The Food and Drug Administration has finally rolled out its long-anticipated new food labels requirements. The new requirements include declarations for certain vitamins such as Vitamin D, and potassium, and also stricter guidelines for serving sizes, sugar, salt and fat. Food manufacturers will be required to be compliant and using the new labels by July of 2018.
Food manufacturers can get help with FDA Regulatory Compliance, New Label Laws, Food Labeling Rules and Nutrition Label Conversion by using a professional Food Label Consulting Firm like FTC International. Since the deadline for compliance is looming, companies like FTC will start converting labels for their clients as soon as this summer and into the next year.
“In addition to added sugars, new nutrients that must be declared include Vitamin D, which is important in bone development, and potassium, which is good for controlling blood pressure; both nutrients of which people aren’t getting enough,” said FDA administrator Dr. Robert Califf.
“Most food manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018,” said FTC International Founder Walter Dullemond. “We hope to start getting people compliant by as early as this summer – our goal is to really help people cut the hassle out of trying to figure out all these new food label laws, rules and regulations. It can be tough and scary for a business owner to make sure he or she is compliant – we can definitely help with that.”
First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the new label design at a Washington, D.C. event highlighting her “Let’s Move” initiative.
The FDA has been working on these label requirements for years, and has been negotiating with the food industry, other government agencies and consumer groups on just how far they can go. Firms like FTC have helped many manufacturers get compliant and stay ahead of all the regulatory changes in the food label industry.
Using a food label consultant is a good idea, particularly because FDA officials want labels based on the latest science. That means more specific labeling and recommendations for ingredients such as sugar, salt and fat.
One of the biggest changes to nutritional labels is the detail on how many servings are in a package.
“By law, serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually eating, not what they should be eating,” the FDA said.
The agency took on the industry practice of packing several servings into a single container, and labeling it with a potentially misleading “per serving” calorie count. Consumers complained these labels often tricked them into eating more than they intended to, thinking a product was lower in calories than it actually was.
The Heart Association also lobbied hard for the label to reflect the need for Americans to watch salt intake more closely.
The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association said the industry was already adapting to changing preferences.
“Food and beverage manufacturers have responded by creating more than 30,000 healthier product choices since 2002, and by providing tools like Facts Up Front front-of-pack labels and our Smart Label TM ingredient information initiative,” the group’s Dr. Leon Bruner said in a statement.
For more information about the new FDA Food Labels click here.