FDA extends deadline to revamp nutrition facts labels by 18 months

FDA extends deadline to revamp nutrition facts labels by 18 months
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced the details of its planned delay of Obama-era rules that require manufacturers to update nutrition facts labels and serving sizes on food packaging.

Regulators announced they are giving companies another 18 months to comply with the rules.

The compliance dates for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales is now being pushed from July 26, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020, while compliance dates for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will move from July 26, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2021.

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When the rules were originally finalized in May 2016 and the FDA gave companies two years to come into compliance. 

In a statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said companies need more time.

“This extension on the Nutrition Facts label regulation will help ensure that we provide the food industry with guidance to help them modernize their Nutrition Facts labels and that industry has sufficient time to complete and print updated Nutrition Facts labels,” he said.

“It’s crucial that we provide clear expectations so that industry can meet them.”

Among the changes under the rule, manufacturers are required to revise the nutrition label format to make the calories more prominent, list the amount of “added sugars” in grams and update the list of vitamins and minerals.

As for changes to serving sizes, manufacturers will now have to label containers of food that can be consumed in one sitting as a “single-serving container” and include dual columns on certain foods that can be consumed in one or multiple sittings that list both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information.

The changes are meant to more closely reflect the amount of food a person actually eats.