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“Nutrition Facts” Labels on Packaged Foods Updated

Monday, May 23, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a lengthy final rule updating the “Nutrition Facts” label for packaged foods and making minor corresponding changes to the “Supplement Facts” label found on dietary supplements.

The new requirements apply to all packaged foods, both imported and domestically produced, except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018, though those with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have until July 26, 2019.

An FDA press release states that the new “Nutrition Facts” label will include the following.

- declaration of grams and percent daily value for added sugars

- updated serving sizes that more closely reflect the amounts people currently eat and drink, which has changed since the last serving sizes were published in 1993

- dual column labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for certain multi-serving food products that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings

- declaration of potassium, vitamin D, calcium and iron that includes the actual gram amount in addition to the percent daily value (listing vitamins A and C will now be voluntary)

- updated daily values for a variety of nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D

- “calories from fat” is removed because research shows the type of fat (e.g., saturated fat or trans fat, which continues to be required) is more important than the amount

- a refreshed format emphasizing certain elements such as calories and servings

Manufacturers must make certain written records to verify the declarations of dietary fiber, added sugars, vitamin E, and folate and folic acid in covered food labeling and keep those records for at least two years after the food is introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce.

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