FDA Finalizes Significant Changes to Nutrition Panel for Food and Beverages

On Friday the FDA announced updated nutritional panel information for the majority of food and beverages sold in the US. The  final requirements are a result of feedback and analysis of agency research, industry input and available scientific data. Virtually all food and beverage packaging will need to adjust their current labels as a result of the final rule.
 
Major changes to the current label include:
 
  • Highlighting “Calories,” “servings per container,” and the “Serving size” declarations by increasing the type size and placing the number of calories and the “Serving size” declaration in bold type.
  • Requiring manufacturers to declare the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value, of mandatory vitamins and minerals.
  • Addition of any “Added Sugars” directly beneath the listing for “Total Sugars”
  • Changing the footnote to better explain the percent Daily Value.
 
The new label, as provided by the FDA, is below:
 

 

Opponents of the new requirements believe the new label directly contradicts the FY 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (under which the FDA received its 2016 funding). A section of that Act prohibited the FDA from using data from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee Report as part of its justification for rulemaking, unless there was significant scientific agreement.  Opponents claim no such agreement exists, therefore, the rule should be struck down by the courts and sent back to the FDA for redrafting.
 
Food and beverage manufacturers with sales of over $10 million annually will be required to comply with the new label requirements by July 26, 2018. Those with sales less than $10 million annually will have an additional year to comply.

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