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| 1 minute read

The father of nutrition labels is still going strong at 89. Thank you, Peter Barton Hutt.

Peter Barton Hutt's law firm, Covington & Burling, apparently threw him and some of his colleagues a retirement party 20 or so years ago. But he has kept working and is still going strong at the spry young age of 89. If you don't know who he is, you should. He is credited with introducing America to the nutrition labels that appear on the food and beverages we consume every day. He also pioneered the kind of information those labels should contain and their type size. 

We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Hutt. In a time where “transparency” is all the rage, he was decades ahead of the curve on that notion. And while I have posted frequently about the burden food and beverage labeling litigation places on the industry, I cannot imagine what our world would look like if we did not have ready access to information about the products we eat and drink. For me personally, nutrition labeling issues and litigation have been a fascinating part of my practice, and it has probably put at least one of my three children through college! 

So, keep going strong, Mr. Hutt. And know that we appreciate you and everything you've done.

From a historical standpoint, [Peter Barton] Hutt has left a mark matched by few mortals. [His] labels have appeared on hundreds of millions—billions, maybe—of consumer products in the five decades since he wrote the rules for the Food and Drug Administration. He credits the National Canners Association with the idea of putting all the information in one spot.


food and beverage, nutrition labels, litigation