Déjà vu: Another nutrition labeling delay from feds

Déjà vu: Another nutrition labeling delay from feds

Yet another nutrition labeling mandate has been delayed by the FDA. According toMarketWatchand other online sources, Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration postponed the July 2018 deadline for the Nutrition Facts Labeling mandate in response to "numerous stakeholders" requesting more time. No new deadline was announced; however, a May 2021 deadline was suggested by industry groups. 

As you might recall, pressure from the grocery industry is largely thought to have caused a delay in menu labeling regulations ... again ... last month. As in that case, FDA spokesperson Deborah Kotz told MarketWatch that the agency's nutrition labeling mandate was put on pause because of stakeholders' expressed "need for upgrades to labeling software, getting nutrition information from suppliers, the number of products that would need new labels, and a limited time for the reformulation of products." 

In May, the FDA also delayed a calorie labeling rule for national restaurant chains by until May 2018. As in that case, industry groups are said to have written to Trump-appointed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price asking the deadline be extended, this time until May 2021. The nonprofit health watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest released that information regarding HHS, which oversees the FDA. 

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) was not happy about the Tuesday FDA announcement and said in a news release, "FDA's decision to extend the deadline for the Nutrition Facts Labeling rule is yet another unfortunate delay from FDA following delays to the menu labeling requirements and the final tobacco deeming rule. This delay will only add to consumer and industry confusion as manufacturers have already begun to adopt the new nutrition facts labels. 

"The Trump administration would do well to remember that FDA's mission is to protect the public health of the American people not the bottom line of industry."

Photo: iStock

Topics: Health & Nutrition

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