FDA to Extend Compliance Dates for Nutrition Facts Label Changes

Tammy Harvey
June 14, 2017

The planned nutrition label changes include a more prominent display of calories, more realistic serving sizes, labeling the amount of added sugars and a column showing total calories in the whole package. "The FDA will provide details of the extension through a Federal Register Notice at a later time". According to the AP, the agency recently delayed legislation forcing restaurants, grocery and convenience stores to post calorie counts for foods they sold until 2018. Still, he said he wasn't surprised by the FDA's decision.

The agency did not say how much additional time companies would be given, or when it would announce the time frame, saying only it would make an announcement "at a later time". On Tuesday, the FDA said it will give companies additional time to be in compliance. The "decision by the Trump administration to delay a new round of food labeling mandates was the right decision", Michelle Minton, a consumer policy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote in a statement. The letter was obtained by the health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. After those rules were finalized, industry and consumer groups provided the FDA with feedback regarding the compliance dates. While a number of large trade groups asked the FDA to delay implementation by three years - citing concerns about the cost of the labels, the lack of coordination between new label rules at FDA and USDA, and a lack of clarity around some requirements - others embraced the new panels, even printing them before they were required. Mondelez has rolled out the new, boldfaced label on its Wheat Thins boxes while PepsiCo did so on its Fritos, Cheetos and Lay's snacks.

"We support this because we believing in giving consumers more transparency", Figel said.

"The new nutrition label would allow consumers to have a better and clearer idea of the amounts of certain nutrients in their foods, as well as of ingredients they might choose to reduce or avoid, such as added sugars", Schiff said.

"But the fast-approaching compliance deadline was virtually impossible to meet without the needed final guidance documents from FDA". Many restaurants, like McDonald's and Perkins, have already listed calories on menus.

Additionally, the extended compliance dates are meant to give the industry more time and decrease costs, as well as minimize the transition period between the old and new versions of the label in the marketplace.

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