June 14, 2017

FDA delays revamped food nutrition facts labels

Daily Briefing

    FDA on Tuesday announced it will delay implementation of a rule that requires food companies to use a revised nutrition facts label on their products.

    Under the rule, which was finalized in May 2016, food manufacturers would be required to replace existing nutrition facts labels with new labels that align serving sizes with actual average portion sizes, increase the prominence of calorie counts, and specify the amount of added sugars in products.

    The rule was championed by former first lady Michelle Obama and was scheduled to take effect on July 26, 2018. Smaller companies with annual food sales below $10 million had until July 26, 2019 to comply.

    FDA in a statement on its website did not specify when would implement the rule, saying, instead, the agency would "provide manufacturers covered by the rule with the necessary guidance from FDA." However, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb described the move as a "time-limited delay to provide more guidance" (Dewey, "Wonkblog," Washington Post, 6/13; AP/New York Times, 6/13; Humer et al., Reuters, 6/13; Meyer, USA Today, 6/13: FDA website, accessed 6/14; Gottlieb, Twitter, 6/14).

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