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The Food and Drug Administration has decided to provide extra time for manufacturers to comply with the redesigned Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label, as well as its serving-size final rules. The decision came following feedback from industry and consumer groups on the original compliance date, issued in May 2016, of July 26, 2018, with an additional year to comply for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales.
The agency “determined that additional time would provide manufacturers covered by the rule with necessary guidance from FDA, and would help them be able to complete and print updated nutrition facts panels for their products before they are expected to be in compliance.”
Further, according to FDA, “The framework for the extension will be guided by the desire to give industry more time and decrease costs, balanced with the importance of minimizing the transition period during which consumers will see both the old and the new versions of the label in the marketplace.”
The agency said it would provide details on the extension through a Federal Register Notice at a later time.
Food makers hailed the extension as “reasonable and practical,” in the words of Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association.
“FDA’s commonsense decision will reduce consumer confusion and costs,” noted Bailey “Food and beverage manufacturers are committed to giving consumers the information and tools they need to make informed choices, such as by updating the Nutrition Facts Panel. But the fast-approaching compliance deadline was virtually impossible to meet without the needed final guidance documents from FDA.”
Said Alison Bodor, president and CEO of McLean, Va.-based American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI): "Additional time and final guidance from FDA will help AFFI’s members, especially our small and medium-sized companies, make these changes and also lessen the financial burden of doing so.”
Cary Frye, VP of regulatory and scientific affairs at the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association, observed that dairy manufacturers "appreciate the extra time to be sure that the information on the labels is complete and accurate."