You may not have been aware that French dressing is rather minutely regulated by the federal government of the United States of America. Well, it is, and it has been.
But it won't be for long! By Valentine's Day next month, it'll be a federal French free-for-all thanks to the FDA:
The Association for Dressings and Sauces's decades-long battle to revoke the standards for French dressing has finally come to an end, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreeing to deregulate a label the group said "restricts innovation."
The decision from the FDA revokes the so-called "standard of identity" on the books since 1950 that dictates what ingredients manufacturers must include in order to market their product as French dressing.
Wow, there was really a "decades-long battle" over this stuff? That's kinda depressing.
Well, hats off to the veterans of this interminable conflict who fought so long and so hard for this moment.
But what does it all mean, anyway?
Well, the FDA issued a rule for the Federal Register on Thursday, and it weighs in at a whopping 3,900+ words. So if you don't have time to comb through a small novelette's worth of federal gobbledygook, we'll give you the reader's digest condensed version.
Starting in August of 1950, the federal government imposed a "standard of identity" for French dressing manufactured in the U.S. That standard dictated that French dressing should be prepared with "not less than 35 percent by weight of vegetable oil," "acidifying ingredients," and multiple "optional ingredients" including seasonings, salt, eggs and tomatoes.
Yet a petition from the Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) argued that, in the decades since those standards were imposed, there "has been a proliferation of nonstandardized pourable dressings for salads" and the French standard of identity "no longer serves as a benchmark for other dressings because of the wide variation in composition to meet consumer interests."
That standard, the ADS argued, "has become marginalized and restricts innovation" and "no longer promotes honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers."
The FDA agrees. Revoking the standard, they argue, means that "manufacturers will have the flexibility to use different ingredients to produce products that meet consumer expectations for French dressing."
So there you have it! Riveting stuff! Another example of how our government is totally not wasteful and bloated!
What does this means as far as the average consumer goes?
Well...probably not much at all. If you like French dressing, have at it!
P.S. Now check out our latest video: "A word about Bob Saget and the topic we try to ignore" 👇