In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed to revoke its definition and standard of identity for French dressing, which was first instituted back in 1950.  Yesterday, the FDA announced that it has decided to revoke the standard, based in part on the agency's conclusion that "revoking the standard will allow for greater innovation and more flexibility of products on the market."  The FDA's action is in response to a petition from the Association for Dressings and Sauces. 

The existing standard of identity for French dressing characterized it as containing oil, acidifying and seasoning ingredients, and allowed certain other additional ingredients  The FDA said that the standard is outdated, since consumers expect French dressing to have certain other characteristics not required by the standard, such as tomatoes or tomato-derived ingredients.  

In announcing the action, the FDA said, "The FDA continues to modernize food standards to maintain the basic nature and essential characteristics of products, while allowing industry flexibility for innovation to produce more healthful foods, and meeting consumer expectations. The FDA believes it is important to take a fresh look at existing standards of identity in light of marketing and consumer trends and the latest nutritional science."