FOOD AND HEALTH ESSENTIALS

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FDA issues draft guidance on nutrition and supplemental facts labels and serving size requirements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a draft guidance intended to provide the food industry with additional information on recent changes to the agency’s rules applicable to nutrition facts and supplement facts labels.

Published in May 2016, the FDA’s final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Label” introduced a number of significant changes to food labels required for food and food products sold in the U.S., including changes related to the definition and calculation of added sugar as well as revised label formatting requirements.

A separate final rule, “Food Labeling: Services Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion,” amended the definition of a single-serving container as well as several reference amounts that are used by food manufacturers to determine the serving size presented on the label.

Both rules take effect as of July 2018 for most food producers. However, producers with annual food sales of less than $10 million (U.S.) will have an additional year, until July 2019, to comply with the new requirements.

The new draft guidance was issued in January and provides detailed answers to 20 frequently asked questions about the FDA’s new labelling requirements.

Guidance documents issued by the FDA provide important information that can help manufacturers and importers achieve compliance with the Agency’s requirements. However, they are solely intended to present the FDA’s current view of a given topic and do not have the force of law.

The text of the FDA’s draft guidance document on nutrition and supplemental labelling information is available here.

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