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AHPA Supports FDA’s Proposed Rule, but Recommends Changes

The Silver Spring, Maryland-based American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) generally agree on nutrition label revisions.

The AHPA provided general support but recommended changes to the FDA proposed Rule, “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels,” in its 40-pages of comments, expressing strong support for a proposed provision that would require manufacturers to make and keep written records. These records could include analyses of databases, recipes, formulations, or batch records, in order to verify the declared amount of certain nutrients for which analytical testing is not practical and to verify the content in the finished food.

AHPA reported supporting the FDA’s proposal to retain the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) approach to setting Daily Values (DVs) for nutrients because it helps ensure that the corresponding DV will meet the nutritional needs of the vast majority of the population.

According to the AHPA, the association also supports proposed changes to the format of the nutrition label because it increases the prominence of “Calories” and “Serving Size,” and positions the %DV column to the left of the nutrient name. They also agreed with the FDA that changes to “Serving Size” and “Servings Per Container” are not necessary for dietary supplement labels or that moving the %DV to the left of the nutrient name would not be appropriate for supplements.

AHPA reported general support for the proposal to require disclosure of “added sugar” in foods and agreed that maintenance and review of the manufacturer’s records is an effective and practical means to determine compliance with the values declared on the product label.

“However, AHPA also recommended a number of clarifications and adjustments to this proposed provision, including not counting moisture or other constituents of certain sweetening ingredients when calculating added sugar to avoid overstating the amounts of added sugars,” reported the AHPA, adding that it urged the government to modify the rule to name the current edition of AHPA’s Herbs of Commerce, which has been expanded to include nearly 1,500 additional herbs.

The current rule stipulates that botanical ingredients in dietary supplements shall be labeled using names that are consistent with the names standardized in Herbs of Commerce, 1992 edition and the AHPA encouraged FDA to update this language to reference the most current edition.

For more information, visit www.ahpa.org.