On March 29, 2018, Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the agency) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., delivered a nutrition-related policy address. The Commissioner emphasized FDA’s role in helping Americans improve their nutrition as a step towards reducing chronic disease, with a particular focus on sodium reduction. The Commissioner’s address provides important insight into the shape that FDA nutrition and health policy can be expected to take in the next few years.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today on its website that it intends to extend the compliance date for the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP) final rules. The agency action provides much needed clarity and assurance to the industry that an extension will be granted.
The current compliance dates are July 26, 2018 for large businesses and July 26, 2019 for manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales. The agency intends to extend the compliance date via a forthcoming Federal Register notice. In a March 2017 letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Dr. Tom Price, a number of trade associations requested that FDA extend the compliance date until May 2021, or 5 years after the date the final rules were published. It is unclear whether FDA will provide the requested 5-year compliance period.
The intended extension comes in response to the difficulties many companies were experiencing with getting compliant labels on food products given the absence of clear guidance from FDA on added sugars, dietary fiber, and other elements of the new requirements and the limited capacity of the packaging suppliers to print new labels for the entire food industry in the limited period of time granted by the original final regulation. We will provide additional details on the compliance date extension once available. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking the food industry to voluntarily reduce the sodium content of foods by about one-third over a ten year period, with the goal of reducing sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. FDA’s draft guidance sets short-term (two year) and long-term (ten year) sodium reduction targets for about 150 subcategories of both packaged and restaurant foods. The target dates would be two and ten years, respectively, from the date a final guidance document is issued.
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