The FDA released the Final Rule governing the Nutrition and Supplement Facts label or how nutrition information is presented on packaged conventional foods (Nutrition Facts) and dietary supplements (Supplement Facts). The labels were redesigned to help consumers make better informed choices on the foods they purchase, but FDA never presented empirical data in the form of consumer studies to support that these changes will have a positive effect on consumers, Natural Products Association (NPA) reported. While most of the changes affect packaged conventional foods, there are minor changes to the Supplement Facts label to allow for greater consistency in the way nutrition information is presented on all foods.
Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label are as follows:
- Updates Serving Sizes and Labeling Requirements for Certain Package Sizes
- Requires “Includes X g Added Sugars” to be included under “Total Sugars”
- Updating the list of vitamins and minerals that need to be declared on the label
- Revising the format for “Calories”
Changes to Nutrition and Supplement Facts label are as follows:
1. Updating Reference Values
a. Reference Daily Intakes (RDI) for Vitamins and Minerals
b. Daily Value (DV) for declaring nutrient contents
2. Revising the format for “Calories”
A major change to RDIs used in nutrition information of food labels includes the agency’s final acceptance of choline as an essential nutrient, 550 mg daily. Additionally, NPA will continue to challenge FDA’s ruling on “added sugars” and highlight their lack of empirical data. Without these critical studies, wholesale changes to the way nutrition information is presented may not have any benefit to consumer choices and may lead to confusion in the case of added sugars. NPA has already analyzed FDA’s limited consumer study dataset and found issues in their consumer eye tracking studies. NPA concluded and commented to the agency that consumers do not make better choices with the new proposed label format over the present format. NPA almost made comments on “serving sizes.”
Manufacturers will need to use the new label by July 26, 2018. However, manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply.
NPA will be hosting a webinar on July 20th to review the new labeling changes in addition to basic labeling requirements. Interested parties can register here.
For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.