FDA drafts guidance on new nutrition facts label

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FDA drafts guidance on new nutrition facts label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a draft of its guidance on the updated Nutrition and Supplement Facts label. This follows the organization’s May 2016 update to its Nutrition Facts panel, which now requires manufacturers to declare added sugars.

Organizations with annual revenues of over $10 million have until July 26, 2018 to implement the new labels in their packaging. Those corporations falling below this mark will have an additional year to comply.

The new draft guidance addresses issues from manufacturer compliance to the design of the labels, themselves. Once finalized, it will represent the current thoughts of the FDA. Members of the food and beverage industry will have 60 days to comment on the document before the finalization process is initiated.

These guidelines are mainly meant to increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in prepared food and drink. The new label will show the amount of added sugars per serving, the establishment of a Daily Reference Value (DRV) for added sugars, and a Daily Value (DV) declaration for added sugars.

Other proposed changes include a mandatory requirement to list vitamin D and potassium, while vitamins A and C are no longer required to be listed. The reference values for the daily value figures have also been updated, calorie values are being made more prominent, and serving sizes are being made more realistic.

These decisions are extremely similar to those made by Health Canada regarding Nutrition Labels. However, the Canadian labels do not require added sugars to be declared on the nutrition label. Rather, Canada’s labels group sugars together and list a per cent daily value for sugars in general.

These changes reflect a willingness from both governments to help increase consumers’ safety and awareness about the products they are purchasing.

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