Document Type



Millions of Americans go hungry, while 40% of the food in the United States is wasted. Research has shown that 43% of the waste occurs in homes and that consumers are making decisions about purchasing and throwing away food without understanding the meaning of the food date labels. One of the most cost-effective ways to begin to effect a change is to eliminate the myriad of confusing food date labels so that individuals do not throw away good food. In May 2016, the Food Date Labeling Act of 2016 was proposed in both houses of Congress. This bicameral bill was drafted with the assistance of food industry experts and would provide federal oversight of food date labeling, reducing the number of labels allowed and removing state regulations prohibiting food banks’ use of food with expired quality dates. This Comment evaluates the effectiveness of the proposed legislation in light of reducing food waste. While the Act includes many positive attributes, arguably its effectiveness would be enhanced if it allowed only for safety-based food labels and eliminated quality-based labels.