Will the new food label ever appear?
Remember way back when the FDA proposed updating the Nutrition Facts label? It’s hard to keep track of the delays but the label, first proposed in 2016, is scheduled to appear in supermarkets near you by January 1. 2020 for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and to January 1, 2021 for those below that amount.
In March, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced new guidances for perplexed food makers who still can’t figure out what they are supposed to say on labels.
- Guidance for Industry: Scientific Evaluation of the Evidence on the Beneficial Physiological Effects of Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates Submitted as a Citizen Petition (i.e., Fiber)
- Draft Guidance for Industry: Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, and Certain Cranberry Products
- Guidance for Industry: Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products
- Guidance for Industry: Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: List of Products for Each Product Category
- Guidance for Industry: Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Small Entity Compliance Guide
The fiber guidance is particularly interesting. FDA wants “dietary fiber” to have a proven health benefit, thereby excluding substances like chicory root, oat hulls, or other added plant components.
CSPI points out that the guidance is plenty clear enough, many food manufacturers are already using the new label, and the long delay is unnecessary.
I agree. FDA: stop dilly-dallying on the food label. The absurd delay makes it look like you are caving in to industry objectiosn.