FDA Publishes Industry Resources re the New Nutrition Labeling Requirements; Many Questions Remain Unanswered

August 4, 2016

By Riëtte van Laack

Yesterday, FDA announced the availability of a webpage providing information to industry regarding the requirements of the recently finalized Nutrition Facts and serving size regulations. 

FDA clarifies that until the compliance date of July 26, 2018 (or July 26, 2019 for companies with less than 10 million dollars in food sales), the use of updated Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels is voluntary. FDA indicates that it will issue further guidance regarding specifics such as the determination of the value of annual food sales. 

Anyone frustrated with the quality of the graphics in the final rule will be happy to find higher quality graphics for the examples in 21 C.F.R. §§ 101.9 and 101.36 (here and here).  FDA also included a mockup of the various Nutrition Facts label depicting the format, line thickness, font styles, and leading specifications that were previously shown in Appendix B to 21 C.F.R. Part 101.  In addition, the resources include separate tables of the reference values and some other information that is included in the final rules.

FDA provided responses to questions that FDA has received; thus, the responses should not be considered an exhaustive list. For various questions, FDA’s answer is that it will issue further guidance, e.g., as to whether concentrated fruit purees need to be declared as “added sugars.”  We will be monitoring new developments.