FDA to delay rule requiring new nutrition facts panel

FDA delays rule requiring new nutrition facts panel on food

FDA delays rule requiring new nutrition facts panel on food

This photo provided by the Food and Drug Administration shows a side-by-side comparison of the old, left, and new food nutrition facts labels.

The new nutrition panel was created to make it easier for consumers to see how many calories and added sugars a product contained.

The delay is the latest reversal of the Obama administration's nutrition reforms under Trump.

Aside from new added sugars listings, the calorie listing is to be changed to bigger, bolder type and serving sizes should be made more realistic.

The original FDA deadline for compliance was July 26, 2018.

This isn't the first time the Trump administration's FDA has slowed the introduction of Obama-era food industry rules.

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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".

No new date has been set, according to FDA spokeswoman Deborah Kotz. Smaller companies were given an additional year to make changes. It said food and beverage companies want to help people make informed choices, but that the "fast-approaching compliance deadline" was hard to meet without final guidance from the FDA on certain details.

Candy maker Mars Inc., for instance, said it is still planning to start rolling out the new nutrition facts panel on select products in coming months and be in full compliance by next year.

The FDA also recently delayed a rule that would require restaurants, grocery, and convenience store chains to post calorie counts for prepared foods. "Just like with the menu-labeling delay, this administration is denying consumers critical information they need to make decisions, and it's throwing the food industry into disarray".

Additionally, the extended compliance dates are meant to give the industry more time and decrease costs, as well as minimize the transition period between the old and new versions of the label in the marketplace. While a number of large trade groups asked the FDA to delay implementation by three years - citing concerns about the cost of the labels, the lack of coordination between new label rules at FDA and USDA, and a lack of clarity around some requirements - others embraced the new panels, even printing them before they were required.

"There's just been a lot of pressure to extend the deadline", Figel said.

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