• Lauren Humphreys

Nutrition Label Reform - Delayed!

SURPRISE (or perhaps not so surprising), the FDA announced this morning that it will be extending the compliance date for manufacturers to comply with the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts Label and Serving Size Final Rules. The original compliance date for labels to be updated using the new format (shown below) was previously July 26, 2018. The reason for this extension is to allow manufacturers more time to comply with the new regulations and reduce costs associated with label updates.

This is an impactful announcement, but there are still many unknowns. The FDA has not shed light on when the new compliance date will be nor when they will make this announcement. There is much speculation on this topic, and 2021 is a popular estimate since it would align with the predicted compliance date for the USDA’s GMO labeling. Personally, I think it’s too early to call!

In the meantime, manufacturers may and should continue to update their Nutrition Facts Panels. Fortunately, there are already many manufacturers who have already or are in the process of transitioning to the new format. You may already even have products with the new Nutrition Facts Panel in your home! Key highlights visually of the new label include:

  • Swapped placement of the Servings Per Container and Serving Size lines

  • Increased prominence of Calories

  • Removal of Calories from Fat

  • Addition of Added Sugars

  • New micronutrients – out with Vitamins A & C and in with Vitamin D and Potassium

  • Inclusion of the quantitative amounts of the micronutrients in addition to the % Daily Value

  • Revised footnote

The following infographic from the FDA’s website here shows the old and new formats alongside each other:

There are additional and significantly more complex changes with the new regulations that are not so apparent by simply looking at the label. I will share more information on these topics in later posts, but these changes include: new definitions for dietary fiber and added sugars, mandatory dual column labeling requirements, serving size changes, and daily value changes. Once the FDA announces the new compliance date, I will share an update!

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