case of distilled spirits labeled as bottled in bond, “Bottled in bond under United States (U.S.) Government supervision”. If the municipal, State, or Federal Government permit number is stated on a label, it shall not be accompanied by any additional statement relating thereto.
(2) If imported distilled spirits are covered by a certificate of origin or of age issued by a duly authorized official of the appropriate foreign government, the label, except where prohibited by the foreign government, may refer to such certificate or the fact of such certification, but shall not be accompanied by any additional statement relating thereto. The reference to such certificate or certification shall, in the case of Cognac, be substantially in the following form: “This product accompanied at the time of importation by an ‘Acquit Regional Jaune d'Or’ issued by the French Government, indicating that this grape brandy was distilled in the Cognac Region of France”; and in the case of other distilled spirits, substantially in the following form: “This product accompanied at time of importation by a certificate issued by the __ government (name of government) indicating that the product is __ (class and type as required to be stated on the label), and (if label claims age) that none of the distilled spirits are of an age less than stated on this label.”
(3) The words “bond”, “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms, shall not be used on any label or as part of the brand name of domestic distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits are:
(i) Composed of the same kind of spirits produced from the same class of materials;
(ii) Produced in the same distilling season by the same distiller at the same distillery;
(iii) Stored for at least four years in wooden containers wherein the spirits have been in contact with the wood surface except for gin and vodka which must be stored for at least four years in wooden containers coated or lined with paraffin or other substance which will preclude contact of the spirits with the wood surface;
(iv) Unaltered from their original condition or character by the addition or subtraction of any substance other than by filtration, chill proofing, or other physical treatments (which do not involve the addition of any substance which will remain incorporated in the finished product or result in a change in class or type);
(v) Reduced in proof by the addition of pure water only to 100 degrees of proof; and
(vi) Bottles at 100 degrees of proof.
In addition to the requirements of §5.36(a) (1) or (2), the label shall bear the real name of the distillery or the trade name under which the distillery produced and warehoused the spirits, and the plant (or registered distillery) number in which produced; and the plant number in which bottled. The label may also bear the name or trade name of the bottler.
(4) The words “bond”, “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms, shall not be used on any label or as part of the brand name of imported distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits meet in all respects the requirements applicable to distilled spirits bottled for domestic consumption, so labeled, and unless the laws and regulations of the country in which such distilled spirits are produced authorize the bottling of distilled spirits in bond and require or specifically authorize such distilled spirits to be so labeled. All spirits labeled as “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, or “aged in bond” pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph shall bear in direct conjunction with such statement and in script, type, or printing substantially as conspicuous as that used on such statement, the name of the country under whose laws and regulations such distilled spirits were so bottled.
(5) The word “pure” shall not be stated upon labels unless:
(i) It refers to a particular ingredient used in the production of the distilled spirits, and is a truthful representation about that ingredient; or
(ii) It is part of the bona fide name of a permittee or retailer for whom the distilled spirits are bottled; or
(iii) It is part of the bona fide name of the permittee who bottled the distilled spirits.
(6) Distilled spirits shall not be labeled as “double distilled” or ”triple distilled” or any similar term unless it is a truthful statement of fact; except that “double distilled” or “triple distilled” shall not be permitted on labels of distilled spirits produced by the redistillation method when a second or third distillation step is a necessary distillation process for the production of the product.
(7) Labels shall not contain any statement, design, device, or pictorial representation which the appropriate TTB officer finds relates to, or is capable of being construed as relating to, the armed forces of the United States, or the American flag, or any emblem, seal, insignia, or decoration associated with such flag or armed forces; nor shall any label contain any statement, design, device, or pictorial representation of or concerning any flag, seal, coat of arms, crest or other insignia, likely to mislead the consumer to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of the government, organization, family, or individual with whom such flag, seal, coat of arms, crest, or insignia is associated.
(8) Health-related statements—(i) Definitions. When used in this paragraph (b)(8), terms are defined as follows:
(A) Health-related statement means any statement related to health (other than the warning statement required by §16.21 of this chapter) and includes statements of a curative or therapeutic nature that, expressly or by implication, suggest a relationship between the consumption of alcohol, distilled spirits, or any substance found within the distilled spirits, and health benefits or effects on health. The term includes both specific health claims and general references to alleged health benefits or effects on health associated with the consumption of alcohol, distilled spirits, or any substance found within the distilled spirits, as well as health-related directional statements. The term also includes statements and claims that imply that a physical or psychological sensation results from consuming the distilled spirits, as well as statements and claims of nutritional value (e.g., statements of vitamin content). Statements concerning caloric, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content do not constitute nutritional claims about the product.
(B) Specific health claim is a type of health-related statement that, expressly or by implication, characterizes the relationship of the distilled spirits, alcohol, or any substance found within the distilled spirits, to a disease or health-related condition. Implied specific health claims include statements, symbols, vignettes, or other forms of communication that suggest, within the context in which they are presented, that a relationship exists between distilled spirits, alcohol, or any substance found within the distilled spirits, and a disease or health-related condition.
(C) Health-related directional statement is a type of health-related statement that directs or refers consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of distilled spirits or alcohol consumption.
(ii) Rules for labeling—(A) Health-related statements. In general, labels may not contain any health-related statement that is untrue in any particular or tends to create a misleading impression as to the effects on health of alcohol consumption. TTB will evaluate such statements on a case-by-case basis and may require as part of the health-related statement a disclaimer or some other qualifying statement to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related statement.
(B) Specific health claims. (1) TTB will consult with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as needed, on the use of a specific health claim on a distilled spirits label. If FDA determines that the use of such a labeling claim is a drug claim that is not in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, TTB will not approve the use of that specific health claim on a distilled spirits label.
(2) TTB will approve the use of a specific health claim on a distilled spirits label only if the claim is truthful and adequately substantiated by scientific or medical evidence; sufficiently detailed and qualified with respect to the categories of individuals to whom the claim applies; adequately discloses the health risks associated with both moderate and heavier levels of alcohol consumption; and outlines the categories of individuals for whom any levels of alcohol consumption may cause health risks. This information must appear as part of the specific health claim.
(C) Health-related directional statements. A statement that directs consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of distilled spirits or alcohol consumption is presumed misleading unless it—
(1) Directs consumers in a neutral or other non-misleading manner to a third party or other source for balanced information regarding the effects on health of distilled spirits or alcohol consumption; and
(2)(i) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement the following disclaimer: “This statement should not encourage you to drink or to increase your alcohol consumption for health reasons;” or
(ii) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement some other qualifying statement that the appropriate TTB officer finds is sufficient to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related directional statement.
(26 U.S.C. 7805 (68A Stat. 917, as amended); 27 U.S.C. 205 (49 Stat. 981, as amended))
[T.D. 7020, 34 FR 20637, Dec. 30, 1969, as amended by T.D. ATF-62, 44 FR 71621, Dec. 11, 1979; T.D. ATF-180, 49 FR 31673, Aug. 8, 1984; 49 FR 35768. Sept. 12, 1984; T.D. ATF-198, 50 FR 8464, Mar. 1, 1985; 50 FR 23410, June 4, 1985; TTB T.D.-1, 68 FR 10104, Mar. 3, 2003]