In an update on its website in June, the FDA said manufacturers needed more time to comply but did not give a revised deadline.
Speaking at the Politico Pro Policy Summit on Thursday morning, however, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb reportedly indicated that the new deadline would be in July 2019, a delay of one year.
At 5.16pm EDT, however, Gottlieb said he had spoken too soon, tweeting: “Apologies, I misspoke today @politico event, actual delay on Nutrition Facts Label isn't out yet but we will propose closer to 18 months.”
Asked when the compliance date would be finalized, an FDA spokeswoman said an official announcement would be made via a notice in the federal register in due course.
How much time do manufacturers need to comply?
While some industry stakeholders feel that a long delay is not warranted, others say they need the extra time to get their ducks in a row and to incorporate new rules on GMO labeling, which have not been published yet (while USDA said recently that it's still hoping to published the national bioengineered food standard by July 2018, it has not yet set a compliance date).
There is also a lot of uncertainty over which ingredients will be classified as dietary fibers under the new look panel, and whether the FDA will be persuaded by industry petitions arguing that isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates such as inulin and polydextrose should be considered dietary fibers for labeling purposes.
- New requirements – added sugars, vitamin D, potassium, a new look format
- No longer mandatory, now voluntary – vitamin A, vitamin C
- No longer allowed – calories from fat, other carbohydrates
- New definition – dietary fiber, new servings sizes (RACCs)
- Updated DV – total fat, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, potassium and most vitamins and minerals
- New units of measurement – vitamin A in mcg RAE, vitamin D in ug, vitamin E in mg, niacin in mg NE, folate in mcg DFE
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