Monday, January 9, 2006

01/09/06 - Allergy Labeling; Credit Card Compliance Letter; Biography


This is your periodic Vitamin Lawyer update memo, provided to my client base and others interested in dietary supplement matters. If you don't want to receive such occasional messages, please reply to this email with "remove" in the subject line.

This issue covers:

1. New FDA Allergy label rules
2. Media Release: New challenge from credit card processors
3. Vitamin Lawyer biography

Happy new year!!
Ralph Fucetola JD


1. FDA Allergy Label Rule

The Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act went into effect 01/01/06. The Act is at:

On 12/14/05 a Guidance was published at:

The new law requires disclosure on the label of any ingredient including a major food allergen: "The term `major food allergen' means any of the following: (1) Milk, egg, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, or cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans"

There is no exemption for dietary supplements.


2. PR Web MEDIA RELEASE: Credit Card Processors Compliance Letters

January 9, 2006

On-line Lawyer Reports Internet Merchants May
Now Need Credit Card Website Compliance Letter

Newton, NJ: Ralph Fucetola, J.D., confirms reports that major credit card companies have recently demanded its dietary supplement and online pharmacy merchants obtain regulatory compliance letters from an attorney expert in the field.

Over the past two weeks, Counsel Fucetola has learned from certain clients who prefer to remain anonymous that MasterCard has been contacting merchant services and vendors with on line pharmacies and nutritional websites. The credit card company now appears to require merchants to provide a form letter from a qualified attorney stating that their websites comply with all government rules and regulations. Additionally, they must acknowledge an attorney will review the site annually to assure continued compliance.

Ralph Fucetola, a.k.a. as The Vitamin Lawyer ( has been retained by a number of merchants to review specific websites and provide the required documentation. As an attorney of 34 years, he has been reviewing web content for regulatory compliance for over a decade. He is available to consult on a retainer basis; rates are reasonable and due to Internet accessibility, clients can expect a timely response. Please contact him at

For general FDA compliance, the Vitamin Lawyer ( offers a service that allows the site to display the Vitamin Lawyer Oversight Compliance Seal.


3. Biography: Ralph Fucetola JD received a B.A. with Distinction from Rutgers University, 1967 and a Juris Doctor (Doctorate in Law) from Rutgers Law School, 1971. He practiced law for 34 years, specializing in Nutrient and Alternative Health Law. Counsel Fucetola has been widely recognized as a leading attorney in the field, receiving numerous awards, including a Citation of Merit from the National Health Federation ( in 1979 and a Meritorious Service Award (from the institute for Health Research, for his role in the 1995 DHEA Cases on behalf of the Life Extension Foundation. Counsel Fucetola limits his consultancy to claims, advertising and label review, asset protection, and consulting with marketers, consumers, advocates and local attorneys regarding Health Care Freedom issues, petitions and litigation.

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