FDA deregulates French dressing, a long-awaited win for the salad dressing lobby

Last week, the salad dressing lobby won a 20-year battle with federal food regulators—over the meaning of French dressing, reports The Wall Street Journal. Since 1950, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has defined the condiment in bizarrely specific terms, to which most analogous products like Italian dressing, Caesar, or ranch were not subjected. French dressing, according to the federal agency, was to contain vegetable oil, an acidic component like vinegar or lemon juice, and seasoning and spices. In 1998, the Association for Dressings and Sauces (yes, that’s a thing) petitioned the agency to revoke this rule, arguing that it “restricts innovation.” Last Thursday, FDA granted the group’s wish, announcing that as of Feb. 14, French dressing manufacturers did not have to adhere to strict standards of identity anymore. We’re looking forward to seeing just how far American innovation will go with this newfound freedom. —Jessica Fu